The evening Inbox is optimistic about the future of Sea Of Thieves, as one reader is upset Ni No Kuni II was a flop.
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Heres something I found interesting in Ubisofts recent results (I know, not a promising start to a letter). But it is interesting because it showed that for the first time they sold more PC games than Xbox One. PC sales were 24% for their last three months, with the PlayStation 4 on 38% (down from 44% before) and the Xbox One on just 22%.
I dont say this to have a go at Xbox but to praise the PC. Especially as Ubisoft dont really have a very good reputation for their PC ports, or at least they didnt used to have.
I foresee a future where the PC could take over as the mythical single format. Thats something that people have been talking about for years but as consoles become more and more indistinguishable, in terms of raw power, I could seriously see it happening. If it wasnt for the fact that everything will be streamed sooner or later Id say it was a definite but its clear that the PC is a number one choice for many more people today than ever before.
No number three
I know its always difficult to tell exactly how well a game did or didnt do but it seem pretty obvious that Ni No Kuni II was a massive flop. I find this very upsetting as I really liked the game. Sure the side quests werent great but everything else I really enjoyed, especially the combat and the mini-games like the army battles and city building. It was a fun story too and I liked what it was trying to do.
I do wonder how much of the problem was due to the name, which must have been made doubly off-putting by putting a number at the end of it. I guess it also wasnt very cool in terms of the cartoony characters but I really liked them and thought it was a great alternative to angry bald space marines and the like.
I should be grateful because I never thought Id get a sequel at all, so not getting a third doesnt seem so bad, but it is a shame for it to go out like this.
Blue ocean future
Great interview with the guys working on Sea Of Thieves at Rare, GC. I thought they came across as really passionate and wanting to bring a truly unique and innovative experience to gamers, which is very encouraging to hear in this age of sequel after sequel. Not that Im complaining entirely – Im looking forward to The Last Of Us Part II and Read Dead Redemption II but there does seem to an awful lot of more relatively uninspired sequels doing the rounds at the moment, i.e. Destiny 2, The Division 2, Just Cause 4 (according to the responses to its reveal at least), and the inevitable Assassins Creed, Call Of Duty, and Battlefield releases.
My main conclusion from your review was that it was fun and a great concept but that it needed a lot more content, which sounded fair based on the narrative given. From what the guys said in your interview, theyve added a decent amount of content to it and plan to introduce a lot more as well, so I was wondering if people in the GC community are still playing it and whether the game/experience has improved as much as it sounds?
Based on the details in the interview Id be tempted to give it a go myself, especially through Game Pass (which sounds amazing), but dont have an Xbox One or PC to try it out on, sadly.
GC: It hasnt changed that much since launch but its definitely heading in the right direction and all the future plans sound promising. Well re-review it at an appropriate time, but its already worth playing if you have access via Game Pass.
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Having enjoyed reading your post-mortem interview with the Rare devs on the latest Sea Of Thieves update, it struck me that it would be interesting to see a similar post-mortem with Hello Games on No Mans Sky, particularly now with the NEXT update coming up on Tuesday. Sean Murray is also a similarly plucky Brit with enormous ideas, and I suspect that a typical Jenkins interview would produce some juicy insights.
No Mans Sky is, perhaps oddly to some, up there as one of my games of the PlayStation 4 along with the SoulsBorne and Witcher series. As a lover of the retro sci-fi aesthetic, it had its hooks in me early on with that first trailer. And despite the disappointment of finding such a shallow game on release, the now four free huge updates since then have gone a long way in renewing my fascination. And the latest trailer for NEXT has me feeling giddy all over again! Theres just something about taking off from a planet and flying straight up into space that gets me every time.
Have you ever even had the opportunity to interview the team there? I know theyve been notoriously media-shy post-release.
GC: Weve asked before but theyve never been willing to do an interview. If theyre at Gamescom well try again, although with the NEXT update due before it starts they might not be.
The only good thing about the summer games drought is that you do get a lot of enjoyable hype around E3 and Gamescom. Im one of those people that probably reads more about games than I do actually play them, so all the previews (and GCs great interviews) are always a lot of fun.
I just wish companies would stop trying to undermine them both. EA and Microsoft not actually being at E3 and Sony not being at Gamescom just seems so kind of petty. I like it when theyre all together, competing on equal ground.
Maybe I shouldnt be encouraging the more gladiatorial side of console wars, but I do think competition is the best encouragement for these companies to do well and as long as theyre not sniping at each other its all good fun surely?
Over this past week, I have gotten a firm reminder of why I am totally against the idea of gaming as a streaming service or online-only.
Sonys servers have been dodgy for the past week, and there have been times where Ive put Gran Turismo Sport on only to find myself staring at error screens and being told my game wont save any data while the servers are down. This includes data for any offline modes Im playing as well, which is absolutely ridiculous.
See, this is why I hate the idea of gaming as a streaming service. It doesnt matter how powerful the machines on the other end are; if theres a malfunction, or even a momentary glitch in your Internet connection, you risk losing everything. Its one thing when this happens with an MMO or an exclusively-online game such as Overwatch; its a risk everybody accepts. However, to render offline modes totally unusable due to an online problem is absolutely inexcusable, essentially rendering ownership of the game worthless.
If gaming does go down this path of streaming and needing a perpetual Internet connection – which I suspect it will sooner or later – then Im quitting gaming entirely.
Just been reading that Microsoft has put the kibosh on any more Alan Wake or Quantum Break games from Remedy. I guess them being on of Phil Spencers favourite developers only go so far (which is good, Id hate to think hes making decisions that big based purely on personal preference).
Thats kind of a bummer, even though I didnt really like Quantum Break that much, but I am glad that Control seems to be a return to form. Will you be playing it or talking to Remedy at Gamescom?
GC: We havent checked if theyre going to be there yet. We will though, as we were really impressed by the hands-off demo.
Though I read every day, I have been remiss in my contributions over the last year. Its mainly due to having less game time but I remain as passionate as ever about games in all their wondrous forms. I am sending a reader feature in shortly, on the subject of GTA Online.
Regardless of any criticism, accurate or otherwise, one wants to level at Rockstar for the introduction of such expensive vehicles and the dizzying array of modes, the game has a lot to give. I transferred from Xbox 360 to PlayStation 4 but the game laid dormant for quite some time.
My brothers recent purchase of it has re-ignited my interest. The opportunities for emergent gameplay, essentially falling out of things at high speed, makes for a lot of fun. The game has so many weaponised vehicles now that violence and, in particular, griefing is prevalent on most occasions I play. There are ways and means of avoiding such altercations but my dad seems to be hounded rather often when hes online. He finds the behaviour challenging to deal with and usually ends up switching lobbies.
One could say that this behaviour is absolutely appropriate, given the subject matter. Those players whove been online for the duration have so much money, and are so well equipped, that it matters not to them when they have to pay $15K insurance when they destroy your personal vehicle for the fifth time.
Biglizafish (PSN ID)
After you story I looked up how old World Of WarCraft is and found out it started in 2004. That is wild. And yet I still have not interest in playing it, not even with this new deal.
Like Danse, I think a Mario Golf game is long overdue and would be a nice addition to the Switch line-up.
PS: And also another Advance Wars.
This weeks Hot Topic
Since were now halfway through the year, the subject for this weekends Hot Topic is what do you think of the last six months in gaming and what has been your favourite game so far?
2017 was lauded as one of the best ever for video games, so how is 2018 doing in comparison? What new games, that were released for the first time this year, have you enjoyed the most and do you feel any of them are all-time classics?
You can see our top 10 of the year so far here, but how does it compare to yours? If you havent bought many new games this year what have you been playing and what are you intending to get in the second half of the year?
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