With the reduction in the Xbox Game Pass to £23 for six months I thought it was a good chance to give it a go as I was looking at buying Super Lucky's tale for £12 plus it supports the play anywhere titles so I could play a few of them on the PC. However I didn't play Halo Wars 2, Sea of Thieves or State of Decay 2 because I couldn't get them to download on the Windows store, after 24 hours straight downloading I realised the games were not stopping at 100% and just kept on going. I let them go on for a while longer but when one had reached four times over the limit I realised this as going nowhere and spent a while trying the various fixes I could find with no success nor could I find anyone else with the issue. Then Scarbunny on this forum had exactly the same issue with Halo Wars 2 and a couple of days after managed to get it working. Sure enough, the game finally installed and worked on my PC as well so I'm wondering if it was a server issue but immensely frustrating either way.
Since I couldn't play on the PC I had a look through the games available and started with a game I hadn't planned called Cluster Truck which is a fairly mad indie game where you have to run and jump along the roof of articulated trucks to reach the goal. You can only touch the roof of the trucks and it's an instant death if you touch anything else including the ground but the game balances the punishing of the quick deaths by having short levels rather than tediously forcing you to replay tedious sections just to artificially increase the difficulty. There's a good variety in the levels with the game starting off with a relative straightforward queue of trucks, then more complex tracks for the trucks to follow then more challenging obstacles.
The only shame is the final level is awful and more frustratingly it's not been fixed despite this being a port and a known issue on the original. It's long and tedious forcing precise platforming which the gameplay doesn't really suit, oddly it gets it all wrong whereas most of the game is well designed.
After Scarbunny managed to get Halo Wars 2 working on PC I gave it a go and so far quite disappointed, it feels like they've taken Command and Conquer, Starcraft 2 and Dawn of War, mixed them together and then added a Halo theme. In some ways that wouldn't be a bad thing as they're all classic RTS games but it suffers due to needing to be on a console so the view is quite zoomed in (even when zoomed out as far as possible) and your base structure is fixed. Rather being able to place games where you want instead you have fixed slots and you can choose what you want to go in those slots, there's fixed slots for defence weapons as well which also limits them. I was doing a level where I was getting attacked from the left of my base but I could only put a defensive weapon on each corner meaning the two left ones were struggling and the two right ones were doing nothing. I feel Pikmin and Overlord are the best approach to take an RTS game onto a console rather than trying to port it directly.
I'm also possibly just bored of the Halo universe as well as I found the fact it's the Covenant you're facing again is just boring. The first level rather hilariously implies that it's not actually the Covenant but a new enemy...which happens to be the Covenant, well not them directly it's yet another rebel section of the Covenant.
Next up was Super Lucky Tale which is a 3D platformer that started as a VR launch title for the Rift and has been expanded now into a fully fledged platformer. I thought this was meant to be a decent game as Eurogamer gave it a recommended review however it's just awful, the long unskippable intro is irritating and the game itself is horribly generic and directly rips off a lot of aspects from Nintendo platformers. That in itself wouldn't be an issue if the game played well but it mostly certainly doesn't, the controls are sluggish and the camera is just downright awful. It feels like it was meant for a 2D game as it's often in the wrong place and you have limited control to move it to where you want. To compound all these issues the game is extremely punishing and very easy to die, on the very first level I jumped in the air and pressed what I thought was the stomp button but it did a dash instead over the edge and I died. I gave up on the game after spending some time and almost finished a level which for some reason didn't have checkpoints so when I went a bit wide on a platform I couldn't see properly because of the camera that was me done. I really have no idea how some people can rate this game so highly and it does make me appreciate how incredibly polished the likes of Mario Odyssey is.
Finally I noticed Darksiders Remastered edition was on the Game Pass so thought I'd give that another play through, so far I'm not noticing much difference to the original but getting on fine blasting through it.
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