The Tuesday Inbox is impressed by the improvement from Killzone to Horizon Zero Dawn, as one reader is meh over Paper Mario: The Origami King.
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Reading all this nonsense about death threats against people trying to sell custom consoles it feels like the stock situation with the PlayStation 5 is never going to be set straight. Like the pandemic itself it feels like a never-ending slog that has the only faintest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
As usual Sony has said absolutely nothing and it’s really beginning to get on my wick. Not a hint as to when there’s going to be more or when they’ll be easily available, even though they must have at least some idea. I mean, they’re the ones shipping these things out!
All the rumours about new stock straight after Christmas have obviously been proven a lie and now we haven no clue as to what’s going on and eBay scalper prices are looking ever more tempting. But I’m refusing to do it, I’m not paying over the odds. Maybe up to £100 more, I guess, if it meant getting one now but that’s now what these people are charging. To be honest I’m getting increasingly soured on the whole idea and am half thinking of getting a PC instead.
Since EA would be crazy not to make a Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic game at this point I wonder who they’ll get to do it? I do not see it being BioWare as they are still nowhere near finished on Dragon Age 4 and Mass Effect 4, and that’s before you even get into whether they’re good enough to make a decent job of it anymore.
Obsidian and Bethesda are choices but they can’t do it because they’re owned by Microsoft. That leaves… I don’t really. Larian Studios don’t seem to have any experience with big budget graphics and CD Projekt, even if they are in everyone’s bad books right now, would never do work for hire now I don’t think.
All of a sudden there’s a lack of Western studios with experience making role-playing games and that’s kind of worrying. I’ve seen some people scoff at the idea that Microsoft buying up everyone is a bad idea but it seems to me it’s already having a negative effect.
Killzone… now there’s a name I’ve not heard since, oh before the PlayStation 5 was born. Seriously though, I guess the last one was the PlayStation 4 launch game? Or was there a PS Vita one after that? The games were all pretty bad really, although the graphics were always good and I seem to remember 3 had a bit more open-ended Metroid kind of vibe to it.
Still, thanks to Killzone I had no real interest in Guerrilla Games and was not really paying attention to Horizon Zero Dawn when it came out. But I have to say that is a major leap in quality for them. It’s not perfect – still a little shallow – but the leap in storytelling, scope, and just general imagination and fun is amazing.
I looked it up and Guerrilla Games have been around for 20 years so it goes to show you should never count any of these companies out, especially the ones that have been slowly getting more experience over the years. I feel that’s where Sony’s really reaping the benefits now.
GC: Mercenary, the PS Vita one, came out a few months before Shadow Fall on the PlayStation 4.
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I tried out the Monster Hunter Rise demo, having not played a game from the franchise since the Wii (the clunkiness put me off).
The second tutorial really stretches the meaning of the word. Do Capcom know the meaning of tutorial? How on earth is a newcomer meant to know how to subdue the monster in order to ride it. ‘Use the wirebug or puppet spider’… err, how about telling me where I access it?
There’s a gazillion menus and sub-menus, and every single button on the controller is used. I’ll give it another try later after I look up some guides online (but this defeats the purpose of an in-game tutorial!)
Also, the American script is so cringy. ‘Yo’ and ‘gnarly’ doesn’t feel like it fits the game…
I can see a good game there lying beneath the surface, but Capcom are making it hard for me to find it.
ttfp saylow (gamertag)/SW-5758-6539-2383
GC: Most tutorials have multiple pages; it sounds like you didn’t get to the ones that explain about the wirebug controls. The puppet spider is just to left, the only other thing in the arena at the start. We are with you when it comes to the script though, it’s awful.
Not your year
I’ve just finished my Christmas game Paper Mario: The Origami King and it was… alright. I think Super Paper Mario is still my favourite in the series. The Origami King had some amazing stand out moments and the humour was pretty good for the majority of the time, with some great laugh out loud lines. The jokes and elements of exploration tailed off in the final two sections though and the whole game started to drag a little.
The gradual stagnation of the battle system didn’t help. It was inspired at times, with the boss battles being particularly brilliant, but fights with the standard enemies eventually turned into a bit of slog. In the end it was actually quicker to dispense with lining them up and just hit them as fast as possible. There were no real stakes as they could never do much damage anyway.
As I didn’t really take to the other big release, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, either 2020 will go down as a pretty disappointing year for new Nintendo releases. Hopefully they’re going make up for it this year.
GC: Super Paper Mario? That’s an unusual choice, usually people say The Thousand-Year Door.
One extreme to the other
It is funny to think how Nintendo constantly ping pong between dominating the industry and as being seen as an irrelevant has-been. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any middle ground ever when it comes to them. The second they’re not the biggest thing ever every fanboy in the world suddenly dogpiles onto them, rabidly screaming that they’re ‘doomed’.
You’d think that after all these years… decades (centuries?!) people would learn that Nintendo are never going down in the way people imagine. I mean, nothing lasts forever, but they’re not going to go bust over one console or because that one game you like/don’t like didn’t sell enough.
I have zero interest in Animal Crossing but I’ve got to admit they’ve found their audience there. My girlfriend loves and good for her. It’s a game Sony and, especially, Microsoft would never make in a million years and that’s why we need Nintendo and why they’re still around.
I have to say I also get fed up when people say that ‘There’s already plenty of games’ out when you complain there are no new ones. Clearly, that’s the case. But if I wanted to play one of them, that’s already out, I would, but I don’t. I want something new. And the number of new big budget games per year was already falling to worryingly low numbers before the pandemic, now they’re like gold dust.
It makes me wonder if there are people in movie forums at the moment telling people they should just watch old films because there’s no new ones coming out? As if that’s a choice and not a necessity.
It’s dead, Jim
Yesterday I remembered that not only is Marvel’s Avengers a thing but that I actually bought it. I’d say I don’t know why, but it’s obvious why so I won’t pretend I didn’t just give in to the name recognition and not wait for the reviews. I don’t usually do that but I’m suddenly reminded that the worst thing about it when you do is that you end up agreeing with the bad ones.
I agree with GC’s pretty much all the way: potentially great single-player story that’s ruined by trying to turn itself into Destiny with punches. A dumb idea that was so obviously conceived years ago when loot boxes (and Destiny) was a thing and seemed outdated the second the game landed.
Because it has to be split between Ms. Marvel and the regular team the story doesn’t really work as well as it should – not that there is a story beyond ‘bad guy exists and you must punch him’. Kamala is great but she gets edged out by the end. Playing as the team, especially the last couple of missions where you’re alternating between them all, is great but by the time that starts to happen it’s the end of the game.
So it’s at least three games in one and while two of them are good they’re not given enough focus. And the attempts to keep it going as a game as a service in the meantime is just pathetic. I know it’s the pandemic and everything but your first choice of character was Kate Bishop? And the next one is Hawkeye? Talk about fan favourites! (I have not talked about fan favourites.)
The game is dead and as others have said I worry about what that’s going to mean to Square Enix’s bottom line as they clearly put a lot of money into this game. Oh well, maybe it’ll mean we get a new Tomb Raider quicker!
These recent GTA 6 ‘rumours’ are weird. On the one hand they seem absurdly obscure and on the other… they are just the kind of thing Rockstar would do. Especially the coordinates for the road that looks like VI.
Death threats over not being able to buy an ugly-looking custom console? Is there anything gamers won’t issue death threats over? Their tea being late? Their dog sitting in front of the TV? Pathetic.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston and asks what’s your most replayed single-player game of all time?
Not counting multiplayer-focused games without an end, what game have you come back to again and again and why? Is it the gameplay, the story, or because of some special meaning the game has in your life?
Do you replay the game on the format it was originally released on or is part of the reason you’ve replayed it so much the fact that it keeps getting updated and re-released? What could make you stop replaying the game and do you think you ever will?
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The small print
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