The morning Inbox misses the human stories from Fallout 76, as one reader replays Zelda: Ocarina Of Time on its anniversary.
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PLEASE NOTE: Were currently preparing special content to run over the Christmas and new year break, and as usual wed like this to include a number of Readers Features. So if youve been meaning to write one but never got round to it, now would be the perfect time. The topic doesnt have to coincide with the time of year, just anything video game-related that youre interested in and which you think others might be too.
Amazing results from Nintendo this week. I remember just a few weeks ago some readers were trying to convince themselves that Super Smash Bros. was only a minor franchise, which seems hilarious in hindsight. The thing is though it still doesnt really appeal to me, since I dont like fighters in general and am not that familiar with most of the characters.
I feel like I want to get a Switch but looking at the line-up theres still not enough there that jumps out at me. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild seems like a solid choice but I dont think Id like Super Mario Odyssey and I worry Splatoon 2 would seem too simplistic compared to things like Battlefield and Overwatch. Even Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is basically a dumbed down XCOM.
I know one of Nintendos main things is that its family friend but for someone that has a PlayStation 4 and PC already I dont know that theres anything there that I can take a risk on for the amount of money it costs. Any other readers have this problem, especially anyone that actually did take the plunge?
Credit where its due
I dont even own a Switch and yet I have to hand it to Nintendo for turning themselves around so often and never abandoning what makes theme unique. Their success actually makes me more including to get the console, although I will probably wait and see if theres a new model next year first.
As another reader said its quality games and innovative that makes them a success, not raw horsepower. Too often Microsoft and Sony just try to brute force themselves to success and Im glad that the Xbox One has suffered this gen and Microsoft has been forced to realise that quality exclusives are vitally important.
Nintendo has never forgotten that, even when theyve made other mistakes, and youve got to admire that. So well see what happens next year in terms of whether Ill get one but even as a PlayStation 4 owner Im very happy to see them successful.
Lifting the curse
Just want to thank GC for the review of Monster Boy And The Cursed Kingdom, a game I was completely unaware of until then. As an old Master System owner I was immediately interested though and having now beat I dont think Ive enjoyed a game more all year.
For me its the perfect mix between old and new: the 2D gameplay and puzzles but without the maddening difficulty or stupid requirements. The graphics are also amazing and I love how well animated and cute they are. But theres so much variety in it! They all have multiple different moves and most of them can use weapons and armour too, just a great game all the way through. Even the music is fantastic.
Im not usually a big one for indie games but this has been fantastic and I will now make more of an effort to keep an eye out for similar things. I will definitely be there day one for anything else this particular developer does.
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I think like many Id never really heard of Fallout until Bethesda made Fallout 3, but even then never really questioned what happened to the first two. But after the disaster that is Fallout 76 I started to look into it a a bit more and it is kind of odd what theyve turned it into. From watching longplays its obvious that the old games had a lot more black humour than the current ones and didnt take themselves entirely seriously.
Not that they were silly exactly but they almost remind me of GTAs attitude, where the world is real but the writing is basically satire. Thats obviously been toned down a lot in the recent games and I dont think the modern Fallout games have ever made me laugh. Theyve made me cringe though, especially that terrible set of missions with the flying boat in Fallout 4.
I wonder why they bought the franchise at the time, considering it wasnt that famous and they dont seem willing to run with one of its major features. Its been a big seller for them, up till now at least, so I guess it worked out but it kind of feels like its not in safe hands anymore.
Each to their own
With regards to peoples praise for Red Dead Redemption II, its been out for six weeks now. While I can marvel at the beautiful vistas, sumptuous graphics, and amazing attention to detail it doesnt make Red Dead Redemption II a great game, or even a good one for that matter.
First and foremost games should be fun to play, and this isnt. In fact, I found it an absolute chore. In my humble opinion I think Rockstar are massively overrated, it seems that many other people found enjoyment in the game that I couldnt.
Spoonman187 (PSN ID)
As this Hot Topic is about games before 2018, I just want to say how much Red Dead Redemption II is being so awesome at the moment. I feel as though it is a definite winner and a colossal game and just keeps me motivated continually from one scene to the next. The problem with Fallout 76 is, putting aside all the problems, I feel as though if I was playing it then, yes, the world is interesting and I would feel I am getting something from it but the key things Ill miss are human stories and interacting with characters which you can identify with.
A huge mistake by Bethesda to not do this, and to think they boldly thought that enough real players will make up for this. In my mind it was very short-sighted or dare I say arrogant of them.
A big world will need enough scenarios to play out to keep you entertained wherever you go and reading computer logs and listening to audio logs is just not going to cut it. In the world of Red Dead II, the immersive atmosphere and the characters you meet is just incredible and exciting, as its compelling to see where they all end up and just commits you to play and play for the outcome of every little or larger tale.
To me despite the flaws in its gameplay mechanics are not enough to stop this game from being the best new game Ive played since The Witcher 3. I still have a ton to do yet and the world has a load of exciting places and geographic locations to explore, but to me I can safely say its a 2018 winner and pretty much everything I hoped for since my first experience in the first Red Dead many a moon ago. Well done Rockstar, youve done it again.
The thing that makes me laugh about February 15 is that originally most of the games were scheduled for the week after and then some of them move out of the way/got delayed and just ended up shuffling back a week.
The other funny thing is that Far Cry: New Dawn was only announced this month, so Ubisoft obviously knew all these other games were coming out at the same time but just didnt care. Far Cry is bigger than any of those other names so they just went straight for it and let the others fight over the scraps. I can only imagine how even the likes of Microsoft felt being just pushed out the way.
Oh, and Jump Force is also out on the same day – the Shonen Jump crossover fighter – so thats not only another relatively big game but direct competition for Dead Or Alive 6. I honestly think some publishers want to fail.
So I (just) missed finishing Zelda: Ocarina Of Time to coincide with its 20th anniversary but that hasnt dampened the fact that I can now appreciate why this game has held the title of greatest ever video game on and off over the years.
This is the fifth Legend of Zelda game Ive finished but its actually my first one in 3D, so I had high expectations. Even on my small 3DS screen I can still appreciate the world that Nintendo created. Yes, it now seems basic from a technical perspective but it nails it in creating a consistent environment for the player to explore and revel in their surroundings.
What was all the more surprising is that it very rarely felt like I was playing a 20-year-old game. I play many retro games for the nostalgia feeling more than anything, as there is no getting away from the fact that many havent aged well and are very obviously a product of their time. Ocarina Of Time seems to have transcended this and I wonder if it truly is a timeless classic.
Will I be playing Xbox 360/PlaySation 3 games in another 10 years with the same kind of enthrallment? Or will the Wii U finally shine as a forgotten classic thanks to that sprinkle of Nintendo magic? In the meantime, Majoras Mask is quietly waiting in the wings and I very much cant wait to dive in.
Just got to the Castlevania section in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and it is amazing! Once again Nintendo understands other peoples games better than they do. At this point I wish theyd just buy the franchise and do it properly themselves.
Keith of Rivia
While doing the Christmas shopping yesterday noticed that all those Starlink toys to life games are already in the bargain bins. What a shocker that is. Cant even imagine what Ubisoft were thinking with that game.
This weeks Hot Topic
As the last Hot Topic before Christmas the subject for this weekends Inbox is what game have you enjoyed the most this year that wasnt released in 2018?
Well do our usual Readers Top 20 in the new year but what was your favourite game this year that came out before 2018? It can be from any time period, from this gen to the 8-bit era, but what did you enjoy the most and why?
How often do you play older games and was your favourite something youd played before, or was it perhaps part of a backlog? Or is it something you picked up for cheap and youre just now catching up on recent releases?
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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.