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Games Inbox: Should Microsoft make Fable IV?
Fable Legends – should Fable return?

The morning Inbox tries to guess when the next Nintendo Direct will be, as one reader wonders if EA are Last Jedi haters.

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

The shadow of Molyneux

I’m in two minds about the Fable IV rumours. Not whether they’re true or not, because they seem very believable and just the sort of thing Microsoft would try and do. I’m just not sure it’s a franchise that’s worth saving, and might end up being another waste of time and money for the Xbox.

The thing about Fable is that half of the appeal was Peter Molyneux’s description of what the games were going to be, not what they actually were. Maybe if the new developer are going to go back and make good on all his various promises that might work but I think it’s far more likely they’ll just try to make the same sort of game again.

The best bit about Fable was the funny dialogue and that’s going to be the hardest bit to replicate. The actual fighting and role-playing was very simplistic and never really very good. If they just took the basic idea of an open world fantasy game then that’s fine, but also means they’re starting from scratch. To be honest I like the idea of a third person Perfect Dark game from the Gears Of War guys.

Joanna was always a fun character and Gears Of War 4 was only dragged down by trying to copy the old games (see why I’m worried?). Something with similar gameplay but an original set-up could be great.

Driver of choice

I would be all for Burnout becoming the new Need For Speed, and I frankly don’t understand why EA always side-lined it. (Well, presumably it didn’t sell as well, but in that case I don’t understand why more people didn’t buy it.) Personally, my favourite was Burnout 2, with 3 a close second, but I think hoping for a HD remaster collection is probably going too far.

I’m not fan of EA but I’m glad they feel that the arcade racer is a genre still worth being kept alive. If these Burnout rumours aren’t true then I don’t know where the next one would ever come from. The next closest is what… Mario Kart and Forza Horizon. And it sounds like we might not even get another one of those in a hurry if they’re working on Fable instead.

The plan

I think the fact that Nintendo hasn’t announced a new Direct yet is probably a good sign that there isn’t going to be one this month. It seemed the obvious thing to do to most people, but I think that probably automatically meant that Nintendo wouldn’t do it. I hope I’m wrong, and hopefully it won’t be any later than next month, but somehow I get the feeling it’ll be a while till we really find out what their ‘plan’ is.

The thing to remember is that Nintendo don’t really see themselves as part of the normal games industry (I bet their American branch has to drag them, kicking and screaming, to E3) and seem to revel in not doing things the way others do. Since that attitude is behind their current success with the Switch I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

I also think it’s inevitable their 2018 line-up is not going to be as good as last year, which is one reason they’ll want to keep people guessing until the end. I agree that Super Smash Bros. is going to be one of them though, and I think the reason we haven’t heard of it so far is that the success of the Switch has suddenly made a lot more third party publishers interested in loaning out their characters..

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Divine frustration

Happy new year to all and welcome back to GC and the Inbox. I hope that everyone had a good break and got all the game related goodies that they wanted! My other half (who hates gaming) actually completely surprised me and got me a Nintendo Switch for Xmas and ever since I have been hooked on Super Mario Odyssey and have jumped in and out of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

I did also buy myself a copy of Zelda: Breath Of The wild, but I find it incredibly frustrating. Whilst I find its lack of hand-holding quite refreshing the thing that really irks me about it is the weapons breaking all the time. I’d just finished my first battle with the first divine beast and was inside it on my way to the last couple of terminals, but I’ve run out of bows and need one to get to the last two terminals, I fast travelled to a couple of shops to see if I could buy new bows, but all I can find for sale are arrows so I’m pretty much stuck – any advice would be welcome?

Frustration aside I was loving the game up until this point though, but in my opinion Odyssey is the better game of the two. I realise that for most it is a straight toss between the two for game of the year, but Mario is the whole reason I wanted a Switch and so far I’ve not been disappointed by it at all!
Rickie Ratpack (gamertag)/Rickandrolla (PSN ID)/SW-1702-5371-4626

GC: Lots of enemies carry bows. Any bokoblin camp will have two or three archers, often standing on watchtowers.

Switched out

I see all these letters saying how certain games are so well suited to the Switch and how it’s changed
the way people play games but being honest that leaves me feeling quite sad.

Let me elaborate…

I’d actually love one but after trying out a Switch at one of those booths it had started off my carpel tunnel syndrome after just 10 minutes of use in portable mode. The left Joy-Con was pressed firmly into my palm and due to the flat nature of the whole unit my hands got no support like they do on a traditional controller.

I know I could just use it in docked mode but that’s half the functionality removed and the idea of changing from TV to handheld mode so seamlessly it what attracts me so much to it. And so many games are suited to its portable nature. I’m a bit gutted to be honest. I’ve had some treatment (and injections to help) but have been told I can’t keep having them at the rate I’d need to not have barb wire-like pains in my hands return when this condition flares up.

Since I’ve become aware of a Switch grip unit and tried one it still didn’t offer enough support for my hands as the curved bumps on the grip are still small and only allowed for a small increase of usage before the pain returned as the Switch unit is still quite flat and the grip like bumps can’t be any larger as they’re dictated by the small size of the Joy-Cons.

There are Joy-Con grips but they’re only for use when in a horizontal position.

It’s incredibly unfortunate that I’ve decided against buying a Switch for these reasons, as it is a costly purchase with the additional games I’d want.

A storm is coming

Good to see GC and the Inbox back for 2018! Although I agree that there were some great features over the break. I particularly liked the review of the year, and the warnings about the unfinished fight against loot boxes. I wonder how long until the first big name game makes use of them this year?

Publishers have got to know what a marketing disaster they are now, but how will they respond? Particularly interested in seeing what EA will do, as I’m sure the mixed reaction to The Last Jedi has eaten even further into Battlefront II’s success.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

PUBG recommendation

I just wanted to chip in about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Playing multiplayer games against strangers has never held the least bit of interest for me in the past; I dabbled for a few minutes with Team Fortress about 800 years ago (in technology years) but never even tried out the multiplayer option on games like Call Of Duty. It’s always been the immersive, single-player games which have sucked me in. Deus Ex, XCOM, that sort of thing.

Yet despite that, and despite the backlog of other things piling up on my Xbox hard drive (mostly thanks to the double-edged sword that is Games with Gold) I decided to give PUBG a try.

The reason? A letter from a reader (I’m afraid I forget who) talking about how he’d been hiding in a house while playing the game, heard a car pulling up and an opponent get out, and was able to jump out of a first floor window, steal the car and drive away with the other chap shooting futile bullets in his wake. How rare it is in gaming to really get one of those ‘I wonder if I can just do this… holy cow, I actually can!’ moments.

Very, very glad I gave it a go because my experiences have been just as entertaining. I’m not good at it – the other day I almost got punched to death by someone, despite the fact that I had a shotgun. But the moments of triumph are often hilariously good fun. I fluked a headshot at some bloke who was trying to run me over in a jeep the other night, and was able to jump in and drive off in his vehicle. (Which promptly burst into flames when I crashed into a tree a couple of minutes later – easy come, easy go.)

But it’s the dripping tension that really does it. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that has so often had me holding my breath, with my heart hammering away in my chest. The last time a game made me jump out of my skin was the infamous dog window thing in Resident Evil. PUBG has done it several times when people have unexpectedly appeared round doorways.

I love the slightly clunky controls and lack of progression/reward for those with more time on their hands – what great levellers – and the fact that I can use my wits rather than have to rely on my four-decade-old reflexes (my record finish so far is fourth, during a game in which I killed precisely nobody).

It’s fantastic to have a game in which, with my limited spare time, I can jump in for 20 minutes or so, try my luck, and then move on. The glitches and graphics I’ve not found off-putting at all, and I actually can’t see what the fuss is about on that score. Weirdly, it actually adds to the drama sometimes: once the game crashed as I was hiding in a bush in order to fiddle with the bits in my inventory. Cue more tension while waiting for the game to reload, wondering if I’d been spotted and killed as I was effectively out of action (what a relief when I hadn’t!).

I’ll stop there, but just want to say thanks to the guy who wrote in. I’d probably not have tried the game otherwise, given all the warnings of problems with the game in its current state on Xbox. Another reason to give thanks for the GC community!
PS: had the game on sale at £19.99, instead of the normal £24.99. They were bundling it with a digital copy of Assassin’s Creed Unity; the £5 discount no doubt a thanks for taking one of those codes off their hands.

Inbox also-rans

I thought it was Soldier Of Fortune for a minute but then I realised I got it wrong. What was the name of that terrible 1/10 shooter with Mickey Rourke in it? Am I mad or was it a similar sort of thing?

GC: You’re thinking of Rogue Warrior.

Happy new year! I didn’t watch much TV over Christmas but did stumble across the 80s James Belushi movie K-9. In the opening scene he’s playing on a Nintendo Game & Watch. Nice bit of retro trivia.
half_empty80 (PSN ID/NN ID)

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.

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