The morning Inbox discusses the decline of the video game magazine market, as one reader complains about bad tutorials in complicated games.
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11 at best
RE: Sondas question of Is God Of War the game of this generation? Personally, Id hope not as it implies theres nothing better to come, and Im sure everyone knows theres some real big hitters on the horizon that could easily claim that tag.
I finished God Of War myself about three weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it – but I traded it in anyway, I didnt think it had any real value in keeping and I had no desire to play through it a second time.
No doubting its a very good game, but for me it was nothing exceptional or particularly memorable. Its up there with Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4, etc. from this gen on PlayStation 4, as great games that for want of a better term are quickly forgettable. Polished to perfection but missing something magic.
My favourite game of this generation is still Bloodborne, I still play it three to four years after buying it, Id rather sell my whole PlayStation 4 and Xbox One collection (I swapped my Switch and games for a smartphone, no regrets) than lose my copies of Bloodborne, and the three current gen Yakuza games.
I still hold out hope something will come along and oust Bloodborne as my number on (please, PLEASE let it be Shenmue III) as itd be crazy if one of the oldest PlayStation 4 games was still my fave when the new gen arrives. Might be down to Naughty Dog to snatch the game of the gen, right before it ends – again.
God Of War was very good. But not even in my personal top five this gen. Top five being Bloodborne, NieR: Automata, Persona 5, Yakuza 0, and The Witcher 3. Thinking about it, it wouldnt even hit top 10.
Good, but not that good
I think God Of War is a colossal game but when I think it about it I wouldnt place it as highly as Sonda when ranking this generations games.
Zelda: Breath Of The Wilds highly interactive open world was really special so gets the nod over God Of War.
Horizon Zero Dawns tribe story elements were poor but the brilliantly thought out and paced back story, along with the great robot dinosaurs fights, means I just had more fun playing that game than God Of War.
Resident Evil 7 in VR was jaw dropping and easily the best gaming experience Ive had so far this gen.
Bloodbornes visceral, heart-pounding combat, alongside Froms peerless art design and world building, puts it above God Of War for me.
I know its not to everyones taste but I got more wrapped up in Wolfenstein: The New Orders characters plight.
I think what God Of War did brilliantly though was combining character, story and gameplay into a seamless cohesive whole that few, if any, games have managed to do quite as well so far. I guess I just think over games did certain elements much better.
Is it just me or is it the case that the more complicated the game, the worse the tutorial is. Now I appreciate that much of this is because there is more to explain but some games leave me totally confused and I am not a new gamer.
The most recent example is Phantom Doctrine. I downloaded this last night having dug out my PlayStation 4 (Xbox version is not out until next week) and I have to admit that I was a bit stuck even on the tutorial levels. By the time I had got to the base-building section, I was totally lost. I am not new to this type of game either, I was playing XCOM on my old PC back in the 90s but this had me totally confused.
This type of game is a hard enough sell on consoles as it is, so at least the developer could make it easier to get into. I have now put this away until the weekend when I can find a couple of hours to really focus on it.
Maybe this is just me and my age is starting to show but if the developers are looking to update this title, a more detailed tutorial should be the first port of call.
GC: Phantom Doctrine was pretty bad, the base-building especially – we mentioned it in our review.
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RE: Jacze. Metacritic site lists the top three games according to reviewers as PlayStation 4: Grand Theft Auto V 97%, The Last of Us Remastered 95%, and God Of War 94%.
Xbox One: Grand Theft Auto V 97%, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 95%, and Celeste 94%.
Switch: The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey 97%; Celeste, Dead Cells, Inside, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Bayonetta 2 92%; Sonic Mania Plus, SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition, and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove 91%
GC: Yes, but which do you prefer? Most of those arent exclusives anyway, and many are last gen ports.
Id be surprised if the PlayStation 5 didnt play PlayStation 4 games too. Reason being, consoles are now using PC architecture. I dont expect the PlayStation 5 to use radically different hardware, just a faster PC processor, faster PC graphics card, faster PC memory.
There shouldnt be anything other than artificial barriers to stop it. Not like the days when a PlayStation 2 inside was nothing like a PS1. Id love to be proved wrong and the PlayStation 5 to do something amazing, say real-time ray tracing and a new superfast architecture.
But I wont be will I?
GC: There was never much of a technical barrier after the PlayStation 2, Sony just didnt want to do it.
Just a job
Just following on from my Readers Feature at the weekend, about getting a job in the games industry. One thing I didnt mention, which surprised me slightly when I joined the company, was how many people at the company werent that interested in games. Dont get me wrong, the majority of people are, and I suspected there might be some people who work in departments like accounting or HR that wouldnt be interested, but there are some on the dev teams too, which is what surprised me the most.
I would have thought an interest in gaming would be a prerequisite to make a game, as knowledge of other games could help with the development and improvement of your own. I havent researched the backgrounds of these people but perhaps they come from animation or IT backgrounds and they are just applying these skills to games.
I used to work for a stationary company and had no interest in stationary, but it didnt stop me doing the job. But video games are a creative endeavour which I would think yields more benefits in your own work if you take inspiration from others. Do other readers think an interest in games should be a requirement to work in the games industry?
Now playing: Detroit: Become Human (PS4)
PS: Just completed Yokus Island Express on Switch, what I fantastic game that was and took me by surprise considering I didnt think I would like the pinball aspect of it. Its more pinball to do platforming rather than pinball to achieve a high score which is why I think it works so well. My favourite game of the year so far. Thanks for the recommendation.
You gotta believe
I couldnt help but get excited by your article yesterday about THQ Nordic acquiring the TimeSplitters rights.
TimeSplitters 2 is one of my favourite games ever and I would love to see it remade and then hopefully a full-blown sequel. I am probably foolish for getting my hopes up but I just cant help it.
Pigfish2 (PSN ID)
GC: You could well be in luck. As we mentioned in our story THQ Nordic have remastered a lot of the old games theyve acquired the rights to. The problem is TimeSplitters 2 is a lot older than anything theyve done so far, but wed say theres still a good chance theyll try something.
Firstly, thanks to Angry_Kurt for his Readers Feature answering my shout out for opinions from readers working in the games industry. Im glad you managed to get in somewhere doing something you really enjoy, and good on you for being proactive to do something about it (note to self: start learning Tableau/SQL/Python/R, etc.).
Secondly, all the recent talk about Edges 25th anniversary edition has made me think about my reading habits surrounding games and how its changed over the years.
When I was younger, I remember having a subscription to Nintendo and PlayStation Official Magazines (at different periods – my parents werent going to indulge my interests to that extent, sadly!). I used to rinse through them pretty quickly because they were my only access to gaming news, as these were pre-Internet days in my house/I was oblivious to the existence of GC and gaming websites. Then as I got older and became busier with school and then uni and work, I struggled to keep up to date on the magazines and fell out of touch with gaming and gaming news.
Since discovering GC and the Inbox a couple of years ago, my passion for games and news/developments in the industry has been heightened back to childhood levels. Despite that, I only rarely buy gaming magazines now, such as when I have a particularly long journey or a holiday, or after a big event like E3. I guess its because the majority of the news, and often previews and reviews, in them are pretty much old news by the time theyre released, if you keep up to speed with the Inbox and articles from GC.
Despite this, Im going to make a mental note to pick up a copy of the 25th anniversary edition of Edge, as Im sure itll have some great features looking back over its lifespan, and maybe some interesting interviews.
I love a bargain as much as the next person… but buying a game you already own just because its cheap is going a bit far. Surely thats not a bargain but a waste of money? Each to their own I guess.
GC: We think he meant he had the physical copy but wanted it digitally as well, although he never wrote back to clarify.
You know I was literally thinking about my Hot Topic entry this week and had settled on Second Sight as my choice. And then look what happens! Just goes to show you should never rule anything out, at least as long as its well-remembered by fans.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Franky, who asks whats the one game annoucement you never expect to hear?
With Gamescom coming up next week whats the one thing youre confident wont be revealed? Whether its a sequel, reboot, or some kind of hardware annoucement what do you think is the least likely, without being completely silly.
What annoucement have you given up any hope of hearing about and why do you think itll never happen? Whats the most surprised youve ever been by an annoucement and how did the final product turn out?
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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.