The Friday Inbox tries to understand spending £150 on cosmetic DLC, as one reader looks forward to the Sega Astro City Mini.
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Personally I think Nintendo would be crazy to make their next console anything more than just a more high-tech Switch. Which is why I assumed that would be the last thing they tried. But no, it seems like they are going to do the sensible thing. I don’t imagine it’ll arrive any time soon but they’ve definitely already got my attention.
What I would like to see is an approach similar to the Xbox Series X with everything on the Switch is guaranteed to be backwards compatible with the new machine, no questions asked. Let’s face it, no Nintendo console is going to be the powerful so they should go all out on the extra features, including… a version of Game Pass.
I’ve never really heard anyone suggest this before but considering so many people buy Nintendo consoles just for the first part games wouldn’t a Game Pass be incredibly popular. I’m sure Nintendo wouldn’t do it, because they’re Nintendo but I’d love to think they’re considering it at least. Beyond that, it’s just the games as usual and that’s why people are getting upset at the moment with no news on any of them.
The Xbox One has already been discounted. Seems unlikely but you can’t argue with the Amazon listings at least. Suddenly it all seems very reminiscent of the original Xbox, where they ditched that puppy the second they had a better alternative. I don’t blame them but it shows just what a colossal failure the Xbox One was.
As long as Microsoft keeps its promises about backwards compatibility it doesn’t matter but it does make the decision to have no exclusives seem even weirder. The assumption originally was that it was to not annoy Xbox One owners that they were being replaced (even though the Xbox One has had a perfectly long life at this point).
But now what’s the point of it? What would have bene lost if Halo Infinite was an exclusive that really pushed the new console? OK, they’ll get a few more sales from Xbox One owners (who have just been told their console is extinct) but the benefits seems much more important. Ah, well. Games companies, who can ever understand them?
I will never in a million years explain anyone that spends money on microtransactions and loot boxes but this stuff about Valorant and Dota 2 and whatever. £90 to make your gun (not) look like a dragon? The animation for that was laughably bad! And £150 for a single character skin? £150! Who in their right mind would pay that. The characters are so tiny on screen in these MOBAs I don’t even see what difference it would make.
I guess this means I’m out of touch or something but it also means I’ve saved a heck of a lot of money to spend on actual games. £150? You could buy three full price games for that. Tell me that I’m not the only one that thinks all this belongs in Crazy Town?
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Next gen gaming
I am extremely excited about the new Sega arcade home machine and can’t wait to find out about the other games. In fact, it’s strange in a way that my next home games machine will probably now be made by Sega!
I’m writing in as Inbox magic has a great track record, so fingers crossed for OutRun, After Burner and Virtua Fighter 2, to name just a few I’m hoping will be on there. Also, that this is released over here as there’s been no confirmation of that and also that the games are a good arcade port, not sure who is in charge of that but pleeeeaaase do this system justice! I know that’s quite a bit of Inbox magic to ask but this is such a good idea I can’t help but get my hopes up.
GC: M2 did the Game Gear Micro so there’s a good chance they’d be working on this, in which case there should be no concerns about the emulation.
Next gen sequels
My suggestion for a future weekend hot topic is the following: which video game franchises do you think should make a return and why? With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X coming up would you like to see any specific video games franchise return and do you prefer newer titles or a remaster or reboot? It can be any games franchise providing that the developer of that franchise is still around and as long as it is recognised as a popular franchise.
Finally, what would you like to see be implemented if a franchise makes a comeback, for example VR and online gameplay? And would you welcome further titles to ensure that the video games franchises will continue to provide the great entertainment that they have done so in the past?
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
GC: We had pretty much exactly that just the other week.
Physical capability wall
Since accessibility in gaming seems to be a popular theme at the moment I thought I’d share some of my own frustrations:
I used to love playing Call Of Duty, but now I can’t since I have limited movement in my fingers on my right hand. I get frustrated that my hands can’t keep up with inputs as fast as I can think them up. I’ve always been mediocre at the game, but my disability just sucked out all of the enjoyment I was getting. I have a similar problem with racing sims. Where complete manual control used to be a must for me, I now feel cheap having to rely on automatic gears and such. I no longer enjoy what was once one of my favourite genres.
I get irrationally angry with games that insist on locking Trophies/Achievements behind what I call a ‘physical capability wall’. I’m the kind of person who enjoys mopping a game of all its Trophies/Achievements, but many games now have a high-level achievement specifically for beating it on an unlockable super hard difficulty setting. Many people with disabilities are just physically incapable of doing that and I find it hugely unfair. I’m not saying that all game achievements should be easy. I do though think it’s worth exploring to find the point at which these achievements start to exclude people with physical disabilities.
Button mapping absolutely has to be a must for all games going forward. I know that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have the capability of remapping in the system settings, but as yet there is no option to save profiles for individual games. To many, it’s an inconsequential thing, but for some it’s the difference between being able to play and enjoy a game or not.
I find that with some games I have to turn down the difficulty setting to easy mode, which again feels cheap so I stop enjoying and subsequently stop playing those games. Some of the most critically acclaimed games of this generation sit unfinished on my shelf for this reason, and in most cases I feel the addition of a button mapping function would enable me to finish them, and more importantly, enjoy them.
The Wonderful 101 is what I would describe as the sort of jaunty, inventive pure action game that PlatinumGames does best.
I’m around four or five hours in now and this Wii U cult classic is consistently starting to live up to its moniker at this point.
Even at this relatively early stage in the game it almost feels like it’s bursting at the seams with novel ideas, fun mechanics, and a colourful, charming cast of characters.
All Greek to me
Well, my mellowing out is over for now. I finished What Remains Of Edith Finch, what incredible storytelling, and done in such varied styles. I particularly liked the pulp horror Creepshow-like comic for scream queen Barbara. I also finished Firewatch, nice adult themes and conversations. Sadly, two short gems that the vast number of gamers will probably never play.
Back to the killing sprees. So I’ve been bashing away on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for a couple of weeks, or The Witcher 4 as it might as well be called. I’ve seen others comment on it, but was still shocked by how much it wants to be a Witcher game with message boards for quests, and even how you call your ever present just out of sight horse Greek Roach.
And the grinding, again commented upon, or moaned about to be more accurate. When I start up the game I sometimes feel like I’m going to work rather than settling in for some fun. Did they put any thought into the side quests? At least The Witcher 3 had some fun and interesting side quests, hallucinogens and ghost horses anyone?
For balance, it’s not all terrible of course. I love Ikaros, and what a fun way to tag people, and some of the scenery is breathtaking. I’ve spent a lot of time with Greek friends, even started learning Greek, and I love that we get lots of Malaka (look it up). I’m also avoiding killing any animals, it just makes me sad to do it. I didn’t clear a bandit camp because they had a dog. Stop laughing, I know they’re virtual.
The bottom line is that Odyssey being open world and dripping with Greekness should of been my perfect game to invest hundreds of hours in. I should love it, but it feels like a soulless experience, which is why I simply don’t care about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. And I’m still not that happy if you play as a foreign invader with Brits as the killing spree bodies to rack up XP, but let’s actually wait for details on that.
I’ve started a wish list of indie mellowing out and weird games, grabbing them during sales just in case they turn out to be less than enjoyable (GC’s suggested Outer Wilds in the list), hoping to find another hidden gem, and most importantly keep me loving my gaming.
Spooky Dreamer (SpookyDreamBoo – gamertag)
I always love the questions Nintendo gets asked at its AGMs. They’re always so weird and shows that the shareholders have no idea bout gaming whatsoever. I mean what was the question about doing without screens even getting at? Beaming it into your head?!
Can’t pretend I’m not a bit gutted to learn that the new Paper Mario isn’t a role-playing game. Glad it turned out well anyway but I wonder why Intelligent Systems are so opposed to making one? Did Final Fantasy steal their girlfriend or something?
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston who, inspired by the release of The Last Of Us Part 2, asks what is the best ever video game story?
No matter what kind of game it was, or when it was released, what do you feel has been the best story told in a video game, and why? Was the story the main element of the game or just part of the overall package? Did it work so well because of the script, the characters, the voiceovers, the integration with the gameplay, or something else?
How important is the story to you when playing a video game and how much do you care when it’s not very good? And how much do you put up with poor gameplay when it’s good?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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