• Now playing: Minecraft Legends

    I’m not sure about this one… Yet!

    I’m a few hours in, and I still feel like I need a few more to really settle into the gameplay loop.


    • Somehow the Renderdragon engine looks… great!?
    • Great environments
    • Plenty of charm
    • Systems feel robust


    • The loop could be explained better
    • The 1080p cutscenes feel jarring
    • This is too complicated for my kids, so who is this for?

    All that said, it’s giving me enough to want to finish the campaign. Maybe I’ll check back in here after beating the first boss.

  • Cult of the Lamb update: Relics of the Old Faith

    Massive Monster dropped the trailer for their new Cult of the Lamb update on today’s Nintendo Indie World Direct.

    The trailer showcases a few new buildings etc, but what really stands out is the amount of combat improvements and additions.

    I’d kind of forgotten how much the visual style of this game absolutely sings. And now a photo-mode too!

    The studio reckons this update will “double” their gameplay. Might be time for a new playtrhough!

    A huge FREE major content update to Cult of the Lamb is almost here!
    📖 New post-game story
    🔪 Deeper combat
    🐛 Revamped bosses & enemies
    💀 More replayability
    📸 Photo mode
    💓 Many requested features

    See how much we’ve added – @cultofthelamb

  • Oxenfree II was announced for Netflix Games today and Xbox fans lost their minds… for the wrong reason

    Earlier today Night School Studio announced that Oxenfree II would also be coming to Netflix (mobile) when it launches on July 12th this year.

    And for some reason a bunch of Xbox fans went crazy on Twitter.

    “Am I tripping or does this say Netflix but not Xbox???” “No joke, we need answer why this keeps happening…” “wtf is going on 💀” “Ok this is starting to become a serious problem for Xbox”

    Pals… Calm. down.

    Here’s the situation with Oxenfree II:

    • Game announced April 19th 2021, Switch and Steam
    • Netflix acquires Night School Studio September 29th 2021
    • Oxenfree II appears in the PlayStation Indies Spotlight August 6th 2022
    • Oxenfree II announced for Netflix mobile today

    Not only is this game not coming to Xbox, we’ve know it for months, if not years. Why is it a huge deal now, all of a sudden?

    Gaming narratives are a funny old thing fucking stupid.

    Would this be as big a deal if the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster wasn’t skipping Xbox (for some apparently unknowable reason) and getting banger scores?

    Minecraft Legends dropped yesterday and people are freaking about Oxenfree II? Xbox secured multiple Game-of-the-Year nominated indie games in 2021 and 2022 and people are freaking about Oxenfree II? Really?

    A much bigger story here is that Netflix is the publisher. What will that mean in the competitive space moving forward? Will Netflix pal up with PlayStation on console to hedge against Microsoft’s buying power and Cloud position?

    MS (Game Pass) and Netflix both see themselves as competitors. Don’t be surprised when the more tech-facing companies choose to isolate Microsoft.


  • Joe Staten joins Netflix

    I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined @Netflix Games as Creative Director for a brand-new AAA multiplatform game and original IP. Let’s go!


    Staten is a games veteran, working on the first three Halo games at Bungie before moving to Microsoft Publishing as Senior Creative Director. He was most recently moved over to 343i as Campaign Project Lead prior to the launch of Halo Infinite.

    Netflix have over 50 games on their slate right now. A push into AAA territory is not unexpected, but plenty of companies have taken the plunge only to lack the fortitude of what it takes to really make an impact in gaming. (Hi, Google).

    As I said in January:

  • The Minecraft Legends reviews are in

    The Legends reviews are in, and they’re… fine? Quite good? OK? Mixed? Decent actually?

    Open Critic currently has Legends at 73 + 50% of critics “recommend” – which is, coincidentally, almost the exact score that Dungeons got – a game that I feel is still under-appreciated despite it having well over 15M players at this point.

    I have two primary goals in this review:

    Number one – to properly explain what Minecraft Legends is, and number two – to convince you to play it, because this is a really fantastic game that took some time to get into, but after it clicked I was like ‘Holy shit, where did this come from?’


    I don’t always agree with Skillup’s opinions for every game, but you can not deny that he shows his work. Legends seems interesting and fun, and despite the mid 70s score, I’ll be hitting it up on launch day.

    Dungeons was a 74, and I played the hell out of that game. Legends might have the same appeal.

  • On Xbox and disappointment

    Windows Central’s Jez Corden hits the nail on the head here with an excellent opinion piece, following Arcane’s recent announcement that Redfall will launch missing a 60fps mode.

    At the end of the day, Xbox fans just want to see the platform they’ve invested in succeeding on the same level the competition seems to succeed, with expectations set by Microsoft itself being met. There are too many caveats, too many broken promises, and too much misalignment between marketing beats and product realities. As a fan, it just becomes a little tiring. 

    Jez Corden

    On Xbox, caveats, and mismanaged expectations [windowscentral.com]

    #Redfall Clusterfk

  • Redfall is launching with 30fps modes only

    Redfall is launching on Xbox consoles with Quality mode only:
    Xbox Series X: 4K 30 FPS
    Xbox Series S: 1440p 30 FPS
    60 FPS Performance mode will be added via game update at a later date.



    At this point I think if Xbox can’t meet baseline expectations here or there, they at least just need to be entirely transparent about it. If you’re dropping the ball, tell us the exact reason you can’t hit launch but *can* patch it in. Without that the narratives take off.

    They’ve done a very poor job of controlling the communication on this one because it’s not just the game, it’s the perception of your entire platform.

    #Redfall Clusterfk

  • Rolled credits: Dredge

    I’ve caught a lot of fish, but I haven’t caught them all yet. I’ve solved some puzzles and mysteries, but not all of them yet. And although I’ve rolled credits on the main story, I haven’t finished playing yet.

    Keep reading

  • Now Playing: Dredge

    It’s safer in daytime.

    I’m a few hours into Dredge – the first game from indie studio Black Salt Games, from Christchurch NZ.

    The gameplay loop and various tensions (time, materials, fishing/dollars, upgrades, story quests, day vs night) feel very well balanced so far.

    Keep reading

  • Now playing (always playing): Sea of Thieves

    Today (ish, depending on your timezone), Sea of Thieves turned five.

    After a few seasons of taking some time away from the seas, I returned late last week with the Season 9 update. It feels almost at the same level of invigoration as the Shrouded Spoils update, with more world events, more lures for pulling players together, more fog, more megs, more… well, everything!

    Keep reading

  • Impressions: Wo Long Demo

    Long way round.

    I’ve played through the Wo Long demo a few times now, which means I like it a lot.

    As someone who’s never played Nioh the systems set-up is new to me, but I’ve found the morale/spirit interplay to be intriguing and super engaging. Why can’t I stop thinking about this game?

    Keep reading

  • Flight Simulator – NZ Update


    It makes me feel homesick to see all these locations highlighted in such a caring way. Time to reinstall.

  • Now playing: Atomic Heart

    Mustachioed robots and crispy critters.

    Despite the wide range of critical reactions to Atomic Heart, Game Pass proves it’s value once again with a Day One release.

    First impressions

    Firstly, the game is gorgeous. It’s certainly on the short list of most impressive Unreal 4 games to date, and – aside from a few hiccups – runs at what feels like a rock solid 60fps on Series X.

    Keep reading

  • The 2023 Games Avalanche…

    2023 is proving to be a bananas year for games. With so many highly-anticipated releases lined up, I’m starting to feel overwhelmed trying to keep track of everything. So here’s my personal list of ten eleven upcoming games I’ll be playing, with release dates included to keep my brain from overheating.

    Keep reading

  • Rolled credits: Hi-Fi RUSH

    What a rush.

    Well, that didn’t take long, and I’m already nearly half way through a New Game+ replay already.

    Hi-Fi RUSH is an absolute blast to play, and I feel like I’m finally mastering the rhythm based combat as I replay levels and continue to buy upgrades and new combos.

    Keep reading

  • Now playing: Hi-Fi RUSH


    Xbox shadow dropped a new game from Tango Gameworks at their Developer_Direct: Hi-Fi RUSH.

    It’s absolutely gorgeous, dripping with style and personality and a ton of fun. The rhythmic gameplay is forgiving, but rewards good timing, and the combination of platforming, exploration and combat is paced perfectly.

    More thoughts on the game, and how it released, soon…