Xbox One: Where are the new exclusive titles?

Xbox One exclusive titles

Last week saw the release of PlayStation 4’s Horizon Zero Dawn, yet another exclusive title locked to Sony’s console, adding to an already-growing list of brilliant games on the PS4. However, Xbox One has only seen a few exclusives launch over the last few years such as Halo Wars 2 most recently and titles such as Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 2. The most noticeable difference between the two consoles is that PlayStation 4 are pushing new franchises out completely, whereas Microsoft continue to feed off existing franchises like the Halo and Gears of War series. So why aren’t we getting more from the Xbox One?

In fact it seems like there is a deeper focus on pushing out dashboard updates which simply add a new button here and there and refinements to previous designs than there are new games coming out exclusively for the Xbox One. It’s fair to say the console suffered a lot from launch, what with its lack of 1080p natively running games and even now, we’re still seeing a lot of titles launch below this benchmark. Great games can still launch without spectacular performance, but when today’s standard is starting to exceed 1080p resolution now, you would expect most titles to be running at this with a decent frame rate as well.

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Plans for 2017

2017 New Year

First of all I would like to apologise, as I feel like I’ve neglected my blog towards the end of this year, which is such a shame. I love writing and sharing my thoughts with people on internet, so it frustrates me that I can’t keep weekly content coming up on my blog, partly because I work full time and haven’t got a working laptop currently to just sit downstairs and chill.

So the first thing I want to change is activity on here, whether that be more blog posts, features or game reviews. I aim to write at least one post every fortnight hopefully providing I can actually come up with the content ideas. One big change at the start of 2017 for me is going to be fibre optic broadband, so now I’ll have a streaming setup to work with, as I already have the consoles and PC to edit for videos and overlays. I’m really looking forward to getting more stuff up on my Twitch and YouTube. I spent quite a bit of time setting these pages up and designing the graphics to compliment, so it makes sense to use them now. You’ll probably thinking that everyone does streaming and video content now, but this is more for myself, as I’ve wanted to do it for years but never had the internet at both my parents and now my own place.

Another change I want to implement in 2017 is more work with other websites, people and companies to build my own reputation up. I already established a few relationships in the games industry, but I want to further add to that and build Complete Xbox even more in 2017. More exclusives and giveaways where I can achieve that.

If you have any suggestions on what to improve on in 2017, then please do let me know down in the comments below, as I’m happy to take on your feedback.

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Epilepsy Society: Ben Nevis Trek 2016

 

Ben-Nevis
Big Nev!

We did it! We scaled the top of Ben Nevis all in the aid of Epilepsy Society. We started our ascent at 8:45am with little idea of what awaited us getting to the top of Britain’s highest mountain.

In terms of the route, it actually wasn’t too bad on the legs or body, well for me personally, although I’m sure to some it is quite challenging on their body. There’s a lot of steps more than climbs, but it’s all worth it once you do reach the top of the summit. What I really liked about the trek was the friendliness amongst everyone, as people would spur you to go on further and ask if you’re doing okay. It felt like one giant team effort between everyone going up and down Nevis.

I guess the biggest challenge was the unknown, not knowing what muscles would be put under strain and pressure. Coming down was really harsh on my ankles, but I had to push on through the pain barrier. Nothing was going to stop me coming down!

Ben Nevis
At the summit of Ben Nevis.

Even though the trek is completed, our Justgiving page is still open for donations, so if you wish to donate some spare change, it would be hugely appreciated for all the effort and hard work we put into this for Epilepsy Society. We’re already looking to do the other two peaks in Britain, so stay tuned for more on that.

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My day at i57

Insomnia 57

I’ve not been to many gaming conventions in my life and part of that comes down to not having the money to go and finding the time to travel down. Luckily though, i57 came at the right time at the back end of March. I went into the event kind of knowing what to expect. Lots of games, tournaments and online celebrities holding their own stage shows.

When we first arrived, we went to have a look around the various exhibitions from stores to games such as Quantum Break on show at the Xbox booth. As expected with most of these things, there was a lot of queuing, which did make some things very frustrating, especially as you had to wait quite a while. I think because we went on Saturday it was probably the busiest day of them three and the fact that the pub quiz was on Saturday night, it was quite an attraction for those over 18.

i57

We then went to the Razer show where they were handing out free goodies to those sat in the crowd. Unfortunately we missed out on a seat, but took a standing position at the back to get a glimpse of online YouTubers Syndicate and MiniLadd. Since I got my partner into YouTube, these have always been her two favourite YouTubers, so she was pretty excited to see them in person to say the least. Although she did make fun of Syndicate’s small height.

We then went back around the exhibition floor, ready for Syndicate’s talk about YouTube and how he evolved into the world of vlogging. It was pretty hard to hear exactly what he was saying with all the hustle and bustle of the other exhibitors, but it still gathered a lot of viewers. As for the exhibitors on show, there was Asus, Razer, PlayStation 4, Xbox, GAME and many other big gaming brands there. I had a look around most of their stands, but I think the busiest was Syndicate Original and Razer. But props to GAME for their pirate ship display!

Overall the day was pretty spectacular and having lunch at TGI Friday’s made it all the more better, despite the busy service and slightly below their standard food. And a quick hotel review. We stayed at the Arden Hotel which was about 10 minutes from the NEC venue. We were provided a helpful and splendid service from the staff, including directions to the arena, as the underpass and bridge over the railway were closed on the day. The food was decent and we even had some spare spending money to pay for breakfast in our room the next morning.

Overall, I would say my i57 experience was pretty good. I could have got involved in more things, but as my first event in a long while, it was definitely worth the effort and money getting here. I’d definitely like to go again and next time I might even sign up to a few things, just to enhance my experience there.

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Game sales: Are they worth it?

Steam Winter Sale

Today marks the launch of Steam’s Winter Sale, something Valve have become particularly known for in terms of game sales. Although, they regularly do weekly sales on select titles, the winter and summer sales offer some of the best deals usually. So there’s a lot of competition between titles and fetching a good price.

This year’s winter sale appears to have launched quite weak with titles like the Stalker franchise with 50% off. It also seems like a lot of titles are being repeated in each sale. At the end of the day, I guess it’s like an online retailer, they recycle sale items over and over again. Amazon do it regularly, putting the same product on sale a number of times throughout the year. They just have such a large catalogue of products to go through that you rarely probably actually see it for yourself.

I personally love the Steam Winter Sale, not just for the game choices and great prices, but also for the community and trading cards bought with it. You’ll probably see the Xbox and PlayStation Store come out with some festive deals soon too if they haven’t done so already.

I guess my main concern is are they actually offering us deals when you determine how old some of these titles are and the worth of them. I can definitely say for some of them they aren’t actually deals, for example I can see Fallout 4 listed on today’s at £39.99. That to me isn’t a deal at all, but just a way to get more people to buy the title, which is already one of the most popular Steam titles.

What are your thoughts on game sales? Do you regularly buy from them and wait for titles to go on sale?

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Why I love gaming fan art

By zhangc.
By zhangc.

I’ve always been creative, but never possessed the skills to do anything artistic in terms of drawing. Sure, I can design logos and the basic design work, but when it comes to doing something scratch like a concept piece, my skills lack. I’ve always admired gaming fan art and the artists that do these pieces, as they not only look fantastic but show a passion for a game franchise.

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The freedom of cooking

Stir fry chicken

I’ve recently tried to take more of an interest in cooking again and I for one love trying out new recipes. There’s something refreshing about going around the supermarket or local market buying fresh ingredients you probably wouldn’t buy on your normal weekly shop.

That’s exactly what I discovered last weekend, when we attempted to create a chicken stir fry with rainbow vegetables, soy sauces and Chinese five-spice. I’m always looking for new recipes online and my partner recently found this one through her Slimming World. It’s also Syn-free, which is a bonus for those of you that are on the slimming diet. We’re now obsessed with stir fry meals, which is surprising when I’m not a particular fan of too much veg, but I’ve found it mixes in fairly well with your choice of meat and egg noodles. We also had a go at using beef, which was just as tasty as using chicken.

 

 

Slimming World Chicken Stir Fry

I’m truly delighted that I’ve gained my interest for cooking again and hopefully it will last this time. Especially as winter is drawing nearer and I’m more likely to be trapped indoors because of the cold, dark nights.

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Social media becomes most popular online activity

Social media logos

In an article published today by The Guardian, it claims social media has become the most popular online activity overtaking entertainment. In the UK alone, social media accounts for almost a fifth of the two hours and 51 minutes a day people in the UK on average spend on the web.

It’s no surprise either, as social media can be dipped in and out of a lot more easily, whereas watching a YouTube video or listening to music through iTunes is more time consuming. I know for a fact when I’m on the train, I open up Twitter and have literally a quick 1-2 minute scroll through my feed to read anything of interest. Our habits are changing rapidly and we’re becoming more socially connected online.

Entertainment has fallen significantly by almost a half from 22.1% to 12.4%, which may seem surprising when most of us also watch videos and listen to music, as well as use social media. The choice of platform is also intriguing, as on mobile devices, social media accounts for more than 20% of time spent, compared to under 10% on desktop. Games are also growing in popularity 8.6% spent on mobiles, compared to 2.3% on desktop.

These figures might not shock a lot of you, but I guess the profound point to pick out from this is that we’re becoming attached to social media a lot more. It’s become something of an everyday routine checking your Facebook and Twitter feed. Not to mention websites like Reddit, which are also increasing in popularity. It’s kind of scary how much we’re using it actually because not many of us seem to be aware of our usage.

How much on average do you use social media a day?

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YouTube Gaming – Competition arrives for Twitch at last

YouTube Gaming

Competition drives success out of companies, especially when they know they’re not the only ones in the market and they need to innovate in order to compete with one another. That’s not to say Twitch hasn’t done that over the past few years, as the platform has over 11,000 partnered streams and over 1 million broadcasters on its platform, but YouTube Gaming will be looking to steal over some of those gamers today with its launch.

So what does YouTube Gaming have that Twitch doesn’t? For starters it has a DVR Mode allowing broadcasters to rewind their stream for the past four hours. Most Twitch broadcasters also upload highlights from their streams straight to YouTube, by being apart of the same platform, YouTube Gaming will make that process quicker and when everything is under one roof it’s a lot easier.

It will also launch a Companion app for mobile, so you can access live streams on the move. I’ve seen quite a lot of people in cafés and on the train watching live videos on Twitch, so it’s crucial that this is included.

There will also be a subscribe button separate to your YouTube channel, so it’s almost like an entire new page, except you’ll be able to display your YouTube videos on your channel too. YouTube could be onto a winner with keeping videos and live streams in one place, as everyone uses YouTube video.

I like the idea of YouTube gaming, but it will all come down to support in the end. Do gamers really want another streaming platform right now? I’ll be checking it out later today.

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Come check out my Twitch channel

Twitch TazooMilkshake

Just a quick update about my Twitch channel called TazooMilkshake. I’ve done a few test streams throughout the week now and think I have everything in place. Obviously if I’m streaming through Xbox, I can’t use OBS, but I have a few PC titles to try out. I just hope my connection holds out for them.

As of yet, I’ve only had a few issues using OBS such as getting the follower alert to pop up, but everything else is going great. I love the platform and what’s even better is that it’s free. My internet seems to be doing alright on the mid range bitrate, so I’ll have to wait and see about that because I know for a fact at about 6pm it will probably drop significantly.

I also have my charity live stream almost setup, so hopefully I can do that soon for Cancer Research UK. I have the stream schedule being updated with a few new titles I’ve obtained over the past week. I’d love to work with some companies during this live stream, so get in touch with me at Jamie.tarren@gmail.com if you’re interested in getting involved.

That’s all for now. Chow!

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