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Games Inbox: Was 2017 an overrated year for video games?
Ghost Recon: Wildlands – not one of 2017’s finest

The morning Inbox looks forward to an exciting new year for video games, as one reader has difficulty finding boxed copies of games in-store.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Poor selection

2017: the worst year for games. As of recently I’ve seen a couple of letters claiming 2017 as the best ever year for games, well here’s my take on it. Having been a gamer since the 80s it’s been a very disappointing year, from loot boxes to half-finished games and massive updates. I finally bought a PlayStation 4 in the summer, having contemplated it for two years before taking the plunge.

Every game I was hyped about was a complete let down on release: Star Wars: Battlefront, No Man’s Sky, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands to name a few. Don’t get me started on the HD remasters of remasters, and the constant sequels. Yes, there has been a few new IPs, but every other game is a remake or a follow-up of the tenth kind, and people are still calling out for more sequels: Devil May Cry V anyone or SoulCalibur VI maybe.

Originality and imagination has taken a back seat. So 2017, you have not been the best year. And before any backlash my PlayStation 4 was sold before Christmas and my mini SNES sits proudly under the TV where originality flourishes.

GC: Only one of the games you mentioned was released last year, and we certainly never recommended Wildlands. Why didn’t you try some of the games that were considered to be amongst 2017’s best?

Merry gaming

I just want to wish you and all the GC readers a happy new year! I made the jump from original Xbox One to the Xbox One X and 4K TV (after saving lots of pennies)! I’ve been away at family for Christmas but shall be setting it all up Boxing Day evening! I can’t wait!

I also got The Evil Within 2 (Xbox), Dark Souls III, and Nioh (PS4) for Christmas, so it’s going to be a great gaming new year!

Keep up the awesome work GC as always, and season greetings and a happy and video gaming new year to you all!

Currently playing Resident Evil 7: Not A Hero DLC (PS4), Final Fantasy XV, and Cuphead (Xbox One – soon to be X upgrade)!
H B K ONLINE (gamertag)/hbkonline (PSN ID)

Out of stock

A happy new year to you and all readers. I, like many others, value your down-to-earth approach to news and reviews; especially your ability to place games in context better than any other publication. I miss your commentary articles that you used to run a few years ago.

While we didn’t all get round to writing reader’s features, I’d like to say how much I enjoyed your year-end pieces. It seems funny to me how many people in the wider world concluded that ‘2017 was an awful year’ while us gamers were quietly thinking ‘It was the best year ever!’

One thing that was not the best ever was my experience in the high street post-Christmas sales. I feel like there must be something wrong with me, wanting physical copies of games (if only to avoid filling up my new PlayStation 4’s hard disk) because all I could find new were FIFAs and Call Of Duties on the shelves. This has been happening for years, but I was still thoroughly unimpressed by how hard it is to go out and buy boxed copies of current games. It seemed that 75% of what’s available in GAME is pre-owned and a bit grubby. It’s basically like being in a charity shop.

Anyway, as a newbie to the world of PlayStation 4, my first current gen console since the PlayStation 2, if anyone from the hallowed GameCentral readers community wants to add me then that’d be great. Let’s see what this ‘online’ lark is all about: my PSN ID is NongWen.

Merry new year!
Owen Pile

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Stranger Souls

I’ve been playing Beyond: Two Souls on the PlayStation 4 over the Christmas break. I realise it polarised opinion regarding whether it could be called a proper game or not.

For me, it was an okay experience even though the story was descending into a little bit of silliness towards the end.

The plot was what interested me the most, in that how similar it was to the TV series Stranger Things. Baby snatched from her mother who has psychic abilities and raised in a government research facility. Child grows up in said facility and develops abilities of her own, has nose bleeds when using abilities, and then escapes from the facility, being subsequently hunted by the government. Oh, did I mention the facility is developing a dodgy portal to another dimension that will have catastrophic results?

There’s been a lot said about how much eighties movies and culture influenced Stranger Things, but I wonder if the creators of that show (who incidentally weren’t even raised in the eighties) have used any actual original ideas and not just simply created a tribute series to a decade they love? It’s a great show but looks increasingly like a mash-up of other shows/films/games.
twohornedking (PSN ID)

GC: Stranger Things wears its many influences on its sleeve; most obviously It, but also everything from Aliens to E.T. Whatever similarities there might be to Beyond are simply because they share some of the same inspirations, although even then there’s little tonal similarity in how the material is handled.

Would like to co-op

I hope everyone has had a fantastic Christmas and New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve written in to GC but have been diligently reading every day.

I was hoping that my fellow GC readers could recommend an active and friendly Destiny 2 clan for me to join? I play all game modes regularly but am finding it difficult to consistently complete Raids, Nightfalls and participate in Trials of the Nine due to a lack of active members in my own clan. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
RaggoBlud (PSN ID)

Ineligible entry

While it’s hard to disagree with your 2017 top 20 list I felt a surprising omission was Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS. The game scored higher than six games on the list, and if I remember correctly you even stated in your review of The Sexy Brutale that it had some Metroidvania elements.

The reason it stuck in my mind is that I haven’t had the chance to play Metroid as I don’t have a 3DS so can’t compare first hand, but you reviewed it so well I’ve been considering getting one for the last couple of months simply to play that one game.

GC: We never count remakes in our charts, even when they’re really good ones like Samus Returns.

Passionate differences

Just wanted to say, I really enjoyed the different views in the Hot Topic and loved seeing different opinions, with some controversial points. It made excellent reading as a gamer.

It just goes to show that we are all different. But that’s a beautiful thing. Gaming wouldn’t be fun if we all played the same game and loved it. There is nothing better than telling someone what your favourite game is, to be met with a barrage of geek talk about why it isn’t that good. Passionate conversations…

Some big games in there that I did and didn’t agree with, but I appreciate we are all different. One man’s Toshinden is another man’s Tekken.

Anyway, I feel the Christmas spirit/s are affecting my otherwise moaning personality. All the best game central crew, have a good one!
Lee Smith/Changingtheories

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Seasonal sports

I realise I’ve missed the relevant Hot Topic, but my choice for the most disappointing game I played in 2017 is a toss-up between two titles.

The first of these is Yooka-Laylee. I backed the game’s Kickstarter, but as it turned out the game wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and if anything it was weaker even than examples of the collectathon platformer I’d previously played. The mine cart sections in-particular were absolutely wretched, and it just felt like a ton of busywork with a constant battle against a dodgy camera thrown in for good measure, with charmless characters and writing on top of it all. I’ve heard the patches have improved it somewhat, but I don’t have the heart to go back to it.

The other game is NHL 18. I love ice hockey, but this game made it clear that EA doesn’t even consider the NHL franchise to be second-tier. The game just feels wrong, playing a very tough game of ice hockey but one that’s tough for all the wrong reasons. The player selection is terrible, passes and shots feel delayed and everything’s skewed in favour of an almost god-like AI.

It’s one of those sorts of sports games where all you can do is hack away, and where it’s almost impossible to score; heck, it’s almost impossible to even gain possession. It’s not fun in the slightest and means the ice hockey on display is gruesomely ugly. The more arcadey Threes Mode is a great concept, and it’s clear a lot of work went into that concept, but I really wish the team had sunk more money and hours into making a decent ice hockey game first and foremost.
Andrew Middlemas

GC: Yooka-Laylee is definitely better with the patches, although still far from perfect.

Inbox also-rans

Could GC elaborate on cheating in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and also playing as a team? Does the latter happen organically through trust and emoting or do you have to ‘clan up’. What happens when your squad are the only players left?
Matt A

GC: You can manually team-up with anyone you can convince not to shoot you, but the more usual way is to choose the team option at the start. As for cheating, the developer claims it’s one of their highest priorities at the moment.

SNES Mini alert, Amazon are due stock of the mini on 30th December at RRRP £79.99.

GC: Unfortunately it’s taken a price hike to £110 since you sent your email. It’s still out of stock on Nintendo’s website.

This week’s Hot Topic

Since it’s the first weekend Inbox of the new year there’s only one obvious question to ask this week: what 2018 video game are you looking forward to the most?

You can find our list of the biggest name releases here, which includes the current best guesses as to whether games will or won’t be out this year – so do try and keep your choices as realistic as possible (for the sake of argument let’s assume that The Last Of Us Part II will be released this year, even though the real chance is probably no better than 50/50).

What we’re most interested in is why you’re looking forward to your chosen games, and what you expect from them. What do you think of the current line-up compared to previous years, and are there any major forthcoming games you’ve already discounted?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. 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.

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