Saturday, April 17, 2021

Oddworld: Soulstorm Review – A NEGATIVE Batch Of Brew

Playing Oddworld: Soulstorm is as arduous as Abe’s quest to liberate his Mudoken brethren from slavery. Each step is a supreme test of patience as you methodically guide your followers through challenging hazards, sweating over the fact that one slip-up could unravel all your effort. If you enjoy putting up with that old-school challenge, you might love this journey. However, if you’re a newcomer or a fan that believes this style of platformer hasn’t aged very well, turn back now. Soulstorm doesn’t do enough to modernize the series’ tedious gameplay, and a litany of severe technical hiccups spoil Abe’s attempted comeback. A reimagining of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Soulstorm’s gameplay remains largely the same: you recruit and guide followers through 2D platforming stages littered with dangers. As charming as the classic Oddworld games are, they can be frustratingly difficult and that hasn’t changed much in Soulstorm. Most Slig enemies and other hazards mow Abe down instantly, and I was infuriated by how little wiggle room I had to correct course when things went sideways. Abe drops so fast that it makes the health meter seem like a cruel tease. While playing Soulstorm, I often felt like I was walking on eggshells because of that high price of failure, retracing every step, re-recruiting every Mudokon, and carefully guiding them through a gauntlet of foes is soul-crushing when it all falls apart in seconds. Dying to unexpected perils, like being suddenly gunned down by off-screen enemies, feels cheap and happens way too often. A crafting system serves as Soulstorm’s biggest addition, but it doesn’t feel necessary. You must repeatedly gather the same ingredients every time you die (by searching lockers, trash cans, and fallen foes), which wore me down in a hurry after repeatedly replaying certain sections. The crafted tools themselves, like proximity mines, smoke screens, even a flamethrower, do add a welcomed element of flexibility and improvisation to gameplay. Dropping smoke screens to create hiding spots anywhere is nice, but I wished I didn’t have to make these items myself and grew tired of digging around the same spots over and over.   Even when Soulstorm’s difficulty eases up, the gameplay is bland. The action feels largely the same from previous games in the series, and that formula doesn’t evolve significantly beyond the first few hours. Even the more interesting sequences, like facing down a giant mech aboard a speeding train, are far too punishing to be fun. I’m glad that Abe controls better now (he even has a double jump), but the controls still have a mushy unresponsiveness that makes entertaining actions, like possessing Sligs, feel like a hassle. The controls also lead to additional deaths because Abe doesn’t act as swiftly as you need him to, especially during the ill-fitting, overly demanding combat arenas that pit you against waves of baddies while you try to protect fleeing Mudokens. Soulstorm would be a tough recommendation for anyone outside of diehard fans if it performed flawlessly, but I encountered several progress-sabotaging bugs (even after installing the big day-one patch) that should scare off even those players. When I died, Mudokens sometimes failed to respawn alongside me even though my tally indicated they were still alive and under my command. That meant I lost out on turning in followers that I’d spent ages trying to safely liberate, which negatively affected my overall quarma – a vital metric in determining which of the four endings you get.  Abe occasionally gets stuck in environmental geometry, forcing a restart. At one point, I fell into an infinite loop. One escape portal permanently vanished once I reached it, forcing me to abandon followers. A gun in a late-game turret sequence failed to shoot despite working fine in previous segments. After multiple restarts, I randomly discovered that clicking the right stick “fixed” the weapon for some reason, allowing it to fire. I spent over an hour trying to lead a large group of followers through a particularly challenging area, but once I opened the exit door an invisible wall prevented me from moving forward. I was forced to restart this entire, lengthy sequence twice before the exit worked properly. Soulstorm’s gameplay pushed my patience to its limits, but these bugs sent me over the edge and made me nervous every time I started a new level. “What on Earth is going to screw me over this time?” I regularly asked myself. Soulstorm’s faults are a shame because its narrative and presentation brought a smile to my face. Abe and his pals are goofy, delightful underdogs I couldn’t help but root for. The enjoyable story is packed with heart, and the cutscenes look great. I wanted to welcome Abe into a new generation of gaming with open arms, but Soulstorm fails to make a case for why its brand of cinematic platforming works today. In fact, Soulstorm only reaffirmed that Abe’s past adventures are best viewed with rose-colored glasses.

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    Xbox Family Settings App CAN BE ACQUIRED On iOS And Android Devices Now

    The holidays is just about the corner, this means more games for the kids to play. Help to keep them safe with the Xbox Family Settings app. The app is currently on iOS and Android devices and can be an easy solution to manage younger gamers’ experience.

    Microsoft’s core messaging, within the last couple of years especially, has been about gaming and accessibility as an experience for several. Before COVID-19 kept us inside our homes long, gaming is definitely a solace for most and kids shouldn’t lose out just because don’t assume all game is child-friendly.

    For parents, older siblings, or regardless of the circumstance, the household Settings app permits a child’s gaming experience to become more regulated and a safer place for a balanced relationship with video gaming and the gaming community itself.

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    Accepting (or denying) friend requests, owning a child’s friendlist, limiting screen time, and much more are apart of the tool. The initial step would be to create your son or daughter’s account and from there, the next adjustments could be made:

    • Screen time limits – set limits for every day of the week; for instance, it is possible to enable more game time on the weekends or reduce it through the educational school week. And a fresh feature on the market allows parents to proactive grant additional screen time – an excellent option should they did well on a test or completed their homework!
    • Content filters – set filters in line with the age of every child; for instance, an 8-year-old can only just access games which are rated E and you will be blocked from accessing titles which are intended for older players
    • Play and communication settings – pick the substitute for block all usage of play and communication with other players, limit usage of “friends only” or grant permission for teenagers to play and speak to “everyone”
    • Friends list – new with the app may be the capability to approve or decline friend requests your son or daughter has designed to add friends; parents can view their friends list
    • also

    • Activity reports – view daily and weekly activity reports for every child to comprehend how they’re spending their time on Xbox

    Multiplayer capabilities could be tailored through this app aswell also, which is ideal for games like Minecraft and Fortnite which are child-friendly while still being linked to others online.

    It’s an excellent tool for parents concerned about particular gaming habits, especially with another generation of consoles arriving with time for the holiday season just.

    [Source: Xbox]

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