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Games Inbox: How would you reboot Ridge Racer?
Ridge Racer – is there anyway to bring it back?

The evening Inbox learns that work on the new Zelda has already begun, as one reader considers the cyclical nature of fighting games.

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PLEASE NOTE: We are currently getting content ready for the Christmas and New Year break, and since the calendar makes it a particularly long one this time we need as many Reader’s Features as possible to fill in while we’re away. So if you’ve been meaning to write a feature but not quite got round to it, now would be a great time to send one in – as described at the bottom of the page.

Restart your engines

I sometimes worry I’m the only one that remembers it, but I was seriously hoping to find a mention of Ridge Racer in that list of new Bandai Namco games. I can’t pretend I’m surprised it wasn’t though. The death of the arcade racer arguably happened years ago, and I think the failure of Need For Speed Payback has only driven the nail in harder (not that it doesn’t deserve to, the game sounds awful).

I think the only old franchise that could possible regain interest though is Ridge Racer. There’s still a great nostalgic sentiment for the series I think, and the better ones were amazing games in their own right.

I have to admit I don’t think it’d get far as a full price game nowadays but some kind of indie priced things where the lack of tracks didn’t matter because of the cost sounds like it could work to me. Just strip it back to basics, lean heavily on the fact there hasn’t been a new one for years, and make it all about drifting. Throw in multiplayer races online and split screen and I’d definitely play it.

I just want uncomplicated, fast, fun, driving action. And all I get nowadays is slow, complicated, and boring.

A piece of the action

That reader has got it dead right: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the most ironic proof that graphics don’t matter I think you could ever imagine. And I’ve got to say that GC’s review got it spot on: the game’s a technical mess but you very quickly ignore that and get on with enjoying what is one of the most tense and replayable multiplayer games I’ve ever replayed.

I’m still surprised to see just how many copies its sold already, but I guess everyone heard how big it was on PC and wanted a piece of the action. I hope this hammers home the lesson that people have been trying to teach Microsoft for months now: it’s the games that are important, not that hardware.

I mean, they’re giving away copies of PUBG with the Xbox One X now? I didn’t even know that! That’s hilarious when you consider what they’re saying: ‘Buy the most powerful console ever and get the worst looking big name game ever’. I just bought PUBG though, the Xbox One X doesn’t seem worth it.

The dungeon problem

A couple of weeks ago a reader mentioned what we would want to see in the next Zelda, and now I read that Nintendo has confirmed they’ve started work on it. Naturally they haven’t said any more than that (it was in a Japanese art book or something) but it’s still exciting to know they’ve actually started.

I can’t imagine they’ll deviate too far from Breath Of The Wild at first, just because of how successful it’s been, and how they probably want to have another Zelda during the Switch’s lifetime. For me the key problem is what to do about shrines/dungeons.

I actually enjoyed the shrines in general, and particularly in the new DLC, but I would have liked to see some visual variety, even if that wouldn’t technically have made much difference. I think dungeons can get a bit too long in some Zelda games so my compromise would be ones about half the length, with maybe ones as small as shrines and even one or two bigger ones. Variety is the spice of life after all!

But other than that and sorting out better boss battles I think it’s just about designing a new world and characters, that’s what makes the most impact after all.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Old as new

Does anyone know of any logical reason why GAME continue to sell pre-owned stock as new? My understanding was that if it was new they had to pay the developer a fee but pre-owned what they make between buying and selling is pure profit.

It just doesn’t make sense, yet I continue to receive clearly second-hand games sold as new.

GC: Have you complained to them?

Eternally retold

Nice interview, as always, with the SoulCalibur guy. I like how he basically admitted that they’d try and get Link back for a Switch version. I’m kind of interested in the new game, but only because I haven’t played on for years (decades probably).

It seems to me this is what happens to every fighting game after a while: they never figure out anything new to do so they fade away for a few years and when they come back the novelty isn’t that they’re doing anything new but simply that they’re back again.

I’m not suggesting I can think of anyway to shake things up but it does seem like the whole concept is just a one note thing that is in a constant life/death cycle that lasts a couple of sequels and no more. That’s why Street Fighter V didn’t catch on: the last one hadn’t stayed dead long enough.

Difficulty spike

My apologies, I wasn’t clear in my last letter about NieR: Automata. I wasn’t complaining about advancing levels, just that I thought having done most of the main story and several side quests up to the point where the crater opens should have seen 2B be capable enough for the upcoming boss. But rather, all enemies suddenly jump up 10 or 15 levels higher than you at that point.

It comes as bit of shock to the system when you had either been just behind, on par or even a little ahead of the enemies up until that point. It would be like if, whilst in the castle in Persona 5 you started running into enemies that were level 35 and above and the boss was as hard as the one you fought in the pyramid.

Does that make more sense? It seemed like quite a big jump and an unreasonable one. I am of course only speaking for myself.

Second viewing

I can understand GC’s unwillingness to make an early call about The Last Jedi. I came out of the movie unsure of what I saw. I saw it again yesterday though and I have to say the nagging doubts only widened, much like the obvious plot holes.

You can’t fault their ambition but they tried to cram so much in there that it just ends up being a mess. Neither the plot points nor the character motivations make any sense and all your left with are a bunch of unconnected but cool scenes… and a bunch of bad ones with terrible jokes. I’d still advise people see it but keep your expectations in check.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Finally got round to playing The Last Guardian over the weekend. In spite of being a huge Shadow Of The Colossus fan I’d been putting it off, as a lot of the criticism sounded like it was deal breaking to me, such as issues controlling Trico. I’d even considered skipping the game and experiencing it via a Let’s Play.

While there were definitely flaws with the camera and controls I do think they were overblown. I can think of maybe two or three sections the entire game where the camera frustrated me, or was more than a minor nuisance. The controls were sloppy but I think being a slow-paced game focused on puzzle-solving it didn’t really ruin the immersion.

I’d say the biggest fair criticism is the frame rate, which was horrendous at times though, again, due to the slow-paced nature of the game it managed to not completely ruin the experience for me.

Maybe it was due to my lowered expectations after so many reviews online, but controlling Trico was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. Sure it wasn’t perfect but nowhere close to game breaking for me.

The game really nails the bond with Trico though. In your review you described it as a mix of ‘game design, visual artistry, and technological expertise’ and I don’t think I could describe it any better. I think Trico may have cemented a place in my top five game characters, all the more impressive considering Trico has no dialogue.

Anyone who enjoyed Shadow Of The Colossus and was able to tolerate the camera and control issues should definitely check The Last Guardian out, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

The Last Guardian gets the ‘Toy Story 3 roller-coaster of emotions’ award, as well as the ‘I should really go to bed because I’m in work tomorrow but need to see how this ends’ award.
Ty Snowdon

GC: Did anyone notice how similar the alien horse things in The Last Jedi were to Trico?

Inbox also-rans

Would just like to add to the A Hat In Time love that we’ve seen lately. Really great little game and I love Hat Girl as a character. A must buy if you have a PlayStation 4.

So, was looking at games in Smyths, as family did Xmas shopping, and I saw that Red Dead Redemption has been released as a Xbox One digital download for 25 quid. So I googled it at home and there’s no info on it. Have you heard anything?

GC: It was added to Xbox One backwards compatibility last year.

This week’s Hot Topic

As is tradition for the last week before Christmas, this weekend’s Inbox asks what was your biggest video game-related disappointment of 2017?

In the new year (once everyone’s had a chance to play their Christmas presents) we’ll run our regular reader’s poll for the best games of 2017, but for now we want to know what you think was the worst.

Your pick doesn’t have to be a complete disaster but what game were you at least disappointed with? Or perhaps there was some other news story, trend, or hardware release that you considered to be the low point of 2017 for games?

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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