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  1. I've gotten back into the groove with this again. I went through a period between finishing the Bloody Baron/witches quest and going to Novigrad where I wasn't feeling it quite so much as I was doing a lot of minor side missions and contract missions in the countryside and it was all starting to feel a bit samey. I think I had gotten the impression that none of the side quests in this were open-world filler and so was determined to do them all when some of them are actually quite boring. Some of them are excellent, don't get me wrong, but I've basically learnt that any quest that starts with some variation of 'random stranger complains a beast is eating livestock/tormenting the village/their brother has gone missing' is probably going to be a pretty rote affair where you follow red trails and find some dead bodies and then slay a monster. Whereas the side quests that involve characters you meet through the main plot like Keira Metz or Triss or Dijkstra are likely to be far more meaty, interesting affairs. I think I'm quite happy leaving what looks like chaff to one side at this point. I do appreciate how varied the locales start getting once you hit Novigrad. They make the effort to take you to lots of interesting places within the city and really delve into the underbelly of the place. So many towns in open world games are just surface gloss where your never get a sense of how things tick behind the buildings' facades. While there are still plenty of buildings you can't enter, it's very good at fleshing out the town to make it feel a lived-in and colourful place.
  2. I can't decide whether there's too much side content in this or not. Which sounds absurd but I still haven't gotten to Novigrad at level 12 and I'm still swimming in side content and I almost find it a bit paralysing deciding what to do next at times because: A) The recommended level for Novigrad is 10 and Skellige is 16. If I carry on leveling up at the rate I am doing side missions then the main quest will end up being a cakewalk. On the other hand, if I focus on the main story then the side content will start becoming trivial also - I already have some side quests saved in my log that are like level 6 and I almost can't be bothered going to do them now. B) There's this weird conflict between the supposed urgency of the main quest and how I'm actually playing it. This is true of a lot of open world games to be fair but because the writing in this is so exceptional in comparison to most games, it stands out all the more that on one hand I'm supposed to urgently be on Ciri's trail before it goes cold and the Wild Hunt get her and the fact that I'm literally doing side quests involving a stolen frying pan The more time I spend doing side quests the more I lose any real sense of peril or urgency in the main quest. I can only really think of a couple of open world games that avoided this - Arkham City and BOTW. The former built in natural 'breaks' in the main story where you were basically told to go off and do some side stuff until the main quest was ready to start again so you didn't feel too guilty, and BOTW framed the whole story in such a way that much of the damage had already been done and Zelda had been keeping Ganon under control for 100 years. You never really felt like there was a huge sense of urgency to rush through the main missions because Zelda had things under control until you were ready. I don't know how you balance a story like this with such a wealth of side content really, I just find myself in the weird position where I'd quite like my quest log to stop growing for a little while?
  3. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    All that redacted stuff has to mean Control, right? It's all over the in-game documents.
  4. Assuming I understand what you mean, you can actually do this but it's not particularly intuitive and still a bit cumbersome. If you pin a potion or armour/weapon in the alchemy/crafting menus and then visit a merchant/herbalist, the ingredients they have in stock you need for the pinned recipe will have a white box around them and if you move over the item it will show how many you need for the pinned recipe and how many you have in your inventory. It's still not perfect as you can only pin one alchemy recipe and one crafting recipe at at time though. My biggest easily rectifiable annoyance with the UI is wasting the left and right D-Pad inputs on sheathing and unsheathing your swords when Geralt automatically does this when you enter/leave combat anyway. They would be so much better as quick inputs for oils/bombs/more potions.
  5. Completed the Bloody Baron quest and thought I might have gotten the bad ending but turns out I got what's considered the good ending (relatively, I guess, since... I seem to finally be reaching the point I was at when I drifted away from the game on my first playthrough, around Novigrad, although I actually have no recollection of finishing the Bloody Baron quest first time round. It's a fantastic game but the more I play the more I find the clunky UI an irritant. Not enough to put me off the game but having to repeatedly pause the game to change bombs and reapply oils and swap out potions is a chore. Having oils run out after 20 hits seems pointless given you have an unlimited supply of them. The crafting interface could be so much better too. I don't want to have to scroll through tons of level 1-9 gear to find stuff I might actually want to craft at my current level. Just basic things about the UI I'm surprised they didn't improve with all the post-launch patches the game had. It's all tolerable in light of how good the game itself is but it's dangerously close to death by a thousand cuts at times where no individual aspect is a disaster but together, over tens of hours, they combine to become a drag. I hope Cyberpunk is considerably more thoughtful with its UI and quick access menus.
  6. It's incredibly hard to get a best acting nomination, let alone a win, if you're acting in a foreign language movie. Even if a foreign language movie gets multiple nominations in other major categories, the actors themselves will nearly always be snubbed. That's still a huge unconscious bias to reward the white, English speaking Hollywood crowd in the nominations.
  7. I tried watching Sally4ever but couldn't get into it. I like Julia Davis but I think she peaked with series 1 of this and has been trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle ever since. I did end up watching series 2 of Nighty Night again and it has some decent moments but it's far too reliant on shock value, the dialogue and turn of phrase is significantly worse and Jill is basically a completely different character. I think it completely lost me when Really the whole second season just didn't make a lick of sense. Jill's motives for pretty much anything she did were all over the shop.
  8. I think you've still got a very decent chunk left. I did get a bit tired of it in the final few chapters of I'm honest, had a few hours been chopped off I'd probably have been left with a more positive overall impression than I did. I also felt like it generally just got sillier the more I played. I preferred the more relatively down to earth settings and scenarios of the earlier chapters.
  9. I didn't really enjoy season 2 of Psychoville, it meandered all over the shop, lost some of the best characters early on, and generally just didn't seem to know what to do with itself after the season 1 finale already tied a lot of stuff up. A lot of the new characters barely fit into the narrative at all. Season 1 is well worth a watch though.
  10. It's also showing in little-known niche indie venues Odeon, Cineworld and The Vue. Reckon a fair few places just didn't really want to give up a screen to a foreign language movie until this morning.
  11. I really liked it, I felt like it shared a lot with Us thematically but was done so much better. Some of the montage sequences were absolutely masterful although I did feel like it spent a little too much time setting things up in the first act. So much time is spent on certain aspects that I was sure would pay off later in the movie but were never really revisited Obviously lots to dissect thematically but I particularly liked
  12. I both reject this and don't understand what you even mean. What is TV quality writing exactly? Are we talking The Sopranos and Mad Men quality (in which case there are only a tiny handful of TV shows in this history of the medium on the same level) or something broader? Is EastEnders 'TV quality writing'? Mrs Brown's Boys? I think the days of boldly asserting that the majority of TV shows are still better written than the best written games have long since passed, especially once you start delving into RPGs, indies and walking sims. And going back to The Last of Us, that has a more thoughtful, memorable ending than most TV shows I can think of. Broad brushstrokes criticism of game writing - 'it's all shit' - is just really ignorant and boring.
  13. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    I'd say that's a pretty clear win for PS+ myself. Last of Us, Titanfall 2, Nioh, Astrobot and the Bioshock and Uncharted collections are all better than anything MS have given away on GWG in months. I don't even bother subscribing to PS+ anymore though, nor do I ever really download any of the GWG games. GamePass is clearly where it's at to the point where I just don't need any other kind of subscription service right now.
  14. Or download the GamePass app on your mobile
  15. Looks like the quest system from the Beta has now gone live with daily, weekly and monthly quests. I wasn't in the Beta but from what I can see it's far easier to rack up points on this now. Just hoping they don't increase the prices of stuff to compensate. It all very much seems geared towards getting people to play GamePass games as much as possible to boost their metrics. I guess the relative pence they give away each day per person is worth it if they can say X million people play GamePass games daily or something.
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