The Monday Inbox hears from someone else that doesn’t like Rockstar games, as one reader asks whatever happened to Tekken X Street Fighter.
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Return to Metroid
I have been playing an awful lot of Returnal this last week and you can definitely put me on the team that believes it to be a top notch game. You can tell it’s special because you end up thinking about it when you’re at work and not playing, the sign of a great game in my opinion. It’s difficult but not impossible and the action just feels so good, especially in the boss battles which are amongst the best I’ve played in a long time.
The only problem with Returnal is that because of the strong Metroid vibes it’s got me wishing that Metroid Prime 4 was closer to release or… we knew anything about it at all. Why did the original version get canned? How will the new game avoid failing into the trap of the so-so sequels and be as good as the original instead?
There’s no date at all for the game so it could be this year or it could be five years from now, we have no idea. But I wonder whether it’s now being made for the Switch Pro. Metroid Prime is a game that needs to look good and the Switch might not be up to it, but what if it became a showcase for the difference the Switch Pro can do? Maybe even a launch title. That would explain why we’ve heard nothing about it. Wishful thinking or a good guess?
Good so far
Been enjoying Resident Evil Village over the weekend. Great graphics and very tense when you’re not sure what’s going on at the village at the beginning. I’m inside the castle at the moment and it’s good but it’s very familiar. It’s basically just Resident Evil 1 (and a bunch of others) but first person. That’s fine but it does make it a bit predictable and I’m hoping the rest of the game will be less predictable. GC, how much of the whole game is the castle?
I must be difficult creating sequels to long-running games like this though. All most people want is more of the same, which Village seems to deliver on, but you can’t keep things fresh by doing that. For my money I think Resident Evil does a good job though. It’s had two radical revamps already, with Resident Evil 4 and 7 and it may be time for another already, even though it’s usually two sequels in between.
I’m curious to see what this ending is that hints about the future direction of the series though. Sounds like maybe Capcom already realises the necessity to keep changing and have things in hand. I trust them, they’ve done a good job these last 25 years I’d say.
GC: The castle is maybe a sixth of the game, if that.
Really enjoyed Matc7884’s feature at the weekend but… the opening of God of War actually put me off of the game. I wasn’t exactly enamoured with the characters, and then ‘the stranger’ turned up, killed me a whole bunch of times and then I gave the disc back to my neighbour.
I’m not brilliant at video games but I persevere when I’m interested, and this was not one of those times I’m afraid.
GC: That’s like 30 minutes into the game.
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Only in Japan
I don’t know if a Japanese-only game counts as an obscure title but assuming so I imported a game called Slide Adventure: Mag Kid (still have it). It came with an attachment that you had to place into the GBA slot of an original DS or DS Lite. This would then allow you to slide your console around (like moving a mouse) moving Mag Kid to solve puzzles.
Another game that comes to mind that I had, also on the DS, was Electroplankton. This was basically just an interactive music game where art and music collided to create an innovative audio experience.
Honourable mentions go to Lollipop Chainsaw, El Shaddai, and LocoRoco.
A step above
When you asked about obscure games, my mind immediately went to licensed DS games. I played my fair share of them, and some, such as Flushed Away and Monsters Vs. Aliens were pretty poor… but others were surprisingly good. Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force was a point ‘n’ click adventure game set on the Club Penguin island and mixed the original’s mini-games and main enemy, Herbert, with simple puzzle-solving and it came out great.
Bolt for DS was also strangely engaging, mixing simple combat with some puzzles. It was always fun to play, perhaps because it was one of the few DS games in full 3D. Neither of them were incredible, merely decent, and probably not that obscure considering Club Penguin got a sequel. However, they’re both utterly forgotten. I thought I enjoyed them simply because I was younger but after playing them recently they’re still a step above most DS games I had, although maybe that says something about my DS game collection.
Indie all the way
I known at the weekend you were talking about obscure titles. One for me, that comes to mind, is called Away: Shuffle Dungeon on the DS. This was a sort of role-playing game mixed with puzzler, where the rooms would keep changing every 30 seconds – it got mixed reviews. But for myself I bought it very cheap, something like £5, which made me decide to give it a go and it was great. Totally odd, I agree, but the story was really good and because it was dead cheap worth a play through.
Another strange title was Avalon Code on the DS, where you have a book and cane rewrite enemies and items.
I like finding strange games, there were only a handful during the Mega Drive era but now there so many indie games out there people just keep making them more and more nowadays.
I think it’s great we got more and more indie developers and I know this may get some younger gamers backs up but let’s be honest, the big companies aren’t really trying. Every new console we get a new Call Of Duty/Assassin’s Creed/FIFA/etc… why do you think retro is taking off in such a big way? Because there was so many different titles. Small indie companies are showing what they can do.
One time mention
Never, ever thought I’d see the game Purple Turtles mentioned on your site. I had the game on the Select One compilation for the Commodore 64 and found the gameplay to be basic and shallow, unlike the river I kept falling into (sorry!).
I had much more fun playing Hunchback and Skramble from Select One. Still, happy times!
Keep up the good work.
Nice feature by Capable Jones at the weekend, about them not clicking with Red Dead Redemption 2. I tried to get into the first one years ago but had similar issues with just finding it all a bit long-winded and dull. In fact, for me this feature epitomised all the things that are good and bad about Rockstar’s open world games. Yes, the worlds themselves are very well thought out and built, and if you want to just ‘be’ in them they’re great, but if you actually want to ‘do’ something they’re all a bit… flat.
I mean yes, it’s great that I can go and do yoga in GTA 5, or play tennis, or even fly around the entire map in a plane, but I’ll only do it once – for me, it just isn’t that engaging. And other games achieve the core gameplay of driving or shooting so much better.
Rockstar know how to do these elements better (Midnight Club and Max Payne 3 being the most obvious examples). I’d love to see them make a game where they put as much emphasis on the gameplay as they do as the game world. Market the fact that horse testicles will shrivel in the cold by all means – I love the fact that they’re going to that level of detail and have an irreverent sense of humour. Now, just make pulling off a heist as interesting as, say, Dishonered, and I’d be interested.
Appreciate Rockstar’s games are all incredibly popular so no doubt I’m in the minority – they’re just not for me.
Noticed that Resident Evil Village is only £45 in Tesco, cheaper probably if you have a clubcard. The first time I’ve noticed a new game being cheap at a supermarket in a long time. Then again, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a new game like that!
When Street Fighter X Tekken came out I loved it but Namco promised that they would release Tekken X Street Fighter using the Tekken engine. This would have been amazing, as I’ve seen Street Fighter in 3D with Street Fighter EX.
GC: Sadly, it was indefinitely delayed when Street Fighter X Tekken didn’t sell that well. There’s always hope though.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Dory, who asks what game do you think is better than its reputation suggests?
It can be a game that’s thought to be terrible that you like (or don’t think is so bad), one that’s considered mediocre, or even one that’s acknowledged to be good but you think is even better.
How often do you tend to agree with reviews and the general consensus about games and does it bother you at all? Are there any games you can think of whose reputation has improved over time, despite being initially disliked?
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The small print
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