Hidden Gems of Xbox Game Pass

Three months for $1 is very tempting. I’ve been on the fence about joining Game Pass (entirely due to time constraints, the value here seems incredible), but this deal may just be what pushes me into it. I can always cancel after the three months if I don’t feel like I’ve played enough to justify continuing and that catalog looks so good!

This thread has been very informative as well! When I started considering Game Pass, I came here to get a feel for whether or not it would be worth it. Well, I’m definitely convinced there is plenty of value, I just need to find the time to make worth the investment!

LeapingGnome wrote:

Thanks all for your opinions, I appreciate it. I am not sure I am as interested in a disc less model as two of the benefits to me are to be able to get games at Redbox to play for a few days, and to replace my bluray player so I don't have another box under my TV and remote around. I like to simplify what I can. Depends on the price I guess, maybe for $149 or $179 I'd go for it.

Not to mention backwards compatibility using your old 360 discs.

I ended up picking an S up today at Best Buy, on sale for $250 with Division 2 and a discount on a second controller, and a discount on Live. I ended up getting six more months of Live for $15.

I am not sure if the free month of Game Pass with the console stacks with the $1 deal. I am thinking it doesn't so I'll probably just buy the $1 soon.

LeapingGnome wrote:

I ended up picking an S up today at Best Buy, on sale for $250 with Division 2 and a discount on a second controller, and a discount on Live. I ended up getting six more months of Live for $15.

I am not sure if the free month of Game Pass with the console stacks with the $1 deal. I am thinking it doesn't so I'll probably just buy the $1 soon.

I'd recommend doing the $1 thing first. I would imagine they do let you add onto it with a code. It's as if you bought that month off the rack at a store. They wouldn't deny that.

Through Game Pass I finished What Remains of Edith Finch this weekend. It's really good! An interesting little walking sim with somewhat light interactivity, the game-y parts feel sort of like a Wario Ware game or something. A well told story in an interestingly crafted environment. A perfect Game Pass game, as I would hesitate to recommend spending $10-20 on it or whatever it cost at launch or even now, but worth a free download and your investment of 3-4 hours.

For those that have played it, light spoilers about one of the characters' scenes:

Spoiler:

As a parent of an infant, the Gregory scene was difficult, especially when I realized the final mechanical input I was required to perform in that scene. That was rough. And although I generally understand and appreciate where that scene was coming from, it felt like very questionable taste to have one of the interactions in that scene be one of the few achievements in the game.

firesloth wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

I ended up picking an S up today at Best Buy, on sale for $250 with Division 2 and a discount on a second controller, and a discount on Live. I ended up getting six more months of Live for $15.

I am not sure if the free month of Game Pass with the console stacks with the $1 deal. I am thinking it doesn't so I'll probably just buy the $1 soon.

I'd recommend doing the $1 thing first. I would imagine they do let you add onto it with a code. It's as if you bought that month off the rack at a store. They wouldn't deny that.

If it is like the code that came with my Xbox One X on a card in the box it will only work for new subscriptions and can't be used if you have ever had gamepass before. I tried mine and it didn't work and the error message said something about only being for new users. At the time the active deal was $1 for 2 months and I did that instead. Later, because I was in the Crackdown 3 beta, I got another 1 month gamepass code and this one did work even through I had an active gamepass subscription.

FYI I still have that 1 month code if anyone wants it but it's not a better deal than the current $1 deal unless you are adverse to spending even $1.

pandasuit wrote:

If it is like the code that came with my Xbox One X on a card in the box it will only work for new subscriptions and can't be used if you have ever had gamepass before.

It's not like that code. I let my Game Pass subscription lapse about 2 months ago, and I was able to re-up using the $1 for 3 months deal.

Dyni wrote:
pandasuit wrote:

If it is like the code that came with my Xbox One X on a card in the box it will only work for new subscriptions and can't be used if you have ever had gamepass before.

It's not like that code. I let my Game Pass subscription lapse about 2 months ago, and I was able to re-up using the $1 for 3 months deal.

Yeah that works but the code that came with LeapingGnome’s Xbox S probably won’t if he takes the $1 deal first. Still probably better to take the $1 deal tho.

Yeah it says for new customers only and not for previous trial customers. If I can’t use it later not a big deal and I will throw it up in the freebie thread to see if anyone else can.

Last night I queued up about 30 games to download and that doesn’t include any of the Gears or Halo games. The Gamepass value is pretty incredible.

I spent most of my weekend playing Game Pass games. I played through the first episode of Telltale's Walking Dead New Frontier--posted my thoughts in the Telltale catch-all, but short version: I'm a sucker for these games, and this one seems like a good one.

I also started up Monster Hunter World. When it was first released, I rented it from Redbox for a couple of nights, intrigued by everything I'd heard. I played maybe the first couple of missions, but didn't get any further and didn't buy it. I'd played on PS4, so starting on Xbox meant restarting. And when I got back into it, I realized that it wasn't just time and money that stopped me from playing past a handful of hours when I rented it. I recalled all the discussion I'd heard on podcasts about how, although less onerous than earlier versions, you still need to do some amount of research and prep on these missions, how you're constantly chasing monsters across the map and there's a timer and sometimes you can get most of the way through a hunt only to have time expire. And some simple stuff, just the way the interface and selecting options works feels unintuitive and needlessly complicated...e.g. when I pick a hairstyle for my character, why can't I just select it with A and then hit B to go back to the other parts of the character creation panel? Instead you have to select it, scroll past a bunch of other options (in the process temporarily changing the look on your character and making me confused) and then scroll down to where there's a "Confirm" button, which made me worry I was confirming the entire character design instead of one element. And then there's the process for selecting and starting missions! And I remember trying to look at how multiplayer worked and, woof. Also, having already seen these cut scenes when I played on PS4, not being able to skip them is a bummer too. So, I dunno. When I saw MHW listed as coming to Game Pass my thought was that this was a game I had wanted to play but just didn't have the cash to spend at the time, but on further reflection, this may just not be for me. I'm still thinking I may end up spending some time with it to see if I can find the fun within, but I won't be surprised if this stays on my Home screen on Xbox for a few weeks unplayed until I finally just delete it.

I've been dipping on various games to try out with Game Pass on my new Xbox and I don't know if it's just me getting older but the text in a lot of these games is too small for me. I thought we were past the time of tiny text ports from PC but it really seems like some of the games the designers assume everyone is sitting less than three feet away and don't adjust much for consoles. I have a 55" TV about 8 feet away from my couch. I haven't had this problem in games made for consoles on the Switch, like Mario Kart and Zelda are both fine.

Here are some mini reviews of what I've tried so far:

Technomancer - this game seems like it could be interesting and sets up a world I want to find out more about, but the actual gameplay is just bad. The movement is clunky, the combat is clunky. I want to like it to explore more, but 90 minutes was enough for me and I uninstalled it. I am disappointed it isn't smoother.

Operencia - played about 30 minutes and it seems good, but it has the 'designed for PC' problem I mentioned above. I will probably pick this up on PC to play on my laptop rather than keep squinting at the TV and navigating a UI obviously meant for a mouse.

Fable Anniversary - I wanted to try this out from the fond memories I have, but I am not sure I can get past the datedness. Not even the graphics but the gameplay and structure. The very first thing you do in the game is a fetch quest. Starting up games like this make you realize how far we've come in 15 years.

Mutant Year Zero - another one that seems good and I am glad I got to try it, but also has the small text problem. I really like the 'walk the map' with seamless transitions into Xcom battles. I want to play more but I will probably do it on PC.

Upcoming games:

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus - 5/2
Wargroove - 5/2
Tacoma - 5/9
Black Desert - 5/9
Surviving Mars - 5/9
For the King - 5/10
The Surge - 5/16
Lego Batman 3 - 5/16

Some nice stuff in there, thanks for posting the updates in this thread, Clock. I have been wanting to try Wolfenstein for a while and I'll probably also dip into Wagroove, Tacoma, and some of the others.

Long time lurker here, thanks for all the updates on this thread, Clock! I highly, highly recommend Wargroove to any old Advance Wars fans. I will say the single-player campaign is a bit underwhelming; however, the multi-player is fantastic, offering great customization options, smooth asynchronous online support (you will either get an alert when your turn is up, or you can watch other humans take their turns live), and a large number of user-generated levels. It definitely still needs some improvement - namely better searching/filters for user generated content - but great package overall!

The game is also a Play Anywhere title, so you can play on Xbox/PC and have cross-saves.

Looking forward to Wolfenstein; also, Just Cause 4 is Just Cause-ish, and, if you want to do stupid things and watch explosions, well, it's Just Cause. Feels less empty than JC3 did.

Man! So many of those are games that I’ve wanted to play. Especially Wargroove and Tacoma.

LEGO Batman 3 is an incredibly rich game. So much Bat-Fan service. The late Adam West is an unlockable character and his voice work is all over the place.

RawkGWJ wrote:

Man! So many of those are games that I’ve wanted to play.

Yeah, I've had Wolfenstein II, Wargroove, and Black Desert in my checkout cart sooo many times. Now I don't need to buy them! I did end up buying The Surge awhile back and, of course, I haven't even started it yet.

Also, there are some games leaving on May 15th:
- Mega Man Legacy Collection
- MotoGP 17
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
- Comic Jumper
- Ms. Splosion Man

ClockworkHouse wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

Man! So many of those are games that I’ve wanted to play.

Yeah, I've had Wolfenstein II, Wargroove, and Black Desert in my checkout cart sooo many times. Now I don't need to buy them! I did end up buying The Surge awhile back and, of course, I haven't even started it yet. :oops:

Almost all of this new list at least have picked my interest before...specially WarGroove and Tacoma. This service keeps getting better and better every month, and pretty cheap for all the game you can get. When you think that they cannot beat last month, they do it again(last month only with Monster Hunter was enough.... plus all the rest). They sure have many games for every taste of gamer.
Thanks for keep updating this thread Clocky!

Downhill mountain bike racing game Descenders will be coming to Game Pass on May 7th.

Thanks to Game Pass, I spent my weekend playing Mortal Kombat X and Wargroove.

I was inspired to play MKX from all the podcast chatter I've heard about MK11 lately. WIth previous games, I've heard all the praise for the story mode, and liked the idea in theory, but in 20-30 minutes spent on MK9 and Injustice 1, it just never clicked with me. As someone who played a fair amount of fighting games as a kid in the early 90s (Street Fighter 2 and the first few Mortal Kombats) but has never connected with a fighting game since, I'd start playing these more recent games and just bounced off of them immediately. But for whatever reason, I gave MKX a fairer shake, and am now maybe 5-6 hours into the story mode and am really enjoying it.

I think one big factor in me connecting with MKX was dropping the difficulty to Easy. With the move list accessible on the screen and the difficulty set low enough that I'm always making progress (I've only lost one match, and maybe more like 4-5 rounds total), I'm getting a good video game tourist view of this experience without any frustration. The story is obviously very silly and occasionally the over the top violence is a bit much for my tastes, but I'm enjoying myself and will definitely finish the story mode. Now I'm pondering whether to grab a used copy of MK9 or one or both of the Injustice games after I finish this...

Wargroove made a really nice first impression, but I think that 2-3 hours in (I just completed the first world), I may have hit the wall I've heard described on podcasts and such where the difficulty and convenience of the game just aren't there. I was on a mission near the end of the first set of missions, where the primary objective was to escort civilians out of town on a west-east path while bad guys attacked from north and south. It was challenging but I felt like things were going reasonably well for my crew. Then I got a message that the civilian who had just appeared was the last one I would need to evacuate. There was a big cluster of baddies to my south, so I steered all my forces to the south to hold the path. I figured it was a good time to throw my hero unit right into the center of this mess, thinking she would be strong enough to survive until the last civilian exited the screen, at which point I would win. Unfortunately, as my last civilian cleared the space, I got a message informing me that, to complete the level, my hero unit would also need to escape. My kamikaze defense was no longer a particularly smart strategy. My hero died and I lost. Rather than reloading a save or a checkpoint where the final civilian had started to move and I could instead be more defensive of my hero, my only choice was to replay the whole sequence, probably 20-30 minutes. It's a trial and error process that was just tedious and frustrating. (To be fair, on second attempt, I think the game had given me a warning that I'd need to evacuate my hero too that I had just missed at the time, but still, a sharp penalty for missing that line of text.) I like the look and style and feel of this game, so I dunno, I may put a few more hours into it, or perhaps I'll just keep an eye on it to see if they introduce some quality of life changes. For now, though, it was pretty frustrating.

I finished the story mode in Mortal Kombat X last night. What a silly but engaging 8-10 hours that was. I'll probably poke around at it a few more minutes to see if there are any other easy achievements to pick off and will then delete it, but I think I'll give Injustice another shot soon, as I now know I can get through the fighting, and I am actually pretty interested to see the story in that one.

I played a bit of Descenders yesterday. It's...interesting. It's part bicycle racing game, part FTL? Not what I was expecting. Its a roguelike, or at least the "career" mode is, and after your first race you choose the next race from among a series of nodes on the map, with vague indications about differences among the choices (some are steeper, some are twistier, some have more opportunities for tricks). You have a set number of lives, and you lose one each time you wipe out. If you lose all your lives, it's game over. If you complete special bonus objectives on each level (do 2 backflips, complete the race without braking, etc.) you will get extra lives. At certain intervals (I think it may be associated with completing special race nodes, but maybe it's just every X races?) you get to add a member to your "crew," who will offer different bonuses to you. You also periodically unlock cosmetics, I'm not exactly sure why/how. Anyway, I dunno, it's not great, feels a bit creaky at the seams, it's apparently Early Access. It's a weird thing, I'm not sure if I'll go back to it, but it has some interesting ideas.

I played a bit of Shadow of the Tomb Raider tonight. I just got my first TV with HDR, and I wanted something to put it through its paces. I was not disappointed.

The first hour or so is just a beautiful showcase of HDR. Nice dark, inky blacks and highlights that pop from that background. Everything looks like I just got my eyeballs polished.

Gameplay-wise, it doesn't seem that different from its predecessors. Maybe a touch more aggressive right off the hop.

I played quite a bit of For the King yesterday with a friend. It’s pretty great. Did anyone else check it out?

JeremyK wrote:

I played quite a bit of For the King yesterday with a friend. It’s pretty great. Did anyone else check it out?

What do you like about it? Similar to anything else you’ve played?

I’ll check it Out.

chooka1 wrote:
JeremyK wrote:

I played quite a bit of For the King yesterday with a friend. It’s pretty great. Did anyone else check it out?

What do you like about it? Similar to anything else you’ve played?

I’ll check it Out.

Its similar to a hex based board game with combat that is turn based/dice roll mechanics and some rogue like elements thrown in. You can play solo where you control three characters or co-op with up to three players controlling each character.

I played a bit of For the King and almost immediately decided that I'd rather just pay for the game on Switch. It just seems ill-suited to a TV screen.

If you're talking controls and UI I'd imagine the PC would be the best version. If you mean for someone that plans on playing on the go I could see how the switch version would be way to go obviously. I bought PS4 version because I wanted to play with my friend and haven't had any major issues with it on the tv though. I saw it was on the Xbox game pass though and figured that would be a good way for people that haven't heard about it to check it out with no financial commitment.

I just like board game-style games on a handheld.