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



  • 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 :)