Hidden Gems of Xbox Game Pass

pandasuit wrote:

I did the ultimate upgrade and got 33 months for my $1. Best deal in gaming.

Having used “Xbox anywhere” games before I’ve been spoiled by the fact that my cloud saves are shared between Xbox and pc so I can swap back and forth and continue my game. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be true of game pass pc games that are not Xbox anywhere. Xbox and pc versions do not share saves. I was really hoping to continue my Metro Exodus campaign on pc.

Yeah that is a very important distinction that needs to be made.. I'm hoping its just beta glitches but at some point it needs to be clear what is Play Anywhere.

Likewise only Play Anywhere shares cheevos.

TheGameguru wrote:
pandasuit wrote:

I did the ultimate upgrade and got 33 months for my $1. Best deal in gaming.

Having used “Xbox anywhere” games before I’ve been spoiled by the fact that my cloud saves are shared between Xbox and pc so I can swap back and forth and continue my game. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be true of game pass pc games that are not Xbox anywhere. Xbox and pc versions do not share saves. I was really hoping to continue my Metro Exodus campaign on pc.

Yeah that is a very important distinction that needs to be made.. I'm hoping its just beta glitches but at some point it needs to be clear what is Play Anywhere.

Likewise only Play Anywhere shares cheevos.

All the play anywhere games appear to have that label on their store page so you know whether you are getting that feature or not but I don’t think most players understand what it means since there has never been that many of them. I naively was hoping everything that was on both passes would have play anywhere by default as it is such a huge benefit for players and fits my life well as I game in different places and on different devices. For now I have to go back to streaming games from my Xbox when I’m on pc and want to continue my campaign.

If I'm only doing the PC game pass, there's no savings to be had by doing the buy and convert trick, right?

Chaz wrote:

If I'm only doing the PC game pass, there's no savings to be had by doing the buy and convert trick, right?

Nope. That's strictly a way to get all three services (Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass for console, and Xbox Game Pass for PC) bundled together for cheap.

How is Xbox about informing users of games that are leaving the service, and how often does that happen? Is it like Netflix where the library gets shuffled severely every month and if you're not following certain blogs you'll be cut off in the middle of things?

On the console there is a menu of games leaving soon.

They tend to cycle out about five games a month (sometimes more). Typically, they're ones that have been on the service for a year or so, although some games have left early and some later. There's a section in the phone app and on the console menu that lists them. Not sure about the PC app because it's so new that I'd be surprised if anything was leaving yet.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Bought and redeemed some Live Gold codes and now I'm paid up on Ultimate. Best $1 I can remember spending.

$14.99 every month, next charge on 5/17/2022

:)

I thought you were all smoking crack. $1 for Ultimate till the end of your Gold subscription? That's an insane deal!

And if you already have both Gold and Game Pass subscriptions, it'll merge the two into an Ultimate sub for the combined duration. So my 18 months of Gold and 18 months of Game Pass turned into 36 months of Ultimate for $1.

Ultimate sub...
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I've been playing Moonlighter since it launched on Game Pass earlier this week. I like it a lot! Part shopkeeper sim, part old school Zelda-ish dungeon crawler, they've struck a nice balance in difficulty and growth. Contrary to some other games I've played recently, so far I've experienced a nice progression from being super under-powered, struggling through dungeons, then making some upgrades to feel balanced, then making some more and feeling very powerful, with each of those stages lasting long enough to feel like they really matter.

Once you've purchased a handful of gear pieces, acquiring the money and components that were a struggle earlier becomes progressively easier and more fun. Now that I've mostly acquired all of the first tier gear pieces, the boss on the first level of the first dungeon has changed from an encounter that took me at least 5 tries of learning his patterns, hitting the right rolls and blocks at the right time so that I could land like 15-20 sword hits before I took 3-4 hits that were enough to kill me, to one where maybe 4-5 sword strikes are all I need to take him down, and if I do take a hit in that time, it's only dinging maybe 10-15% of my health instead of like 40%. Now my runs through the first floor of the dungeon are a cakewalk as I'm just grabbing the components for the last few pieces of gear and buying some more of the initial town and store upgrades. I expect that, once I've completed that, focusing on the second level of the dungeon and making second tier upgrades, I will find myself back at the beginning of that power curve and make a similar journey. It's a very enjoyable podcast-listening game, thumbs up!

Well I'm sold. Thanks for the impressions!

It’s not a hidden gem of gamepass or anything but I’m really happy Metro Exodus was added. Getting games like this really makes game pass more compelling more often.

I have Metro Exodus on both pc and Xbox game pass now that I did the ultimate upgrade. I had been playing it on Xbox before when I just had Xbox game pass and made some progress through the campaign. Last night I was comparing the two systems to see if I’d keep playing on Xbox or restart it on PC. Unfortunately Metro doesn’t have cross system saves. I sure hope cross system saves becomes a standard feature in the future.

On Xbone X Metro Exodus runs at 4K and a relatively consistent 30fps. On my pc I’m running metro at 1440p on maximum settings (except no RTX) and it looks a bit better than xbone and framerate varies heavily between 40fps and 110fps. The difference in framerate is large but the biggest different is really that my PC can use the adaptive sync feature of my monitor so it feels smooth the whole time whereas on the xbone it is a consistent framerate but feels clunky and juddery the entire time. Both are playable of course but it just feels and looks so much smoother on PC that I decided to just restart the game again and play there. Xbone X does have some adaptive sync support but not with my monitor.

One of my favorite things about Steam games is I can play them on all my devices and, for the most part, my saves move with me and I can continue playing even if I have to stream to get it on my tv. If Microsoft figures out cross platform saves for all these game pass games so I can easily swap between devices I’m going to be incredibly happy.

I know that a lot of the games on PC don't have cross save to Xbox (hopefully that will increase over time). Do they not have Cloud save though or do they only save to your hard drive? That would be a big miss if they don't have Cloud save.

Docjoe wrote:

I know that a lot of the games on PC don't have cross save to Xbox (hopefully that will increase over time). Do they not have Cloud save though or do they only save to your hard drive? That would be a big miss if they don't have Cloud save.

Some of the pc game pass games seem to have cloud save. I'm not sure how to tell in all cases without testing it.

Metro explicitly states it does have cloud saves. Hellblade, Wizard of Legend, Into The Breach, Thumper, and Void Bastards (the other games I've been playing lately) don't explicitly say and I haven't tested them on a different PC yet to see for sure. Ruiner doesn't explicitly say either but it is play anywhere and I think all play anywhere games have cloud saves (haven't tested that either tho).

Edit: Tested Thumper and it has cloud saves despite not explicitly saying so on it's page in Xbox or Store apps. Saves synced between a couple of my machines. Can't confirm any others yet tho.

I know this isn't really a hidden gem, but I've been playing ReCore on PC (via Game Pass), and you know what? It's pretty darned good!

merphle wrote:

I know this isn't really a hidden gem, but I've been playing ReCore on PC (via Game Pass), and you know what? It's pretty darned good!

I enjoyed what I played of it, too! I didn't finish it but not for lack of interest.

And I'd say it does count as a hidden gem. That game got ripped to shreds when it was released.

pandasuit wrote:

Tested Thumper and it has cloud saves despite not explicitly saying so on it's page in Xbox or Store apps. Saves synced between a couple of my machines. Can't confirm any others yet tho.

Did they just add Thumper to GP? I have not seen it yet.

Of all the new Game Pass stuff I'd installed over the last week or so, I ended up spending the most time with Thimbleweed Park. I'd wanted to play it since it was first released, and tried starting it on PC when the Adventure Game Club was playing it, but just couldn't find the time. I'm probably 4 hours in now and feel like I'm pretty far along (of the initial set of 3 machines you have to use, I have successfully used 2 of them and am aiming to get the last item to use the 3rd). I mostly like it. There is some classic adventure game stuff that doesn't work, and the humor is generally something to be tolerated much more than it is to be enjoyed. But as someone who grew up on this style of game, it's a pretty fun experience. The Xbox interface is not great but not bad enough to fully put me off.

I also played the first couple of missions of Doom 2016, which I owned on PC around its original release and just never got into, but given all the Doom Eternal hype, I wanted to give it another try. It plays quite well on console. I am mildly interested in playing all the way through to the end, whether I end up doing so depends on how many other shiny objects distract me in the next few weeks.

Moonlighter is also still good! I beat the first dungeon and opened up the second, and am so preparing to spend a little more time back on the bottom of the learning curve again for a bit.

I played a bit of Thimbleweed Park as well but I bounced pretty hard off it. It was a little too referential(right word?) and 4th wall breaking for me. I get what they were going for but it just landed flat for me.

I will say some of that self-referential, 4th wall breaking stuff is a bit front-loaded. It's definitely there throughout, but it's more like one line like that every scene/room/dialog, rather than like the 6 or 7 you see in the very first scene. There's actually even an option to turn some of it off, I think? Now that I think of that, I'm not sure why I haven't turned it off, since I find it kind of annoying, but I dunno, it feels like a weird thing to have made optional, like I'm not getting the real game that way, even if it's just excising stuff I don't like.

I’ve been playing LOTS of Operencia. Ironically I don’t love it. It’s very pretty. (Despite what you may have heard) I don’t like wall humping, so I’ve got a guide on my phone at the ready.

Yeah, I played a bit of Operencia but I couldn't stand the dialogue and without a story I thought this would be a lot of repetitive gameplay. I got to the second area, played for an hour and thought it best to quit.

There might be some satisfaction in the fight, loot, level up, repeat loop but I didn't see enough to be worthwhile.

Leaving console Game Pass at the end of the month:
- Next Up Hero
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- Zombie Army Trilogy
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
- Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition
- Dead Island Remastered

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Leaving console Game Pass at the end of the month:
- Next Up Hero
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- Zombie Army Trilogy
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
- Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition
- Dead Island Remastered

Hmm. I may have to re-play the first area of Dead Island again; that game starts off great with the juxtaposition of a bright, sunny beach resort with a zombie apocalypse, and it really shifted away from the usual gray, depressing urban areas zombie games always got saddled with.

Then you left the first area, and went to a gray, depressing urban area.

Jesus, We Happy Few is really depressing.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Jesus, We Happy Few is really depressing.

Don't be such a Downer!

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Jesus, We Happy Few is really depressing.

But..eh..fun?

Is zombie army trilogy an exceptional game? That’s the only one on the list that I’ve even been tempted by. But if it’s just ho-hum I won’t waste my time.

ZAT is not exceptional. It's silly fun with a few friends but it's just a competent zombie shooter.