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Games Inbox: Is 2018 for games off to a better start than 2017?
Monster Hunter: World – leading a very good start for 2018

The morning Inbox asks if Nintendo will make another portable after the 3DS, as one reader is glad to see Monster Hunter: World become a hit.

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Never say ever again

So do I dare say it and say that 2018 is actually off to a great start? Maybe even… better than last year? We’ve had Monster Hunter: World, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Iconoclasts, Shadow Of The Colossus, and a bunch of top notch indie games on Switch (are you going to do Night In The Woods?).

That is definitely a better haul than this time last year, and even stuff like Dissidia Final Fantasy NT seem pretty good if you’re a fan. I’m sure we’ll start to get some stinkers soon (I’ll be shocked if Metal Gear Survive is any good) but we’ve also got coming up soon the Bayonetta re-releases, Fe, Sea Of Thieves, Ni No Kuni II, Far Cry 5, Yakuza 6, and God Of War. And that’s all before May!

I don’t know about anything else but what this says to me is that the best, or at least most interesting, games are always released in the first half of the year, leaving the mass market stuff for Christmas. Although with Red Dead Redemption II out in October maybe we’ll have both this year? Best year ever, again?

Repackaged good

So happy to see Monster Hunter: World doing so well. I’ve always loved the games but was pretty much resigned to them being a ‘cult’ hit as far as ordinary gamers are concerned. But now it’s everywhere and I couldn’t be happier. Releasing it on home consoles was obviously the key, but the time of year also must’ve helped. I can only imagine how hard it would’ve been ignored if it had come out at Christmas.

What makes me most happy is that the game itself is not dumbed down. It’s easier to get into and streamlined in a few areas, as GC’s review pointed out, but it’s not simpler and the really tough fights require just as much planning, team-work, and stamina as always. To me it’s proof that ‘hardcore’ games don’t have to be changed to be popular, just repackaged slightly.

I like to think that companies, particularly Japanese companies are beginning to see this more and more, with the success of Nintendo’s two big sellers and Capcom’s own Resident Evil. If a game’s been popular for a decade or more then there’s probably a good reason for it, and if it’s not popular with everyone it may just be a fairly small tweak that’s need. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle making XCOM style combat popular also springs to mind.

Handheld guess

Just was wondering if you guys think Nintendo will do another portable-only device or if they will be strictly console/portable hybrid for the foreseeable future?

I personally think they would be smart to stick with the hybrid-only as making games for only one device would to my mind mean more first party games than either device could get before. I’m sure there is an argument to be made for standalone portables though, what’s your take on it?
KeeganatorPrime (PSN ID)

GC: As ever, predicting Nintendo is a mug’s game, but if we had to guess we’d say there’ll be no direct successor to the 3DS – in terms of a bespoke and relatively high-tech portable console. Given how expensive the Switch is, Nintendo will likely still want some sort of low price alternative though. So we could imagine maybe some kind of Android device to play their mobile games on, and which is backwards compatible with some of Nintendo’s previous machines.

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Blame everybody

I hope no-one takes this as Sony bashing, I think they’ve been a great first party publisher overall but I noticed a few people saying how nice it is to see that they haven’t embraced loot crates, etc.

But surely they don’t have to – they own the store that sells this items and get a cut of everything. As much as EA deserve being criticised, Sony (and Microsoft, Steam, and Nintendo to be fair) let these transactions become part of the console and PC eco-system and aren’t completely guiltless.
Red Dave

GC: If you’re going to be so broad with the criticism you should also blame gamers for paying for the microtransactions.

Secret discount

I’m very much looking forward to Bayonetta on Switch next week, only thing is do I buy both of them or can I skip the first?

I had the first game on the Xbox 360 but never finished it, so the completist in me wants to finish that first.

Also, what’s the deal with the purchasing of both? Is there a discount in the first game if you buy the second and vice versa?

And lastly, when’s your review up? Any word on the quality of the port?

GC: The review embargo is Wednesday, so naturally we can’t say anything until then. Although we will mention that Bayonetta 1 has one of our favourite endings ever in an action game. There is a discount for buying both games, but Nintendo UK hasn’t said what it is yet.

Mad idea

Reading some rumours (by which I mean stuff people have clearly just made up on Twitter) that this year’s Call Of Duty is going to be Black Ops IV. Not much of a stretch really, considering it’s Treyarch’s ‘turn’ next and all they’ve done since forever is Black Ops. So I’ll say my imaginary ‘sources’ have told me the same thing.

Problem is I can’t even remember what Black Ops III was about. I mean, I loved the multiplayer and everything but I just looked up the plot and still don’t remember it. It sounds like the one with Kevin Spacey (good job they killed him off when they had the chance!) but it isn’t, so I am stumped.

Anyway, apparently it didn’t have a past setting, so I’m hoping they do that again and have it set in the 90s or 2000s. I know the series has been set further and further in the future but I think we’ve all agreed now that isn’t a good idea and they should keep it boots on the ground. So, hey – what about a post-apocalyptic game? One where you lost last time and have to Mad Max it up to survive. That way you get modern day guns and it’s not just the same old thing.

Dangerous worlds

Gaming is largely about escapism, so in that vein if you could live in any game world, what would it be and why?

Would you choose Mass Effect for its characters, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Zelda: Breath Of The Wild for their stunning landscapes or perhaps you prefer the mini-games and general chaos of GTA V?

GC: We have done this before as a Hot Topic, and will probably do so again. Although we do always wonder whether people would really want to live in any of these places – considering how many things are out to kill you in each of them.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Risk rewarded

Late to the party, as ever, but thought I’d have my say on Persona 5.

I’ve been a role-playing game fan since I first took a chance on SNES Zelda (yes, I know it’s not strictly a role-playing games, etc.) by picking it up in a branch of Our Price and paying with Christmas vouchers as a teenager.

I’ve since played many Japanese role-players over the years, although games like the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series made them seem a little passé for the last half decade or so.

Despite this I took a chance on Persona 5. To begin with, my thoughts were, ‘When does the game start?’ I seemed to be on-rails, with little chance to do anything. Eventually though it clicked, once I figured out
exactly how it played, time management being a new thing to my role-playing experience; normally being used to taking my time and visiting everywhere, seeing everything on one playthrough.

I’m on my second playthrough now and I’ve loved the storyline and the style, so Japanese and unafraid to be so.

I liked it so much that I decided that I had to try out part 4 too. this has involved buying a PS Vita copy of the game and a PlayStation TV mini console. Don’t think I should have to though, considering the piles of Vita games playable on the PlayStation 4 from the PSN store how come this one isn’t there? Surely Atlus must be leaving money on the table given the success of Persona 5?

Inbox also-rans

I’ve just found out that Final Fantasy was 30 on December 18 last year. How comes Square Enix didn’t make a fuss about it? You’d think there’d be a game or something. I guess it’s not a good time of year for the West, but seems odd to me. Couldn’t they at least have fast-tracked the Dissidia game?

So if the PlayStation 5 is out in 2019 or 2020 does that not mean we could start hearing the first rumours about it this year? I hope not, considering I got a PS4 Pro at Christmas.

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Nick The Greek, who asks what movie or TV show would you most like to see turned into a video game?

Movie adaptations are pretty rare nowadays on consoles, but they can still happen – from Star Wars games to cult classics like Friday The 13th. But which film would you like to see get the big budget treatment and what kind of game would it be?

You can name any film or show you like, including those that have already had video games, but try to describe something that is at least reasonably practical to make. Why do you think your idea hasn’t been done before, and if it was made do you think it would be financially successful?

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