jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2685 Posts

The Steam Deck has finally started shipping to nearly universal praise. I think they only downside to the Steam Deck I've heard of is that if you play hefty graphical games at 60fps the battery life doesn't last very long. Valve has some toggles to downscale games to get more battery life, but if you can only get an hour or two from any modern intensely graphical game.

To date, Valve has released some innovative hardware that hasn't quite achieved mainstream status. The Steam Deck seems like it might be the magic hardware that a lot of gamers may get. That said, if you signed up for the Steam Deck late in the game it might take you a long time to finally get one. Let me know in the comments if you plan to pick this up or if Valve's latest hardware won't be something you get.

**Update: I'll drop coverage of the Steam Deck in the comments I find interesting so check that if you want**


https://i.imgur.com/8WpTrDk.jpg
Bethesda sent out an email to all of it's PC launcher (think Steam but only Bethesda games) users about the service being shutdown this year. I'm wondering if this move is part of the fallout from the recent Microsoft acquisition as Microsoft already has a storefront and they are also very happy to use Steam as a platform alongside it. In a PC landscape where each large publisher builds it's own bespoke launcher it's nice to see some consolidation. Steam is the clear leader in the PC landscape so I don't love seeing everything move to one service entirely, I also don't mind seeing my Bethesda.net games move over to it.

Goodbye Bethesda.net PC launcher, we barely knew before ye!

You can read the whole email Bethesda.net sent to it's players below:

"We’re saying goodbye to the Bethesda.net Launcher this year. We would like to thank you for your support and assure you that all of your games are safe. If you’re not playing PC games through the Bethesda.net launcher then your work is done here. Thanks for reading! If you do have games through the Bethesda.net launcher, don’t worry. Starting in early April you’ll be able to migrate your games and Wallet to your Steam account. For more details on what this process will look like, read on.

You have plenty of time to plan and begin migrating your Bethesda.net library to your Steam account. The migration to Steam will include your game library and Wallet – meaning you will not lose anything from your Bethesda.net account. Many games will also have their saves migrated, with a few requiring some manual transfers. For games that require it, you will still use your Bethesda.net login to sign in to play. Your Bethesda.net account will not be lost and will still be accessible on our website and in-game, and we will continue supporting all Bethesda.net accounts with our future titles.

NEXT STEPS

In early April, you will be able to initiate the migration process following detailed instructions we will have available to you then.

We expect you to have a lot of questions and encourage you to take a look at our comprehensive FAQ. For those of you looking for questions specific to Fallout 76, we also have a Fallout 76-specific FAQ on Fallout.com.

Until May, you will still be able to access and play your games on the Bethesda.net Launcher, but we suggest that you start the migration process as soon as it’s available.
"

https://bethesda.net/en/article/2RXxG1y000NWupPalzLblG/sunsetting-the-bethesda-net-launcher-and-migrating-to-steam


Splinter is coming as a playable character to Ninja Turtles Shredders Revenge with the original Turtle Team and April O'Neil! I hope they announce more characters you can play, personally I'd love to play as Casey Jones. That said, I imagine they might release more characters later on as DLC depending on how the games does but it would be nice to get a hefty roster at launch too.

What characters would you like to see join up?


Hotline Miami is one of the best indie games to come out in the last 10 years and if you wanted to know more about it's development NoClip has released a documentary about it. The retrospective covers both games in the series along with the critiques of Hotline Miami 2.


The latest Nintendo direct brought some great news for Switch fans. One new game collection to be announced was quite a welcomed surprise in the Portal: Companion Collection. Basically it's just as it sounds, Valve is releasing the Portal & Portal 2 Companion Collection on Nintendo Switch. My hope is this has a physical release, because if it doesn't i'll pick it up. I still play Portal and Portal 2 with my 5 year old son on the Series X backwards compatibility and getting a new fresh port on Switch would be awesome. My hope is Valve releases this collection on the other consoles in 4K but if this is simply a Switch port, that seems fine too. It's an interesting choice considering Valve is launching it's Steam Deck handheld broadly very soon.

The next news drop I found interesting was the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Booster Course Pass DLC. Mario Kart 8 was originally released in 2014 for the Wii U with it's own DLC. That later was packaged up for the Switch as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the game is still so popular with fans Nintendo is releasing a 48 course DLC track pass that will drop 8 new tracks at a time throughout 2022. For $25 this seems like quite the deal and Nintendo has also included it as a bonus for the upgraded Nintendo Online subscription. Interesting to see how Nintendo is adding value to Nintendo Online through normally paid DLC being included for subscribers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uZDbDoDAq4

Nintendo Switch Sports looks to be the sequel to Wii Sports I always wanted. Recently my son played Wii bowling at he was hooked. Nintendo Switch Sports looks to bring all the Wii classic sports games to the table along with some of the best games from Wii Sports Resort (the Sword Fighting game). Switch Sports drops 4/29 and it's a day one purchase for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ16-1YIRAc

Finally, Earthbound Beginnings on NES and Earthbound for SNES are coming to Nintendo online, which should bring these classic games to a larger audience. While a bit late, it's nice to see these come to the system even if I'm letting my Nintendo Online subscription lapse.


🎶


Microsoft is acquiring Activision for 69 billion, Take Two acquired Zynga for 13 billion and just today word broke that Sony acquired Bungie for 4 billion. I'm not sure how I would have guessed 2020 would start but it wouldn't be with some of the biggest tech acquisitions.

I can't really speak for Take Two, but generally speaking I don't mind these acquisitions as I'm hopeful Microsoft would do well with Activision/Blizzard and I'm not sure there would be much of a change with Sony acquiring Bungie beyond us getting more games from them. With that, consolidating all of the main game franchises in a handful of companies isn't great and I wonder how long multi-platform gaming will last? It used to be that the majority of releases were multi-platform but it seems those days are sadly numbered.

https://news.microsoft.com/2022/01/18/microsoft-to-acquire-activision-blizzard-to-bring-the-joy-and-community-of-gaming-to-everyone-across-every-device/
https://techcrunch.com/2022/01/10/take-two-to-acquire-mobile-gaming-giant-zynga-for-12-7b/
https://www.ign.com/articles/playstation-sony-buys-bungie


I wouldn't have guess that one of my most anticipated games on 2022 would be a Lego game but it's a Star Wars game so I suppose it's not too surprising. Truth is, I've played a handful of Lego Star Wars games and to date I've found some to be good and some to be not great. From the look of this, it seems developer Traveller's Tales has built an entirely new Lego Star Wars game including each movie from the Skywalker Saga and really make them look fantastic. Which is, most likely, why the game was delayed into this year because ... The Lego Skywalker Saga looks massive.

I'm not sure this game will be a day one purchase for me as I have questions about how unlocking character and such will work. Can you unlock all the character easily or will they be annoying out of reach behind loot boxes? I don't mind buying characters through DLC but if a game has a lot of that I usually wait a bit to pick it all up for a bit less than the typical $99 deluxe launch price point.

All that said, the game looks great and something that my five year old and I will enjoy playing together. Is Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga something you are interested in and at what point are you going to play it?


The other day as I was flipping through the Xbox marketplace I discovered a free docuseries called Power On: The Story of Xbox. I decided to watch the first couple minutes and have since binged the whole 6 part show. Power On is a Microsoft created retrospective that goes back to the early roots of the original Xbox all the way to the launch of the Xbox Series X and highlights the ups and downs. From the early craze of Halo to the Red Ring of Death it's all here in it's docu-glory. Often company created documentaries don't showcase the whole story this seems to be a pretty even handed look at the successes and failures of the Xbox platform including the very rocky launch of the Xbox One.

You can watch Power On for free on YouTube, Roku TV, Amazon, Microsoft, IMDBTV and Redbox streaming right now.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0il2l-B_WwadxfTkK3-NLoYNcQEHdBGO
https://www.xbox.com/en-US/power-on


Before I picked up the XBox Series X I heard from nearly everyone that's owned an XBox that Forza Horizon 4 is the game to get. During Black Friday Forza Horizon 4 was on sale including all the DLC for a handful of bucks and I pressed the gas on that purchase and haven't let up on the pedal since.

I've played a lot of driving games and unless we are talking about Mario Kart, I'm not typically a fan of any. All told the art of racing around a track isn't that much fun to me unless we can throw banana peels and red shells at each other. I drive a lot more than I'd like in real life so one way to make that fun is to make is unlike any driving experience I have and Mario Kart delivers on that.

I have no experience with any prior Forza Horizon games but the series feels like they've mashed up the joyful exploration of Skyrim with a racing game you can ignore when you want. I first downloaded the demo for Forza Horizon 4 and it may be one of the best demos I've ever played. It starts you out driving through some epic parts of Forza as the game takes you through the different seasons. From there you can drive around the open world but you can't save anything and if you want to replay the demo you need to start driving through all of the seasons again. All told this does mean you can replay the demo but if you want to save your progress, you need to buy the game. That said, when I picked up the actual game I played Forza the way I start out a Skyrim or Fallout game... I just drove around for a long time to just explore.

So Much To See, So Little Time

Have a few minutes and you want to play a game but don't want to do anything that requires a ton of focus? Drive over a purple flower field in Forza or do doughnuts in someones lawn. Want to see something epic? Drive to the top of a rock quarry and launch off the top going 120 miles an hour straight to the bottom. Want to finally take your hand at a proper race? Go for it. The best part of Forza Horizon 4 is the game let's you do what you want and I never really felt like it was trying to get me to do the racing game part. But after a few months of doing nothing particular in the game but drive around I decided to progress through the game because I wanted to unlock more cars than the first one. To be able to finally unlock the game and all the DLC and such I had to unlock autumn and after a handful of other races and then all at once, the entire game and it's options opened up.

Forza Is a Game You Can Play With Kids

I love shooty shoot games but I can't play any of those games with my five year old. Forza Horizon 4 is one of those incredible games that I can not only play with him around but he can actually play too. He loves driving around and crashing into things and we just opened up some Lego DLC which he loves to drive around in. It's nice having a game he can play and doesn't get frustrated playing and frankly, I think a lot of games would do well to implement more sandbox modes that just enable you to play without any timers or twitch controls needed. At least, if more games did that my five year old would be happy.

The Forza Series Is An XBox Must Play

If you have an XBox it would be a crime to not at least try the Forza Horizon 4 demo. Microsoft is putting it's raft of games on PC and if you didn't have an XBox you could still pickup Forza Horizon 4 on PC through Steam. In a game landscape with a ton of shooters it's nice to get a game that doesn't have any homicidal agenda and just wants you to have fun driving and crashing cars.


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