Destiny 2 – are you back on board?

The Wednesday Inbox wonders why nobody is talking about Borderlands 3, as one reader hopes Smash Bros. stays Japanese only.

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Same old thing

I’m not convinced by this revamping of Destiny 2. Making the base game free-to-play is good and it doesn’t seem as if the expansion is particularly bad value for money or anything but it doesn’t grab me because there still doesn’t seem to be any sign of change. On the one hand five years of support is good in terms of a developer continuing to support their game but on the other it means there’s virtually no chance of major change in all that time.

I would potentially be interested in Destiny 3 if it had new ideas but I’m turned off from the time investment required for Destiny 2 because I know exactly what it’s like (I had it for about three months when it first came out).

Personally, this is one of the main things I have against games as a service titles, because it locks talented developers into doing the same thing for huge periods of time. I almost got excited when I read that Bungie were making a new non-Destiny game and then they immediately made it sound like another game as a service title.

I’m sure they’re all very profitable but I can’t believe the most talented staff will want to stay making the same things, and minor variations of it, for so long.


Calling the shots

Is anyone else a bit suspicious of Bungie painting Activision as the evil bad guy in their situation and them as the plucky upstarts that escape from their cruel grasp? They didn’t have to sign a 10 year deal with them and they must’ve known what was expected of that deal before getting into it.

I don’t see anything in the details of this week’s new games that seems particularly different from what was happening under Activision’s care. Going free-to-play is new, obviously, but there were rumours of that long before Bungie split and I’m sure Activision would’ve gone for it if it made financial success – which presumably it does, because Bungie aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart.

I’m not attacking Bungie or defending Activision, necessarily, I’m just a little dubious of a good guy/bad guy scenario when you’ve two huge companies were nothing much seems to have changed between one being in charge compared to the other.


Invisible hits

I was going to write in and say how surprised I was at how little talk there has been on the Inbox about Borderlands 3, and then I noticed it only spent one week at number one and was beaten by Zelda and then FIFA 20. I know 2K have said it’s their biggest game ever, so I assume it’s not a flop, but it hasn’t made the splash I expected.

I’m willing to bet it’s going to end up as a prime bargain target during Black Friday, when previously I would’ve assumed it’d be largely immune to that. Or maybe I’m just not the target market. I think it’s aimed at a much younger crowd than most online shooters and maybe they’re away playing it somewhere and we don’t hear about it.

It’s weird how some games can get like that. Like League Of Legends is supposed to be so popular but I’ve never met a single person that has ever played it or even knows what it is. I’m not sure I even really understand what it is and yet I consider myself a fairly hardcore gamer! Does that mean it’s played exclusively by 14-year-olds or am I actually living in a bubble and I don’t know it?


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Time to save

Curious how easy it will be to savescum on the console versions of Baldur’s Gate/Icewind Dale et al.;
I’ve been playing Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition on the PC and I’ve racked up 90 hours so far and I’m not even halfway through, simply because of how easy it is to go back to a previous save if one of my characters dies (rather than travelling back to town to revive them).

I’m just wondering if it’s not possible to quicksave on the console versions if this will make people’s playthroughs longer or shorter?

Baldur’s Gate III out in a few years I guess and I still have Icewind Dalte to finish and Baldur’s Gate I and II and Planescape: Torment to even start; How the hell am I even going to make time?
Sven Kirby


East/West divide

Am I the only one that kind of wishes Super Smash Bros. would stay Japanese-only? I don’t even like King K. Rool because he looks so out of place, design-wise, compared to everything else and Banjo and Kazooie aren’t much better. Even serious characters like Ryu and Solid Snake have a certain goofiness in their games and sense of humour that most Western games don’t, even when they’re not entirely serious like Doom.

That said I can see the argument that Overwatch is probably as good a fit as you could get, since everyone always said the line-up looked like it was from a fighting game. I just wonder what happens when you let the genie out of the bottle and suddenly every company that Nintendo wants to court for third party games gets offered a spot in Smash as a reward.

I’d hope that doesn’t happen but it worries me that that’s something that companies would work for. I mean, would the main character from Skyrim or Geralt from the Witcher really be a good fit for Smash? I don’t think so, and yet I could easily see it happening. Although I suppose if they just keep them to DLC it’s easy enough to avoid them, so that’s a positive.
PS: Do you think there’ll be a Hyper Smash Bros. Ultimate release when all the DLC that collects everything on one cartridge? The amount of download space all this takes up is going to be immense by the end.

GC: We’d assume so, but you’re probably at least a year away from that ever happening, especially as we don’t know how many more DLC characters will be added.


Built for fun

After a few days of blissful gaming I had to write in to thank you, GC. Because of your review I decided to download the demo of Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Switch and having enjoyed it, purchased the full game. I have to say I have never played this type of game before (including Minecraft) but I am loving it.

The truth is it is just so cheerful and fun and it appeals to my inner child of building things (seeing my two-year-old boy with a set of toy blocks shows how inbuilt this is into us). Coupled with this and having a tight mission structure, it is just wonderfully entertaining and non-stressful.

It suits the portability of the Switch perfectly and is very, very addictive. To all those Switch owners who haven’t taken the plunge and are looking for a great way to de-stress. I urge you to do so and you will be amazed, even if you think the game is not for you, try the demo as GC said (but bear in mind the demo does not do the full game complete justice).
Dj Kj

GC: We’re glad you liked it, it really is a hidden gem. Dragon Quest XI is fine but we enjoyed the Builders games a lot more.


Purple reign

I’d be up for a Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake, as long as they called the new on Pokémon Purple, to hammer home the Prince references. But seriously, I never understood all the outrage about not having all the Pokémon in the new game. I mean, there’s going to be 900 of them or more by that point. When were people going to admit it was too much work to have them all at once?

I’ve seen some fans saying they should’ve taken Dynamax out of Sword and Shield, or other features, just to fit all the pokémon in, but to me that’s crazy. Let’s be honest, there’s not that much difference between the games as it is so the idea that there should be even less just so you can have exactly the same pokémon in each is crazy to me.


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Trust your Hearts

It’s a shame that Sayonara Wild Hearts will miss out on a review, but it’s that time of year when it’s easy to get lost in the crush of new releases.

I would recommend it to people though as its soundtrack has been stuck in my head for the last week and a half with no signs of shifting (it’s on Spotify I believe and the composer’s YouTube channel).

I’m finding it pretty hard to describe to friends when recommending it because it flies through some many perspectives. Maybe Temple Run/Super Hang-On/Space Harrier/OutRun with a very lenient rhythm game on top.

It’s a short game, but it has immense replayability. After playing through the individual levels you unlock Album Arcade where you play through it all in one go, like listening to an album.

Then there are the targets for high scores, getting gold requires collecting as many of the hearts as possible in the levels without getting hit as they have a cumulative bonus. On top of all this are the mysterious Zodiac puzzles, I’ve no idea what you get for completing them but they’re satisfyingly cryptic.

The aesthetic is so refreshing and the way the text cycles through colours reminds me of the old Spectrum days, particularly Myth: History In The Making.

It’s available in Apple Arcade if people want to try it for free rather than stump up the cash on the Switch’s eShop, but I’m certainly glad I took a chance on it.
Euclidian Boxes


Inbox also-rans

So I see the much anticipated Capcom Home Arcade Console has just had its official release date put back from this October 25th to now next month’s 8th November? I hope the launch date doesn’t slip anymore GC!

GC: We’re not sure what the current release date is, to be honest, but we do know we’ve got a press event for it later this month.

Could I please have a blue background. Thanks!


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tim Rogers, who asks what is your favourite indie video game?

It doesn’t matter what format it’s on or when it was released, as long as it’s a game not made by a major developer or publisher – or which at least shares the same aesthetic of innovation, ambition, and non-conformity.

What do you think of indie games in general and do you play a lot or do you try to avoid them? How often do you play indie games and how frequently do you pay for them, as opposed to getting them free via PS Plus, Games with Gold and the like.

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