The evening Inbox is not too impressed by 2018s final tally of great games, as one reader wonders if Darksiders III could be a surprise hit.
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Looks like that reader was right and Hitman 2 is a flop, and IO Interactive are probably on very dangerous ground now. A game like that and it does so bad… its just madness to release it when they did. But as you say its being happening since forever and publishers never seem to learn, forever hoping that their game will be the exception to he rule. Its almost pathetic really.
It may be years before we found out how well these games are really selling though, because even once they start including digital sales next year we wont have anything to compare them with until we get a year or two into it.
It seems pretty obvious that we have got a sequel crisis in the games industry though. Hitman is obviously out for the count, Fallout may never recover from the current bad publicity, and Battlefield sounds like its in serious trouble. Just Cause 4 is obviously going to flop and Tomb Raider is desperate need of a reboot. Itd almost be easier to list the games that arent in trouble at the moment.
Could it be its a case of not just stupid release schedules but of people finally getting fed up of the same old thing? That seems almost naive to think so, but somethings going on and its clearly not just the move to digital.
Smashing for all
Nice preview of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sounds like the story mode it shouldve always had, and sometime to make up for SoulCalibur VI only half-assing it. Unless this is filled with tons of boring text screens as well?
The spirits stuff sounds pretty insane too. I wonder whose job it was to go through all the old games and work out which Smash character could double up as them? Love the fact that Elite Beat Agents are in it, but the real question is what about Ouendan?
I wouldnt necessarily have bought Smash Bros. as a matter of course, but now that it has a decent single-player I think I will. I hope thats a lesson to those making multiplayer-only games. Theres no need to put off a whole percentage of your audience when you can do both just as well.
GC: There were barely any story elements in the 20 minutes we played. We were told Ouendan are in the game, but we never saw them ourselves.
Given how all these big new games seem to be underperforming I wonder what that means for the smaller games left this year, like Darksiders III. Someone mentioned it once in the Inbox the other day and I think that was literally the only time Ive ever heard it mentioned.
And yet something tells me it make actually do all right, given lowered expectations and the later time of the year (nobody will be waiting till after Black Friday). If only theyd been able to put it out for say half price it wouldve swung the dal better. I get these sort of games, even the lower budget ones, arent cheap to make but it seems likely to me theyd sell twice as many at half the price.
Its not whats happened though, or ever happens, so I guess its almost left up to luck. If it gets good review though I will give it a try.
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The thing that sprung to mind for me from reading your Smash Bros. preview was how this insanely complicated game with all this content is going to come out and virtually have no bugs. Thats one thing you can bet on with Nintendo. To the point where when there is one small bug its actually headline news.
Seeing the mess thats been made with Fallout 76 and all the missing content with Battlefield V its really awful that we let these companies off with these practices when we should be holding them up to the high standards of Nintendo and Sony and other companies where bugs are very rare.
Maybe its got something to do with being a console manufacturer and not wanting to paint your console in a bad light but its like night and day with these companies. Maybe Fallout 76 will be so bad that well begin to see genuine change.
Only a handful
Seeing those nominees for The Game Awards makes it pretty obvious that this has not been a classic year for games. Its had a few really great games, but a lot of the rest have been disappoints. In terms of big budget games God Of War and Red Dead Redemption II are so obviously ahead of the rest that its actually kind of disappointing. I mean, I guess Monster Hunter: World as well? But that came out in January, so shows how thing have gone.
A lot of good indie stuff as usual though, like Celeste, Into The Breach, and Dead Cells but again theres really only a handful of really great ones and the rest are a few steps down. If the generation really is about to end its going out with a bit of whimper and Sony seem to be the only ones with plenty of cards still up their sleeve.
PS: Are you allowed to tell us what you voted for, GC?
GC: We dont think so. But you should be able to guess.
Switched on to strategy
My Nintendo Switch is turning into an indie game paradise. Into The Breach is the greatest turn-based strategy game of all time. I must have spent close to 100 hours constantly failing to save the world from the Vek, over and over and over again. I have never felt an addiction like it. Outstanding value for just over a tenner.
And now Bad North is also taking over my spare time. Real-time strategy game where your little commanders and their individual units, such as infantry, archers and pikes have to defend procedurally-generated islands from invading armies. Very addictive and again very cheap.
Both games together can be picked up for under half of what Red Dead Redemption II costs, which Im currently slightly bored of in the middle of Chapter IV.
Will GC be reviewing Bad North? Or have I missed it?
GC: It came out in August, so its a bit late now. To be honest wed never heard of it until another reader mentioning it last month. Wed welcome a readers reviews. Were very short of Readers Features at the moment but dont want to put out a call out for more until closer to Christmas.
As someone that regularly gets disgruntled at other people liking things I dont, and vice versa, I have to say I find it very hard to actually resent Fortnites popularity. Its not my sort of thing but what little Ive played of it seems to be well made, with a good sense of humour, and decent mechanics.
Were so used to rubbish being the most popular thing around its actually quite a relief to find something thats okay pretty good. Even Call Of Duty seems better than usual this year. We might not have had so many classic games as last year but there seems to be less clunkers. Oh, wait… I forgot Fallout 76.
I have been playing a free smartphone game called Happy Glass which I would like to recommend to anyone that likes physics-based puzzle games that require trial, error, and refinement in your approach to solving them.
The basis of the game is to route a gloopy gel from a pipe and into a glass. This starts out fairly simple with you drawing ramps but gets more complicated as you have to stop the glass from falling, move it into new positions or stop balls from knocking it over whilst still routing the gel into it. This is all achieved by drawing lines that turn into rigid beams. (Ideally just one line as the gel starts flowing as soon as you complete the first).
So far, I have completed about 200 out of 620 of the puzzles and have been impressed by the fiendishness of some. However, there is a lot of repetition and for every really clever puzzle there are around nine with simpler solutions.
As a freemium game there are the usual adverts to navigate but it does not push its own in-game transactions much. There appears to be a paid-for hint system but I have not used this as I like being stuck in a puzzle game and welcome the more difficult puzzles. The hints are probably why the game has a structure of nine easy puzzles to every hard one. I suspect the intention was to get money from people at the difficulty spikes but I have instead found there to be a lot of filler puzzles between the good ones.
If I was to give it a score I would go with a 7/10 but it has an 8/10 hidden inside if it underwent a bit of editing and restructuring.
My name is Matthew and Im a Civaholic. (Really enjoying it for the Switch, just need to remember to eat and go to work.)
If they do produce a digital-only version of the Xbox One what size of hard drive would come with it? I reckon you would at least have a 2TB hard drive or a premium model with 4TB. Would the size of the hard drive affect price?
GC: It almost certainly would, but storage is a lot cheaper nowadays.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Anton, who asks how many online games are you currently playing?
Games as a service is one of the big buzzwords of the moment in gaming and means any game which is constantly updated with the intention of keeping you playing for months and years to come. Theyre almost exclusively multiplayer (and include MMOs), but the problem with their rising popularity is theres not enough time to play them all – so which ones are you favourite?
How regularly do you play the games and when did you start? How long do you expect to continue playing and how much time do you have for other games, whether multiplayer or not? What do you think of games as a service and how many can you generally have on the go at once?
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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.
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