This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The high

Everyone: Memes can come true

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More juicy Geralt images can be found here.

The lows

Samuel Roberts: Why no Persona?

This week, Persona 5 came out on consoles, to higher review scores than both the latest Mass Effect and Final Fantasy games—because that's the RPG reality we live in. Some clever people have found a way to emulate the PS3 version, but why is this game not being made for PC anyway? Is that too much to ask in 2017? No one is playing that thing on PS3. Everyone would play it on PC.

It's such a great series, combining turn-based combat with social simulation stuff. It's time the entire series moved across to PC, so I can talk about the fifth game's villain, a schoolteacher who marches around in a cape and his underpants. There's so much subtext to unpack!

Phil Savage: Why no Yakuza?

April Fools happened again, and, once again, it wasn't entirely a soul destroying waste of time and effort. This free 8-bit Bayonetta led people to a countdown that, everyone assumes, ticks down to the announcement of a PC Bayonetta port. Good one, Sega, but why stop there? Sega is a publisher with a rich history of cool, quirky Japanese games, and I'd love to see them on PC.

Top of my wishlist is Yakuza 0, which I've been playing obsessively on PS4. It's well written, funny, intelligent and absurd—a dense cityscape full of surprising adventure. It's the first Yakuza game I've played, and I love it—from the mysterious story to the dumb karaoke minigame. I'd urge people to play it on whatever platform they can, (but obviously a PC version would be best.)

James Davenport: No encore

After playing some Rock Band VR this week and discovering the classic note highway mode basically turned it into the PC’s first proper plastic guitar note-strummer, I was elated and sad all at once. After a failed Fig campaign, layoffs at Harmonix, and MadCatz’ chapter 7 bankruptcy declaration, chances are we’ll never see a full-fledged Rock Band game on PC. I don’t expect a resurgence of the plastic instrument movement anytime soon (maybe ever), but the PC was the ideal platform. 

During high school and college, I accrued hundreds of songs from the Rock Band Network, building a karaoke library that’d put down a rabid pack of millennials with ease. But in leaving the Xbox 360 behind many, many years ago, I also left that library. On PC, even if Rock Band only comes out of the closet once a year, I’d always have those songs to pull from. For now, and maybe always, I can at least put on space goggles and attach an Oculus Touch controller to my wireless guitar. But once it breaks and the remaining stock of MadCatz controllers die out, that’s really it for rock. 

Tim Clark: I feel like a dinosaur

Beyond a little dabble with the Warlock Discard Quest last night—I’m not sure if it’s good, but it’s definitely fun—I haven’t had much of chance to jump into Hearthstone’s Journey to Un’Goro expansion. The stuff I’ve seen on stream has looked pretty sweet though, so it was kinda disheartening to open the subreddit and find it in flames already. As you can see from the top posts at time of writing, people seem most mad about the number of duplicates in their packs, the lack of legendaries, and idea that Blizzard might be mounting some kind of cover up. At present, I haven’t seen any evidence that something out of the ordinary is happening. When there was an issue with the frequency of certain cards showing up in packs around Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Blizzard moved to fix it pretty fast, and compensated those affected quickly.

Conspiracy theory aside, what I think is happening is that the new legendary quest cards are polarising feeling around the set. Because they’ve been built up as such a key part of the Un’Goro experience, it’s understandable players may feel bummed if they only get one, or perhaps even none, of the quests in their initial pack splurge. A better solution would have been to have given each player one of the quests at random, for free, instead of the Volcanosaur we got as a login reward. That approach worked perfectly for C’Thun, which was another powerful build-around card that defined the flavor of its set. As for how the quests shake out in terms of strength, Rogue, Warrior and Mage seem most likely to be busted, Hunter has been a surprising flop, and Priest might prove to be a sleeper hit. Which our expert actually predicted. I’ll be hopping on this weekend, hoping to see shenanigans... 

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Jarred Walton: Titanfail Xp

No joke on this one, Nvidia has officially launched the Titan Xp, snatching up the unofficial name we’ve been using for the past year to refer to the Titan X (Pascal). And this is the full Monty of Titan cards, using Nvidia’s fully enabled GP102 GPU—no disabled CUDA cores in this monster. Toss in higher clocked GDDR5X and improved clockspeeds, and once again the Titan line reigns supreme among graphics cards. It also continues to command the highest price of any ‘consumer’ offering, at $1,200.

No one who’s in the business of playing games should be surprised, and yet many are seemingly outraged at the sheer audacity of Nvidia to launch a $1,200 Titan X, supersede it with the far more affordable $699 1080 Ti, and then launch a slightly faster variant in the Titan Xp. Did we really forget the original 780, Titan, 780 Ti, Titan Black sequence? But damn if it doesn’t smart for anyone now running last year’s Titan X (Pascal). And damn Nvidia for creating confusion in their product names yet again.

Tom Senior: Crash Effect

I was on the PC Gamer UK pod recently talking about quite liking Mass Effect. The very day it went up the game started to crash. At first it crashed once every hour or so. Now it’s crashing every ten minutes. What have I done to make Mass Effect so angry?

I did the usual driver dance, checking I had the latest one, doing a clean reinstall, but the game closed en route back to the ship. Have I been cursed by an Asari commando I was too sarcastic to? Has a Reaper assumed control of my PC? Hopefully future patches will help stabilise the game so I can continue to biotically charge enemies from miles away—one of my favourite abilities in any game.

PC Gamer

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