The morning Inbox tries to play name that game from a very vague description, as one reader complains about a lack of Sony innovation.
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Do we have any idea when the next Nintendo Direct is going to be? I know it was inevitable that the Switch would have a quiet spring, since there was nothing much announced for this period last year, but I am getting worried that the whole year is going to be a bit of a non-event for them. They seem to be putting a lot of effort into these cardboard Labo things, but as good as they might be they’re not video games and not the reason I bought the console.
The only triple-A game we know’s coming out at the moment is Metroid Prime 4, which his fine but it’s not guaranteed for this year and I very much doubt it’s going to be a mainstream hit. I’m sure there is a secret or two yet to come, probably including Animal Crossing, but I have a creeping worry that the Switch is going to be a one-year wonder.
Maybe things will improve next year, which his presumably the point at which them realising it was a hit will catch up with themselves but it wouldn’t surprise me if 2018 ended up being a bit of a wash. Although you could argue maybe that’ll be the case with all the console manufacturers, especially with Red Dead Redemption II destined to dominate at Christmas.
GC: There’s no hint as to when the next Direct will be, and there rarely is until a few days beforehand.
Sony burst onto the scene with the original PlayStation, it was aimed at teenagers and young adults. From launch day you could play an arcade perfect version of Ridge Racer and Battle Arena Toshinden was unlike any beat ‘em-up I played previously.
Over the next few years we were treated to a consistent supply of unique games such as Jumping Flash, WipEout, Loaded, Destruction Derby, PaRappa The Rapper, and Metal Gear Solid. The PlayStation 2 continued with the same strategy, I felt that Sony satisfied my need for a wide variety of game genres unlike what was available on other consoles. Listening to music CDs while you play around with the interactive graphical demos found in Official PlayStation Magazine was a cool feature.
Fast forward by about 20 years and I don’t see the same Sony, I don’t see a wide variety of games, they seam less creative. They are stuck in a continual loop of making third person action games. I miss the PlayStation glory days.
Eyeballs and teeth
I’m trying to find an arcade game I used to play at the dentist many years ago, but can’t remember what it was called. It was a table-top but don’t know if it was exclusive to this format. You had to clear a screen of enemies and you could move anywhere on the screen as the walls closed in.
When you finished the level it would create an exit at the top and bottom for you to go through. The only enemy I can remember was an eyeball that bounced around. Any help would be appreciated.
GC: That doesn’t seem much to go on, but perhaps a reader can help. There were very few table-top only games, so that’s probably not significant.
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Age of PC
In response to Olliephant’s question about real-time strategy games not being as prominent anymore. I think the major issue they have on consoles is it can be a lot to manage without a mouse and keyboard whereas turn-based strategy is much easier to control with a controller.
There may be some hope though, as it has been announced that Age Of Empires IV is in the works. Which is good news for PCs at least.
KeeganatotPrime (PSN ID)
GC: It’s not impossible, but there’s nothing so far to suggest that Age Of Empires IV is coming to Xbox One. We’ll have a review of the remaster of the first one later this week, but that is definitely PC-only.
RE: Aelfin. While I’m not sure if it’s on the Apple or Google stores now, I’ve had Chu Chu Rocket on my mobile for years (currently running on my work Note 8, my iPhone X and my iPad). Any time I change my phone I re-download it from my apps rather than searching, hence the reason I’m unsure about availability.
On another note, I think Sea of Thieves is going to sell by the truckload regardless of quality or longevity. With my reasoning being that I have little interest in it, but will buy it simply because so few exclusives are being released for Xbox I’ll literally buy anything to justify keeping it. And I think many others will feel the same.
In response to the reader that wrote in about Chu Chu Rocket. They actually made a mobile version of the game in 2010. Sadly, it’s been removed from the app store since 2015.
KeeganatorPrime (PSN ID)
I’ve just upgraded to a PS4 Pro and it came with a new sealed game of FIFA 18 in the box which I will not play as I am not into football games apart from Sensible Soccer on the Amiga or Xbox 360. The problem is I
want to sell the game on eBay, but on the case it says that the game is not to be sold separately. Does this apply to me when I sell it on eBay?
I’m not a company just an individual, I was going to replace some of the money I spent on the Pro by selling the game.
Currently playing: Horizon Zero Dawn and Super Mario Odyssey.
GC: We can’t give legal advice, but we think that’s just an instruction for the shops not to take them out of bundles and sell them separately. Perhaps any lawyers reading this can advise.
A new Saints Row would be amazing. Been wanting one for last few years. The original was amazing back in Stillwater. No stupid things in it, longer missions and story, and Johnny Gat alive. He rocks it for the game series.
it should be up there with GTA for me. Saints Row 1 and 2 beat GTA V all day long.
Raise your arms
Just as I suspected, ARMS is indeed a supremely vibrant, inventive, and fun game. The motion controls here are revelatory; there’s a sensational sensation of tactility, precision and feedback to the fighting that the more conventional analogue control scheme could only dream of emulating. And there’s some genuine, deceptive, nuance and depth to be found in the scintillating combat system. Nintendo really struck creative gold with this incomparable experience – which happens to evoke classics such as Punch-Out!! and Power Stone for me. As well as happy memories playing as Dhalsim in Street Fighter.
I’m loving the rock, paper, scissors dynamic and interplay of the fighting mechanics, where grabs beat guard, punches beat grabs, air strikes beat ground strikes, curving arms beat sidestep happy pugilists, etc. Speaking of which, the imagination and variety in the ARMS is quite extraordinary. I’ve only scratched the surface of the strategic possibilities available via mixing and matching the titular arms, but there’s definitely a ton of tactical scope for me to explore in the gameplay and I look forward to doing so with gusto.
The character art for the fighters in ARMS is also artistically sublime, and some of the strongest and most distinctive art design to come out of Nintendo in a long time. Twintelle, Master Mummy, Lola, Ribbon Girl, Byte & Barq, and Ninjara are among my favourites to use so far.
The more I play ARMS the more I realise just how genius its fighting mechanics are. It’s a very different breed of fighter from its contemporaries, with a more methodical and singular sense of flow and cadence in reading opponents and trying to second guess their moves. Judging the distances, speed and curves of your strikes and that of your adversary, using the best arms for the job and mastering your surroundings. Not to mention the rush and excitement of scrambling to reap the benefits of certain items and using hazardous components on the fight arenas to your advantage.
Online play has been very smooth so far for me, the netcode has been very stable and reliable in the 20 or so hours I’ve played the game so far. I’m really enjoying the Hoops, Volleyball, and Skillshot mini-games as well, they enrich the game and are a fun novelties to engage with from time to time. Headlock Scramble though is an incredibly exhilarating and chaotic mode that reminds me so much of Rainmaker mode in Splatoon at times, with how empowering it feels to possess the accursed tool of destruction.
ARMS is utterly wonderful and reinvigorates the fighting genre, much like Splatoon did with the online shooter genre in my opinion. Nintendo have established a fantastic foundation to build on in the future, personally, I’ll be up in arms if they don’t follow through with a sophomore rush attack!
I purchased Star Wars: Battlefront just for the VR mission. I didn’t have a PlayStation VR so had to buy that also. I didn’t actually have a PlayStation 4 so I had to get one of them as well. Ended up being quite an expensive piece of DLC but it was worth it.
It took another reader mentioning it for me to even remember The Last Guardian was even out. Obviously Final Fantasy VII will do well, but what’s the betting Shenmue III also doesn’t sell that well? I mean, it’s not like anyone bought the first ones…
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what do you think is the most overrated video game?
You don’t have to think the game is actively bad, just not as good as its reputation suggests. But do try and describe exactly why it didn’t live up to your expectations and what it got wrong. Was it just a good game that was hyped up too much, or do you feel it has flaws that were brushed over in reviews?
Was the problem that you were expecting it to be one thing and it turned out to be something completely different? Or was there some other personal preference that meant you couldn’t enjoy it?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.