Today’s the day

The morning Inbox is worried about Nintendo’s line-up for the first half of 2019, as one reader is upset there’ll never be a Gravity Rush 3.

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The big day

So, assuming you show this on Monday morning, today’s the big day we get to find out how Google is going to change the video game industry. I’m a bit apprehensive myself. I don’t want to be against something just because it’s new but as another reader already implied, these companies aren’t getting into it because of a love of games they’re doing it because they smell profit and they’ll get a slice of the pie no matter what they have to do to everyone or even the industry itself.

I’m not saying Google is necessarily any worse than any other, I don’t know what they’re like as a company really, but I hope they show some humility with whatever they unveil. I will definitely put off if they imply they’re just going to swoop in and show everyone how it’s done.

As for my guess as to what it is they’re showing. I would assume a small, very cheap, console that’s basically just a controller that streams games based on subscription like Game Pass. Basically OnLive from a few years back but from a major company with lots of backing. I’m expecting at least four or five brand new exclusive games, which if they’re interesting will do the most to convince me to buy it – or ignore it.


Developing countries

I really hope Bethesda can find their mojo again at E3 this year, so I’m glad they’re going. If you ask me their biggest problem is Fallout. The Elder Scrolls has quite a bit of space to reinvent itself, by just setting itself in a different area of the world, but Fallout always seems so samey. Just a different American city that’s a bit burn out (seriously, either all these nuclear bombs missed their targets or buildings are lot more bombproof than I thought).

If I were them I’d give the franchise a long rest, although I suppose they can’t really do that now that they have Fallout 76 hanging round their neck. If they are ever going to do a Fallout 5 though I hope they set it in another country. Not Europe or Russia or somewhere that’s always done but what about somewhere in Africa or East Asia? Somewhere that’s not a big power now but might rise up when all the current big names are taken out in a war?

That’d be interesting and would allow the world to look like something other than a rundown council estate. Or even better just do new stuff like Starfield.


Small doses

I’m really struggling to stay optimistic about Days Gone after GC’s, and others, previews. There is a time when an open world zombie game would’ve been an insta-buy because that idea is completely up my streets, but now the though of spending 40 hours on something that’s only ‘fine’ doesn’t seem such a good idea anymore.

I actually like the idea of the reader yesterday who said he was buying indie games just to play on his Switch on the move. My Switch hasn’t had much use this year so I may well try that out. Maybe me smaller, sharper, shocks of gameplay will be better than one big blog of predictability. Maybe Baba is me after all.


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Nice Kat

Bit late to the party but I liked that Sony did another wallpaper for International Women’s Day. Sure the way some of the characters looked was a bit weird, especially Freya, but I’ll give it all a pass because they had Kat from Gravity Rush in it! I know that series must be dead now, after both the remaster and the sequel flopped, but I still maintain that they were both great and that Kat is Sony’s best female character. Heck, probably best character of any kind.

She’s just so… nice. Friendly and always wanting to help people. Actually I was going to say not like Kratos there, but I guess by the end of the game he kind of is and that’s why I like that game too. Sometimes you just want to be a good guy and there’s not actually that many games that let you do that with killing hundreds of people at the same time.


Man on the street

I don’t see how anyone can say an 80% drop in physical sales for The Division 2 is due purely to a rise in digital. Especially as The Division 1 wasn’t even that long ago. Personally I’ve no interest in the game but I though the first one was successful, so I’m surprised that the second should be struggling so much out of the gate.

The thing is these are only the UK charts and we get next to no information about America so it’s very hard to tell what’s going on. But what if… it’s just us and Britain is falling out of love with video games? Maybe not Fortnite and the like but it’s not like UK gamers have ever had the most varied taste in the world, so I wonder whether they’ve just completely lost interest now?

I’m talking in broad strokes of course, I assume anyone interested enough to be reading this doesn’t feel the same way, but perhaps the man on the street just doesn’t care anymore?


Video game tie-in

The consistently impressive Duck Tales reboot has just done an episode where Della, the mother of the triplets Huey, Dewie, and Louie, sang a lullaby to a baby spider-thing based on the legendary Moon level theme from the NES game whilst being stranded, well… on the Moon. Yes, that’s right – a mother in a Disney animation who isn’t dead!

I didn’t grow up on Nintendo consoles, I was a Sega boy (she said see ya later, boy – I wasn’t good enough for her). But even I will admit that this got me in the feels a little. God knows what it will do to those who experienced it as a child, it will hit harder in their nostalgia than Scrooge’s entire money bin being dumped on them.


Christmas console

Isn’t a bit worrying that after Yoshi’s Crafted World next Friday there isn’t a single other Nintendo game with an actual release date. I know Nintendo can announce games out of the blue but aren’t they leaving things a little late for anything this side of June? Is a Yoshi game really going to be the only major release in the first six months of the year? Even last year had it better than that with Mario Tennis Aces.

We’ve got Animal Crossing and Luigi’s Mansion 3 confirmed for this year, which sounds good, but are they just going to be Christmas games? It really doesn’t feel like the Switch is a console for all seasons at the moment.

GC: That’s not quite true, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is out on 26 July.


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Lost in the crowd

Quite a few accuse Sony of turning it’s back on indie games now their console is well established and doesn’t need them to fill out the release schedule. There’s some truth there I think as Sony, like Nintendo are now, provided a lot of PR for indie games in the early days of the PlayStation 4.

But I think it’s more that there’s just so many indie games on the PlayStation 4 it’s become like Steam and visibility is a real problem. A problem the Switch doesn’t have right now, being a much newer platform. It’s amazes me now how much games are added each time I visit the PSN store.

The strangest I’ve seen recently is that the classic Flashback had been released on the store in November 18. They want 16 quid for it though and don’t appear to have done anything to it. It’s grossly overpriced and a real missed opportunity for such a great game. It did remind though we haven’t heard anything about that Flashback-y looking PC/Xbox game The Last Night for a while. You got contacts, have GC heard anything about it?
Simundo Jones

GC: There was a furore over the developer’s politics, that led to the game disappearing from view and undergoing financing issues. It hasn’t been cancelled, as far as we know, but it doesn’t have a release date or year.


Inbox also-rans

So what time is the Google event thing on Tuesday? Is it going to be the middle of the night for the UK or anything?

GC: The event is due to start at 5pm GMT.

As a petrolhead, and VR fan, I couldn’t help but see a real-life version of Thumper when I saw the new Aston Martin 003. Is it just me?
KhalsaBlade (gamertag)/Akali (PSN ID)/SW-3292-4519-9214 (Switch)

GC: It’s not just you.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tom Meadows, who asks what Achievement or Trophy are you most proud of getting?

Achievements, Trophies, and similar in-game rewards have been a staple of video games for a long time now, but which did you find the most satisfying to get and how long did it take you? How much do you care about achievements in general and what inspires you to go after the more difficult or time-consuming ones?

What’s the secret of designing a good achievement and what are some of your favourite, and least favourite, examples? Are there any old games you wish achievements could be added to or a modern title that you think missed an obvious opportunity?

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The small print
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