Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q4 2021 (Oct-Dec)



  • Pop Tart-My Pop Tart for this final leg of the year has to be Battlefield 2042. I don't usually go for massively popular FPS games as my top choice, but looking at how ambitiously delicious it looks I can't peel my eyes away from it. Kinda speaks to the lack of games that are really getting me excited for the rest of the year but not every year is going to be stuffed full of quality games like 2011 and 2013 were.

    Toaster Strudel- @Axel called it and I have to give my toaster strudel to Far Cry 6. Now I do think FC6 has potential to be really good, my problem is it's going to be a generally reskinned version of FC3-in essence you could call FC6 Far Cry 3 Version 4 (unless you count Primal and New Dawn then Version 7). I'm just not sure if Ubisoft are going to innovate and impress enough here even if it's still on track to be a good game. I already thought Far Cry 5 fell victim to Ubisoft's samey structure so that's why I'm worried.



  • Pop-Tart: Forza Horizon 5 (November 5th)
    It looks beautiful with all the different environments, and the addition of community created custom races has a lot of potential. All the Forza Horizon games that I've played have been a fun time and I think 5 will be the same.

    Youtube Video


    Toaster Strudel: Halo Infinite (December 8th)
    Despite being delayed an extra year, it still feels like it's coming in hot. Holding back content and releasing in December are red flags. I also wasn't a fan of Halo 4 and 5, but hopefully I'm wrong on this Toaster Strudel.



    • My Pop-Tart: Metroid Dread (October 8th)

    Youtube Video

    Not a very original choice, but there really isn't any other game I'm anticipating as much as this bad boy. I've been in media blackout since Nintendo started apparently spoiling the entire game across recent trailers, so all I know about the game is what was presented in its reveal.

    It might end up not being great, I'm keeping my expectations in check, but a brand new Metroid game is such a rare occurence that I will savour it no matter what.


    • My Toaster Strudel: The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes (October 22nd)

    Youtube Video

    It feels almost unfair to pick this game, kicking it while it's down, but I'm so bummed that the series has never managed to recapture the highs of Until Dawn, and this new episode feels even more uninspired than Man of Medan and Little Hope.



  • My prior 2021 picks:

    Q1 2021

    Pop Tart: Riders Republic - Did not release
    Toaster Strudel: The Medium - 75 OpenCritic

    Q2 2021

    Pop Tart: Resident Evil: Village - 84 OpenCritic
    Toaster Strudel: Mass Effect Legendary Edition - 88 OpenCritic

    Q3 2021

    Pop Tart - Little Devil Inside - Did not release
    Toaster Strudel - Sable - 75 OpenCritic

    --

    So July came and went and the team developing Little Devil Inside didn't really acknowledge that it didn't hit it's release date so I assume that game will just come whenever it's done. Like Riders Republic, I think it looks good but I'm not going to choose it again.

    Looks like I was pretty accurate with Sable. 75 is a solid score, but the high praise it received came from critics who had some sort of much deeper connection with the game and it's minimalist narrative than I expect myself or any average person to have.

    I'll circle back and post my Q4 picks.


  • Banned

    Pop Tart: Alan Wake Remastered
    More people need to experience this game. So good. Lynchian as fuck. Atmosphere so thick you could fuck it. For 30 bux I might not even wait for a sale.

    Toaster Strudel: Halo Infinite
    After 4 and 5 I have zero confidence that 343 Industries can make a good Halo. I can see the multiplayer doing well because of it being free, but I am fairly certain the singleplayer will be a raging dumpster fire of epic proportions, just like the last 2 abominations they shit out.



  • Pop Tart: Metroid Dread! I have faith in Mercury Steam and their partnership with Sakamoto after what they did with Samus Returns. I have loved everything I've seen from it. At least in the announcement trailer. Been dark ever since.

    Toaster Strudel: Halo Infinite. Basically what @El-Shmiablo has said. If it goes well, I'll be happy for Halo fans, but I do not have any high expectations for it.


  • Banned

    @brunojoey I genuinely hope I'm proven wrong and that the game is an absolute banger, but I just don't think 343 has the capabilities.

    Also, after reading some plot leaks, I am not sure how anyone could salvage this shit.



  • Pop Tart: Battlefield 2042

    Honestly surprised this didn't come to me sooner, but there is no doubt in my mind that BF 2042 is going to be a great game. Despite BFV not being supported by DICE in a way that made sense for the long term, it was still a fun game. Same goes for the whole of the BF series last gen. Each game had love despite straying further away from classic BF gameplay.

    2042 has literally 5 studios working on it and each studio is empowered to take ownership of their respective roles. It doesn't seem like any one of the DICE/EA sub-studios are doing small tasks like asset textures. They are building systems which will work in-game like the vehicles, the Portal mode, other major to-be-detailed game modes.

    I would bet on 2-4 weeks of server issues here and there, but it's going to be a great game.

    --

    Toaster Strudel: Halo Infinite

    I want to believe this will be a solid game, but as somebody who cares about MP more than SP in Halo, even I'm still skeptical. In the Beta there were guns that were outright not working properly like the Sniper. Not balance issues, but outright non-functional. It seems like it's an obvious WIP upon release date. Modes that every Halo game launches with won't even be there at launch like Big Team Battle. Forge mode won't be until Season 3 (6 months after launch).

    We've seen nothing in the SP except for a boring gameplay demo, Craig, and Sexy NEW Cortana. I feel like that might interest Boomer-Millennial's who still want video game babes, but we've seen absolutely nothing compelling from the SP (which also won't have split-screen at launch...).



  • Pop Tart: Jett: The Far Shore
    Everytime I see this game, I just get a feeling that the people behind this have a very clear and strong direction. It's one of those times where the marketing actually hits the target right on the mark, and conveys the game well enough without overexplaining it, or showing the game too many times. Critics wise, it's a pretty good recipe: a story with self-reflective elements about connecting with things beyond our previous knowledge, a solid art and music direction, explorative (and pacifist?) open world gameplay. Personally I think the game has massive potential and I will do my best to play it day one or ASAP and immerse myself fully in it. I don't see the preorder popping up on my region's PSN store, it might be time to buy it from my UK account, which I'm already dreading because the exchange rate to my currency is fucking horrendous.

    Toaster Schrudel: Back 4 Blood
    The game doesn't bring anything new to the 4 player coop genre, and I'm usually cool with that, but everything about this game just feels meh to me. Not exactly impressed with it, especially after trying out the beta. It's one thing to not try to do new things, it's another thing to execute already established ideas in a mediocre way. Flat gunplay, uninteresting enemies, run-of-the-mill level design. The only reason I'm not fully skeptical about this game is devs' previous works, and only that.



  • @bam541

    I feel like I'm in the minority but I never really "got" L4D. On one hand, I was stubborn and refused to accept fast zombies. I always like slow dumb zombies i.e. RE or Dead Rising. With time, I got over that hangup.

    But then I just never found it all that fun to be in a constant state of unleashing clips on enemies. I don't find it very fun to always be strafing, running, turning back and shooting, rinse repeat.

    B4B looks to be pretty much the same as L4D and I'm not seeing what might get me to enjoy this one. I'm going to play it because my friends are super excited for it so maybe they can teach me the ways, but right now, it just looks like L4D circa 2008 to me.



  • @dipset I think it being very similar to L4D, and also coming from the same devs are the things that irks me. I'm not exactly the biggest fan of these kind of games too, but I did enjoy L4D for being very straightforward with it's concept. Just get through the level and try to survive. The thing about the B4B demo that I played, is that it feels like I'm getting hammered by UI pop ups and other non-important stuff, and it doesn't feel as immediate or engaging as L4D.



  • @bam541 Dude if Back 4 Blood doesn't work out then it could be renamed Back 4 Crud.



  • How all my picks scored this year on OpenCritic:

    Pop Tarts:

    • Q1: Hitman 3 - 86
    • Q2: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - 88
    • Q3: Kena: Bridge of Spirits - 81
    • Q4: Forza Horizon 5 - 92

    Toaster Strudels:

    • Q1: Bravely Default 2 - 78
    • Q2: Biomutant - 67
    • Q3: SkateBIRD - 58
    • Q4: Halo Infinite - 86

    I had some great-tasting Pop Tarts this year. All my picks scored above 80. Also, Kena: Bridge of Spirits just won best independent game at the the Game Awards and Forza Horizon 5 is the only game to score in the 90s this year!

    As for my Toaster Strudels, I totally expected Halo Infinite to be on fire at launch but I was wrong. And Bravely Default 2 is apparently a decent game.

    Thanks @Axel for creating these topics. It's interesting to look back at our own expectations of these games before release and see how right or wrong we were.



  • My Pop Tart for this quarter was JETT: The Far Shore, which honestly I'm kinda salty about because it got a 66. It hurts that I live in a timeline where many reviewers can't appreciate this beautiful game, lol. Anyway, I clearly lost this, 66 is definitely bad score these days.

    My Toaster Strudel was Back 4 Blood, which got a 76. I guess I lost this too, seems like it got its problems but people still enjoy it anyway.



  • Q1 2021

    Pop Tart: Riders Republic - 78
    Toaster Strudel: The Medium - 75

    Q2 2021

    Pop Tart: Resident Evil: Village - 84
    Toaster Strudel: Mass Effect Legendary Edition - 88

    Q3 2021

    Pop Tart - Little Devil Inside - Did not release
    Toaster Strudel - Sable - 75

    Q4 2021

    Pop Tart - Battlefield 2042 - 65
    Toaster Strudel - Halo Infinite - 86

    So I hit 50% of Pop Tarts and missed 100% of my Toaster Strudels. I feel like The Medium did end up being a fairly ignorable and skippable game, but it definitely isn't as off the mark as I thought the game might end up being.

    Missed the mark massively with picking Mass Effect Trilogy as a Toaster Strudel. My original rationale is that people will start to see the parts of the series that haven't aged so well like the shooting and the short missions. But literally the opposite happened and people were very happy that they could jump into a 2007-2012 time capsule and play these games at a higher fidelity.

    BF 2042 is easily the worst Pop Tart pick. This game is just outright half baked. Not just in a lack of polish but in their overall approach to gameplay and level design. I fell for their marketing which looked beyond polished:

    trailer vs reality (Battlefield 2042)
    Youtube Video

    Looking back at that trailer, I should've known it was bullshit. Those special effects are way too good to be true.

    And I'm happy Halo Infinite proved me wrong. People can bitch and moan about every little micro problem the game has, but I think 343 bringing in a "fixer" who advocated for an extra year, then spent that year cutting out 75% of the planned content and re-creating the AI was an amazing solution to a massive problem. Most people are happy with the product and we don't even know what was cut out anyways. I think we'd rather play a good/great game in Holiday 2021 than wait another 2 years for any update.



  • I chose Battlefield 2042 as my pop tart because at the time I didn't realize there was no single-player campaign. I was better off putting FORZA Horizon 5 as my pop tart but I can't change that now. Thankfully my toaster strudel was spot on as far as I'm concerned. Far Cry 6 is more than just a toaster strudel, it's the equivalent of Bitch Brian in that Family Guy episode where Stewie makes clones of himself and Brian with the intelligence dialed down significantly.



  • @Axel new thread for Q1 2022?



  • @shoulderguy Totally forgot about those, thanks for the reminder :)