When Slime showed me the power of the cloud

For those who love video games, few things can be more frustrating than wanting to play something and finding out that the title won’t be available on the console they own. This happened recently here at home when my son was anxiously waiting to be released Slime Rancher 2.

Credit: Reproduction/MacroVector/Freepik

A fan of the prequel, he always talked about what he expected from the new chapter of the series and how excited he was for its release. To my delight, making Monomi Park on Microsoft’s subscription service will save me a few bucks, but what we didn’t realize is that unlike the first game, the second one wouldn’t have a version. Xbox One.

It wasn’t until the day before launch that we realized this important detail, and since buying an Xbox Series was out of the question, I could only think of two options. The first would be for the kid to play on my computer, but since it’s the machine I work on, it depends if the computer is free. Another possibility appeared in my mind as something that I considered a bit radical, almost a desperate measure: the so-called Slime Rancher 2 on the cloud using Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Although I’ve heard raves about the service, with so many games already queued up and waiting to be enjoyed, I’ve never stopped to check it out. However, even knowing that there was a risk of disappointing my son (and later giving up the computer), I decided it was worth the chance to give it a chance, which promised to be a solution for those who do not want to invest in a purchase. console.

Slime Rancher 2 and the Cloud: Making a Child’s Joy (Credit: Disclosure/Monomi Park)

With the launch of the game, we turned on the Xbox One X and it was very easy to access the game. After finding it in the Game Pass catalog, all we had to do was tap on the cloud icon and a few seconds later we were in the menu. I admit that what happened next left me a little surprised.

Anyway, as a viewer, I got the impression that the game was running locally, with good resolution and no frame drops. Since I had other things to do at the moment, I let him enjoy the long-awaited game and began to hope that the good initial experience would be maintained.

Days passed and I noticed that my son was still making time Slime Rancher 2It was clear that no matter how bad the experience was with Xbox Cloud Gaming, it was worth it. When I asked him if the game was going well, he always answered in the affirmative, and that convinced me that I should give the technology another chance.

Cloud gaming: from Gambia to official support in Brazil

OnLive Home Menu (Credit: Play/Youtube)

I first had the opportunity to experience cloud gaming over 10 years ago with OnLive. Although the test at that time went relatively well, it had some delays in responding to commands, but since the service was not available here, given the huge distance to the servers in the United States, I consider the problem understandable.

However, in the case of Microsoft streaming games, this would not be a valid excuse, but I needed to see the real life of the service, to feel that there were no lags in responses that compromised the experience. It’s time to turn on my eighth generation console and see if with the help of the cloud it could be “migrated” like the Xbox series or something close to it.

For the first test, I decided to raise the bar a lot and went in search Halo Infinite. Since this is an FPS, a genre that requires a lot of precision from the controls, the bad impression left by Xbox Cloud Gaming could have spoiled the whole experience, but what happened was the opposite.

Just like watching my son play hundreds of miles away from my house, the controls had the same feeling that the new Master Chief adventure was taking place locally. If there are any lags in the responses, I admit I didn’t notice, the game showed good visual quality and no drop in frame rate.

But I needed more proof that playing this way was just a hallucination, so I opened it Serious Sam 4. Unlike Halo InfiniteThis FPS doesn’t have an Xbox One version, so it’s another good chance to run it on an older console that’s only available on its successor.

cloud games

Credit: Reproduction/MacroVector/Freepik

After setting the graphics to quality mode, I started the campaign and got good feedback again. There it was possible to see some instability in the footage, which was resolved when switching to performance mode. From that moment everything became more fluid and pleasant.

Since there was no need to download games and the loading times were very low, I started jumping from one title to another, always with a very good impression. But I wanted to see how the race would behave like this and was chosen Forza Horizon 5.

However, since I had already downloaded the Xbox One version, the option to use the cloud didn’t appear. The solution was to remove the game from HD and once I got into the remote version, what a disappointment! With very low framerates and absurdly stuttering, it would be impossible to play like this, and then I started to think that Xbox Cloud Gaming wasn’t as good as I imagined.

My first idea was to open the menu to see if there was an option for privileged frames, and there it was. After asking me to reset the header, within seconds I was back on the street, the difference was obvious. O Forza Horizon 5 It started up smoothly and aside from the image artefact, it was more the title that gave me the feeling that it was my video game that was running it.

substitute? No, but it’s a nice addition

Xbox Cloud Gaming in the browser (Credit: Playback/Dori Silver/Half Bit)

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to cloud gaming is selling the technology as if it were meant to replace consoles. This may happen in the future, but for now, I still prefer to run the game locally, which provides the highest visual quality and no internet dependency.

However, even today, the idea of ​​cloud gaming is already viable, which is a great alternative for those who do not have a console or a high-end PC. Most of the time, playing this way is not much different from the traditional way, it only takes a few minutes to forget that our car is just producing an image that is far from our homes.

To me, the question we need to ask ourselves here is: As much as the game happily falls short of the visual quality of the Xbox Series X this way, would it be better to play it like this or not at all. ?

There is even the case that we have access to a visually enhanced version of the game, as I did Aliens: Fireteam Elite. When I first tested it on the Xbox One X, it ran so poorly that I moved on. Then I considered buying the PlayStation 5 version of it, but if I can face the Xbox Series version thanks to the cloud, why spend money on a mediocre title?

I understand that some games may not work very well in the cloud, especially those aimed at competitive multiplayer, and there’s still the problem that only a portion of the Game Pass catalog is available that way. However, apart from these cases and for people who like to compress frames on PC or who can invest a few thousand reais in a console, something like Xbox Cloud Gaming seems to me to be a great alternative because it makes it easier to access games. Basic degree.

It may seem counterintuitive to say this, but despite the great experience I’ve had with Xbox Cloud Gaming, I’ll admit that I’m still on the fence about buying the Series X. In the meantime, however, my intention is to make better use of this idea. Cloud play, a feature I had access to and didn’t even know worked so well.

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