Passion Projects: Enderal, Pokemons and Nintendo

 

I will swear down to earth that I love RPG’s. That’ll never change no matter what I look into playing. While I have a preference for fantasy type/medieval deals, I’m open to the shooter type of RPG (like Mass Effect for example) but I will always love the sword and sorcery deal. So I’m ridiculously excited for titles like Final Fantasy XV (goes without saying), Nier Autonama – which is now coming to Steam (PRAISE THE SUN! \O/) But today is not for talking about games that are going to come out in the near future. Today, I want to talk about passion projects.

Passion Projects: as the title implies, is the undertaking of a project with the pure motivation being passion for something. Not making any money, or getting any money for what they do. They aren’t motivated by greed (which is more than could be said for some of the current developers.) and such projects I feel, are important to the industry.

Pokemon Uranium is one such project and it was in development for a whopping nine years. I personally haven’t had a chance to play it. The download was pulled by a DMCA issued by Nintendo and I haven’t properly looked around for a reliable source. This wasn’t the first time that Nintendo had issued such a thing. Over the years Nintendo has aggressively issued DMCA’s for passion projects. Only a few days/weeks ago they shut down a Metroid 2 remake project.

Now, I’m not going to discuss if this is right or not. Because the simple fact is – Nintendo has every right to stop and issue these DMCA’s because they do have to protect their IP’s. While everyone knows it won’t damage it, I suppose Nintendo are afraid that it will, but with Sun and Moon around the corner, I guess they’re afraid that Uranium’s popularity will overshadow Sun and Moon. (Which it won’t)

Every company has a right to enforce their properties. Because there ARE some people out their with malicious intent. But to shut down fan projects are something that people will agree that they have a right to, but will not agree that they should…especially with such projects like Enderal.

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IT’S SO PURTY.

Enderal is a total conversion mod project for Skyrim. Which took 3-5 years to develop. Total Conversion meaning the only thing from Skyrim that was transferred is the engine and assists. The world is not connected to Tamriel or Skyrim and set’s place in…well…Enderal. It has it’s own lore, story, locations and so on so forth and it’s absolutely amazing.

Enderal’s story so far is 10x more dark and interesting than Skyrim. To paraphrase the beginning, you find yourself washed ashore and from there you get to explore Enderal, but stumble upon something and one thing leads to another. If you think I’m being too vague, it’s because I kinda want to move people to trying it out themselves. All you need is a PC copy of Skyrim, no DLC is needed and then you can follow their instructions to install it with their handy installer programme. It even backs-up Skyrim for you so that if you ever wanted (for whatever reason…maybe after completing Enderal) you can simply run the launcher again and it’ll then backup/delete Enderal and restore Skyrim. It’s amazing what technology can do.

If you own Skyrim and are itching for a really beautifully crafted world to explore, I highly recommend setting some time aside to check this out. You won’t be disappointed. (If you do, PSA: Don’t install any mods or ENB’s. The image above is completely vanilla Enderal. And some mods can mess with the game. You can if you want, but I’d install them at your own risk.)

 

And Enderal is just one such project that has been ALLOWED to exist. Bethesda hasn’t issued any take down and from the looks of it, embraced it. After all, it’s a non-profit thing. And there’s a few other projects floating around that others are embracing. Installation 01 is a PC Halo-inspired game that is follow Microsoft’s Game Content agreements, in that none of their models are being ripped from the game. they are being hand-crafted. I’d like to say again that it’s the fact that Nintendo are just not a fan of the fan games that have been created that people are annoyed at. Not that they are, which they have a legal right to.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to finally play a heavy armour warrior sword+board type character in an Elder Scrolls game…or a converted one anyway…Even if my giant flaming sword is better than my not flaming sword. Eh I’ll just use both as and when.

The Obligatory I have no idea what to post, post

 

Man I’m terrible at doing this scheduling post thing  I think most of it is coming down to I don’t have many topics I’d like to talk about, and the feeling of depression and the whole “I don’t feel like doing anything” mentality that comes with it.

Most people will know what Depression is like, and for me it’s like a flip of a coin whenever I wake up and start the day. I may have the best morning ever and feel good and that’ll generally carry over till I head to bed. Other times it turns into a complete hell-fest that I struggle to do even basic tasks daily. I also feel that most of it is the fact that a certain game that I cannot talk about due to an NDA has left a rather large hole in my heart when it comes to gaming. (Let’s just say that I had plenty of honour)

For me, (and I’d assume many others) Depression feels like it’s a rollercoaster. and there’s often very little reason for it. I know that I rarely have a reason these days to feel like the way that I do and I can’t blame the fact that my mother passed away over a year ago now, on it. Or rather, I feel like I can’t blame this on that, yet people tell me it’s still perfectly fine, and at the same time I don’t feel like it’s fine. It’s kinda hit and miss at the moment. Let’s move away from a depressing topic shall we?

 

Feeling the Force

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I made good on a promise I was wanting to do for awhile now. Knights of the Fallen Empire looked amazing and the KOTOR game many people seemed to want. Or at the very least a decent replacement while we hope that one of the secret games that one of many of the studio EA owns is indeed a KOTOR 3.

Many people would have guessed that I would have gone Jedi Knight and eventually resepc into a Jedi Guardian. I fully intend to keep trying to be a tank type whenever I do dungeon runs and what-not. (but for now using a DPS spec to level) I feel that Final Fantasy XIV has ruined me, or that some of the design choices that SWTOR has taken are weird. For example from level 15 onwards I can queue to do ANY of the flashpoints within the game. Yep, that includes the newer ones. As such I have no idea which I should be queuing for in order to have a “vanilla” experience. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea that every dungeon is now under a group finder like system…

But I’ve only just become a Jedi Guardian…I have no interest in taking on Darth Malgus until I get to that point in our story. I love the idea in paper, but it ruins the dungeon experience for me. I heard so much about the Flashpoints that I wanted to do them with a group on a level appropriate for the flashpoint, and to experience some of the story. You can now do them Solo, but I feel that it loses some of it’s charm.

Back when I played this on release, the Flashpoints felt like a interactive session of Dungeons and Dragons in that it was possible that the story could go in a totally different direction if someone won the random number generator to speak up. Want to save those innocent’s?  Nope, you lost the roll and now they’re dead (at least you still got the alignment points for your choice) It made the conversations feel more dynamic with traditional Bioware storytelling.

I’m  making solid progress on levelling though. Even if my MMO/RPG instincts are kicking in to do all the quests when I don’t have to. I’m looking forward to making it to the KOTFE content since I’ve heard great things about the story. I may even decide to do some PVP in the near future and respec into my tanking tree to start learning how to tank in a new game.

Mains – Do I REALLY need one?

An interesting thought came into mind when I read Belghast’s latest post regarding mains. And to an extent I do agree with him. When I was really focused (and still am to a point) on doing the end-game stuff in XIV, I was so fixated on picking a main that I debated endlessly on what I wanted to do. To a point, I still do and mostly because I know I really enjoyed the type of role in Overwatch. That one match with Zarya was just…so much fun.

But lately I’ve been thinking, that to a point, the debate was useless. I have most of the tanks up to 60 in XIV with Warrior lagging at 55, a 60 Dragoon, Bard and Ninja and working on others. Hell, I’m considering looking more into the mages as my next DPS point of call.

The point is I’m so less focused on having a main and just looking to have a bit of fun and explore…But let’s be clear. Flynn Silvers is not a mage. He is a knight through and through!

Sir Flynn compressed!

Artwork was done by a good friend of mine of which you can find his work >Here<

To jump, or not to jump. That is the question

 

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Ranger Bombing. The new photo-bombing in Final Fantasy XIV.

 

Okay random picture aside it’s something I don’t really talk about outside of a few people that don’t game, but I can talk to about anything. But lately it’s something that’s been on my mind for awhile and I just feel like I need to type it out and attempt a discussion…and do my Blaugust schedule, because Work is killer and I’ve been dying lately and I need a topic. Hah.

For someone who resides in the UK, but frequents the NA servers of many games, I’m met with my fair share of struggles. Time zones would be the biggest one. Fun GREY encounters are every Tuesday at like 6PM …EST? while it’s going to be 1 in the morning for myself, going on for a couple of hours and suddenly my sleep schedule is shot because I drank two bucket loads of tea and I’m up all night😄.

The other is lag, but I’m not really fussed about that unless the game is really twitch-reflex. Like Call of Duty or a shooter that requires fast thinking and faster reflexes.

I’ve said it multiple times and shall continue to sing it to the high heavens, GREY is my second family. If it weren’t for them who knows what would have happened? They’ve supported my in…their own strange ways but most notably was during the time I was still mourning (and still am to this day) my mothers passing. The amount of support and kindness they had shown during that period was so appreciated.  and I don’t think i ever thanked any of them.

So going slightly off topic here. TO every single one of you who is in GREY in XIV. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for putting up with my nonsensical nonsense, the times that I’ve been too depressed to do anything and the times that I’ve surely, gotten on your nerves.
Thank you for helping me be the person I am today, the advice giver when I needed a helping hand, and the ear to talk to when I just needed to vent. I’m not going to name names. Because everyone helped, and you all deserve equal praise and my heartfelt love.

 

Which pains me to even think about jumping ships to an EU server. I’ve had a few people nod me into a few EU centric guilds, or multi-game guilds lately and it’s stupid that I’m looking into them at the moment. It’s like a slap in the teeth to their kindness and what they’ve done for me.  They ARE like a family to me, a family, however, that I struggle to see daily unless I’m up at silly hours, or they are up at silly hours. Health-wise, it’s probably not the greatest thing to do. It’s hard to consider jumping ship, but I’m not the type to not think about the pros of doing so either.

Doing so would enable me to join in with a bunch of people for events that are relatively decent time wise. I could spend more time doing said events and doing more of the end-game casually or hard-core (depending on where I go.)

I’m really unsure on what to do, yet at the same time I’m afraid of even asking for fear that the simple suggestion may give them reason to doubt. Which is why I’m typing this up, as an indirect way of saying “I’m thinking about this.”

 

As someone who resides in the UK, it’s hard to join into NA communities for the reasons I say above. I frequent plenty of streamers on Twitch, many of the USA based, which makes it hard to join in any events unless they are like a few people I know and they stream all day on their end, giving me a few hours to join in if I so chose to.Many of my friends are USA or canada or around that area too. For myself, it’s both a blessing and a curse and at times I ponder if I should have just been an American. (But then how the hell would I survive when I’m barely holding on here)

The next few days are going to be an interesting one. If I decide to move or not is something that no doubt I’ll be thinking about alot.

Listen to one of my favourite anime openings ever. Like seriously. I love this, but then, when it’s animated by the same folks behind Unlimited Budget works, it’s hard to not love it.

EDIT: wrong video, that’s the issue when watching videos and writing😄

FFXIV: Go Go Mhach Rangers!

 

Mhach rangers you say? But Commander, it’s the Go Go Posing Rangers that have entered the scene during the Moonfaire Faire event of 2016 in Eorzea.

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Yeah no, these chumps have nothing on us. (Okay they got the colourful exploison, but look at this!)

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We, the Mhach rangers shall guide the raid group through victory of the wiping city! We shall stay the course and defend our allies as they poke at the hells of our enemies!

So if you couldn’t guess already, the Moonfaire Festival event is all about posing as a cheap knock-off of Power Rangers (Or Super Sentai since XIV is developed by Square whom resides mostly in Japan I believe.) The event is more of the same. Go here, get the quest, go there do something, go this way and then do a bunch of fates. It’s the usual formulae Square has done for the past several years in XIV. And while it works – I can’t help but feel that Square are now just being somewhat lazy.

It brings up an interesting question: Just how much work should a developer put in towards special events? Events that can last to as little as a week or last for 3 months (as in the grindy Yo-kai Event)

Square have obviously settled for the use of special FATE’s for their events. Think about it. Every time a special event has happened, it has had SOME type of fate. The Lightning Returns one was fates the FFXI inspired one with Shanatto was fates, the list can go on and on. It’s at the point that whenever a new event is announced I roll my eyes and go “Whelp, time to get my fates on,” and it’s a dangerous mindset to have.

Special events should be just that…special. But lately any events in XIV have turned into notorious fate grinds or just fate chains that you wait a day and a age to spawn and when they do spawn they’re over in about 30 seconds because of the sheer amount of people around. I’m rather jealous that Phantasy Star Online 2 got a HUGE ASS DUNGEON to explore with the Odin fight at the end of it. the fight was recreated right down to the AOE telegraphs (which is humorous to see since I don’t think PSO2 usually features such things) I can’t find any sort of information on if the Odin fight is timed or not. It not only includes that, but some of the armour sets and weapons from XIV as skins too.

When you look at what went into the PSO2 event, and then look at what goes into the events in XIV, it kinda pales in comparison and I’m not sure if it’s just me wanting more, I’m just fed up with the same monotony that I usually do, but dressed up in fancy skins and one-time music that’ll never be used again in the history of XIV unless Square gives us the Orchestra roll for it.

Don’t get me wrong I’m IMMENSLY satisfied with the event this year even if it is a fate with fetch quests and boring dailies and such but that’s mostly because it’s praying on my love for Power Rangers/Super Sentai, of which I’m a huge fan of since I was a kid. (I grew up blue, I’m more of a red/green now)

No doubt when the Halloween and Christmas events roll around, it’s going to be more of the same. It’s going to be a bunch of go to this place, do a quest a fate or two sprinkled in and get a fancy themed item. I’m calling it now. This is why this is so disappointing, because I can guess exactly how the events are going to play out…

And it takes all the magic out of it :c

 

Let’s end this on a happier note shall we? The Following is the best theme you’ll ever ear, coupled with a funny easter egg I found hidden in NPC dialog. Enjoy Smile

 

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Blaugust 2016: The Super Relaxed Edition

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So it’s already that time of year again. To the point that I almost missed the fact it was happening and rushed to sign myself up despite the lack of progress I made on my blogging!

So this will simply be my specialised fancy introduction to whom I am, the blog…and some other stuff that I haven’t really decided on what I want to type up.

 

WHO IS THE COMMANDER?!

…it doesn’t look as epic as I was hoping :c

At any rate, the name is CommanderFlynn, Flynn to many and [REDACTED] to the close friends. I reside over in the (no longer) Great Britain at aged 24 and you will most often see me visiting Eorzea and stabbing stuff with mah sword…or spear depending on my mood and what’s going on.
While I’m more predominantly am RPG and MMO player, I do play a variety of other genre’s

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Salutations Friends!

 

So why the Blog?

Good question. I have no idea. Honestly I got the idea after seeing many of my twitter friends with their own blogs. I kinda wanted to do my own. I mean it’ll never be as big or as fancy as the others. But at someone who enjoys putting their feelings into writing, it’s refreshing at times to just get on and make up a post. Some of the reactions I’ve gotten are great and the discussions I’ve had enlightening. I’m hoping that I can even reach half of the fancyness that Belghast and my other friends employ and even then I hope I can do this more often.

 

Blaugust 2016: The idea

The idea of 2016 is that Blaugust is a more relaxed approach to blogging throughout August. One I will be following. This post was meant to be up yesterday, but I’m thinking of blogging three times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the weekend being the leeway days if I don’t have anything I want to talk about or show. I think that’s a good starting point for me and from there I can blog more or less depending on how I handle this.

With that said, I leave with you, with the beautiful song, that is Man with a Mission, many of my anime friends will instantly recognise this as the Log Horizon OP1, an anime I still have yet to finish since I actually really love it’s premise and how it explore the idea of being trapped in a game world SO much better than SAO did.

Don’t get me wrong, I love SAO to bits. But I just feel Log Horizion just did it better. SAO focused more on the relationships of the characters and within the second seasons started to question that age old “What is reality and virtual?” question. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Listen to the music and remember, You’ll never expect the Fantasy Inquisition!

Sword Madness! GIMME MORE SWORDS!

Gaming’s biggest week, E3 was in full swing this week and the last few days have been filled with conferences from Ubisoft, EA, Sony, Microsoft, Bethesda and Nintendo had their treehouse reveal of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild yesterday. (AND IT’S GOD DAMN GORGEOUS LOOK AT IT!


(This is just the trailer, You can find extended gameplay footage if you Youtube the game)

and While Zelda is a longtime favourite of my child-hood and the game that got my late mother hooked into gaming and is totally an example of what I want to touch upon, I want to talk about a few games that I’ve discovered and stumbled upon.

For Honour – It got metal as hell.

I cannot wait for For Honour (which is releasing on Valentines Day next year, I’ve never been so glad to be single.) I’ve followed the game since it was revealed…2 years ago?(ish) at E3 before. We got a single trailer describing the Oni on the Samurai faction and that’s…kinda it. If you actively searched for gameplay, some Youtubers have had the privilege of playing the game after being flown out a year or so ago.

The fact that it has a heavy focus on dueling within a large battlefield arena is enough for me to get excited. The fact that it’s including both Samurai’s and Knights is a second reason I’m excited. It’s battle system, the art of war is my third reason for excitement. You basically have three stances when fighting a ‘hero’ character. High, left and right. To defend yourself, you have to match the stance your opponent is attacking in. (So if they are using a left stance, you have to match it to defend) and then attack with a stance that your opponent isn’t using.) It’s a unique type of system.
It now turns out the game is coming out with a campaign mode for all three character types.

Yeah, Vikings are included. I’m not a huge Viking person myself, but it does look fun as heck with a giant axe. (I’m sensing a theme here…I should probably play warrior on XIV)


(Note: if you see other Youtubers from E3 recording this, be careful whom you watch. About 1 out of the ten I stumbled upon had no clue on how the Art of War system worked and just…ugh, so terrible.)

Absolver – Never miss a beat!

+10 awesomeness for a RWBY reference right?! Open-mouthed smile

Being developed by Devolver Digital (Makers of games such as Serious Sam, Shadow Warrior and Hotline Miami) The games tagline is basically. “What if we had no guns?” and it does so beautifully. You can watch their VoD from their twitch segment: >Here< since aside from their reveal trailer, not much else has been revealed about the game.

It’s essentially a martial arts action games. You can expect the usual things like Parries, heavy and light attacks, you can switch between fists and weaponry and it has such a lovely looking art-style that it carries this really nice charm and despite it’s simplistic combat system, it carries a surprising amount of depth.

You carry four stances, each have two attack types (light and heavy.) and you can customise your own combos with attacks that you acquire in an RPG like way. Drops from enemies may include a weapon, but an attack like a jab or a reverse roundhouse kick. Each attack has their own stats like speed and damage, but many carry secondary effects that may make it easier to break your opponents guard or absorb attacks better. You manage this in a “deck” like system. Switching out the “cards” for your combo’s to tailor to your play-style.

Remember I mentioned the four stances earlier? They have no fancy names, but each stance carries with it, it’s own combo string which you can customise. This means there is almost no limit to how you can create your fighting style. Maybe you’ll have two of your stances dedicated to being hard-hitting, one for being swift and another if your opponent needs their guard broken. It seems like that the stances aren’t separate entities either. While you can select which one to use, at the end of a combo, you’ll switch to another stance. Giving endless combo opportunities to players who can master the Combo deck and find a combo that can flow endless from one stance to another.

Button mashing would be a problem here though. With such a simplistic system in play, what’s stopping you from hammering light attacks that are fast and furious until you run out of stamina? A counter system that’s been designed to tackle just that problem.
The best way to do this is thinking of each strike like it’s an active reload from Gears of War. You have a small white bar that you must “reload” to get a faster reload off.
In Absolver, each strike you have begins to fill a bar, if you time your next attack incorrectly and hit it outside of the small “sweet spot” within this bar, you’re character will be somewhat slower, leaving you open to a counter. Yet get it inside, and your fighter will find a nice flow between each strike.

A combat system with so much simplisitiy on the surface and yet has a surprising amount of depth that is held up by various systems the developers have placed into the game and you got a fighting game that is truly skill-based and a direct reflection of you as a person. I cannot wait for Absolver. No doubt I’ll make myself the Nimble swordsman type. Swords are still cool!

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlords.

It’s a new Mount and Blade. Big epic siege battles with thousands of onscreen soldiers. I’m terrible at anything that doesn’t let me use a sword to smite my enemies. No really, I tried playing Warband earlier. let’s just say I am a bad trader!

 

The common thread these games share is that it’s all melee focused fun. I’m all for the new Battlefield One game and even I was enthralled with the space combat that the new Call of Duty showed off. But I feel that sword based combat still has alot of fun potential. It’s always generic first person shooters lately. Let’s give our ancestors some love in GLORIOUS COMBAT!

*ahem*

I got a bit ahead of myself there…

I’d love to see more developers slowly break out from the gun monotony. Few are willing to experiment with things that aren’t first person shooters. We need more First Person Slashers, or first person mages. Just something with less guns and more…swords!

I have only myself to blame for wanting to support Microsoft.

 

It’s a weird day when I want to actually talk about a gaming company. I’d much rather talk about developers, their passion and drive for their various games they put into it. Sure, much like many gaming enthusiasts I’m loving the news that Consoles are getting more and more powerful (The Scorpio Project is apparently boasting an 8 core CPU from AMD and something else, Can’t remember from the top of my head.) But Microsoft are being really…weird with their marketing lately. It’s almost like they have given up on trying to win this generation of console wars and instead opted to try again next generation when the next big console is released.

It’s no secret that Microsoft have had a habbit of pulling 180’s when it comes to alot of their ideas. Ranging from the 180 to locking out used games, and always online feature from when it first launched to their insistents that the Kinect sensor was crucial for the console, and then only to sell it without it. Microsoft have gone up and down with what their console can actually do. It seems like no-one inside of Microsoft knows what is going on, and I get the strange feeling that it’s happening again. Lemme explain:

(Note: I’m going by $ for this little tangent, it’s easier since converting it into £ is never accurate and we get charged more in retail.)

Earlier today I found an article that explained that the Original Xbox One’s were going down to $279. Great! More people can get the console if they so desired…wait but the S is starting at £299…
is $20 really going to incentivise late adopters to the console to get their consoles when you’re just realising a newer model, which is apparently more powerful for only $20 more? If it were me, of course it won’t. I can wait a few months for the new model to spend slightly more on something newer and better.

What’s worse is that all throughout their E3 conference. Microsoft was releasing a new thing called Play Anywhere. It’s basically Xbox’s answer to Sony’s Crossplay. Buy a game on the XB1, you’ll get a free copy of it on the Window’s 10 store and vice versa. Great! I thought, Microsoft seems committed to supporting the PC platform now…until you look at the following list:

  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Recore
  • Scalebound
  • Sea of Thieves
  • State of Decay 2
  • We Happy Few

See the issue? Aside from one or two games, every single game, WAS PREVIOUSLY AN XBOX ONE EXCLUSIVE. It doesn’t seem like a problem to the casual type of gamer. However I wager that minority of XB1 owners are primarily PC gamers (With it being easier to get your own PC rig according to your own budgets.) For simplicities sake, I want to say one out of every one hundred people whom own an XB1, owns a PC that is capable of gaming. (Note the following figure was taken back from Feb, when it was told that they had sold 20 million consoles)

So that’s twenty thousand people who had wanted to support Microsoft for whatever reason, or play their exclusive line up now own a useless paperweight of a machine. Microsoft, in all their wisdom of supporting both their Windows 10 initiative and Xbox One range, have shot themselves in the foot in a way. I know that as soon as I can I’m packing up my Xbox One and heading down to my nearest trade in shop to get rid of it. I no longer have a need for an Xbox one. I was holding out for titles like Gears, Halo Wars, Recore and Scalebound. all which were XB1 exclusives when they were announced.

I have only myself to blame for adopting the Xbox One as early as I did, but I saw no-reason at the time, that any of their first party titles would arrive on the PC. (and to a lesser extent, PS4.) After all, the last time they tried to go on PC was Vista with Halo 2 and that bombed astronomically I heard. Halo 5 will no doubt eventually see a PC release, if not Halo 6. As much as I love the sci-fi shooter, I can no longer justify owning the console for a single game. Once again I have only myself to blame for jumping onto the ship early.

Now I heard that the XB1 bundles have dropped down to roughly £209 at some places over here while I was writing this.

Microsoft has a really weird marketing strategy. It’s like they shifted from trying to win space in the console space, and instead electing to go for a platform/software strategy. No doubt it’ll certainly work since PC gamers no longer have to shell out for XB1 exclusives and instead can play their games on a PC. Which while I am certainly pissed about (again, my fault) am really excited to play Scalebound on my PC which will hopefully include one of the new 10xx line (most likely the 70)