The morning Inbox is very confident about Red Dead Redemption IIs quality, as another reader sings the praises of Astro Bot.
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That time of year again
So its Call Of Duty week this week and Im feeling pretty pumped for it this year, which is not something I expected to be saying again. I pre-ordered Black Ops 4 a while back, so got to play both the betas, and I really think Blackout is going to be a big hit. Chasing after Fortnite and PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds seems kind of lame on one level but it looked and felt very different to me and I cant wait to play more.
The multiplayer was, admittedly, a bit more ordinary but its still good and Ive glad theyve brought back the different characters. Ive hopes for Zombies mode too, as that seems to have had a lot of effort put into it, judging by the trailers. I know the lack of story campaign will be a killer for some people but the way I look at it is there would have never done four whole modes so Id much rather have had the new Battle Royale and no story than the other way around.
I do wonder what theyre going to do next year though, as Black Ops 4 feels like the sort of thing they could support for much longer than a year. If Blackout is big then doubly so. Would Activision actually consider not having a new Call Of Duty next year? I doubt it but I could maybe see Blackout becoming something that all the games share between it, like updating it with a new map every year or something. Well see I guess though, starting from Friday!
Never out of print
The PlayStation 5 has got to have backwards compatibility in my view. Not only has Microsoft made it a must have feature but we cant keep treating a new generation of consoles as a completely new technology. The remasters and re-releases have got to stop. Maybe you can say the Switch had a special excuse and full remakes like Shadow Of The Colossus are great but just re-releasing the same last gen game with little or no changes is just wrong.
Not only is it lazy but its usually done with very little care and very rarely improves anything. The graphical improvement from one generation to the next is small enough now that games from the PlayStation 3 still look good as they are, and Im sure the PlayStation 4 will look good compared to the 5. We should just keep these games on sale (which is now easy to do thanks to digital stores) and ensure they work with each new console that comes out.
That way youve always got access to the whole of a series and companies can concentrate on making new games instead of just constantly remastering the same ones. Or maybe they can keep adding DLC to older games, which Id be totally fine with. It worked for Black Ops 3 so I dont see why a games age should prevent it from getting more content.
A discouraging word
I for one can hardly wait for Red Dead Redemption II. I really cannot understand the other readers attitude towards it. Why would a game you have no interest in selling well make you almost depressed? What an absurd attitude. I could maybe see the point if it was a yearly sequel or an overused setting or yet another zombie game but it is actually the first game from one of the industrys best developers in five years.
Also, the Wild West/cowboy theme is actually underused by the gaming industry. Graphics and sound will also be top notch, so please tell me whats not to like? October 26 cant come quickly enough for me, but if you arent interested then such is life. But wanting a game to fail because you arent interested just seems like such a selfish, childish attitude to have.
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RE: Andrrwe. Regarding short games that are good and run parallel to each other I can highly recommend a game called Stories Untold on PC. Its around three to four hours long and has four different stories that all come together at the end. Its a horror game but Id say it is more tense and thriller-ish rather than horror.
Believe me, if it was horror I wouldnt play it as I cant handle scary games. To say anything more about the game would spoil it. Have you played it GC? I couldnt find a review.
GC: No, it passed us by at the time. Although weve heard nothing but good things about it.
The royal Wii
Were big fans of the Sonic Racing games on DS, 3DS, Wii, and especially Wii U so really excited to see another on the way. The slipstreaming looks a good addition, with a clear band to drive behind a friends kart, while the road markings look generally clearer, too.
Although Segas characters are beyond bizarre I do enjoy the way they go for bonkers visuals to match, and the way each car and character has a unique party trick. Just a shame it wont be on Wii U!
Keep up the good work.
Im sticking up for David and his Hollow Knight Readers Feature too. It played great but I shared his experiences with the austere checkpoints and oppressive navigation.
I get that they were design choices to support the games lonely claustrophobia, but it still felt a bit misguided.
Its a simple question of difficulty and accessibility. Some people will have a lot more fun with Street Fighter II on level 8, but that doesnt mean everyone else should be forced to play it at that level too.
If Hollow Knight had same-room restarts Im certain Id have played it to death, rather than giving up after 10 hours when the frustration started outweighing the fun.
A few simple options like this would have made it more enjoyable for more people, while still giving the hardcore their sadistic fun with the original settings.
Hollow Knight played a good game, but its always going to be a missed opportunity for me.
Apologies in advance for whats probably a basic question, but Ive bought a Switch for my two nephews for Christmas. Yes, very, very early but got to take advantage of double discount at work. Anyway, back to my question, if they play together are the two Joy-Cons included enough for the likes of Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario Party, or do they need two each to enjoy at the same time?
I looked online first but most answers are either over complicated or dont contain what I need. Thanks.
GC: The answer is yes. Although both games are actually four-player at a maximum, and for that youll need another pair of Joy-Cons.
Astro Bot really is a special game. I would love to talk about my favourite moments but I dont want to spoil it for anyone, it really is best if you go in not knowing what the next level will bring. It was not on my radar and I dont remember seeing any previews for it. With the recent debate about previews spoiling a game this is evidence in this case that less/none is best.
The camera/player following the protagonist forward has made me think that third person action games can work in VR when previously I was not so sure. I imagined the Madagascar level from Uncharted 4 could be great. You would have the hustle and bustle of the market all around you. The vertigo inducing climb up the tower. Maybe leave the camera/player at the bottom as Nathan climbs almost out of site. Then finally mud splattering your visor as you are dragged along behind a car with others cars coming up behind you and bullets flying all around you.
Astro Bot has brought another inbox debate to the fore for me and that is digital vs. physical. I normally come down on the physical side of the debate but I paid the extra for the digital version of Astro Bot. I prefer my VR games digitally. It would work out cheaper than trying to change discs with the headset on and going face first through the TV or something worse. I could take the headset off but with my dodgy eyes it can take me a few goes to get the sweet spot with it on.
I have yet to fully get my VR legs and was getting a bit of buyers remorse but this one game has made all that disappear. I hope it is a hit and inspires others. It is certainly inspired by Nintendo but it is the exception that shows how hard it is to replicate that Nintendo magic.
ThePowerFeeling (PSN ID)
Glad that The Walking Dead will actually get an ending now, but Id be happier knowing that the core team had set up another company. Its frustrating to know that everything went wrong just because of stupid managers.
RE: Grackle. Are you sure the Switch isnt backwards compatible? Im sure many Wii U games do work on the console, the only thing is they are now on a small cartridge and you have to pay full price for them all over again!
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what is your favourite video game soundtrack?
The game can be from any era or format but were interested in which game had the best overall soundtrack, not just one good song. What is it you like so much about your favourite soundtrack and how well does it work together with the game? How much difference do you think a good soundtrack makes to a game and have any been ruined by a bad one?
Do you own the soundtrack separately and if so how often do you listen to it and other video game music on its own?
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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.