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Games Inbox: What are the best VR games?
Thumper – a virtual reality classic

The morning Inbox tries to choose between getting a Switch or a Wii U, as one reader reminisces over Fable’s West Country accents.

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

Virtual expectations

I was very pleased with the announcement of the new Vive headset and the extra games for PlayStation VR, not because I’ll necessarily be an investor in either (though I do own a Vive) but because it indicates increased investment in the technology. Video games, habits, and machinery can be very conservative, so it’s nice to see gaming finally moving into a new direction that might have a lasting impact on the sector and those of us who enjoy it.

One thing I have noticed from reading the various comments on the Interweb about yesterday’s announcements, is the number of people who say they won’t fully commit to VR until it delivers resolution and ‘photorealistic’ graphics (and affordable prices – fair). Well, I have to say, that isn’t what VR is for! Any more than regular games are. I know in popular culture VR is synonymous with that alternate reality malarkey, but the VR we have is just another way to play games. I view my Vive as like another console. Like the Wii was, or the Switch is. I think if people’s expectations were in line with what VR is, and what it’s trying to do, there’d be less disappointment all round.

I also think that it’s because people think like this that they go for the high spec console style games like Fallout/Skyrim when they do try VR, chasing realism, when these games offer the worst experiences on VR. VR currently excels in simple, elegant concept games which are intuitive. Things like Thumper or Smashbox. If it’s complete realism or detailed worlds you’re after, then for the time being at least, VR might not be for you. But if you want to have a blast playing games in a completely new way, then it definitely delivers.
Shirobah

Killer app

Personally speaking, one of the highlights of owning an Xbox 360 was the Fable series, so I hope the rumour of a new Fable game is true. During my teens I had a friend who loved role-playing games (especially the Japanese developed games) they were stat heavy and I found them a massive turn off. Fable on the other hand was made to appeal more to casual gamers and I found it very enjoyable to play. The characters, the towns, the British sense of humour, and West Country accents… I loved it!

I don’t own an Xbox One mainly because the exclusives have been a disappointment, but if a new Fable game were to be released (and in-keeping with the original three games) I would probably buy a Microsoft console again.
Mr Spacefoxy
PS: Could Rare be developing the new game? Or have vey been reduced to a skeleton crew?

GC: It’s very hard to tell exactly how big Rare is nowadays, especially as they’re rumoured to have several secret projects underway at the moment. One of those could conceivably be Fable IV, although the impression given is that they’re working mostly on new IP.

Switch to the new

Hello and happy new year! I come asking for retail advice. I should soon be in a position to get myself some Nintendo hardware. But what is the question. I was thinking to first go after a Wii U, before a Switch, as then I could build a Wii catalogue too. You know, the Super Mario Galaxies and Zelda: Skyward Sword – among others. However, is it still worth it? I would still need a few peripherals more if I were to have Skyward Sword, yes? And a Classic Controller for Smash Bros. And some chargers for Wii remotes. The price has the potential to spiral out of control quickly.

But, what if Wii classics were to make their way to the Switch? This feels likely. To me. Then again, this is Nintendo – who are still in no hurry to get the Virtual Console up and running for the Switch, assuming my information isn’t out of date. Another big advantage to the Switch is that it is of course Nintendo’s current home console – so it has a good few years of life left in it. What do you think? Get the Wii U to catch up on classics I’ve missed or get the Switch in the hope that I can do so on a more relevant format sometime in the future anyway?

Thanks in advance.
DMR

GC: We’d suggest going straight for the Switch, as we also think it’s likely that Wii and Wii U games will (eventually) be made available for it in some form. You can always pick up a Wii U or Wii as well if you happen to see them cheap. They must both be regulars at charity shops and the like by now.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Unhappy anniversary

Maybe people won’t want to be reminded of this, but Tuesday is the one year anniversary of Scalebound being cancelled on Xbox One. I think this is the point at which Microsoft’s first party plans really started falling apart, and they only got worse when Crackdown 3 and Sea Of Thieves were delayed.

My biggest concern at the time though was what would happen to Platinum Games, as it seemed likely that it would drag them down with it – since this was their biggest project ever. Luckily NieR: Automata was a big hit (who would’ve guess that?!) and now they seem to be doing pretty well, but that was definitely a bad time. Probably the worst start to a year ever, especially considering how 2017 ended up.
Thanos

Cheap money

Bargain alerts for my fellow GCers.

I came across a PlayStation Plus 12 month subscription on HotUKDeals for £31.31 from MMOGA, which is quite the bargain given the relatively recent price hike.

I’m not interested in it myself (I have 500+ days left on my current subscription and don’t really play any competitive multiplayer) but I did a search for ‘PlayStation card’ and they have significant discounts for various wallet top-ups in various regions.

I chose the £10 top up for £8.76 and used it to buy Horizon Zero Dawn’s The Frozen Wilds DLC expansion for £9.99, which is £6 cheaper than its original price.

Oh, and I checked out instantly with PayPal and was emailed my code within five minutes, no need to even create an account.
Oni-Samurai (PSN ID)
Currently playing: Strider (PS3)
Recently finished: Sherlock Holmes Crimes And Punishment (PS3) and Darksiders (PS4)
Waiting to play: too many to name!

Crossed wires

Just wondering if anyone would welcome the idea of making VR headsets cross compatible with each other on games that support cross-platform gaming?

Given that there are VR headsets for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 some cross-platform games developers could figure out a way to allow both respective systems VR headset to communicate and interact with each other on the cross-platform gaming technologies used by developers.

It would allow indie developers, and even major developers, to come up with some intense and amazing games or software for both respective systems.

Given that new games are coming out this year it would certainly open the doors for potential VR advancements and create new unique gaming engines that could pave the way to stunning games.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

GC: The Xbox One does not have a VR headset. You can run an Oculus Rift through it, but it still has to be connected to a PC and all it does is display Xbox One games on a virtual screen. And besides, the PlayStation 4 is not cross-compatible with any Xbox One games.

Optional extras

Looking to buy Tethered on PlayStation VR but don’t understand the difference between the two choices of Tethered and Tethered Divine Edition.

Have read what the difference is but still don’t understand what is meant by original soundtrack, etc. Are there the same number of stages on each?
Golden

GC: It’s just a downloadable soundtrack, there’s a separate listing for it here. There’s only £1.60 difference in price between the Divine and standard edition, but either way it’s one of our favourite PlayStation VR games.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

The experience

The tech for VR may not be good enough to recreate the same resolution you get on a HDTV, but it will always be playing catch-up in those terms, same as a laptop will never offer the power of a home PC. However, that doesn’t mean the games available don’t offer fantastic and often unique experiences.

The immersion factor should not be underestimated. Pinball FX3 might look fancier but it’s FX2 VR that gives me a far better experience.

Like Spoonman187, I would also recommend Statik. It’s only a few hours long, depending how good you are with puzzles, but is very clever in using the entire environment to position clues to help you solve them. There is literally no advice given to you about controls or what they are looking for you to do.

I played the demo and had to check the Internet for the final puzzle, as at that stage it didn’t occur to me there would be clues all around me. I didn’t use a guide at all once I bought the full game and if anyone else plays it (which you definitely should) my advice is hold off no matter the frustration. During several puzzles I was just looking around for 15 minutes, examining my ‘box-hands’ before the solution clicked. There was never anything that felt illogical once solved and I felt like I could do 12 rounds of science with Einstein!
SuoTempore (PSN ID)
PS: Thanks to all that wrote features over Xmas and New Year, and to GC for… well, I suppose just doing your jobs as gaming journalists?! You do it brilliantly though, so thanks again and keep up the good work!

GC: Thank you!

Inbox also-rans

I tell you what EA remaster I’d want: the very first FIFA on the Mega Drive. Maybe the first 3D one too. Kind of surprised they’ve never done a ‘through the ages’ compilation like that, as I’d think it would be quite cool if it wasn’t too expensive.
Taylor Moon

I downloaded Floor Kids after reading your review and it is indeed very cool. I love the art and music, I hope the same team do other games too. Maybe something skateboard related next time?
Gonch

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.

If you need quick access to the GameCentral channel page please use www.metro.co.uk/games and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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