The morning Inbox wants to know the best shmups on Switch and PS4, as one reader talks up Microsofts Game Pass.
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PLEASE NOTE: Were currently preparing special content to run over the Christmas and new year break, and as usual wed like this to include a number of Readers Features. So if youve been meaning to write one but never got round to it, now would be the perfect time. The topic doesnt have to coincide with the time of year, just anything video game-related that youre interested in and which you think others might be too.
A new challenger
So now that Mortal Kombat 11 has been announced we have quite the competition on our hands: which fighting game has the best single-player mode? Up till now I would say that it is Mortal Kombat 9 (the reboot one), and that in general the Mortal Kombat games are leagues ahead of anything else when it comes to story and single-player.
But now it seems like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the new challenger, with its massive World of Light mode. I have only played a few hours but the response online seems pretty unanimous that it is really good. Although as far as I can see thats not really much actual story, so in that sense perhaps Mortal Kombat still has the edge?
As the Nintendo boss inadvertently reminded us though games are designed years in advance of when they actually come out so at the time NetherRealm wouldve had no idea their crown was under threat and I dont know if theres time for them to suddenly up their game. I hope it will be good anyway though as I truly believe upping the single-player is how fighting games will evolve. If the combat is perfected then the next thing to do is improve everything around it.
Gears in motion
So heres a theory. We already known that Gears 5 is out next year and it is presumably going to be the big Christmas game for Xbox One (its certainly not out in the first half of the year so I dont seem many other options) alongside presumably Forza Motorsport 8.
That is about as full a line-up as Microsoft has had for any Christmas, which makes me think that the Xbox Two is not going to be released next year at all. I know Nintendo has occasionally, with the Zeldas, release major exclusives on two formats but I dont remember anyone else doing it and it doesnt seem to me the sort of thing Microsoft would be into.
Theres probably a good chance theyll announce it next year (and probably Sony too) but my bet is that it wont be out then. Nothing has hinted at it so far and apart from anything I cant imagine anyone launching a new console, after the partial failure of the last one, with something as relatively unanticipated as Gears 5.
Shooting for nostalgia
Took the plunge on R-Type Dimensions EX after seeing your Switch review and its really tickling my nostalgia glands. The arcade/pool hall in Redditch where I grew up, long since gone. Only had about a dozen machines and even though it was over 25 years ago, I remember most of them: Bad Dudes, Power Drift, RoboCop, Pang, Ninja Gaiden, a game with a robot-bloke continuously running that I cant remember the name of, and of course R-Type. Throwing the controller in frustration is not an option when playing handheld, thankfully.
Can you think of a more iconic stage in any shooter than the first stage of R-Type, GC? Another question, do you have any other recommendations of this ilk on either Switch or PlayStation 4? I enjoyed Skyforce and its follow-up, but as much as I tried couldnt get into Resogun. I have Sine Mora Ex already. Vertical or horizontal, Im not plane-biased.
TheTruthSoul (PSN ID)
GC: The Switch has a version of Ikaruga that you can play vertically, as it should be. It also has a bunch of Psikyo shooters including Strikers 1945, Gunbird, and Tengai; and various SNK games ranging from Metal Slug to Blazing Star. The PlayStation 4 has the likes of Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours, Astebreed, Raiden V, Battle Garegga, Caladrius Blaze, and Jamestown.
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I have to say that I recently saw the video of MrDeadMoths diabolical behaviour on a livestream and I hope that he has had his Twitch partnership stripped from him. And while he has been arrested and charged I do also hope that other people will not get the wrong impression of gamers and streamers because of his actions and that this will not deter people from supporting gamers.
For those who are not aware of what he actually did, you can find the video clip just by searching him up and Im sure everyone will agree that he should never even be allowed to stream games ever again. It greatly disappoints me that streamers who do great work and contribute to services would have to see that happening on a livestream like that.
Dont get me wrong, I understand people make mistakes and people can lose their tempers sometimes, but what he did I feel really crossed the line and is an absolute no-no in my book.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
GC: Well, his Twitch and YouTube accounts have both been deleted.
The world of Red Dead Online and its rules of the game is really just becoming one huge farce. I was hunted and gunned down by waves of lawmen, losing my cargo after being witnessed for animal cruelty.
Why did this happen to me? I was attacked and defended myself against a murderous pack of wolves and hunted deer on the plains. So anyone surviving the harshness of the Wild West by killing game for food and defending themselves from wolves, bears, and cougars during the nineteenth century ended up on the end of a rope, hey Rockstar?
Keep up the stellar work. No, better still, fix the games misgivings and dont make yourself look ridiculous.
Red Dead Redemption IIs Sadie is such a badass. What a resilient and mettlesome woman. The dialogue in the first mission you embark upon with her is pure comedy gold!
And dont get me started on the equally daunting and assuaging domineering matriarch/madame of the camp, Mrs Grimshaw. Or the extroverted and brazen Karen. The other ladies Tilly, Abigail, Mary-Beth, and Molly are varying degrees of compelling characters as well.
Rockstars detractors can never again claim the studio doesnt do strong, nuanced, smart, empowering female game characters justice. The bar has been raised and the critics words stained!
GC: She is clearly referred to as Miss Grimshaw by everyone in the camp.
I agree with the negative feedback regarding greifing in Red Dead Online. After I had enough cash from farming animals to sell to the butcher and completing my first few missions I thought it was time to buy some new threads from the tailor in Saint Denis. As soon as I stepped outside feeling really smart in my new attire I was gunned down by some yahoo.
Talk about Ooh, Shoot you sir!
Im glad you reviewed Mutant Year Zero as Ive been very much enjoying it on Game Pass and was surprised it seems to have gone by with barely a mention from most sites. Its a great little game and not like anything I have played before, which makes me very keen to try out XCOM now.
Im sure I never would have tried it at all though if it wasnt for Game Pass which I cannot say enough good things about. Its excellent value for money and will only become more so as Microsoft start to make more first party games again.
The best thing about it though is it allows me try new games I never wouldve got before. Not the filler indie rubbish they usually stuff Games for Gold and PS Plus with but actual really good games that are just maybe not so high profile. I hope that this will lead to them making more such games and being able to take more of a risk because they know they have a built-in audience.
Games Pass is the best thing to happen to games, at least in terms of buying them, in generations, and I really hope Sony are doing something similar. Considering their attitude to EA Access, which is also pretty good, I wonder though. They dont seem to like the whole concept and I really dont know why. Except maybe Microsoft is taking a loss on things because theyre behind and Sony arent?
I can picture a grey Donkey Kong, I cant picture a grey Donkey Kong that looks like a rhino.
GC: He doesnt look like a rhino, he acts like one. In Smash Bros. the thousand or so spirits are represented using recoloured versions of existing fighters.
If you thought that Sonic the Hedgehog movie was poster was bad this one is just as weird. Why are his legs so long and skinny? Is this some kind of furry fetish film? I mean, each to their own but that seems a weird direction to go in.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Alberto, who asks whether you consider yourself loyal to anything in gaming?
Is there a particular console or console maker whose products you always buy? Is there a publisher or developer whose games youre automatically interested in just because of their involvement? Or is there a video game series or character that you almost always get regardless of what others have said about it?
Do you defend whatever it is online or do you try to keep quiet in front of others? How do you feel your loyalty is rewarded by the companies in question and have you ever given up on something you were previously loyal to?
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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.