Darren Comments

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  • 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 +6
  • 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
  • GAME is having trouble with launch day Nintendo Switch deliveries

  • Darren 04/03/2017

    Looks like I was lucky then (mostly...) because my Switch, Pro controller and copy of Zelda: BotW for Wii U arrived from ShopTo.net via DPD at 11am although I did not get the text for the one hour delivery slot until after 9am. Unfortunately, I had to wait until 5pm for Amazon to deliver the two Switch games I'd ordered (Zelda: BotW and 1-2 Switch) along with one of the new amiibos. However, not everything came yesterday as the Link Archer amiibo and official carrying case are being delivered today (Saturday). Not too bothered about those anyway as I don't need the case until Monday. Reply 0
  • Switch Joy-Cons tested: are there really de-sync issues?

  • Darren 02/03/2017

    I suspect that Nintendo will be keeping quiet on this issue until later on next week when more consoles are in the public's hands and then they can determine just how widespread the issue is as people contact them. It may be that there is design flaw/fault but that it won't be noticed by 99% of people using Switch in which case Nintendo can just issue replacement Joycons on request without jeopardising the system's launch, reliability and reputation.

    At least that's what I hope. It would be very costly if they had to issue replacements for every Switch owner or even do a recall (which seems unlikely unless the issue worsens the more the console is used or something).

    Not too bothered about this as the majority of the time I will be playing games that standard way using the Switch in handheld mode with the Joycons attached or with the Pro controller on the TV. I have picked up 1-2 Switch at launch as well for 32 from Amazon but I suspect that will be little more that a short-term distraction to showcase the console to family and friends and that I won't play it much myself.
    Reply +1
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review

  • Darren 02/03/2017

    I'm currently playing through Horizon Zero Dawn on my PS4 Pro, an epic and gorgeously realised open-world game with stunning presentation and superbly entertaining combat and exploration. However, much as I adore that game, I simply cannot wait to play this new Zelda game as I suspect it will prove to mine and many other people's Game of the Year.

    Despite running on what is essentially a calculator in comparison to the PS4, the game has that timeless visual style that allowed The Wind Waker to age (if at all) very gracefully. There's just something so endearing and magical about Nintendo's games, especially their Mario and Zelda titles.

    Still, it's a good job the Switch has this game as a launch title and its so damn good because none of the other launch games look worthy of buying a new console for IMO (and even then you could buy Breath of the Wild for the Wii U if you own it).
    Reply +4
  • Nintendo Switch eShop games and prices revealed

  • Darren 02/03/2017

    Ouch, 50 for a digital copy of Super Bomberman R!!!! That really is seriously overpriced. Can't see that flying off the digital shelves somehow...

    I am hoping to pick up FAST RMX tomorrow once my Switch has updated with the Day One firmware. I've already set up the Nintendo account from my Wii U and I'm hoping that I can download Shovel Knight on my Switch as well, which I bought on the Wii U's Store.
    Reply +4
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller shown working on PC

  • Darren 01/03/2017

    The Switch Pro controller looks better than the Wii U one by virtue of none having glossy black plastic which annoyed me no end as finger prints quickly amass all over it. I also found it to be a tad too light-weight and plasticky and hope the Switch equivalent feels a bit more professional and solid to match the quality of the console itself. I have one on order for delivery with my Switch on Friday but it's nice to know I have a second controller option to support my Xbox One Elite controller when I play split screen multiplayer (e.g. Rocket League!) or FIFA on my PC. Reply 0
  • Nvidia unveils GTX 1080 Ti: 'faster than Titan X Pascal'

  • Darren 01/03/2017

    Looks like a great card on paper and one that, while certainly not cheap, is much better value than the overpriced Titan XP. I bet a few Titan XP owners are going to regret not waiting... ;)

    Me, well, I'd love one but having only just bought a GTX 1080 last August (well, technically I ordered it in June but it took Amazon 6 weeks to deliver it!), the card would be overkill for the 2560x1440 resolution I play games at. I can virtually run every current game on maxed out settings at 2560x1440 with some at 4K using DSR. And since I have a 25" 60 Hz display and use v-sync then the extra performance would be wasted.

    Still doesn't stop me wanting one though if I had the cash to spare but I can't think of one game that will need that level of performance that is coming out in the coming months. Looking forward to reading the reviews and benchmarks though all the same. Bet it costs around 700 here in the UK for the Founder's (i.e. early adopter's tax) Edition.

    If I was buying one though I'd wait for the third-party cards as my own EVGA GTX 1080 FTW (yeah, the one that's infamous for lacking thermal pads!) runs really cool and has never exceeded 67 C in any game I've played since I got it. In comparison, my reference GTX 980 Ti would hit mid to high 70s C even with a custom fan profile. Third-party cooling options are always much better than reference IMO and can be cheaper too (my GTX 1080 was 600, some 30 cheaper than the Founder's Edition cards at the time).
    Reply -2
  • Escaping Skyrim's shadow

  • Darren 27/02/2017

    I played Skyrim on PC in excess of 250 hours from memory and I played Oblivion on Xbox 360 for over 350 hours. Definitely got my money's worth out of those two games.

    It goes without saying that I enjoyed them both immensely but The Elder Scrolls VI really needs a completely new engine if it is to compete with The Witcher 3, which is IMO the best western RPG released to date. Also Bethesda's writers could do with a few tips on how to write strong memorable characters because much I liked those two Elder Scrolls games I'm strugging to recall one single character in either game!
    Reply +1
  • Horizon is a technical masterpiece on PS4 and Pro

  • Darren 27/02/2017

    @RustyBullet - It is 4K output but it is not true native 4K, i.e. it is not rendered at 3840x2160 using 1:1 pixel mapping like, say, 4K games on the PC. ;)

    The checkboarding technique can produce graphical artifacts due to the way it works which are usually only noticeable at close viewing. At normal viewing distance you will likely not see them. Horizon Zero Dawn's 4K rendering works very well because the post-process anti-aliasing is so good and helps hides any flaws.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 27/02/2017

    The performance patch seems to be a bit of a waste considering the game already runs at a near locked 30 fps anyway. Would perhaps have been nicer if Guerrilla Games had offered a mode with improved shadow and draw distance, especially for 1080p TV owners. Seems like the Pro's extra performance is being a bit wasted on the performance mode to me when there's the potential to offer improved visuals too a la Rise of the Tomb Raider. But maybe this will come in a later patch? Reply +2
  • Jelly Deals roundup: Hitman, Battlefield 1, Mass Effect Trilogy and more

  • Darren 25/02/2017

    I picked up a 128 GB Samsung Evo MicroSD card for my Switch from Amazon yesterday for 36.79, a good deal, I think.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PCCAMKO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Reply +2
  • A complete history of Nintendo console launches

  • Darren 24/02/2017

    @mamalkosari - I think you were expecting too much... 1080p and 60 fps for an open world game. Show me a game like than on the more powerful PS4 or Xbox One?

    Personally, I was hoping for a powerful enough system to run Zelda: Breath of the Wild at 1080p and 30 fps so my expectations weren't far off (since its 900p and 30 fps instead). I was also hoping for anisotropic filtering and decent anti-aliasing to finally become standard in Nintendo's own inhouse games but on the basis of what I've seen of Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that doesn't seem to the case. The Switch seems to be just a slightly beefed up Wii U in terms of performance, enough to run the same kind of games at 1080p rather than 720p but with the exact same image quality (and, sadly, lack of decent texture filtering and AA).

    Sure, it's the games themselves that matter and Nintendo rarely disappoint there. However, when you are paying 280 for a new console in 2017 that is being released nearly four years after the PS4 and Xbox then it's not unreasonable to expect it to be at least as powerful as those machines (which both cost less).
    Reply +1
  • Darren 24/02/2017

    @Gamblix - It doesn't matter how much money a company has, it cannot keep financing failures indefinitely. If the Switch fails to sell and turns out to be another Wii U then I can easily see Nintendo becoming a software-only publisher (like SEGA). They've already released a successful Mario game for mobile devices so I can easily see them going that route if Switch flops. Reply +1
  • Darren 24/02/2017

    I cannot wait to get my Switch next Friday (wow, only a week to go now!) but I really cannot see the machine selling very well until Nintendo sort out both the hardware and software pricing. 280 is simply too much for what is essentially a handheld with console functionality. And asking 60 RRP for major triple A releases is also too much, though you can get them much cheaper if you shop around (I'm getting Zelda: Breath of the Wild for 48 for example from Amazon). These are still pricey though for handheld games and far more than the 30-35 price of, say, 3DS games.

    And what about the price of those peripherals? 60 for a standard controller, 35 for a Joycon (basically half a controller) or 70 for a pair!!! I really cannot see those flying off the shelves and while the Switch does come with handy support for two players, it still adds to the expensive if you need to pick up more controllers for local multiplayer.

    Personally, I think Nintendo should have aimed for a 200 price point with 1-2 Switch packed in with the console, basically the Switch's equivalent of Wii Sport. While that may not have guaranteed it huge success, it would have added to value to the package and made it more appealing to the casual audience who bought the Wii. The equivalent price at launch for the Switch with 1-2 Switch is 320+, far more than the 180 for the Wii with Wii Sports.

    I obviously wish Nintendo every success with the Switch but sometimes they do come across as a bit arrogant and stubborn, perhaps even a bit greedy (especially when it comes to the pricing of their controllers and other peripherals).
    Reply +2
  • Nintendo Switch Joy-Con connection issue sparks concern ahead of launch

  • Darren 24/02/2017

    @SiroccoJetProp - Well the Switch could be a huge success or a huge flop since the massive success of the Wii did not guarantee a similar outcome for the Wii U.

    I suspect that the price of the console is going to put a lot of people off buying one straight away, especially coupled with the fact it ships with no packaged game like the Wii with Wii Sports. At 40-60 RRP the games are pricey and far more expensive than those of the 3DS for example, which the Switch is really a replacement for (I see the Switch as a handheld first and a console second and that seems to be how it is being shown in the adverts I've seen so far).

    As a handheld the Switch is just too expensive even though technically it will be the most powerful traditional gaming handheld released to date (I don't count Smartphones and tablets as gaming devices personally due to the lack of standard controls). As a console though, it's hard to deny that the Switch comes off as fairly underpowered, especially compared with the base PS4 and even the Xbox One. It is basically a Wii U with a little more graphical grunt. As such Wii U games such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 barely look any different on Switch besides a resolution boost in some cases, which is a bit disappointing. Their only selling point really over the Wii U is the fact you can play them on the move but is that enough to guarantee the success of the Switch at 280?

    Only time will tell but I suspect it may take a price drop to below 200 and a packed in casual game such as 1-2 Switch before sales pick up. Still getting one at launch anyway because I can afford it. Besides, I suspect that even if the system bombs completely that there will be enough great games on it to justify owning one. The PS Vita was a failure yet it has a very decent games library in spite of it and the woeful lack of support from Sony.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 24/02/2017

    If the problem ONLY occurs when the Joycons are detached from the screen/base unit, which seems to be the case, then it is not a concern for me as I only intend playing games that use the Switch's portable functionality (i.e. with both Joycons attached to the screen) or with the Pro controller when docked at home anyway. I have no interest in any of the waggle functionality; lost interest in that circa 2006 on the Wii!

    Hopefully, for everyone else this issue is a minor one that is isolated to a few faulty units or can be resolved either by a firmware update. Let's hope it isn't a design flaw akin where people have to hold the Joycons in a specific way to avoid loss of signal (like with Apple's infamous iPhone issue where the antenna signal was blocked due to the way people held the phone).
    Reply -4
  • What works and what doesn't in Horizon Zero Dawn

  • Darren 24/02/2017

    Sounds really impressive technically and, of course, there's no doubt that it looks fantastic from what I've seen of it (admittedly, on YouTube in compressed 1080p format).

    However, as a Pro owner with a 1080p TV, it's a shame that Guerilla Games do not offer a mode with longer shadow draw distance and interactive foliage. I'd take that over 2160p checkerboard rendering any day since even on the base PS4 version the image quality is excellent in terms of anti-aliasing anyway. Supersampling is not really that necessary IMO at 1080p.
    Reply -3
  • Dead Rising 4 shuffles onto Steam in March

  • Darren 22/02/2017

    Why would the Steam version of Dead Rising 4 require Windows 10 if it is going to use DirectX 11? The only reason to force Windows 10 is if the game only runs on DirectX 12. :confused: Reply +8
  • For Honor, online disconnects and the problem with peer-to-peer

  • Darren 21/02/2017

    I've only been playing For Honor (PC version) in single player and three times I've had the game disconnect and kick back to the title screen, losing all my progress. It's very frustrating for a single player mode and reminds me of the early days of Uplay when even single player games like Assassin's Creed II required an always on internet connection otherwise you could not play the game.

    Mind you, Uplay seems pretty cranky these days, often requring two or three attempts to sign in before I can even load any of my Ubisoft PC games! I don't know whether it's just server bandwidth issues or some kind of DDOS attack but I don't see this with Battle.net, Origin or Steam anywhere near as often as I do Uplay.
    Reply +3
  • Horizon Zero Dawn review

  • Darren 20/02/2017

    Just read the USgamer review.... wow, talk about having a drastically different opinion. :eek:

    Of course, the more reviews with differing views the better is it to get a more accurate gauge of the game's quality (or lack thereof). It would be a boring world if everyone shared the same opinions, right (although it would certainly be a more peaceful one, I guess!)?
    Reply +3
  • Darren 20/02/2017

    I am still hugely excited and looking forward to playing this game even after reading this lukewarm EG review. With this and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild coming out within days of each other and both featuring third-person bow and arrow combat it will be interesting to see which gets most of my attention. I suspect that the new Zelda game may prove to be the better of the two games (and on Switch I will have the luxury of playing it at work during my lunch hour!) but I am sure I will still thoroughly enjoy Horizon ZD. It's hard to fault it on a technical level from what I've seen of it.

    *EDIT*
    9.0 from GameSpot and 9.3 from IGN... not saying they're more "right" than EG - it is just one person's opinion after all - but it is nice to see more positive reviews coming from other sites, especially as it isn't often we get reviews over a week before a game's release these days.

    *EDIT 2*
    After doing a bit more browsing, it seems like the game is getting universal acclaim across many sites and that EG's review seems to be the exception. Although ultimately my own opinion of the game once I've played it is the only valid one (like duh!), I think I would have been a bit worried at the quality of the game if it had been getting reviews that were all similar to EG's (i.e. an unexceptional 6 to 7/10 game). I mean that fact that the reviews are out so early just shows how much confidence the publisher must have in the quality of their game.

    Really cannot wait to play this. It looks fantastic fun to play and story-driven games like these with stunning production values are absolutely the kind of games I really enjoy.
    Reply +9
  • Final Fantasy 15 updated with 60fps PS4 Pro patch

  • Darren 20/02/2017

    I hope they've fixed the framepacing issues because only one of the three previous modes actually felt smooth to play; the other two were distractingly laggy/jerky in motion IMO. Reply 0
  • To understand 1-2 Switch, look back at Nintendo's crazy pre-history

  • Darren 17/02/2017

    Not interested in 1-2 Switch at all. It's like 2006 all over again, only unlike Wii Sports with its casual "waggle" appeal it's not a game included with a 200 console so I really cannot see it selling well unless the early adopters are so desperate for new Switch games that they buy it any way (and, let's it face it, with only five games available at launch they may well be!).

    Even then its a 320 investment at least for a console and one sure to be shallow game. That's going to be a hard sell for casual gamers IMO.
    Reply 0
  • Nintendo Switch system features shown off in video

  • Darren 17/02/2017

    @shotbyascot - My biggest concerns about the Switch are (a) the price of the games at 60 RRP for triple A titles may put people buying the system (as a handheld, which let's face it is what Switch is, that's almost double the price of 3DS games!); (b) the slow trickle of first-party Nintendo games, some of which may not appeal to me (e.g. waggle games like 1-2 Switch); and (c) third-party support which may dry up quickly if the machine fails to sell leaving us with months between Nintendo releases.

    Let's hope Nintendo "adapts" quickly for Switch because it has as muc chance of failing completely as it does succeeding after the Wii U's poor sales and support.
    Reply +4
  • Darren 17/02/2017

    Just two weeks to go now for the rest of us! :D

    The interface looks quite slick and professional for Nintendo. Let's hope the required Day One firmware update goes smoother and quicker than the one for the Wii U though...

    And just 25.9 GB of internal storage. That really is quite pathetic in these days of downloadable games and DLC, even for a handheld. It was inadequate five years ago when the Wii U launched. It really should have had 128 or 256 GB of internal storage IMO.
    Reply +5
  • Nintendo Switch Street Fighter 2 first-person mode looks janky

  • Darren 16/02/2017

    Wow, talk about input lag... there must be about a second between the guy doing the movements and them registering in the game. Reminds me of Kinect for some reason... ;) Reply 0
  • Performance Analysis: Sniper Elite 4

  • Darren 16/02/2017

    @Fenbops - No, because, as this article points out, the game has v-sync fully enabled on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro. Thank goddness! Reply +1
  • Darren 16/02/2017

    Sniper Elite III was also an absolute screen tear fest from what I saw of the game on Xbox One so I'm not surprised to see the same in Sniper Elite 4 on the same platform. The third game was absolutely great on the PS4 though so I expected similar for the sequel but I'm pleased to say that the game runs much better than I thought it would on my PS4 Pro. It definitely feels more like a 60 fps experience than a 30 fps one and I can't say that I noticed too much in the way of stutter like some other games that target 60 fps (but fail to meet it).

    The most disappointing aspect of the game's visuals IMO is the lack of some kind of temporal AA solution to reduce the sometimes distracting shimmering from foliage plus the ambient occlusion and shadows look a little sub-par compared with other triple A games. Not too much to complain about really; overall the game looks nice and once I got into it then I stopped noticing the graphical issues anyway. It's a lot of fun to play with the same open map design of the last game only with improved A.I. and stealth mechanics. It's definitely more Sniper Elite 3.5 than a true sequel but if the gameplay is this good then who's complaining! ;)
    Reply +7
  • More than three years after launch, GTA5 is back top of the charts

  • Darren 13/02/2017

    Nioh absolutely deserves the top IMO after spending the full weekend playing it and wondering where on earth all the time went!

    Never has a game felt so punishing yet so utterly rewarding to play. It's telling that despite taking over 40 goes (at least... might even be 60+) to beat the second proper boss in the ship at the end of the village level that I could not stop coming back to it.

    It's ridiculously addictive yet I spent as much time hating and cursing the game (when I died for the umpteenth time at the boss) as I did loving it! It's better than Bloodborne or any Dark Souls game to date in my humble opinion, especially on PS4 because that incredibly fast combat and smooth 60 fps framerate really does make the game so enjoyable to play and there are no framepacing issues here unlike Bloodborne. What I also like about this game is that it has a more coherent story with better cutscenes even if it is still all very Japanese in tone.

    Love it. Cannot recommend it enough unless you have absolutely no patient at all.
    Reply +2
  • Sniper Elite 4 review

  • Darren 13/02/2017

    I've always enjoyed these games which have shown a steady improvement with each sequel. Sniper Elite 3 was excellent on both PC and PS4 so I am very much looking forward to playing the fourth instalment.

    Is the game enhanced in any way for PS4 Pro?
    Reply +33
  • Fallout 4 on PS4 Pro: the upgrade we've been waiting for?

  • Darren 13/02/2017

    @Evil_Skeletor - It's Digital Foundry's job to point out differences in these comparison videos but I agree with you that I would not notice the difference in god ray quality at all if it wasn't for this video.

    It's not something that most people, including you and me, would actively look for while playing it but it's something DF are paid to do. The way DF talk about it though is misleading as it is a subtle improvement at best, one that the majority of people will not notice. Even the improved draw distance is not really something you can really appreciate without seeing a video showing it side by side with the original.

    At best the graphical tweaks to Fallout 4 on the Pro IMHO do not transform the game's visual noticeably. It's the chuggy framerate that still stands out for me as the biggest letdown as that certainly is noticeable. Maybe it's better than the base PS4 but it does not feel like it overall. To me the game seems to perform exactly the same as before (the bit I played was the mission where you storm a building full of Synths and laser turrets and it ran like crap on my Pro despite being indoors. It was really disappointing).
    Reply 0
  • Darren 13/02/2017

    @kirankara - Maybe I've just been spoilt by spending the weekend playing Nioh at what feels to me like a smooth and perfect 60 fps but Fallout 4 on PS4 Pro just feels horrible and choppy to play even when it is supposedly running at 30 fps. It certainly feels far worst than, say, Skyrim Special Edition IMO. Reply 0
  • Darren 13/02/2017

    I tested this patch last night on my PS4 Pro. While the visual upgrade is there, I can't say that I noticed where the improvements were without watching this video. What was disappointing for me though was that the game still runs with sub-30 fps framerate, especially outdoors, that means it feels stuttery/laggy. While I welcome visual upgrades, I think the priority here on the Pro should have been to get a locked 30 fps framerate. This more than anything makes the game feel exactly the same as it always was on the base PS4.

    Why don't Bethesda offer Pro users a choice of different modes like Nioh and Rise of the Tomb Raider so we can decide whether we want a better framerate, better graphics or a mix of the two?
    Reply +5
  • PS4 Pro boost mode: a game-changer for unpatched titles?

  • Darren 08/02/2017

    I am surprised to read that even in Boost Mode that unpatched older games are still only using half the GPU? Why is that? It is disappointing to find that while a game's framerate may be increaded by 14% that it still falls short of achieving a locked 30 or 60 FPS because the GPU performance is limited by 50%. Maybe it will be fully unlocked at a later date once Sony are happy that it works properly?

    I also think that Boost Mode needs some kind of setting to enable/disable it on a per-game basis rather than just globally. While most games will likely work fine, it is going to be annoying to have to disable it for those that don't then remember to re-enable it when playing games that do!
    Reply +5
  • Konami tries to explain the R in Super Bomberman R

  • Darren 07/02/2017

    Hmmm, thought the R stood for "Reduced framerate" myself! ;) Reply 0