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Assassins Creed Odyssey - an unsteady start for Ubisoft's latest

Assassins Creed Odyssey – will it be cheap on Black Friday?

The morning Inbox is disappointed at the early word on the PlayStation Classic, as one reader considers the nostalgic appeal of Road Rash.

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Shopping list

So whats everyone looking to pick up during Black Friday and the sales? Its getting pretty close now and Im definitely looking to pick up some good but not great games that I wanted at the time but couldnt justify full price for. Top of my list are Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Dragon Quest XI, and Assassins Cree Odyssey.

Im pretty confident the first two will have major price cuts but Im not sure about Odyssey as its more recent and seems to have done okay. Although I notice it was out of the top 10 pretty sharpish and seems to have been one of those games that underperformed in the UK but did well elsewhere.

Im pretty sure itll be at least a tenner off though and thatll be enough for me. Despite taking advantage of it I dont really approve of Black Friday because it does seem to devalue games in general. But while its happening I feel Id be a fool not to take advantage of it. Im not that principled!

No way back

I played Road Redemption on the PC and have to agree with your review. I hate to admit it, because I remember enjoy it as a kid, but Road Rash is so basic that its just pointless trying to remake it nowadays. I dont know how anyone can play it nowadays and not think that.

Sometimes retro games are popular because theyre genuinely great or do things that modern games dont. But sometimes it really is just nostalgia, and I think Road Rash falls right into that category.

Its not even that it was a tech demo, which is the problem with a lot of these games, but more that it was super shallow (you can tell the pitch was just Super Hang-On with baseball bats) and tried to make its name through its marketing more than its gameplay. In that sense it was a trailblazer I guess, so its a shame it worked. Even though I loved it at the time.

Christmas rush

Bit disappointed at the previews for the PlayStation Classic, which say the emulation is not great and interface/options are all really limited. Seems like Sony rushed this one out for Christmas just to have a stocking filler.

I still dont think its a bad line-up of games though, especially as some of the big omissions are because of licensing. I can imagine Activision dont want to muddy any waters with Crash Bandicoot as well. Not sure why Tomb Raider isnt there though. With the declining interest in the series youd think Square Enix would want to remind everyone of the days when Lara Croft was basically the PlayStation mascot.

Id be interested to see if the rumours about a PS one version with DualShock controllers is real, which would explain the lack of Ape Escape… but still not Tomb Raider. Have you played it yet, GC? Would be interested to know what you think of it.

GC: There was a preview event this week but we didnt have time to go.



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Fool me four times…

Ive found myself getting quite wrapped up in the hype for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate but I really do wonder why, considering the same thing has happened with all the other games and Ive never really enjoyed them the way I wanted to.

I played them a lot, to unlock the characters and the trophies but once I was done with that I never actually played the game for fun. It just always seems too chaotic and fiddly. I realise its probably just that Im not very good at it, but the biggest issue is that Ive never found any family or friends to play it with.

I can get just about anyone interested in Mario Kart or Mario Tennis but everyone just takes one look at Smash and nopes out. Id like to think that the new one has some way to ease new players into it but I really dont expect it. Im not sure there even is a way to do it. It just is what is and Ive never really enjoyed it as much as I hoped.

Catching on

Read an interesting fact on Twitter today, in reference to those canned DLCs for Final Fantasy XV. Apparently single-player story DLC in general doesnt usually sell that well. Which is why it doesnt happen so much anymore and why when it does they usually turn it in a standalone game, like with Dishonored 2 and Xenoblade 2.

Not sure why this would be the case, other than the fact that they usually turn out to be pretty awful and I guess maybe everyone has caught onto that fact. Like how movie tie-ins are almost extinct now because everyone realised theyre always terrible.

Or perhaps theres more to it than that. Maybe people nowadays only want to pay small amounts via microtransactions and despite spending more overall think that bigger expansions arent worth it. Im sure EA and the like have a team of psychologists on the case and know exactly what the reason is…

Immersion factor

The discussions around Red Dead Redemption II and how good mechanics and traditional gameplay may not always be necessary to make a game worthwhile certainly reminded me of how the thing I tend to judge games by is how immersive I find them. I find that if a game can really get its teeth into me it can make up for a lot of flaws.

I got to thinking of the recent Starlink: Battle For Atlas, a game so stuffed to the brim with flaws stemming from its adherence to the Ubisoft formula that I get why it was criticised. However, Im still having fun with it because Im enjoying exploring the Atlas system and I find the combat really fun. Conversely, the fourth Elder Scrolls game was critically-lauded, but I gave up on it quite early on simply because it wouldnt let me in, so to speak.

Its interesting how subjective it all is, and further cements that, at the end of the day, a review is an opinion. Hopefully its an informed one, but its an opinion nonetheless.
Andrew Middlemas
PS: You think Slippy annoying? Hes got nothing on Levi from Starlink, though admittedly that may just be my dislike of obnoxious YouTube celebrities clouding my judgement.

GC: Its not really a matter of opinion per se, if everyone agrees the flaws exist. The question is whether those flaws are important to you.

Simply divine

Wow! I cant sing the praises enough for Divinity: Original Sin II. So many different paths to take and ways to approach the game, the combat is amazing – very dynamic, the skills and abilities encourage you to experiment, theres nothing more satisfying than beating the odds by thinking outside the box.

Anyone looking for more XCOM style gameplay should check it out.



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Polite observation

I was slightly baffled by ROBs comments in Thursdays morning inbox. How many identikit Assassins Creeds can you play before you realise its the same game over and over?

I realised it was the same game over and over when Assassins Creed II came out, which is why I bought it and why I continue to buy them. The answer is that I enjoy the same game over and over. I personally love climbing up towers, etc., opening the map and traversing the realistic worlds that Ubisoft create. If/when I stop enjoying that Ill stop. Nobodys trying to force you to play them so leave those of us who do enjoy them to enjoy them.

And guess what? The Assassins Creed games might come out on an annual basis but you may be stunned to learn that they dont actually take a year to play. That leaves plenty of time throughout the rest of the year to, try new things.

I never understood this, I dont like this game so I dont think anyone else should either attitude so many gamers have. Just like movies, music, books, food, cars, clothes, and millions of other things, theres plenty of games out there for all of us to pick what we want. Im pretty sure ROB may well play some games that I dont like, but Im not going to demand he stops and immediately pick up Assassins Creed Odyssey.

Im also not implying that there should be a new Zelda game every year, but if Nintendo decided to re-use Breath Of The Wilds assets as they did with Majoras Mask to create a new title in the next couple of years, Im sure there wouldnt be too many complaints.
Phil Spearpoint

GC: We just checked and he didnt demand anything in the original letter. He just pointed out that – as you agree – its largely the same game every year.

Inbox also-rans

I had completely forgotten about Anthem until that reader mentioned it. And its mean to be out in the spring?! Is it a state secret or something?

Im always fascinated by really terrible games and The Quiet Man really is something special. I watched a stream of it but its so weird Im actually thinking about buying it just to hear the voice patch version…
The Colt

This weeks Hot Topic

The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader gaz be rotten and asks what do you want from the next generation consoles?

It looks increasingly inevitable that the PlayStation 5 and the successor to the Xbox One will at least be announced next year, so what are you hoping theyll be? How much of an improvement do you want and expect from the graphics and are there any features, such as motion controls, VR, or streaming that you think will – or should – become a new standard?

What kind of games do you want to see on the new consoles and what new features do you hope theyll include? What would a new console have to have for you to consider getting it and do you think the next generation is coming too early or about right?

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