The evening Inbox discusses the trouble with shopping at GAME, as another reader learns the hard-won joys of Dark Souls.
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Can someone explain to me why the Fallout 76 beta is starting at 12am tonight? Like, seriously? Do Bethesda understand how time zones work? And why is this going on so close to the Red Dead Redemption II review embargo? Sometimes I wonder that publishers are all secret masochists the way they carry on.
I was looking forward to trying the beta but theres no way I can stay up that late. Ill try and catch it another time when its on at a different time. I can understand this kind of thing if it was a game that was in early access or a year or two out – maybe even six months. But this is out in less than a month now and theyre warning people that its going to be full of bugs and clearly dont want Europeans clogging up the servers.
A lot of people had the game pegged for a flop from the start but I was more optimistic. This is setting off every red flag imaginable though. When will you be able to do an article on it GC?
GC: You dont need to tell us. Were the mugs that have to stay up all night playing it. Well try and have some first impressions by tomorrow afternoon.
Three long days
Listening to everyone else getting excited about Red Dead Redemption II is kind of contagious. Its pumping me up even further and Im really struggling to make it through the week. Ive taken Friday off (no sickies for me) and have started pre-downloading the game so it should all be ready straight away.
Then Im going to just immerse myself in the game for three days straight and I cant wait! Sounds like that still wont be enough to beat it but Im going to take my time and hopefully completely enjoy it. It helps that the weather is really starting to turn now. I know companies are stupid to not mix up release dates more but youve got to admit this is prime video-gaming playing weather – especially once the clocks go back.
The good response to Blackout both from friends and media, and the prospect of finding a Battle Royale mode that sat well with me, meant I took three of my four remaining physical copy games to GAME to trade in for Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Im not blaming the staff but the company policies, but Id wish theyd quit with the hard sell of their extras at the counter. Straight away I was offered the second-hand copy of the game for the staggeringly good bargain of £2 cheaper, how could I possibly refuse? I passed but was met with the line, but its practically the same. Still, I opted for the new copy and was then met with the declaration of, but I can protect this one. As much as the thought of a personal bodyguard for one game appealed to me I decided on the new game.
I was then asked if I was interested in the Elite loyalty card (costs £36 a year). Like all loyalty schemes you have to spend a lot to see a worthwhile saving and this one seemed particularly bad on this front, which I communicated to the staff member. Of course, my refusal was meant with further reasons why I should accept the offer as the staff member continued to try and push it. I left it with saying Ill look into it, just to shut him up. As I said, its not the staff but the company and they need to quit it. Every time Ive bought something in GAME Ive came away from it very annoyed.
Blackout is fantastic, just so much fun. I disliked the building in Fortnite and the chunkiness of PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds (although I believe theyve made improvements now). Blackout has the slick, fast-paced movement of a really good competitive multiplayer, along with the tension you get from a Battle Royale.
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To me not having two weeks without any major releases after Red Dead Redemption II seems a bit overkill, especially as the third week is filled with three major releases. I think Hitman 2 should push itself forward a week because its looking really good to me and Id hate to see it get lost in a rush.
I always thought the last one was underrated, although it did start better than it ended. A problem of the episodic releases that otherwise I was all for. They shouldve saved the best to last really or at least varied the quality a bit more.
That shouldnt matter with the new game though, so lets see how that does. Although I hope its not just the reviews that do well.
I think its pretty optimistic at this point to imagine that SoulCalibur VII is going to be made. Ive been playing the new and it is definitely an improvement on all fronts, even if the single-player has a lot of obvious problems that there was no need to make. But at best its just trying to be like the first couple of games and still doesnt quite get there. Thats not good enough for a franchise that still cant replicate almost 20-year-old games and has no obvious ideas for moving past them.
I think weve got to be grateful for the fact that fighting games are even still going and that inevitably theres going to be some causalities along the way. Im more worried about the lack of new ones. Dragon Ball FighterZ was great but thats about the only major attempt lately. I dont know that people are getting bored of fighters as much as theyre getting tired of the same old ones.
Another soul claimed
Whilst its not the first time I have done so, I decided to take GCs advice of trying a game I wouldnt normally play and bought Dark Souls for Switch on Friday, after eBay sent me a £15 off coupon. It was only £30 with most sellers so I thought why not, as if I didnt like it I would get near enough £15 trade in value for it. I dont think I will though as Im enjoying it a lot.
It is my first From Software game, I was put off buying any of their previous games as a) I dont normally enjoy really hard games b) Im not a massive fan of fantasy settings and c) I dont like role-playing games that much. Despite all these issues though I am really enjoying it. I think the main difference between this and other hard games is that even when I die I feel as if I have made progress as I have always learnt something new before I go on my next encounter.
I wont lie, it can be frustrating when you collect lots of souls and then a high-powered enemy comes from nowhere, sending you back to the last bonfire that was ages ago, but I have not found it anywhere near as frustrating as I thought and these types of encounters have taught me to be more cautious and to always look around corners.
Dark Souls is perfect for Switch too, as it really does benefit from a pick up and play style suitable to portable games. One thing I would like to know though, so far I have been enjoying having a two-handed weapon, will I be able to get through the game using only two-handed weapons or will I struggle later on?
Now playing: Dark Souls (Switch) & Life is Strange Season One (PC)
GC: Wed normally say two-handed would be more difficult, since it means you have no shield, but it depends on your play style. It sounds like youre doing okay so far.
Can anyone give me some recommended advice for any more decent first person shoot em-ups to use with the Sony Motion controller sticks on my PlayStation VR, please?
Ive already got Superhot VR and Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood at the moment. I just wondered if there was any more games like these two that Ive not heard of or missed?
GC: We didnt really like either of those, so well leave that up to someone else.
Getting in the mood
I think I am getting pretty pumped up for Red Dead Redemption II now and pretty much getting ready for what seems like an insane amount of stuff to do.
Though what I seem to find in games like this or like in Fallout 4 and as far back as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was my lack of bothering to maintain your various bases. I sometimes find it a chore to go back and defend your home, base or territories when I am trying to get on with side missions and exploring the land plus not forgetting the main storyline.
I basically say, What the hell, just defend your own damn selves, I have other stuff to do. And if my territory is overtaken then territory be damned. In the Undead Nightmare of Red Dead, and because of the shorter length of time and less stuff to do, I took the time and defended the local liberated homesteads and also it is why I like zombie movies, keeping the undead away. But usually I see this as more strategy gaming where you build a civilisation and you then defend it to death from oncoming destruction.
So I am hoping that the community you travel with compels me to drop everything and makes me race back to get me defending their good name. Either way I cant wait to see what my natural responses to all the various scenarios this games throws at me are and hopefully there are more moments to talk about in the Inbox and work.
On a different subject, I can definitely say that the favourite soundtracks was a very popular Hot Topic with many suggestions coming to us many days after the weekend it was on. The power of music, you cant beat it. A killer soundtrack does drive you on in a game and going back to Red Dead it was the authentic Western style soundtrack which just made this game so atmospheric.
Now I have been trying to not read too much of what this game offers but I wonder if any well known artists or famous songs are included – maybe Johnny Cash makes an entry in the game. I remember, like many others, the point you enter Mexico and Jose Gonzalez with Far Away made for a perfect melding of gaming and music with the amber red sunset just begging you to just trot off into it and lose yourself in this iconic moment. If the next game can create something more than that but more than once, then this could be a contender for possibly game of the generation or something.
Either way, I have been watching all the Clint Eastwoods and other outstanding Western films including Paint your Wagon and Once Upon a Time in the West and getting myself properly in the mood. I wish all the best to all the other soon to be cowboys and cowgirls the best of times for us all in this new epic game world.
PS: RE: Underbox with Stuart Rick. Thanks for the Enslaved recommendations, I was not unfamiliar with them but your choices absolutely rocked. Also try Negura Bunget and their OM album, Moonsorrow and their album Kivenkantaja album. And also Swallow the Sun with their Songs from the North I, II, and III album, you should not be disappointed.
Smyths Toys are selling PlayStation VR with Astro Bot for the measly sum of £199.99. Early Christmas present to myself I think…
TrevorMcFurr (gamertag/PSN ID)
So I guess those Starlink toys are going to be warming shelves this Christmas. Regardless of what happened with the game I do not know what they were thinking with that whole angle.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader stanley71 and asks what was your favourite video games magazine?
With the news that GamesTM and GameMaster are to close next month the era of the games mag is almost over, but what are your fondest memories and which were your favourite titles? How often did you use to read games mags and how important were they to you in terms of entertainment and games advice?
Do you still read games mags now and do you think theres any way they can survive? What do they do better than the Internet and what will you miss most when theyre gone?
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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.