Uncompetative Comments

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  • Halo: Master Chief Collection dev issues "heartfelt apologies" as matchmaking issues continue

  • Uncompetative 25/11/2014


    Conversation between me and a friend prior to release:
    Me: "you getting MCC then?"
    Friend "Yeah, you should get an xbox one to play it"
    "Nah I've got the games already. Plus I think it's bollocks you can't play halo 3 and 4 with 360 players"
    "They're just upscaled 360 games. They should work with the existing games, there's no reason why they shouldn't."
    "Actually MCC runs on dedicated servers."
    "So the 360 games were peer to peer. Dedicated is better."
    "Really? The old one worked, why fix what isn't broken"
    "Dedicated servers mate, trust me online will be much better!"

    As I said back then, why fix what isn't broken.
    Conversation between me and my brother, a former network analyst at HSBC:

    Him; "Why did you buy Destiny on ONE?"
    Me: "So I can play it when PSN is undergoing maintenance."
    Him: "Presumably you can login from either console to continue your progress with the same character?"
    Me: "No."
    Him: "Why not?"
    Me: "Petty platform politics."
    Reply 0
  • Elite: Dangerous, David Braben and a scale model Cobra MK III

  • Uncompetative 24/11/2014

    E's are good, apparently.
    Reply +1
  • Uncompetative 24/11/2014

    Where is he supposed to moan about it?

    The pub?
    His local bus stop?
    Reply +5
  • Uncompetative 24/11/2014

    This negative PR will not go away even if Frontier give full refunds to everyone who is asking for them. It will damage the launch. It will drag them into small claims court. It will be reported on. It will make them seem like a dodgy developer and ruin their hard won reputation.

    The best thing Braben can do is NOT to offer full refunds, but to make a SEPARATE offline mode set in its own galaxy and bundle that in with the product in the same way that GTA V single-player is bundled alongside whatever SEPARATE character, bank account and modified car within GTA Online.

    Fuck the Emperor.
    Reply -3
  • Battlefield 4: Final Stand review

  • Uncompetative 24/11/2014

    Forza Horizon 2 is just as boring, you can't go upside-down like in Mario Kart 8 or WipEout. Where's the innovation? They had railguns in Quake 2

    § sarcasm §
    Reply +21
  • Will Xbox One succeed in China?

  • Uncompetative 23/11/2014

    I've heard that the Japanese prefer RPGs to FPSes due to motion sickness, but wondered based on this article whether the Chinese were different as this represents such a huge untapped market. Thoughts? Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4 and Xbox One

  • Uncompetative 23/11/2014

    I frustrated that Grand Theft Auto V should be so poor at driving. The steering sensitivity is non adjustible. The in-car camera ought to be like their Midnight Club: LA and let me tilt the right stick from side to side to check for traffic at junctions, immediately snapping back to face front when recentring as it is released. It also doesn't take an eternity to check behind you:

    Instead I have this slow as molasses restricted rotation that has to be brought back to approximately face front unless you are moving forward when the game will auto align the camera after moving into a potentially unobserved threat for a few seconds.

    I'd actually hoped for TrackIR style head tracking on ONE with Kinect.
    Reply +1
  • Don't call it a comeback: Xbox One's first year

  • Uncompetative 22/11/2014


    I don't live in a cupboard, so I have room for both.
    Reply +4
  • Apple removes the "free" label from F2P games

  • Uncompetative 21/11/2014


    I think I was skipping the grind in Forza 5 and there were no cosmetic items to purchase so it was mainly P2A. However, the game had many cars inaccessible from grinding which could be purchased individually, or in packs, or as part of a Season Pass. This aspect of it is P2P as you never get to try out La Ferrari before you commit to purchasing it. I thought the game could have done with a few more tracks at launch, such as another city track perhaps at night, but Turn 10 rectified that by releasing Road America, Long Beach and the Nürburgring / Nordschleife for free, enhancing the value of their product to latecomers and ensuring its continued longevity as stuff like DriveClub came along to challenge it.

    So, which is it? P2A or P2P? Well, I think of it as being similar to those Lite versions of full games only you decide how full you want it to be. I think I'm right in saying that you can just unlock the Ariel Atom that comes with the game and treat it as an Ariel Atom simulator, its high performance doesn't carry a huge price tag.
    Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014


    F2P is a massive spectrum ranging from genuinely free games that offer cosmetic items at one end, to cynically constructed money traps at the other, and everything else in between.
    I'd like everyone to stop using the term F2P as it clearly isn't Free to Play. You aren't free to play a game on your mobile whenever you choose as some block access unless you wait or pay. It may help to replace the term with less disingenuous acronyms, so here are some suggestions of what the community could use instead:

    P2E - Pay to Enhance
    ...basically, hats and other optional cosmetic items can be bought

    P2A - Pay to Advance
    ...you can pay to permanently unlock an item rather than "grind"

    P2O - Pay to Own
    ...you can try (a time, or content, limited product) before you buy

    P2P - Pay to Play
    ...replaces F2P by being honest about forced In App Purchases*

    *if this makes Freemium sound no different than Premium boxed titles then that is deliberate, as unless it is: F2O, F2A, or F2E there is really no difference as you pay money to play both kinds of games, it is just a matter of when. I would really like to live in a world where F2P just meant the wonderful completely free, no blocks, no ads, no market research, no-strings attached, titles that are still altruistically shared by developers who are often just learning their toolsets and are as excited about the escapist qualities of our fun pastime as its audience should be - and not nagged so that they are aware of time and money when they are just looking for some relief from these. Developers work hard to blur the line between these last two categories so that a demo holds sufficient promise of gets addictive without being completely satisfying by itself and the trivialised act of obtaining an item to further your fun is carefully gameified and the financial transaction streamlined to a point that the conscious act of payment isn't the focus of your attention as you are caught up in solving a virtual problem, or removing some intrusive barrier to your enjoyment. So, as a result it would be better to release a Lite version that was FREE and a separate P2P one so that people were so easily suckered in.

    I bought a lot of XBOX LIVE Indie Games that were P20 because they gave me the chance to try before I buy and towards the end of the trial they would give me the opportunity to buy the full game and retain all my progress and achievements, or return to try it again as many times as I wanted to from scratch. This seemed to me to be a fair deal. No further £s were sought from me after I purchased these full games and I felt respected as a customer.

    I spent £180 on Forza Motorsport 5 due to me wanting to enhance the game with a garage full of cars that I wanted to play with. It is to Turn 10's credit that they realised that they had set these microtransactions too high and I did well to buy all that I wanted in one weekend half-price sale, although I would've been more wise to get the Season Pass, but that is my own stupid fault. Furthermore, they enriched their community by providing all the new tracks for free which got around the snag that always affected Halo 3 matchmaking when I wanted to play Citadel, but no one else in my party owned that map. So, to be able to race around the laser scanned Nordschleife at no extra cost just represents a big thank you for all my support over this last year when my ONE hasn't had much else to play, as well as an incentive to draw latecomers to the Forza franchise.
    Reply +3
  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014


    My point still stands that the warning of there being 'In-App Purchases' is in very small print and bizarrely of the three that are FREE, both New Words With Friends and Geometry Dash Lite are confusingly marked as Get whilst #21 Solitaire is marked as Download.

    Unfortunately, Apple are relying on their customers being rich and clueless about technology and falling foul of their children repeatedly tapping brightly coloured buttons before they have any concept of money.

    If Apple were responsible, In-App Purchases would be OFF by default, require effort to be enabled by the verified iTunes account holder using their Touch ID built in to their iPhone's Home button, they could even make an OS that was multiuser with different arrangements of Apps for each biometric login and a wallet funding system so children could spend pre-allocated pocket money on Katy Perry songs.

    However, if you look at the steps needed to DISABLE these pernicious freemium Apps from sucking your bank account dry it isn't at all straightforward:

    How to turn off in-app purchases on an iOS device:

    1. Turn on your iPhone or iPad. From the home screen, tap the Settings button.
    2. Inside Settings tap General.
    3. Toward the bottom of the page you should see the Restrictions. Enter it.
    4. Tap the Enable Restrictions button.
    5. Once Enable Restrictions has been tapped, you’ll be asked to create a passcode. Make sure that the passcode is something that you’ll remember.
    6. Touch the green switch to turn off In-App Purchases.
    7. You can also turn on and off different functions of your iOS device, like Installing Apps or Deleting Apps.
    Reply +1
  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014

    Given a page full of these things I would find the small print too small.
    Reply +1
  • Frontier outlines Elite: Dangerous refund policy following offline mode backlash

  • Uncompetative 21/11/2014

    Just include Offline, simples. Reply +7
  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014

    GTA V has an online mode, a passive online mode, and three single player modes all reusing the same game world. Surely, Elite: Dangerous could provide a separate character profile for Offline play in a Galaxy that was never updated with community events after the game launched? How hard would that be to implement, to just provide what the Kickstarter said they would try to achieve for all those who wanted to muck around in their own private parallel universe free from griefers. Refunds would not have even been necessary! PR crisis averted. Reply +2
  • Bloodborne dev teases a procedurally-generated area

  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014

    A cain is a cane for inflicting pain. Reply +6
  • Performance Analysis: Grand Theft Auto 5

  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014

    In summary...

    ONE is better at Grand Theft Auto whilst PS4 has a little more grass.
    Reply -13
  • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions has pre-order DLC and platform-exclusive levels

  • Uncompetative 20/11/2014

    Just bought this. Happy times. Reply 0
  • Video: Six things first person mode brings to GTA 5

  • Uncompetative 19/11/2014

    I was forced to shoot an endangered Snow Leopard in Far Cry 4 this afternoon and felt so bad about reflexively defending myself that I'm going to restart the game and remove all of the HUD elements. Reply +2
  • Uncompetative 19/11/2014

    Try getting a cat yourself. A really big tom.
    Reply +2
  • GTA 5's next-gen grass compared

  • Uncompetative 19/11/2014

    Whilst the ps4/xbone are clearly better than ps3/360
    I disagree. The 360 is better as Halo 3 actually worked.
    Reply +1
  • Far Cry 4 PC users accidentally reveal they pirated the game

  • Uncompetative 19/11/2014


    Piracy is ethically wrong and indefensible.
    Reply -2
  • Never Alone PS4 delayed in Europe

  • Uncompetative 19/11/2014

    I saw this being streamed last night on my PS4 whilst LIVE was down and I liked the snippets of Iñupiat documentary about their concept than there was no hierarchy with man above animals in nature and that they had folklore where animals revealed themselves to have human souls. Reply -3
  • Video game price rises spark UK inflation bump

  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014

    I don't regret the £180 that I paid for Forza 5 Motorsport. Reply -2
  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014

    Next-gen games are more expensive, but I have bought fewer of them. Reply +1
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking fix due later this week

  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014

    Any chance of a symmetrical Narrows? Reply 0
  • DriveClub update 1.07 goes live

  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014

    I'm happy with this Update. Now I can cut corners! Reply 0
  • David Braben responds to outcry over Elite: Dangerous' ditched offline mode

  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014


    You know you could fill all that empty space with the AI mimics of absent players - just like Forza 5 Motorsport provides you with other players to race against (i.e. Drivatars).
    Reply +4
  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014

    Surely, you could have add a second single player Galaxy? Reply +9
  • Video: Watch us play GTA 5 in first-person, live!

  • Uncompetative 18/11/2014

    Ian owns and plays with his cat on stream!
    Reply 0
  • Who needs games: PlayStation 4's first year

  • Uncompetative 17/11/2014

    I like the way you list games that haven't yet come out for the PS4 to make it seem sexier.

    Reply -1
  • Uncompetative 17/11/2014

    You shouldn't need emphasis to persuade others of the merits of your argument.
    Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 16/11/2014

    Underwhelming these now-gen consoles may be but for many gamers there's no other realistic choice.
    I could have waited until now for the next-gen and DriveClub would have been a launch title that included weather running at 1080p60 and with a sensible option to boost brightness and reduce windscreen reflections. Its AI may not have resembled a parade of elephants:

    Superior components would be affordable and developers would have had more time to get used to the dev kits. Forza Motorsport 5 could have had more tracks at launch, a day / night cycle, weather and still been 1080p60.

    Battlefield 4 wouldn't have to have been rushed out to compete against Ghosts and Watch_Dogs might have looked more like it was expected to.

    The marketplace would have been out of the Global Recession and be in a position to buy these luxury items this Xmas.

    Microsoft could even have avoided the whole mess of their E3 presentation by just bringing out a discless console, given the popularity of streaming services like NetFlix, Hulu, iPlayer, YouTube and Twitch. They would only need to put in a slot for a Satellite TV viewing card for it to Live Pause and Series Link TV.

    ONE multimedia jukebox.
    Reply +3
  • Uncompetative 16/11/2014


    I count 28 PS4 exclusives, 14 of which are worth getting.

    I count 4 ONE exclusives worth getting, but they have more longevity.
    Reply -3
  • Uncompetative 16/11/2014

    Curious... I thought I had got quite a lot of games for my PS4...

    The Last of Us - 95*
    Infamous: Second Son - 80
    Infamous: First Light - 73*
    Killzone: Shadow Fall - 73*
    DriveClub - 71

    Battlefield 4: Premium - 85*
    Tomb Raider: Definitive edition - 85
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Skull edition - 83
    Watch_Dogs - 82*
    Metro 2033 - 81
    Metro First Light - 81
    Destiny and Expansion Pass - 76*
    Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - 75
    Thief - 67*

    Flower - 91
    Fez - 90*
    Towerfall Ascension - 87
    Velocity 2X - 86
    Resogun - 84*
    Sound Shapes - 84*
    Pix the Cat - 84
    Transistor - 83
    PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate - 82*
    War Thunder - 76
    Hokokum - 75*
    DC Universe: Online - 75
    Futuridium EP Deluxe - 74
    Dead Nation - 74
    Escape Plan - 73
    Flow - 71
    Doki-Doki Universe - 71
    CounterSpy - 66
    Blacklight: Retribution - 58*
    Daylight - 48
    Hotline Miami - ??
    Pure Chess - ??*
    Spelunky - ??

    Outlast - 78
    Pure Pool - 75*
    Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut - 68*
    Warframe - 64
    Contrast - 59


    Source of list ordered by (dubious) Metacritic rating.

    That said, there are only a couple there that have really held my attention and there are a great many that I have yet to even start so I'm unable to recommend Tomb Raider for that reason. Apart from "work', I've been distracted by the following games on my ONE, spending substantial time with:

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection - 89
    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlus Digital Pro edition - 82*
    Forza Horizon 2 - 86*
    Titanfall - 86*
    Battlefield 4: Premium edition - 85*
    Forza Motorsport 5: Steelbook edition - 80*
    Call of Duty: Ghosts† - 78*
    Destiny - 76*
    Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut - 68*


    †having fun with ridiculously unbalanced bot matches.

    Obviously, I've got a lot more games than this on my ONE, but there doesn't seem much point putting something like FIFA 14 on this list when I only have it because it came free with the console and I have never played it. Given that I only bought Halo to play Halo 3 multiplayer in 1080p60 and it currently only manages it in 1080p0 it is currently undeserving of a recommendation in my opinion as I have no compulsion to play through the Campaigns again regardless of how nice they now look.

    My PS4 has a lot more games on it than my ONE, but I haven't spent much time with any of them except Destiny where my Level 20 Titan keeps me locked into mainly it playing on that console unless PSN is undergoing maintenance, when I switch over to playing my Level 4 Warlock on my ONE - indeed, it would be a big help if I could level up the same character from either platform and Bungie said recently that there was no technical reason why this would be impossible, unfortunately platform holder politics prevented this from becoming a reality. Also, much as I like the Kinect head tracking in helicopters, Battlefield 4 really benefits from full HD on the PS4 especially when sniping, luckily I haven't had one of its hour long matches end because of server problems whereas I was kicked out of a Strike on Venus after having invested a lot of emotional energy in the outcome. Titanfall isn't really worth buying now that the superb Advanced Warfare is out as the AI bots are too weak and the Titans move too fast and get damaged too quickly, when they ought to be rare and formidable game changers lumbering around causing enormous splash damage rather than just being 'big men'.

    Having owned both consoles from day one, I would say that either was worth getting as multiplatform titles are so dominant these days. Nintendo are really the only console manufacturer still defining their systems with compelling exclusives. What console you pick should really be a matter of what games you want to play - and the only reason I don't have a Wii U is that I don't have anyone in the house to play Super Mario 3D World with.

    When it came time to decide which console to get GTA V and Far Cry 4 Gold edition on it was clear to me that stability was of greater importance to me than visual quality (if indeed there would be a substantial visual downgrade for getting them on my ONE rather than my PS4). It was the quieter console, so it got left on continuously, consquently it was always available for fun times. A purchase of a 3 TB External HDD gave me all the space I might ever need and I realised then that the last game I would likely ever buy for my PS4 would be No Man's Sky as PlanetSide 2 was free and Little Big Planet 3, though promising, fell into the same category as Super Mario 3D World.

    Not that you should pity me for not having any friends...
    Reply +1
  • 2.44GB Destiny update goes live

  • Uncompetative 17/11/2014

    My ONE was far slower in receiving this update than my PS4. Reply 0
  • Elite: Dangerous ditches planned offline mode

  • Uncompetative 17/11/2014

    In space no one can hear you weep. Reply 0
  • Dev who threatened Gabe Newell has returned to Code Avarice

  • Uncompetative 15/11/2014

    Presumably McDonald's wouldn't hire him. Reply +7
  • DriveClub's premium November DLC will be free for full game owners

  • Uncompetative 15/11/2014

    DriveClub needs an option to change brightness, as with thee we windscreen reflections and dim exterior graphics I can't bloody see where I'm going! Reply +2
  • Far Cry 4 map editor doesn't support competitive multiplayer

  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    How did you get it so early?
    Reply +1
  • Far Cry 4 review

  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014

    I already have the Gold edition installed. Reply -2
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection moves to limited playlist in bid to improve matchmaking

  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    A few recommended bug fixes
    Reply +1
  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    Crackdown 3 looks promising to me.
    Reply -2
  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    They could cut it down further to just:

    - Halo 2 Classic
    - Halo 2 Anniversary
    - Halo Collection
    - Halo 3

    Then display the current population of each and have them all be Team Slayer with every other mode accessed through Custom Games and make it easy to Party Up! with randoms by pressing (X) after a match. Halo Collection would be cross-title Team Slayer with just a few variants like King of the Hill, Juggernaut, Hammerzeit and Oddball to mix things up.

    Arguably, if they keep things as Unranked Social Slayer (as it is now), they can avoid all the rampant cheating that currently plagues it, with players using rapid-fire controllers and making themselves invincible when they are selected as host when it degenerates to peer to peer connection. Just reintroduce Ranked Team Slayer when dedicated servers can be guaranteed and add a Halo 2 Championship hopper that is based upon the Anniversary maps, as I don't need to prove myself to be a five star general all over again in Halo 3
    Reply -2
  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    I only bought it to play Halo 3 Social Slayer in 1080p60.
    Reply -3
  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    Polygon revised their score from an excellent 9.5 down to a merely good 8 for the only bit that they could get to work.

    This game is already being spoilt by players with rapid-fire modded controllers and I'm suspicious of some games I've had against invincible players who have been host - that could be packet loss though. By comparison, Advanced Warfare's fills a lobby in one second flat and has excellent hit registration on Hardcore Team Deathmatch. They make use of DemonWare servers that use the fault tolerant distributed programming language Erlang. 343i uses hamsters.
    Reply +10
  • Iron Banner 2.0 hits Destiny next week

  • Uncompetative 14/11/2014


    I don't know why Destiny can't have it's own Campaign Forge where you set enemy spawn points and their limited patrol zones. This would need a way to define the timing of waves and maybe move scenery about.

    PvP lacks character continuity as you ought to be able to find gear in PvE and use it in a Crucible match without it being nerfed by 'normalisation', yet Iron Banner is unbalanced as you can't mix an FPS with an RPG unless it prevents players from swapping their gear in the middle of a match and uses their stats to form balanced pairs of Fireteams. Averages could be taken and a Fireteam could be seen as weak, medium or strong. Then Optimatch would be able to pair one weak and a strong against two mediums in a 6v6.

    Heavy weapons ought not to work the way that they currently do with this mad rush to the inbound ammo. Firstly, it was better in development when Destiny had Shotguns and Sniper Rifles as Heavy weapons, but presumably someone must have adored Shotty Snipers in Halo and we are all left with open areas dominated by respawning campers and interiors plagued by random ambushes.

    Secondly, it would be better if your Ghost would transmat ammo into your Heavy weapon after you completed a Killstreak in proportion to the devastating potential of its use: so 5 kills in a row to get Shotgun ammo and then 7 to get some for your Sniper Rifle and more still depending on how deadly the Exotic weapon you had chosen to equip and its splash damage. This would mean that all players would have a chance to mess about with Heavy weapons, with some incorrectly assuming they were "best in the world" and equipping a Heavy weapon they could never manage to get the high Killstreak to use. It wouldn't be the same as Call of Duty as you would only have this one Killstreak type, rather than UAV > Dog > Helicopter, and it would be open to being used as many times as you had ammo to expend.

    Finally, weapons wouldn't vaporise when the Guardian holding them got shot, nor would you need to have their Level to be able to use them for the remainder of that match. As a result neophytes would occassionally get to try out awesome Exotic Heavy weapons and yearn for the chance to gain them in PvE and the circle would be complete.
    Reply -5
  • That Dragon, Cancer has taken to Kickstarter

  • Uncompetative 13/11/2014


    Americans are quick to tell everyone that they have the best country in the world when it is only a First World Superpower with Third World infrastructure, health and social services. The rich pay lower taxes than here in the UK and complain about the social security safety net even existing and seek to repeal the Affordable Care Act after having sought to derail it through compromised legislation - whilst they can always find the money to fund another unneccessary war (roughly $75,000 per houshold for iraq and Afghanistan, when there was greater stability in the region by leaving Saddam in power who had no WMD and the CIA knew through ISI that their ex operative was hiding in Pakistan, so yeah... that's $6,000,000,000,000 well spent :-§) not to forget all the money thrown at the corrupt financial organisations who gave home loans to crack heads.

    People die. Children die. 100,000 civilians died in three days of "Shock and Awe" in Iraq. Plenty of parents are predeceased and don't parade their grief on the internet, or as in this case, prostitute their son's memory for profit.

    Again, if they were doing this for charity I'd still find it tacky, but I would bite my tongue.

    The issue here is that we gamers have our guard down when we go looking for indie devs to fund on Kickstarter in a way that just wouldn't happen if we were hit with a TV ad for a major childhood leukaemia charity at primetime along with all the other broadcast pitches for the contents of our wallets. I've looked at this appeal for extended funding all over the games review sites and the comment threads are all sympathetic, with people keen to give money if not necessarily play the game when, or if, it is eventually finished. I'd prefer it if these people funded Cancer Research directly than pay this guy's exhoribitant dead son's hospital bills, just as I'd rather give to Shelter than throw coins into the outstretched hands of a homeless person on the street, as I have no way of knowing what they will spend it on will improve their situation.

    Also, why do I have to have children to be allowed by you to have an opinion on what could be another Kickstarter scam?
    Reply +1
  • Uncompetative 13/11/2014


    Forgive me for finding this former OUYA exclusive tacky emotional pornography from an 'independent' developer wallowing in self-pity:



    I'd still be uneasy, but have less of a problem with it if it was being made to raise funds for a bona fide cancer charity, such as one researching childhood leukaemia or merely providing respite care, but it is for the developer to pay his hospital bills with this second round of funding required to actually deliver on his promises because he chose to stay in America when he could have emigrated somewhere with higher taxation, but free heath care like the UK.
    Reply -3
  • Bloodborne delayed by a month

  • Uncompetative 13/11/2014

    343i should have delayed Halo: The Master Chief Collection and released a fully tested online MP on two discs rather than three digital downloads. The fact that matchmaking could be patched within the first 36 hours of its launch whilst many were still enjoying the campaign does nothing to offset the aggravation and disappointment caused to those, like myself, who pre-ordered it as soon as it hit the Xbox Store, pre-loaded via superfast Fibre broadband as soon as I could, downloading the updates (plural) when they became available, all to be ready to play Halo 3 multiplayer at 1080p60 at 12:01 a.m. on 11/11.

    I did my part. They failed.

    I could have waited a little longer...
    Reply 0
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking fix due today

  • Uncompetative 13/11/2014

    343i gave themselves the luxury of being able to work on MP up to the wire at the cost of burdening everyone with an expected 20 GB download. They must have crunched hard on this to give people the opportunity to pre-load the whole thing digitally and found that their estimate was off with the MP update only being a mere 15 GB. They also made it so people could play through the remakes of the classic campaigns and by the time they had finished even those with slow rural internet would have the MP part downloaded and ready for play. However, as one of those totally prepared pre-order pre-loaded and updated prior to launch via my superfast Fibre there was another update needed just before it successfully booted an hour later than it was supposed to unlock.

    Why this mysterious second update? Surely 343i had locked down the MP update in the 15 GB patch and it had passed through their extensive quality and assurance testing with their staff of pro gamers?

    However, another possibily exists. Perhaps faults were known to exist with MP and they'd committed to a specific launch window with Hyrb, hype and hullabaloo? Perhaps that explains the second patch, perhaps more will follow as has been the case with Destiny? Perhaps this is the nature of things?

    The weird thing is this time last week the forums were full of people complaining about the 20 GB that they had to download and asking why the game couldn't come on two discs. I thought them irrational at the time and was complacent about my superfast Fibre. I didn't care as I didn't empathise.

    That was wrong of me.

    After this debacle with 343i's MP atrocious matchmaking, it is clear that this aspect has been rushed through to digital distribution, when a physical double disc release would have denied the developers the opportunity to continue working on their unfinished game whilst part of it was being mastered on discs, put into printed boxes and shipped out to retailers. Their expedient gambit failed miserably as it was immediately apparent that MP was borked. Bungie might have got a lot wrong with the merely above average massively overhyped Destiny, but at least their thorough closed Alpha and public Beta testing guaranteed few, if any, problems at launch, or in the weeks thereafter. 343i were arrogant in not doing something similar as even a small closed Alpha run with home consoles external to 343i would have thrown up sufficient warnings that the release date would have been pushed further into December.

    A late game that works is better than a much anticipated system seller that crashes your console. The Master Chief Collection has done untold damage to the hard won reputation of Xbox LIVE as the superior gaming network. It doesn't matter that it isn't directly to blame, or that PSN isn't always directly to blame for the failure of some of its console's online games, both inevitably get blamed and the only way to avoid a loss of perception in the value of your console's brand is to provide value for money. At under £40 for seven games with a mixture of themed cross-sectional playlists and over one hundred multiplayer maps enhanced by custom games in user generated arenas on infrastructure that has built up respect for stability even when it was the only console network that required subscription charges, Halo HD as I like to shorten it should have been the ultimate value Game of the Year and a huge system seller even if people were curious to sneak a peek at what Halo 5 Guardians would be like to play next year, however that incredible value for money deal has been spoilt by a desire too common in software development: trying to please marketing by hitting an unrealistic launch window.

    I could have waited a little while longer...
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