The evening Inbox considers whether 2018 will be seen as a classic year for anyone, as another reader salutes 20 years of Ocarina Of Time.
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Suddenly that Readers Feature from the weekend, where they were saying that Fallout 76 could be the end of Bethesda, isnt looking so crazy. I imagine theyll survive, and I imagine he thinks that too, but this is clearly going to damage them and their brands very badly. Im struggling to summon any sympathy considering they knew exactly what condition it was in before they launched and chose to release it anyway.
This is clearly a conversation thats gone on at a lot of different publishers lately. I almost think Battlefield V is worse because although the game works fine theres so little content they purposefully mustve kept everything else back – or just not scheduled enough time to make. I think the majority of Bethesdas mistakes are due to incompetence, while the majority of EAs is down to calculated greed. Its hard to say which is worse.
All I know is that I totally agree with the reader who said he was looking forward to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate simply because he knew it would be finished and polished. Although I do have concerns about how Nintendos online service is going to hold up. With problems like this its not hard to see why some people wish for simpler, retro times.
RE: Fallout 76. I am only at level 8, so a limited experience so far. I am enjoying it, only one crash so far and unable to play it last night due to leaves on the track!
I can see why the criticisms so far. Its far from polished or finished. But Bethesda are releasing voluminous updates, bless them.
I only intend playing solo as much as possible, thats what I prefer. Should they have delayed it another year or so to develop it further? Yes. The problem is probably the bean counters. Get it out there, get some money in, let the punters trial it and we will correct and improve it as we go, all sorted.
Not sure how much net profit per unit but I paid £42 for basic game, Sony wanted £60, and Tesco were charging £50 yesterday. So the return for Bethesda is probably down in the £30s somewhere, you dont get a lot for that these days, a lunch out for the family?!
GC: The norm is for a publisher to get 30% of physical sales, so thatd be less than £13 in your case.
Forward is the only direction
I have to say I agree with your criticisms of Fallout 76, GC. However, I still have to say I am personally really enjoying the game despite its many flaws and bugs.
The exploration just brings a smile to my face, and I genuinely get excited discovering new locations as they are all really varied and interesting.
I also love the environmental storytelling.
But what worries me is the poor sales and negative reviews going forward… When this game was first announced I was extremely negative as all I really wanted was another spin off akin to New Vegas. What changed my mind somewhat was Bethesdas insistence that the game will be supported for years, and will have constant free DLC, and obviously the game needs many, many fixes.
Will that still happen now? I really hope they dont just abandon the game as that was part of the reason why I bought it.
GC: As a reader said yesterday, we dont think they can really afford to abandon it. It is going to be very many years till they can make Fallout 5, so they risk killing the whole franchise if they dont make a go of Fallout 76.
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Ocarina of Timeless
Great to see all the love for Zelda: Ocarina Of Time yesterday, crazy to think its been 20 years. Not just because of what that means in my life but how far video games have gone in that time. Which makes it all the more impressive how well Ocarina Of Time still stands up. I mean, I cannot think of anything from that era that stands up anywhere near that well.
Just look at how basic the Crash Bandicoot games are, theyre basically just 16-bit games in terms of how theyre designed and yet Ocarina could still teach modern action role-players a thing ore two. Timeless work from Nintendo. And yes, I would totally support a full remake.
Too good to be true
Just saw Gazs message about a free Switch with EE and had to write in. Its not free at all, youre paying well over the odds for the contract. You can find a similar contract with O2 for £20 less a month, so over the course of your two year contract youre paying nearly £500 more. Admittedly theres a £50 upfront cost, but even still theres enough to get a Switch and several games.
If you cant afford it upfront, youd do better putting it on a 0% credit card and doing it that way, or save up. Sometimes a good deal isnt all its cracked up to be.
Also, disappointing review of Fallout 76 – only because I was looking forward to it, not your actual reviewing skills
The Disco Bison (gamertag)
Just an added note on the EE Switch offer pointed out by gaz be rotten. The offer finishes tomorrow, 23rd November, to make sure all orders are guaranteed to be fulfilled in time for Christmas. They had a similar offer last year with the PlayStation 4 and underestimated demand so a lot of little Billys went without a present and theyre making sure the same mistake doesnt happen again.
Nice to see Pokémon doing so well on Switch. Totally deserved given how much Ive been playing it lately, and Ive no idea what the fun anger was about (or still is if theyre review bombing it). I hadnt realised quite how much Nintendo had already announced for 2019 either, so Im actually feeling quite good about that now. Hopefully 2018 will be seen as just hiccup and the last two months of the year onwards will be them back to full speed (or hopefully a bit faster than that given their top speed is usually pretty slow).
I really dont think 2018 has been a classic for anyone though. Theres been a couple of games that have really knocked it out the park but the rest have either been disappointing or just okay. Makes me wonder how the generation as a whole will be regarded once its over. As not very adventurous I fear…
Your recent story on loot boxes confirmed so many of my concerns.
From the moment developers took advantage of research about human behaviour I knew we were in for a rocky ride. I recall an article about Bungie learning that gratification of receiving loot is not diminished when one is unaware of the content and has to wait to discover the contents *cough* engrams. The shower of music, sound, and visuals when one obtains an engrams in Destiny is an assault on the senses.
I played the beta of Star Wars: Battlefront II. Just the experience of a loot box appearing on screen, and subsequent opening of it is such a fanfare. Its no surprise that children would be excited at such things. The promise of what might be.
Im picking on Bungie here but thats because its the only game Ive played containing anything close to a loot box system. Their decision to remove the ability to buy specific emotes and cosmetics in Destiny 1, to the requirement to purchase a blind bag, confirmed my fears about their approach.
It sickened me to read the story. The argument about whether its gambling is moot. Our children are being exposed to the psychological criteria. Surely thats enough to argue against their presence in games?
Streaming for charity
Hello GC and the readership. I am taking part in Special Effects Gift For Christmas campaign to help raise money for disabled gamers so they can enjoy our beloved hobby. See my images below for my streaming schedule for the next two weeks.
Ill be streaming at these days and times every week up until the week before Christmas. Then I will resume in the new year. Please give generously folks! All the best!
Big Angry Dad82 (gamertag)
Xbox One was launched in UK five years ago today. PlayStation 4 exactly a week later. A future weekend Hot Topic could be what do you think of the show so far for this eighth generation of consoles.
GC: That seems a pretty good idea.
A disastrous failure, 3/10 – Dont sit on the fence GC. Did you like the game or not?
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.
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.