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Games Inbox: Have you ever bought a game because of the DLC?
Injustice 2 – worth buying just for the DLC?

The evening Inbox wonders if Sea Of Thieves can really make online gaming friendly again, as one reader calls for more Chu Chu Rocket.

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Super Comic Book Fighter

As the debate about microtransactions and DLC rumbles on it got me thinking about what ‘traditional’ DLC has actually ever been worth the while. Apart from maybe a few Call Of Duty map packs and The Witcher 3 season pass I’m struggling to think of any. Which is why I always find it odd when games have their DLC as an exclusive of some kind, as that always seems so unimportant to me.

And then I realised I was seriously considering buying Injustice 2 for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles DLC. I’ve watch a bunch of clips online and they seem absolutely perfect. Literally perfect in that they look like the costumes from the first film (no idea why but I’m glad they are!).

In my head the obvious solution is to wait and pick up a game of the year edition, but I know the second I see it cheap I’ll snap it up and then pay full price for the DLC. But if it’s as good as it looks I’m fine with that. Although it does make me wonder whether Warner are building up to a sort of Super Comic Book Fighter game, which I would be totally all for. Hellboy is such a weird addition I assume it’s just whatever the devleopers happen to like, but I’d be love to see a comic book fighter that was basically DC and everything except Marvel. Especially if Judge Dredd is in it!
Purple Ranger

Turning point

Has anyone made any predictions about what Sony might be unveiling at E3 this year? I know it’s Microsoft, and to a degree Nintendo, who have to make the big impact but I’m sure Sony won’t want to sit things out. And yet there’s not a lot of regular franchises left to make their first appearance on the PlayStation 4.

If Spider-Man is out by then (I’m painfully aware it still doesn’t have a released date) then I’d expect to see Ratchet & Clank and also maybe Jak And Daxter, since Sony will be super aware of how well Activision’s PS1 remasters have done.

But my guess is going to also be something on Horizon Zero Dawn. I don’t think they’re going to want to let that one sit for too long and instead promote it as one of their cornerstone games. But when you ask what it will be like what I’m expecting is multiplayer. The comparisons to Monster Hunter clearly haven’t escaped Sony, considering there’s already DLC in Capcom’s game, and I think they’re going to see Horizon as a way to make a similar kind of co-op game, maybe even a games as a service.

Not saying that’s a good or bad thing yet, but it’s certainly going to be an important indicator of whether Sony sticks with their ‘mostly single-player game plan’.

Summit to say?

Pleased to read Grackle had already written in to speak up for Celeste this morning. (Rather than a case of Celeste said, the better… Sorry).

I’d echo his words. For me, Celeste is likely to be one of my games of the year, whatever else is churned out. So yes, some people really do enjoy games like this; not just enjoy, but adore. It was a special, hard-won moment to pick up the last missed strawberry a few days ago, and I’m enjoying (after much practice and resolve) battling through the B-sides, hoping I have it in me to beat them all.

I noticed the clock on my wall for long enough to realise I’d faced down one of the screens for 20 minutes, last night. There’s little to match the elation of finally making it out the other side. Even when the reward is more punishment.

Can I join the SAS now?
Squinty McGee

GC: Seems fair to us.

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Talk like a pirate

Very interested to see if Sea Of Thieves is going to go on to have the impact on gaming that some are predicting. I think it looks a lot of fun, but the question all along has always been how much longevity it really has. I assume they realise that, they all seem pretty clued in from your interviews, and it certainly seems to have gone down a storm on Twitch. A mate has a closed beta code so I’m going to go round his house at the weekend and see what it’s about, so hopefully it’ll all become that bit more clearer.

I think the most interesting thing was when Rare were talking about want to make people more friendly and helpful towards each other, which is certainly a bold goal. Apart from the whole Internet anonymity problem there’s also the issues that hardly has voice chat on for strangers anymore, and if they do it’s just because they want to be a nuisance.

If they can fix that then I’ll definitely be impressed. I’d also dread to think of what the community will be like if it doesn’t work out…

Behind the scenes

Much as I’d like to hope it’s true I think that reader might be getting a bit ahead of himself if he thinks publishers are getting ready to abandon loot boxes. I’ve been delving a bit more into what publishers say in their financial reports and too investors when they think nobody else is paying attention.

Ubisoft had their results recently, which didn’t make the headlines because there wasn’t really anything unexpected. But basically their whole presentation was them bragging about how much loot boxes make them and how they’ve all but given up on making ordinary games, versus games as a service.

I actually think Ubisoft are the best of the big publishers about loot boxes because (I think) they’re always cosmetic only and don’t interfere with gameplay. But it’s clear that they consider this to be the future of gaming and behind the scenes that’s all their interested in. If Anthem doesn’t have loot boxes I will eat my Xbox, and I’d be very much surprised if they’re not the bad kind too.

SWERY by it

Great to hear we are getting a new SWERY game, possibly two. I hold Deadly Premonition in high regard and bought episode one of D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die and was disappointed when it was confirmed there wouldn’t be any more episodes.

It’s always good to have games that are a bit different to the norm and actually good as well, like Deadly Premonition and D4.

I liked the look of that trailer for The Good Life and will have to keep a look out for the Kickstarter. I think I would choose to be a dog but on second thoughts maybe a cat as dogs tend to stay inside at night. I think one of the villagers who turns into a cat will be the culprit.
PS: Aside from Shenmue I and II, my choice for a Dreamcast remaster would be Blue Stinger. I found that to be an excellent game, and it’s such a shame the bad timing of the Dreamcast’s demise forced the developer to close and we never got to see IIIbleed released over here. Found an interesting read on it here.

Missing mices

RE: Games from the Dreamcast I’d want to experience anew now: Chu Chu Rocket! It would be an easy fit for mobiles, Switch, all sorts of platforms.

I never played the Dreamcast version, just the Game Boy Advance port all those years ago. They could probably just re-release the old levels, but if they wanna create some new ones at the same time I would not be complaining.

GC: It is odd they’ve never brought it back, even just as a freebie.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Weekly skirmish

I can’t let Hammeriron comment here this morning go without response:

‘I can see why the rumours about Spyro The Dragon would get people interested in more PS1 remasters, but put down as one of those people that think there’s very little that’s still playable from that console. Sure there’s a nostalgia rush, but have you actually tried to play things like Syphon Filter or Tomb Raider lately? Let’s just put it this way: it suddenly makes you appreciate how far we’ve come since then.’

As someone who still has two regularly used PlayStation/PS ones I feel qualified to contradict this. In the last year I’ve played Colony Wars, Panzer Front Bis., the hideously tough original Rayman, replayed Rayman 2, and still play Command & Conquer: Red Alert – Retaliation skirmish maps weekly and Tekken 3 less often. All the games mentioned are still very playable.

I’ve only very recently re-played both Tomb Raider 2 and 3 and in the years since release I’ve re-played all the Core Studio PS1 era games many times. Admittedly now I prefer the better graphics of their PC versions, but I play them with the same Sony DualShock controller and mapping that is used for the PS1, even down to the D-pad being used for movement.

With the controller skills that comes with experience the subtleties possible, combined with Lara Croft’s skill-set, which increased with each game, it makes many modern day games of the same sort feel like they’re handholding you.

So I’m not suffering from rose-tinted nostalgia for the PS era but also certainly not uncritical of their technical crudity in comparison to what we’ve been given since. There were games even back then that were borderline unplayable either due to the controls or lousy graphics and others reasons. You’d have to pay me to replay them.

But gameplay is always the key and, without question, there are games of this period which do more than hold their own in that respect even today. Financial considerations aside is there any reason not to remaster them for use on current hardware by players who’ve never played them before if they are genuinely worthy?
Malcolm Lawn

GC: No, but you are talking about spending a fair amount of money for uncertain reward. The Crash Bandicoot remasters had to be redone from the ground up, plus the modernising in terms of the graphics and controls. That can’t have been cheap.

Inbox also-rans

Is anyone else still playing Gran Turismo Sport? I was thinking of getting it now it’s on cheap but wasn’t really sure it was worth it. Do the patches and extra content make much of a difference?
The Colt

I’d never heard of Arc System Works until a few weeks ago, and suddenly they seem to be everywhere. Good for them as far as I can see, looks like they’ve been working away in the trenches all this time and now they’ve hit the limelight.

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks how your taste in video games has changed in recent years.

Have you noticed a shift in terms of the types of games you play, or major franchises you’ve changed your opinion on? Do you play more or less multiplayer games now than you used to, and has the format you play on most – including consoles, portables, PC, and mobile devices – changed as time’s gone on?

How have the games you play evolved to match the amount of free time you have? And are there certain types of games you’d like to play now but don’t have the time, or expertise, for anymore?

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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.

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