The evening Inbox celebrates Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 on Xbox One, as one reader looks forward to the latest GoldenEye 007 remake.
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That news about Borderlands 2 VR was the first time Ive thought about the games in, well… it must be four years I guess. I have never before seen such a popular couple of games be completely mishandled by the people that make them so that theyre totally forgotten like this. I mean, Borderlands used to be a big thing, with the claptraps and everything, and it was doing Destiny style gameplay long before Destiny was around. Plus it was actually funny.
Now it feels like it was from another time or something. Like, I assume theres not going to be a Borderlands 3 now until the next gen? I just dont get it. I guess maybe Destiny and The Division were such expensive games to make that they knew they couldnt compete and have been having to save up/get new funding but youd think theyd hint something about the game still being on the way.
Really weird, because its only now thinking about the game that I realise Id totally be up for playing some more of it. The rate theyre going though its going to be on the PlayStation 6!
Carry on regardless
The thing I wonder most about the new generation is whether Microsoft and Sony regret the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X or whether this was all part of their plan. If the new consoles arent that much more powerful is that because the upgrade models have muddied the water or were they always intended to just have these small increases from now on?
And if streaming really does work then whats the point in having a console? One of the benefits of streaming is that the hardware can be much more powerful than the device youre playing it on so why limit yourself to the specs of a physical console?
To me that just implies that they know it wont work reliably and that anyone that cares about consistency and the best possible performance will want to buy a console instead. The bad headlines write themselves at this point but as others have pointed out companies seem committed to pushing on regardless.
I hate to go against the grain but am I the only one thats played Astro Bot and felt a bit let down? Its a good game, and the VR aspect is very impressive at first, but it is such a knock-off of Nintendos work at times it almost feels like stealing. I didnt realise quite how blatantly all the enemies were copies of Nintendo ones and just the whole thing seemed like deleted scenes from an older Nintendo game.
The platforming is also super simplistic and even then its often barely works with the camera angle you have to stick with, because its hard to judge where the little robot is exactly compared to the background. The levels are generally well designed to hide this, but it all feels a bit like smoke and mirrors, where theyre trying to make a flawed concept work by massaging the edges.
I mean its good, dont get me wrong, but it feels like a tribute band rather than a real master at work. Even the bosses, which look really amazing in VR, are a bit disappointing because theyre so easy. Just saying.
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Prince of platforming
Reading that Assassins Creed Odyssey has even less platforming than ever in it I wonder whether Ubisoft are purposefully playing down this aspect of the game in order to pave the way for a Prince Of Persia reboot?
I always preferred those games more and Id love to see it come back, but I imagine theyre worried itll look too similar to Assassins Creed. If they did it properly though it could be really good because the originals were pretty hardcore platformers by modern standards and you dont really see that nowadays in big name games.
Thats one thing I was always disappointed with when it came to the new Tomb Raiders, where even the new one isnt any more than just jumping exactly when and where they tell you to. Thats not platforming, its barely more than a QTE.
With all the talk of backwards compatibility at the moment I thought Id point out that Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 are now up and running on the Xbox One. Whod have thought wed get to a point where Metal Gear Solid games were easier to get hold of on Xbox than they are on PlayStation.
I can imagine that backwards compatibility isnt a big money maker for Sony, and thats why theyve largely ignored it, but its definitely a propaganda victory for Microsoft and I agree Sony will be forced to copy it next gen.
In the meantime though Id just really recommend Metal Gear Solid 3 to everyone. In my opinion its easily the best of the series and between the boss battle with the The End and the whole last couple of hours I think its the best thing that Kojima has ever done. By comparison I really dont like Metal Gear Solid 2 anymore and find it very hard to get through. Definitely still an influential classic though.
I think it would be a PR disaster if Sony didnt make PlayStation 5 back compatible with PlayStation 4.
It wouldnt stop me buying a PlayStation 5 but I would feel pretty put out if I couldnt play my large PlayStation 4 collection on PlayStation 5.
The only thing that would categorically stop me buying a next gen console is if they dont progress to higher frame rates. If the console manufactures continue to focus on graphics and resolution over frame rate Ill be going full PC. Well until streaming is the norm, which sounds like it will be a lot sooner than I thought.
James Bond will return
Im sure thisll get shut down as soon as the big companies notice it (I always wonder why fans do these things that are so obviously going to get them sued) but I thought people might be interested in seeing this new remake of GoldenEye 007.
Looks to be a really good compromise between modern graphics and keeping the look and feel of the original game. If it ever gets finished Ill be all over it, but Id love if there was an official remake. Or just the original game on the Classic Mini N64?
Im sure Obsidian Entertainment are all very good but does no one feel that Microsoft are just going for the obvious choices when it comes to the companies theyre buying? Theyre all just middle-sized Western developers that are good but not great and Im not sure how thats going to help them that much. The guys that did We Happy Few are probably the strangest choice but I wouldnt have said any of them would be top of my shopping list if I was going out trying to rebuild my first party studios.
Shouldnt they be looking for people that make games that dont already appear on Xbox and PC? Japanese companies for a good start, because the Xbox still feels very American in terms of the type of exclusives it has and attitude it promotes.
But they also new single-player developers because theyve got none of those games as exclusives and I wouldve thought theyd want to pick up a few talented indie teams or even someone like Platinum or From. The amount of money Microsoft has got it seems like money is no object but to me it seems like theyre being very conservative in their choices. If I was a billion-dollar company on a spending spree I think Id be much better at splurging out.
All this VR talk lately is really making me want to buy a headset but I cant help thinking itll be better to wait till next gen. Theres bound to be a v2.0 and I dont want to be caught out.
I wonder when well start to hear more about the PlayStation Classics other games. Maybe they havent actually decided and are making note of what people are asking for?
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what is your favourite video game soundtrack?
The game can be from any era or format but were interested in which game had the best overall soundtrack, not just one good song. What is it you like so much about your favourite soundtrack and how well does it work together with the game? How much difference do you think a good soundtrack makes to a game and have any been ruined by a bad one?
Do you own the soundtrack separately and if so how often do you listen to it and other video game music on its own?
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The small print
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