The morning Inbox is glad Harry Potter fans may get their dream game, as one reader discovers rare behind the scenes Mortal Kombat 3 footage.
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Since were entering the Christmas rush now, aka the sequel zone, it made me think what was the most radical sequel ever? As in the one game that completely changed the series up but was still really good? And then it occurred to me that weve probably had the two best contenders in the last 12 months or so: Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and God Of War.
These games really dont look or play very much at all like their predecessors and completely dump certain ideas or change them completely out of recognition, and yet theyre still completely awesome and retain the same identity as the originals. I honestly think they could be the two best sequels ever made, not just because of their quality but how much they pushed themselves to be something new and different.
I mean, compare that to Red Dead Redemption II, which looks amazing but is pretty clearly just the first game but with better graphics. I really doubt Battlefield V or the new Call Of Duty is going to be much different either. The only possible contender is probably Fallout 76, because even though Im sure it reuses a lot of the old graphics at least its a new idea. Although not really a sequel I guess, unless Ive missed numbers 5 to 75 somewhere along the way.
Effort and reward
I have no interest in Harry Potter but even from just watching that leaked trailer I can see that a lot of work has gone into it and its, what I would assume, is exactly what fans have been waiting for all these years. That does happen occasionally with games, Spider-Man being a recent example, but its absolutely frustrating when it doesnt.
The situation with EA and Star Wars is absolutely maddening and Im now worried that theyre essentially treading water and will get rid of the licence at the earliest opportunity. I assume theyre contractually obliged to make a few more games, but you can just imagine what kind of loot box hell they were intending to unleash on the revamped game from Visceral. I can only hope the Respawn game is some kind of homage to Jedi Knight and the games of the past.
Im sure the Harry Potter game will be a huge success and Spider-Man already is, so theres plenty of proof that if you put in the effort, and the money, you will be rewarded. But publishers just seem too scared to do it and so we get mediocre licensed games or none at all.
Its not what I expected but Im seeing rumours now that Animal Crossing might be out in the spring, not Christmas as I think everyone else expected. (Thats what I thought anyway, was I the only one?) Id be very impressed if thats what happens because itll leave the rest of the year wide open and hints that Nintendo are going to make 2019 much more like 2017 than 2018 for new releases.
Im fascinated to see what theyll do next year if Sony and Microsoft start announcing new consoles, because Nintendo is completely out of synch with them now and I have no idea what theyre going do or even what I think they should do.
The obvious guess is some kind of hardware revision but its going to be tricky making one given you have to keep the Joy-Cons compatible and the screen is already about as small as it can be. Maybe theyll just keep the current design and increase the internal power with a new chipset? I dont know how feasible that is but I know Id be up for a Switch Pro X.
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The Fortnite factor
I actually find that theory that Fortnite could be eating into FIFA 19s profits fairly convincing. Im sure its only a fairly small percentage, because going digital will account for the biggest chunk of that 25% drop, but in my experience casual gamers are still all playing Fortnite. And they cant play two games at once so thats inevitably going to mean less time on FIFA and not bothering to get the new game until later.
I wonder whether this will affect other games that rely on a casual audience and we might see the likes of Assassins Creed and Call Of Duty also taking an unexpected knock. Although I suppose Call Of Duty has its own Battle Royale mode now so it might escape unscathed.
If it does then we could be faced with the situation where the big sellers are either games that are just like Fortnite or those that are completely different, meaning that relatively hardcore games could actual do well at Christmas for once. Or maybe not, what do I know? The game Im most looking forward to is Just Cause 4 and nobody else likes that!
Old school acting
I know theres some Mortal Kombat fans on here so I thought you might be interested in this video I cam across that shows behind the scenes footage of the actors making Mortal Kombat 3. I assume this is the last game where they digitised real actors (except maybe their faces in 4?) and probably the last time this kind of tech was ever used in a game.
A part of me kind of wishes theyd do an old school 2D game like this again, but I know they never would. But watching all these actors running around in their silly costumes it just feels so… 90s. Theyre clearly enjoying it all as well, which is neat.
Graphics being what they are nowadays though I guess we dont need real actors anymore, although theyre still used for motion capture and voiceovers so in a way I suppose you could say that the old Mortal Kombat method is still going strong – just used in a slightly different way.
S is for savings
I just cannot believe some of the fantastic Xbox One S deals lately, they are just getting better and better! I mean, in Currys/PC World they are currently selling a 1TB Xbox One S including four games – Shadow Of The Tomb Raider (which I think is a downloadable code) but you also get FIFA 19, Tekken 7, and Project CARS 2 in physical boxes on discs, and all for just £230!
I mean, even if you bought this console bundle alone with the four games and sold the three boxed games and just played the brand new Tomb Raider CeX would give you £56 back in cash, so in theory a brand new 1TB Xbox One S and the Tomb Raider game would only actually cost you £174 in total. And its not even Black Friday yet! So god knows what deals they will have then when it is, I just cant see it being much better than what were being offered now surely.
Too good to be true
Loving the new Forza Horizon. The British setting does make it feel a bit special. The only problem I can see is the realism.
There are nowhere near enough potholes destroying your suspension and costing you thousands of pounds. Other than that its great.
Five into two does go
What Id liked to see from Capcom now is advancing Ultra Street Fighter II even further.
I didnt play that game. I know it was a Switch exclusive and I heard bad things about it. Various reasons. Who wants Ryu and Ken versions? Add new characters!
Im coming away from playing the 30th anniversary Street Fighter collection and thinking about Street Fighter V at the same time because Id love to see some characters downgraded in graphics from number V and dropped into Ultra Street Fighter II. We know what Ryu looks like in 2D, but what about Laura? Be nice to see her moveset. Street fighter II is still great in gameplay. Had a tug of war with my friend this week on it, we were both loving it because were a good match and its the first time in 10 years weve played this together.
I still love number two in all its renditions and Id like to see them go barebones again. If they can do Ultra Street Fighter II on the Switch in 2017 then surely someone is thinking along the same lines for the company and I should probably have their job.
Nick The Greek
Your Astro Bot review actually made me a bit sad because I have no way to play a PlayStation VR and dont know anyone with one. I almost wish GAME were still doing those paid-for demos.
Not that it matters much but was there any obvious reason why Spider-Man wasnt set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? I cant imagine Tom Holland wouldve charged that much for a voiceover.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what generally disliked game do you think is actually good?
The game can be a commercial flop, have poor reviews, or just be something that nobody else you know likes. But why do you enjoy it? Do you think the complaints against it are unfair or do you acknowledge them but still think its fun anyway?
How often do you find yourself disagreeing with the majority opinion on a game and does it worry you when you seem to be out of step with the consensus?
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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.