Tag Archives: Xbox One

BAM. Ride Along – Forza 6 Let’s Play

This week kicks off the release of the Forza 6 demo on Xbox One, as a change of pace I decided to capture some of the gameplay to showcase what to expect. Since I’m doing a single installment I’m breaking these down track by track in text but the video will cover the experience. Not all videos will be this way but when it’s something new and pretty direct like this I might change it up.

That said, I used the stock Xbox One controller, I don’t have a racing wheel for the system so that’s where things will come from on the platform as I’m not sure when I’ll pick one up or if any companies would be interested in jumping along with a donor.

Video removed for now – Content ID claims for music made the original recording impossible to use. I’ll have to do another recording without the soundtrack. Future note, if you want to use Forza 6 footage on Youtube, the content creators will flag the life out of your videos. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that Microsoft has sorted out anything to help the community at all.

First up we’re in Brazil on Circuito Do Rio De Janeiro in the 2017 Ford GT, the supercar takes to this street course against a pretty heavy lineup of opponents. As the first experience of Forza it’s also the safest delivery, the game sets all the controls to easy mode so you’re coddled along with safe lines, turning assist, braking assist and assist assist. For some it’s perfect because you have kids or others playing so you can just hold the trigger and basically have a racing experience. If you want to fudge the controls you can do manual braking and line switching and escape the grasp of the support system to some degree.

It’s a beautiful track though and without the assists in a Ford GT I think many players would leave chunks of that car scattered throughout the stage. Fortunately that’s not the case and it’s just scuffed bumpers and lots of rage in the narrow corridors of the track when passing feels nearly impossible or line blocking becomes the most frustrating experience in history.

After you complete the first level you jump into car selections, yada yada yada classics skip the hubbub pick your favorite car / the Subaru Impreza 22b or RX7 (it’s okay you know you want to) and jump into the mix.

The first of the qualifying series brings players to the Lime Rock Full length track, it’s 3 lap race where players work on coming in Top 3 over the 1.5m course. The track is fairly relaxed with open corners and lots of wiggle room, if  you’re new to the game leaving it on easy or normal is probably a good choice to understand things a little more with the car selected. The AI tends to let off in the easier corners and avoid any connections on the rumble strip so passing is usually possible on most inside turns.

Following Lime Rock is Yas Marina Circuit, for some it’s a pretty awesome track full of challenges… but it’s always been a nemesis track for me. Yas focuses on grip and downforce and without the right mixture it means going off-track is a given and struggles to regain that grip will act as a constant throughout the race until a steadier approach hits. This race isn’t a pretty one but I’ll keep taking cracks at it until I’m able to really produce a clean run without having to resort to flashbacks.

With Yas turning to a distant memory the qualifier skips to a drivers challenge with a battle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a 7 lap Indy run. Going from heavy corners and low 100mph speeds to 220mph is a change of pace, fortunately as long as upcoming traffic patterns are anticipated correctly it doesn’t turn into a nightmare. The goal of the race is high-speed without ramming the car up the backside of all the opposition. Key things to remember are the behavior of the car under acceleration and deceleration as those will become critical during passing. It’s an enjoyable break and for the most part the experience was clean minus a few bad calls or late turns where I did end up touching with other cars.

The last leg of the journey ends at a wet and rainy Sebring International Raceway, it’s a nightmare to say the least with puddles and hydroplane for all. The key factor here is harnessing the power of the car to avoid bad slips when crossing puddles. For those in RWD cars that means working the gas as needed to keep up control of the car without sending the car into a race ending spin. Traction is obviously reduced and plowing the car off the track with understeer increases along with it, so it’s just a wild wacky fun zone of under and oversteer with a side of traction loss and spin. Gotta love it. The 22b used the AWD to its advantage most of the track to help pull it through fudged corners and away from the pack in general, it’s a good overall car but it’s not without challenges in Forza 6 as seen with Yas Marina.

The demo is a well-rounded experience for Forza 6, good variety of cars and tracks and it showcases the weather system and some of the custom options for players. Given the full game is only weeks away it’s worth checking out if there is any interest in the game, on top of that players can also earn special perks that transfer over to the retail game so why not?

Microsoft @ E3 #XboxE3 recap

This morning at the Galen Center we saw Microsoft make some big announcements for the Xbox platform during E3 week. It wasn’t just games, it was a look at the community and the future of their gaming ecosystem. With Windows 10 just around the corner we got a glimpse of Xbox One streaming through Windows 10, not just on a monitor but through the upcoming Microsoft Hololens, looking at how we experience games and even interact with them. While admittedly a ways off, it’s still cool tech and showcasing that companies are looking into the future of how the user experience develops.

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Aside from that, fans and console owners are getting a taste of backwards compatibility with the Xbox One, seeing their 360 library migrate to the One with features like screencaps and streaming available. While it’s a developing compatibility library it certainly says quite a bit for Microsoft to include it for free when it means converting PPC instructions over to x86 in these special download editions. Thankfully MS and AMD were on the same page visually so they’re not stuck with exclusive GPU instructions that they can’t emulate or substitute. Preview Members are able to get a taste of the experience right now but it’s still quite a limited library.

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Moving into tech, the Elite controller is touching down for professional players, packing a ton of modes, tension settings and custom parts it’s probably one of the most complex first party offerings seen to date. It’s packing a heavy price tag at $150 but it looks quite sturdy and for those who want the perfect setup there’s really few others who could reall deliver at this level. Personally I have to wonder how it will work for those who run in multiple genres, will there be a greater need for a racing controller, a fighting controller and a fps controller or is there a happy middle ground with the design? Time will tell, or E3 will tomorrow.

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Moving into gaming on the Xbox, there are a ton of treats ahead, Forza 6 with the new Ford GT and basically just amazing cars. Halo 5: Guardians taking team based combat in storyline mode to new heights while also working to redefine their MP offerings. Gears of War 4 with the latest fight against the locust, taking the fight to new monsters and mayhem in the dance we know so well from the franchise while also bringing up a new storyline experience.

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ID@Xbox also took center stage showing us clips of upcoming releases to the platform, showing that creators can make titles that unite console and pc players together by offering Xbox One and Windows 10 cross compatibility efforts. It’s a boost to creators to help ensure they get exposure in all areas and really have a shot at continuing to make new products like Cuphead, Ion, Ashen and Tacoma. Going even further to deliver on this MS is taking a gamble on the Early Access world and introducing a try before you buy Early Access model to soften the experience for console owners, allowing free experiences of titles before making that leap into buying something currently in development and possibly unstable or a bit unmatched to their tastes.

Other titles like Gigantic and recore help re-establish the creative roots of gaming with new presentations and stories that take players on adventures beyond the grey and grit, it’s a relief to the platform and a welcome change to really get back to new experiences.

MS has a lot going on in their court for the fans, paying a bit more attention for integration, cross platform support and planning for the future of gaming also. If they can deliver on some of these it’ll spell out good things for Xbox One owners and even Windows 10 adopters.

 

Gears of War 4 announced at Xbox Conference

 

Gears of War 4 was announced for Xbox One during the Xbox conference today. It’s being developed by The Coalition, which was recently renamed from Black Tusk Studios. The conference featured a gameplay segment featuring two new protagonists and new enemies.

Gears 4 is expected to come out holiday 2016.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Announced

 

Microsoft announced their new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller today. The new controller is designed to be customizable with different thumbsticks, D-pads and the addition of 4 new paddles on the back of the controller. The controller also allows for custom button mapping and adjustable triggers allowing you to switch between regular trigger operation and hair trigger operation.

The Xbox Elite Controller is expected to be available, October 2015 for $149.99 in the US.

You can check out more here at the Xbox website.

Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Announced for Xbox One

Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on Xbox One was announced today at Microsoft’s E3 Conference today.

Users who still have their original 360 disks will be able to load their disk into their Xbox One and the console will download and install a new digital version that will run on Xbox One.

For members of the preview program the feature is active starting today, with a public rollout of the feature set for this holiday featuring one hundred games.

Starting today the games that are available are:

A Kingdom for Keflings
A World of Keflings
Alien Hominid HD
Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo-Tooie
BattleBlock Theater
Defense Grid
Geometry Wars Evolved
Hexic HD
Jetpac Refuelled
Kameo
Mass Effect
N+
Perfect Dark
Perfect Dark Zero
Small Arms
Super Meat Boy
Toy Soldiers
Toy Soldiers: Cold War
Viva Piñata
Viva Piñata: TIP
Zuma