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Very impressive Xbox One

The Xbox One has been my gaming platform for nearly a year now; that’s enough time to reflect on the different features and accumulated gaming hours.

I’m really impressed with how far the Xbox One has come along since it launched last year. The constant updates and improvements have been fantastic. At launch, the UI felt sluggish and some features would take a while to load, but now it will load in a fraction of the time it used to take. Of course there are still things which can be improved upon, but considering that a number of requested features on Xbox’s feedback forum have been implemented in quick successions. The Xbox One experience will get to a very sweet spot soon – xbox.uservoice.com

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Despite being a Day One edition, the machine is not suffering from any problems – no broken Blu-ray drive or anything like that. I’ve always liked what they’ve done with the new controller. It’s helped me enjoy racing games a lot more now I get feedback from the tires. Also the feeling of firing a gun is also pretty cool. I couldn’t tell if it was like shooting a gun though as I’ve only handled 4 guns for 3 minutes. I’m not using the headset at all as at the moment, I’m just focusing on gaming and I’m too busy to speak! haha so it was nice that they’ve included it, but unfortunately, I’ve not used it so I can’t tell you whether it’s good or not. The Kinect 2.0 though is my favourite addition to the Xbox One. Using it is so much easier than hitting a button or going through a menu. Just say “Xbox record that” and you get the last 30 seconds of gameplay recorded which you can go back to and edit and upload. Or I can say “Xbox go to Titanfall” and it’ll launch Titanfall. I don’t even bother going to my pins (shortcuts) any more. It’s not just voice commands though, the hand gestures are just so natural to scroll through a list of items. It’s like swiping on your mobile phone or tablet – that natural. The Kinect has also given me a really fun game to play with – D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, it’s really good and I’m playing through it a second time – I can’t remember the last time I replayed a game (story mode). I haven’t tried it with a controller yet, but it’s so fun with the Kinect I don’t want to. I can’t wait for season 2! I’m also planning on getting the Razer Atrox Xbox One Arcade stick so I can play Killer Instinct and Dead or Alive 5: Last Round.

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The online experience has been top notch. I haven’t experienced many gaming sessions with lag; only a handful of matches (out of a thousand) had some lag spikes. Luckily the match making changes the teams and players frequent enough for it to not hinder my experiences much.

Most importantly, I feel the games are delivering! At the end of 360, only a handful of games were really good – such as the Tomb Raider reboot. Right now, games on Xbox One are booming! Sure, Watch Dogs wasn’t what I thought it’d be (still a slightly above average game) but the likes of Titanfall, Forza and D4 has been better than what I had expected. I can’t wait to get my hands on the upcoming titles.

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D4 Joystiq review

I was casually browsing Joystiq and read their review on D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die. I pretty much agree with everything the reviewer has said apart from the slow talking character is annoying whilst they find him funny. It’s evident she’s progressed further than me so maybe something later on will change my mind. Man! Work is starting to take away the time I have to game! Nooooooooo!

Joystiq review

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First episodes of D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is my first episodic game and also the first Kinect title I own. It’s a surprisingly good game.

As you know from my previous post, you’ll know I was pretty hyped for D4. Not because it was marketed as the most awesome game you’ll ever play, but due to the promise of a new gaming experience in a very stylish setting. I’ve not used the Kinect outside a few voice commands and the occasional hand gestures so I was half expecting D4 to turn out as a mediocre game because of the Kinect controls. But I found it to be quite entertaining. Since I’m reading and following the story, its nice not having to hold anything in your hand for once. The point and select mechanism works for me in this game. The idea of playing as the main character of a TV series like game is pretty awesome – I feel like I’m in control of the pace of the story. I’m also a fan of the awesome opening sequence that feels very Japanese and manga-like.

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D4’s not exactly perfect, I personally dislike the voice acting, it’s disappointing. The main character’s accent sounds like an Australian doing a fake American accent to me. Also, there is one super annoying character who speaks at a quarter of the speed of normal people… It’s very annoying when I have to listen to everything he has to say!! One thing that’s a little annoying is when I do certain actions, the Kinect seems to register it incorrectly. Not sure whether it’s the game or my set up. It isn’t the best since I’ve got a massive ceiling to floor glass doors behind me, so I imagine the lighting is less than optimum for the Kinect. But for example, when I want to see what’s to my left without turning, I have to lean to the right. If there is something, I should be able to reach out and select it, but sometimes, the camera will go back to the default view whilst I’m in the middle of grabbing/pushing that item.

The fun does outweigh the bad for me though. One thing D4 did really well are the action sequences, I enjoy doing them more than I thought I would. My little sister was watching me play and wanted to have a go at D4/Kinect so I let her play some of episode one. She was unsure about it at first but the fun and excitement all started when she triggered a fight sequence. There was so much fun pulling off all the moves in the game that it left a good impression of the Kinect and D4. The humour is very Japanese which I understand and chuckle along with but I can imagine how some people wouldn’t find it amusing. I’m also in love with the style of the universe. The story is a cliche but for some reason, I really do want to know the identity of “D”. Could it be because I’m actively looking for clues so I’m more immersed into the universe?

I think D4 isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good game to show how a Kinect game can be fun. For less than £15 it was worth the purchase!

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Maya? New challenger?!

So we’re steadily getting more information on the second season of Killer Instinct and this time round it comes in the form of Amazonian fighter – Maya.

Even with Spinals release, my main has always been Sadira. I enjoy the mind games I can express with her double jumping ability and how agile she is. But looking at the information about Maya reminds me of my Street Fighter 4 main Cammy. Being quick and aggressive. If Maya gains a slight advantage from opponents blocking, my playing style might be compatible with her skill set.

Seriously considering moving my plans of getting the Razer Atrox Fightstick earlier than planned.

Also, what’s this about a stage ultra?! I hope its a bit like Mortal Kombat stage finishes.

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Forza Horizon 2 demo

So the taster is finally here. The Forza Horizon 2 demo was released earlier this week and I’ve been very eager to try it out.

I really liked the opening presentation of the demo, it got me right into the mood of the game straight away. The engine sounds amazing and the feeling of driving reminded me of when I first played Forza Motorsport 5. I had all the assists on and didn’t know any of the courses so I was just crashing all over the place and just fully depressed the accelerator. But, now I have a better understanding of cornering speed so I do use the brake to adjust my entry speed – then floored the accelerator.

The demo finishes off with an exciting car vs planes race. The feeling of the force of the roaring aircrafts flying over me was extraordinary. Pretty cool way to finish off the demo.

Forza Horizon 2 has won me over with this entertaining demo, I’ve splashed out on the ultimate edition already.

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D4… Kept it quiet?

Well, they’ve kept this one quiet haven’t they? I think it was way back in E3 when I first saw this game announced, the trailer was weird, unique, stylish and interesting! Since then, there were scarce articles about this mysterious game and then boom, suddenly, it’s being released in a a few hours time! Even the release trailer reuses most of what we’ve seen already – but I do understand that they don’t want to give away too much about the story.

I’m still very excited for this unique game. I don’t think I’ve played a similar game. My Kinect will be put into use as from this interview, Swery65 wants everyone to experience the game using the Kinect. It is an episodic game meaning it will be released gradually. I hope it’s good and we’ll get some really memorable stories from this game.

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Captain America – The Winter Soldier

Describe Captain America – The Winter Soldier in a word – “awesome”. In two? “Absolutely awesome”.

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The story develops at a good pace, it has great action sequences, the banter’s funny – Captain America – The Winter Soldier is a solid action movie. I must admit I don’t know much about Captain America, I know he has super strength and a near indestructible shield. But with how entertaining the movie is, the lack of that background knowledge is not a problem.

I really liked how Steve Rogers is portrayed in these movies. Honest, kind and humble; traits I think all heroes should possess. Maybe not surprising that I liked the story of the first movie then.

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I’m looking forward to the next Captain America movie and definitely will want to watch it in the cinema for the full experience this time.

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It’s official…

I’m definitely getting an Razor Atrox arcade stick for my Xbox One now that Dead or Alive 5 Last Round has been officially announced.

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I’m so buying the game again on Xbox One, but I sure hope all the characters released to date are included. If not, I’m happy to purchase the ones I haven’t already downloaded. I’m really excited that I’m going to be able to play Dead or Alive on my Xbox One. I really love the series and thought that I would only be able to play it on my 360. Gosh, I even bought an Xbox 360 for the fourth installment. So many hours was spent playing that game.