The morning Inbox wonders what Microsofts best case scenario is for the next Xbox, as one reader hopes for an end to New Super Mario Bros.
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I dont know about anyone else but Im planning to play quite a bit of video games over the Christmas and new year, both games I enjoy and those Ill put on primarily for the family. For me Ill be starting Assassins Creed Odyssey, since Im sure itll take a long time to play through and I didnt want to just do an hour at a time when it first came out.
Thatll be on the Xbox One X but Ive also been loading up my Switch with plenty of family games and will be taking it with me as we tour the various parents and relatives. Super Mario Party is a must, because itll hopefully get me out of having to play Monopoly or Risk but I also reckon we can get a bit of mileage out of Overcooked 2 and the ever reliable Mario Kart 8. Ill take Smash Bros. as well, since I have it on cartridge, but Im not sure if thats going to go down as well with everyone. My two nephews are already playing it though so it should be fun for them at least.
This time of year is always perfect for games, what with the time off, the long nights, and all the new releases so I cant wait to get stuck in. Merry Christmas everyone and see you all in the new year!
Hope everyone is looking forward to the Christmas break. Im pretty sure Ive got Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Red Dead Redemption II under the tree, so thats going to be me busy until… next Christmas after? Im already looking forward to the spring releases, and seeing what everyone thinks has been the best game in the Readers Top 20, but overall I dont think this year has been particularly memorable outside a small number of really good games.
Im not sure why really though, especially as it looks like its going to be a blip with 2019 poised to be even better than 2017. And thats before you even start to take into account the next gen and all the hoopla around that. Or at least I hope theres going to be hoopla because Sony not being at E3 is certainly a bummer and I can only hope that either Microsoft will compensate or Sony will just do their own thing at a different time.
Fighting for ideas
I wonder when Capcom will start thinking about Street Fighter VI. The current one has been saved from disaster but it still sold really poorly. I can imagine them thinking the next gen is a good time to update it, but what changes would they make? I think the reason Street Fighter IV was such a hit is that nobody had really though about the series for years and it was a very welcome comeback.
I personally think Street Fighter V is a good game but it doesnt do much different and the graphics are more or less the same. But then if I was making it I wouldnt know what to suggest to do differently, so who knows what they can do when it comes to a sixth one.
I want to see Street Fighter on top again though, it seems so perfect for eSports, but nowadays it seems more people watch it than play it, or certainly that buy it.
PS: While theyre at it they can give Marvel Vs. Capcom another go too!
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Best case scenario
Thinking about the next generation I wonder what the best case scenario is for Xbox? Theyre obviously holding back a huge number of game announcements, while beefing up their first party support and getting read to make streaming a thing. But how is that going to work given how damaged the brand is now? Theyve had three tries at a console now and not won a single generation. Theyre obviously going to do much better next gen but outside of the US and UK? If Europe and Japan werent interested before I dont see them being on try number four.
Their best bet I think is having a console thats clearly more powerful than the PlayStation 5, which I imagine is what theyre aiming for, marketing the hell out of Game Pass, and leveraging cloud computing/streaming to do things that Sony cant.
But theyve still got a problem with games. Not only do they only have US/UK style games but I think even most Americans are getting tired of Halo and Gears by now. They need new franchises and they need them to be appealing to the whole world. The fact that they havent bought a single European or Japanese developer makes me think maybe they havent learnt that lesson yet. But I guess well see…
Big fat worry
I think that reader is right about Battlefield Vs failure spelling bad news for DICE. EA has been on the back foot for two years straight now and if it wasnt for FIFA I think theyd be in serious trouble. Although I agree Bad Company 3 is likely to be their next game the last one was eight year ago now so Im not sure the hype is really there as much as it was. But even then its going to be at least two years till it comes out and I dont know what else EA has before that thats a guaranteed hit.
Respawns Star Wars game has gone from guaranteed hit to be big fat worry, especially after The Last Jedi, and Anthem looks like a disaster waiting to happen. And what have they got after that? Nothing that I can think of, except Dragon Age 4 in like three years or something. People (rightly) complaint that Activision only really have two or three franchises but at least they have a much better track record at keeping theirs relevant than EA do.
I dont actually want EA to fail, horrible company as they always are. I like Battlefield and I like BioWare and I dont want to see them broken up to appease some shareholder. But thats exactly what I can see happening…
One of two
Not to be nit-picky, because I do like the game, but what is all this nonsense about Marvels Spider-Man being the bestselling comic book video game? What kind of achievement is that? Its like saying Super Mario Odyssey is the best-selling game with an Italian in it. I mean, whats the second best-selling? One of the Batman games I assume? And the third? One of the other Batman games. And once you run out of Batman games… I think wasnt there a Hellboy game once?
In other words the way companies still refuse to make any kind of effort to turn superheroes, especially outside the big two, into video games is just bizarre. Claiming Spider-Man is the bestselling comic book game means nothing unless you actually make some others. I mean, that Avengers game was announced years ago and we still havent seen squat about it.
At a time when Doctor Strange and Aquaman are getting big budget movies the way video games companies have treated superheroes is straight up embarrassing. Especially as DC Comics is owned by someone that also makes games! At least Marvel has the excuse that its got to shop around its licences, although really it should be beating people away with a stick. Or maybe it has and that would explain it because nothing else makes sense.
New old style
I figured the New Super Mario Bros. line was dead and was very surprised to see them bother to port the Wii U one to the Switch, but if thats a success do you think Nintendo will make another new 2D Mario game? I really dont like the New Super Mario Bros. games as I find them very bland safe, not at all like the crazy imagination you see on the old 2D games.
Personally I hope the new/old game is a bit of a flop as I really dont want to see the series continue. But I would love to see a spiritual sequel to Super Mario World that used a crazy new art style and tried to shake things up. I hope it happens.
Forced to fight
Im enjoying World Of Light in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as it is a massive improvement on the series previous attempts at single-player.
However, I do think it has a big flaw though that lets it down.
You can choose any fighter you have awakened.
Why is this? Well, in previous games the Event fights were great! Things like you had to use Link to beat Dark Link under a certain set of stipulations. But here you can choose any fighter for any of the fights. This seems like a real let down for this mode to me.
I find myself always trying to use a character that fits the match up but if I cant beat a certain opponent more often than not I can just change to Bowser (who is very strong and I am pretty good with) and be victorious.
Some Event fights you could pick any fighter when it was suitable and some you were forced to fight using a certain fighter.
I think this should have been incorporated into World Of Light in some way.
I havent finished it yet though. Im around half way I think so I am not judging it fully but that is my main gripe with the single-player. The other is that I seem to be spending more time in the menus setting up spirits and stuff than actually fighting.
The game is generally great though. It plays fantastic and the classic mode has also improved.
Do you know what my new years resolution is? To play all Resident Evil games in order over Christmas. Yes, I know that doesnt quite make sense, but you know what I mean. Then Ill be ready for the remake!
Sega has been publishing boring PC games more than they have been making consoles? That really is the most depressing news Ive heard all year. Roll on the Dreamcast 2!
This weeks Hot Topic
As the last Hot Topic before Christmas the subject for this weekends Inbox is what game have you enjoyed the most this year that wasnt released in 2018?
Well do our usual Readers Top 20 in the new year but what was your favourite game this year that came out before 2018? It can be from any time period, from this gen to the 8-bit era, but what did you enjoy the most and why?
How often do you play older games and was your favourite something youd played before, or was it perhaps part of a backlog? Or is it something you picked up for cheap and youre just now catching up on recent releases?
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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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