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Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition (PS4) - a bug's life is harder than you'd think

Hollow Knight – designed to be hard

The evening Inbox discusses the morality of video game trade-ins, as one reader is curious about the V&As video game exhibit.

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Taking a stand

Regarding criticisms towards Hollow Knight because its not as accessible as people wanted, its the deemed obligation to compromise in order to reach as wide an audience as possible that results in the homogenised gameplay that so many games get criticised for today.

Maybe you didnt get on with Hollow Knight because it refused to compromise. Maybe thats what distinguishes it for those who did. Particularly since, without those attributes, it would be even more similar to the likes of Super Metroid than it already is.

Id rather the former group just let it go than require that it bends towards their whims. Otherwise youd end up with another exercise in ticking off automatic map icons, following on-screen glowing arrows and activating detective mode.

Familiar debate

It seems the old, Should Dark Souls have an easy mode? debate has resurfaced in the form of Hollow Knight recently.

I disagree with those criticising Hollow Knights design choices and think its misguided of them to call them misguided.

Dark Souls success firmly established there was an appetite for hard games. Games with minimal hand-holding, where progression is hard and there is high price to pay for death. These design choices set the pulse racing when playing and provide a sense of triumph when you do progress or discover/work something out from your own hard work and endeavour.

Hollow Knights design choices nail this type of experience really well without going overboard, so I think its a bit of an insult to the developers to call their design choices poor or badly implemented just because it isnt your cup of tea.

As for putting in an easy mode. Im not against it but again the omission of easier options doesnt make the hard design choices poorly thought out or implemented. Hollow Knight is a very well-designed game.
Simundo Jones

GC: Its also been extremely successful, so clearly many people appreciate its approach.

Belong in a museum

Has GC or any reader been to the V&A Museum in London to see their Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition? According to their website, its a unique insight into the design process behind a selection of groundbreaking contemporary videogames. Design work, including concept art and prototypes, feature alongside large-scale immersive installations and interactives.

Sounds really great, and not the first video game exhibition in the last few years. Clearly the medium is being taken more seriously and you can imagine its seen as an excellent avenue to branch out into for museums considering new programmes. I only hope its proving popular.

Ill be going early next year, so cant promise a Readers Feature until then. Its on until 24 February.

What museum exhibition on video games has been most popular, critically acclaimed or impactful, to the best of GCs knowledge? In the UK or worldwide.
Owen Pile

GC: At least one reader wrote in about it and said it was good.



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Misquoted disagreement

Like TheCRASSmans morning letter to the Inbox I literally cant wait to be playing Red Dead Redemption II as well. What Ive seen so far of the videos and gameplay simply look breathtaking and its times like these I wish I had a PlayStation 4 Pro and 4K TV!

The amount of effort and time and attention to detail with this game, Rockstar I know will have a game of the year on their hands. But like the CRASSman said, how can that reader say he or she wants it too fail baffles me? Fair plays to the reader if its not their kind of game but wanting it to fail is a bit strong isnt it?
marcs73 (PSN ID) Add me!
Currently playing: Call of Duty: WWII multiplayer.

GC: They didnt say they wanted it to fail, they said they were upset at the inevitability of its success. No wonder they havent written in again.

4 the players

When I turn on my PlayStation 3 I can just insert CD and play PS1 games. When I turn on the PlayStation 4 I cant even hear an audio CD. Its a shame that even the audio CD attached to the PlayStation 4 version of The Witcher doesnt work.

Yes, we need a backward compatibility. Backward compatibility of course also means more sales for Sony. You should also treat players well and allow them to play games that they bought. Companies who dont listen to players were kicked out of the market or have now small profit. Remember the Sega and Sony race?

Now we have Sony vs. mobile devices, like even Android smartphones. Yes, you can now connect an Android device to your screen and use a gamepad. It often cost less because you usually have some smartphone in your pocket. The gamers still like Sony branded PlayStation but how long it will last if they wont do something for them? Even if they dont update the resolution of older games, the ability to run it in original form should be present.

Thank You for reading.

Trade-in policy

On Friday last week I had a rant against digital prices. A few people agreed with me, some didnt. However, I feel I must slightly defend myself. Jess seemed to think that trading in games was wrong and someone in the Underbox even said I was somehow a leech.

Firstly, trading in games isnt illegal, there isnt any rule against it. No one else I know plays video games therefore I cant borrow or swap games with anyone. I also have two kids, a car to run, and a mortgage to pay for. Therefore, along with anything that I buy or pay for I will try and get the best deal.

Secondly, God Of War, the game that Jess mentioned, is made by Santa Monica Studio who are owned by Sony. People do realise that Sony are a multi-billion dollar business right? I havent somehow conned a small independent company out of cash they desperately need.

Ive heard numerous times on the Inbox people say things like, even though I dont want the game right now I want to buy it at full price rather than on sale to support the developer/publisher and now people seem to think trade-in is some kind of sin. Ive never heard this kind of logic applied to other forms of media. Ive never heard anyone say Im gonna buy this DVD at full price rather than in a sale because I want to support Disney. Or I wont trade in this CD that I dont listen to anymore because thats not fair on Snoop Dogg.

Look at film and music. What happened when illegal streaming threatened to destroy things? They made it legal. These industries adapted in order to continue to survive. If the trade-in culture is so harmful to the games industry then the onus shouldnt be on me as a consumer to adapt and change my ways it should be the games industry that needs to adapt. The Xbox Games Pass is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

I would suggest that new release digital games need to be cheaper. I dont know how much game and other retailers take in profit and how much games cost to manufacture and distribute but this extra revenue could be passed to the consumer. Also, a loyalty scheme would also be a benefit for both buyers and sellers. For instance, buy X amount of games on PlayStation/Xbox store and get one free. Also, if say you buy FIFA or Call Of Duty every year then you should be given the incentive of a discount on the next edition.

Personally, I will keep buying physical games and trading them in until either I am forced to change my practice or until I can see real tangible benefits of changing to digital.

Physical purchase

Thanks for the advice on the 3DS version of Cave Story.

I really wanted it on Switch though. Today I managed to bid £17 on a pre-owned copy on eBay and to my surprise I won.

I think this proves my point that Nicalis should drop the price on the eShop. Had I seen it for the same price on the eShop I would have bought it for sure. Maybe others would too and it would be in the charts section, therefore giving it some limelight and more sales.

Instead my money has gone elsewhere.
Fatys Henrys



Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Lesson learned

So there was an Inbox the other day wondering about when Assassins Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption II would be on sale… One would rightly expect theyd stay fairly rigid in pricing for a little while yeah? Hmmmm. Well. Let me tell you a tale.

This time last year, I bought Assassins Creed Origins at launch, physically, for a decent enough price. Barely three weeks later, before Id even had a chance to crack open the disc case while I finished off another title, in the American Black Friday sale Origins was 30% off on the Xbox Store. It was at that point I convinced my mate to remind me of this every time I wanted to get a game coming out in the Christmas period, and to stop me from doing so.

There are exceptions to this rule though. I was so looking forward to the last Tomb Raider in the new trilogy that I digitally pre-ordered the Croft Edition with everything in it, back in April. And now this week, all digital editions are on sale. 25% off. Just over three weeks after release.

So, people, feel free to hold off that purchase of Odyssey or Red Dead a little bit, if you like. Chances are Red Dead will keep its pricing, if Grand Theft Auto V is any indication, but if Odyssey isnt heavily discounted in November then Ill tattoo the word malakas on my forehead.

I didnt exactly regret my purchase of either Origins last year or Tomb Raider this year, they are both great games. But if you do have something to go on with in the meantime, I recommend everyone not buy games from September onwards each year, and wait for the sales closer to Christmas, especially if you dont expect to get to the game until then.

GC: You may be right about Assassins Creed but we very much doubt Red Dead Redemption II will see any kind of major discount this year.

Inbox also-rans

So it looks like streaming is going to be the new buzzword for the next gen then. Im very dubious given how it has to rely on fast and consistent broadband.

This streaming talk is all very well, but my understanding has always been that America has very poor broadband – worse that Europe outside of the biggest cities. Is this not going to be a problem?

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?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
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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.

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