mmcirvin: (Default)
mmcirvin ([personal profile] mmcirvin) wrote2016-01-16 11:32 am

More video games

I got an XBox One for Christmas (with Halo 5), but only got to actually play with it for the first time yesterday, as the first unit had a broken optical drive and I had to send it to Redmond for warranty replacement.

Mostly what I can say at the moment is: man, Halo 5 is a beautiful game. The high-res textures and high frame rate give new games a subtly hyperreal quality; the latest console generation's graphics are approaching the point where human figures can look photorealistic if they're not too close. They seem to be moving away from the brown-and-dusty aesthetic that was prevalent in Halo 4; everything is shinier. After playing so much Destiny, the traditional Halo mechanic of not getting too attached to your weapons takes some getting used to.

I'm not too fond of the XBox One's use of the Windows Metro interface. There are a lot of situations in which it's actually difficult to figure out how to get rid of a dialog or navigate to some visible part of the user interface.

We'll probably end up keeping the XBox 360 around for a while, since the XBox One is not backward-compatible with all XBox 360 games. Also, I'll need a second controller for the One, and, probably, an external hard drive before long (the storage seems to fill up quickly, but at least the XBox One actually allows external USB expansion).

We played through to the end of Disney Infinity's The Force Awakens playset's main story. The story here is a bit shorter than in Rise Against the Empire; there are only two "sandbox" planets instead of three (Jakku and Takodana), and Han's freighter and Starkiller Base are more linear levels. But there's a fairly significant number of side missions and challenges. Like many Disney Infinity levels, this one has an area just for doing trick jumps on a vehicle; here, it's a lake on Takodana (apparently hovering Star Wars speeders can all go on water) that you outfit with stunt ramps.

A cute thing that it took us a while to realize is that both planets in this one have a tiny spherical moon that functions like a Super Mario Galaxy planet, and one player can actually land on it while the other is still dogfighting in space. We also haven't unlocked all of the "Hologame Console" arcade mini-games.

Mystery: Maz Kanata is strangely absent, unless there's some way to meet her that we missed. I was wondering if she was or is intended to be a playable character figure (there is none currently released).

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