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Games Inbox: What do you want from Final Fantasy XVI
Final Fantasy XV – what should the next game be like?

The evening Inbox is still very impressed by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, as one reader is surprised anyone watches Twitch.

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Future fantasy

So I was thinking about this week’s Hot Topic, and while on the subject of favourite sequels I realised that we have no idea when Final Fantasy XVI is planned (boy, those Roman numerals are getting out of control!) for. Looking around the Internet there is some vague hints from Square Enix that they’re already in planning stage, but I assume we are talking a lot of years before we’re close to a release.

With Final Fantasy VII remake due to appear at some point maybe that’s not such a problem, but I just wondered what everyone else wanted from the new game? Personally I’m hoping they go back to fantasy setting. I’ve not been a fan of any of the sci-fi settings recently, especially as they all tend to blend into each other and seem like the same place.

Maybe Square will feel that straight fantasy isn’t quite enough, what with The Witcher and Skyrim kind of having that covered. But at least something steampunky, like Final Fantasy VI, would be good. I’d like to see something that was very Japanese, that wasn’t obviously pandering to America, and after your interview with the Square Enix boss I’m hopeful that can happen.

Follow the leader

Who are these people who watch single-player games on Twitch? I can think of nothing more boring than watching someone else play a game.

I’ve watched a few bits here and there on Twitch, and my experience is that it’s full of people who aren’t particularly good at games asking for money and ‘follows’. That anyone would rather watch an inept stranger play a game over experiencing it for themselves makes no sense to me.

It’s a sad state of affairs that streaming has had a bigger impact on publisher’s plans than piracy ever did…

The future of buying

Really interesting to see a new business model for gaming emerge with the extension of the Game Pass. It probably makes financial sense, as it’ll massively cut their overheads. No physical production costs for the discs and boxes, no distribution costs, and no middle men (shops) to take their cut. If their research shows people only buy a small number of games a year on average it definitely makes business sense.

The downside though will be mainly shouldered by shops and people that want a wide selection of physical games available on the high street. There’s also the question of how long the games will be available through their servers. Obviously, at the moment, they’ll still make some physical copies but the direction of travel is clear if it’s a success.

It’ll be down to gamers to decide whether all of that is a price worth paying. It’s a bold move, no doubt about that. I suspect there will be people at GAME and other outlets that are extremely unhappy with the news.
Carrigagulla (PSN ID)

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Not dead yet

It caught my eye that the new indie Iconoclasts is getting a PS Vita release, which as someone who was late to the portable party warmed my heart. If like me anyone wants top class portable play but can’t afford a Switch (with a few games) the Vita is a good fall back option.

I picked a Slim model a year ago second-hand, really cheaply, and with constant PSN sales you can easily stock it with great games (Persona 4 Golden for £6 was the bargain of the century). The back catalogue is chocked full of Japanese and indie classics, and games with Switch versions are a lot cheaper on Vita.

The only fly in the ointment are the memory card prices, which are still completely ridiculous… so just pick up a 16GB one, a lot of games save progress to the cloud, and those that don’t you can back-up to a PC once completed. It’s the Dreamcast of portables!

Avengers watch

I keep forgetting they haven’t even announced the new Tomb Raider yet. That good old Hollywood synergy in full effect as usual! As another reader said recently I prefer the modern games to Uncharted and would definitely be interested in a third one, although I’m even more interested in the Avengers game.

Now this is a bit of a stretch, but I’d like to think that employing someone from Visceral in a top position must mean that the game itself is the same kind of story-based single-player game the Star Wars one was supposed to be. I’ve nothing against multiplayer but I’d hate to see an Avengers game that was just a reskinned Overwatch (don’t tell me that wasn’t an idea that was floated around at Square Enix).

Maybe it can have that as an option but I’d like to see a big budget adventure on par with the Batman games. Something with proper story and non-action bits. Not something that relies on a bunch of randos squawking over PSN while I’m trying to immerse myself in a game.

Universal update

So people can pick up a copy of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition for £10 less RRP than what I paid on release and have more content than what I have or earned. It’s not right! Just because I don’t play online? It’s what it boils down to.

I appreciate the retro stages and the music updates from Street Fighter II but it’s all still locked content. Am not happy about this. Should have been picked up on in the re-review. I’m sure you’ll have a good explanation for it. It’s why I read here and always have.
Nick the Greek

GC: They haven’t got anything extra compared to you, the update is for everyone. They may have paid £10 less for it but you got to own the game for the last two years. And it’s not as if Street Fighter V made any secret of being a primarily online multiplayer game.

Trivial gambling

I don’t care if it is a watered down version, it’s still very disappointing to hear that Ubisoft has added loot boxes to Ghost Recon: Wildlands. I hate to say it, but it seems to me like they realised that, as it came up to being one year old, the game was losing its edge and probably saw a drop in audience. So what’s the answer? Make more money out of the people that are playing it, especially as they’re likely to be hardcore fans.

And the stuff it adds just sounds so trivial and pointless. I mean, it’s not my money I guess but I almost wouldn’t mind loot boxes if the stuff in them had some actual purpose. But who can tell what pattern another player’s gun has in multiplayer? Half the time I can’t see the other guy I’m shooting, let alone what gun he’s got. I do worry all this is just praying on children’s obsessions and those of the easily addicted.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Making the list

So what to play next? If God Of War turns out well, that will be my next big purchase, so I have three months to fill.

My PlayStation 4 shortlist is:

  • Resident Evil 7 – I’ve played them all apart from 6 and have always enjoyed them.
  • Inside – Limbo was a brilliant little game.
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – I can pick it up for a tenner, really liked the first one.
  • WipEout Omega Collection – loved it on the PlayStation 3, but have never been much good.
  • Bloodborne – I don’t really want to put this on the list as I’m aware how beloved it is. I just don’t think I’ve got what it takes.

I also need to decide what to play next on my SNES Mini, so far it’s only been Street Fighter, Mario Kart, and Star Fox. I’ve never actually played any of the other games, so not really sure what to go for next.

Recommendations anyone?

GC: We’d say Bloodborne and Zelda: A Link To The Past, but we’re sure readers will have other suggestions.

Inbox also-rans

There’s been a lot of talk about Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic III lately, but what about a new Dragon Age? Shouldn’t that be next on BioWare’s list? I really do fear that they’re going to be the latest studio that EA is going to take a hatchet to.

Just a little update but the Nintendo Labo trailer is now up to 10 million views, that’s three times more than the last Nintendo Direct. I’m sure it’ll be a fad.

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks what is your favourite ever sequel?

It can be any game for any format, but we want to know why you like it so much and what it did right to improve on its predecessor. Was the sequel very different from the original or was it just a minor improvement on an already great game? Did it fix problems in the previous games, or add much wanted new features?

How does your favourite sequel compare to other entries in the same series and do you expect it will ever be bettered?

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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