The evening Inbox learns the terror of Sonic R’s Tails doll curse, as another reader compares God Of War to The Last Jedi.
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Money can’t buy you everything
Interesting preview of Sea Of Thieves from GC, who said: ‘There doesn’t appear to be any equipment that actually changes the gameplay in anyway. Or maybe there is and we just haven’t got far enough to realise it yet.’ Rare have already confirmed there will be no barriers for newcomers. I have to ask, why does progression always have to be linked to better, more powerful items? I don’t see how this can be perceived as an annoyance?
A system which relies upon acquiring better items and improve stats is in every other game, Rare have dared to be different and should be commended for not just producing Destiny with pirates. Why does the player who has played for 100 hours have to have an advantage over the gamer who has just started? The only advantage I can see is experience in playing the game, which is how it should be, and not being overpowered.
To suggest there is no form of progression is untrue, it’s just a more inclusive approach which involves becoming a ‘legendary pirate’ to unlock more complex missions. As far as I’m concerned Rare have made the right decisions for Sea Of Thieves so far, I just hope they don’t listen to critics who want them to conform.
GC: You don’t have to have it but every game needs goals, and having little or no player progression removes one of the most effective ways of achieving that. As well potentially increasing issues with repetition. It also seems pretty important, in a game all about acquiring treasure, that you have something worthwhile to actually spend it on. But we’ll see, so far we’re thoroughly enjoying Sea Of Thieves.
It’s fairly late, but I’d like to chip in on the female characters front.
Firstly, I’d argue that contrary to Mesomex’s view, where dialogue is interchangeable with the male characters, that this is often a good thing. A great example of this is Femshep, though the voice acting obviously helped a lot. There’s no reason that we should expect the female characters to be more sensitive, compassionate or intelligent.
She’s only a peripheral character but I thought Aveline in Dragon Age II was really interesting, all the more so because she could not function simply as either love interest or a surrogate daughter for the main character, which is too often the case. She had her own approach, and goals which you could either assist or hinder.
I’d also put in a good word for Yennefer. She wasn’t a very likeable character, and so probably not the most obvious choice for the Hot Topic, but she felt very real and multi-faceted, to the extent that you could see how despite her domineering personality, she and Geralt could be a good fit for each other, with each mitigating the flaws of the other.
Matt Woolley (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)
RE: PC gaming. It‘s just over a year now since I splurged £1,100 on a gaming PC and it’s a wonderful bit of kit. But in all honesty the only area where it matters, that it really trounces consoles on, is frame rate (although SSD load times are a revelation). I’ve been playing Gears Of War 4 on ultra settings at over 100 fps on a 1080p 144Hz monitor for example. Even VR on PC is not currently a massive leap over PlayStation VR.
The extra power in a high-end PC is rarely tapped. Like the Xbox One X and Pro are held back by their base models so are high end PCs by their mid-range siblings and consoles. You get a game built to run on lesser hardware, just with some bells and whistles added. A game built just to run on an i7/GTX 1080 would be pretty amazing.
A PC has tons more to offer, both game and non-game related, over consoles. But as soon as 60 fps is standard on consoles I probably won’t bother gaming on PC as exclusives like Bloodborne and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (both best game ever made contenders in my book) will always mean I’ll want to own consoles. Hopefully that’s next gen in the form of 4K/30 fps and 1080p/60 fps options as even in 2020 I think it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to produce a 4K/60 fps console for £350.
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Dare to be different
God Of War is looking very good, the new style that is on show has definitely reinvigorated my interest in the series. I think it takes bravery to change the direction of a well-established and popular series, especially when you run the risk of making it less popular if the fans don’t take to it. Can you imagine how all the angry teenage American boys will react online if it’s significantly different to God Of War III?
Looking forward to your review.
A few people have made comparisons to The Last Jedi lately. A superb film, exciting, emotional, funny, a brave change of direction of a popular and we’ll established series that flies in the face of convention.
Just imagine the online rants if the internet had existed in the ‘80s.
What have you done George?!
Obi-Wan said a young Jedi called Darth Vader murdered your father. Now he IS your father? That makes no sense!
Now Leia is his sister? You’re making this up as you go along! (He was.)
You can’t have bombs drop in the vacuum of space! TIE Bombers wouldn’t work!
Yoda is just a rubbish looking Muppet, he’s too comedic!
Kids in teddy bear costumes win a battle against the Empire? Are you kidding me!
You could go on and on, Luke using the Force a few hours after he knows about it, Leia using the Force, etc., etc.
GC: Angry American teenagers were exactly who we were thinking of when we wondered about a possible backlash. Although we guess most would probably be in at least their late twenties by now. We don’t agree with your assessment of The Last Jedi though. It doesn’t fly in the face of convention at all: Star Wars films have been rubbish a number of times before! *hi-hat*
So, seems it’s a small (Monster Hunter) world after all!
In response to Anon the fraught 15 minute hunt I mentioned in my recent Reader’s Feature was indeed for that most rotten of elder dragons Vaal Hazak, and a great team effort it was too.
Now, if only the tempered versions of Teostra and Kushala would go down as easy I’d be a happy hunter…
I know a couple of people have ‘claimed’ to enjoy Sonic R. I am not one of those people. In fact, it’s one of those games where I’d not be able to stop myself from responding with, ‘What? Really?’
I played it on the Sonic Gems Collection, I think. The Sega magazines of the time hyped it to kingdom come before release and was a critical darling for them. Well, what else did you have on the Saturn?
This game is the worst racing game I have ever played, though I’ve probably played less than 10 from this genre in my whole life. Still, if there’s worse out there, I don’t wanna know. The handling is dreadful, the controls are a nightmare and that music makes Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 seem like Street Fighter II. That bloody song. It sticks in your head like one of those parasites from Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan. And probably does more neurological damage.
I am convinced, to this day, that it was not the work of humans. Rather, the herald for some unfathomably evil, eldritch deity that wishes to unmake all reality.
But hey, a Sonic racing game will always be a good idea. He’s gotta go fast, after all. Because while I can imagine that you can do worse than Sonic R I really don’t want to.
GC: It literally is a herald for some unfathomably evil, eldritch deity. Haven’t you heard the stories about the Tails doll?
If GameCentral, or your reader who enjoyed the sublime Under the Skin, like movies where you’re allowed to take in your own interpretation of the unfolding events, you should try Eraserhead (it actually brought about a new genre of music), Beyond the Black Rainbow, and the fabulous French movie La Moustache. Eraserhead is arguably the most surreal film I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch and although the synopsis may sound preposterous for La Moustache, the existential nightmare that unfolds isn’t.
Tetsuo the Iron Man is also a mesmerising experience that won’t be to everyone’s tastes but is certainly to mine.
Crash the party
Gold member at the ARMS appreciation club reporting in: I am really looking forward to the latest Party Crash event near the end of the month, participating in these special occasions are some of the most joyful moments I’ve ever had playing online. They’re so many wacky modifiers and rewards that enliven the uniquely elongated, and Nintendo, take on the art of pugilism.
I’ve only just started playing as Dr Coyle and I have yet to even try out Max Brass after around 30 hours playtime, so I’m eager to put them both to the test against the best of the best. I was very happy to find out back in January that the game has a passionate core following – and for good reason if you ask me. So there’s always a healthy turnout in the Party Crash events, even in the regular party and ranked modes too. In conclusion, ARMS definitely has legs…
God, I love this game so much; I sincerely believe it’s one of the most refreshingly original, deceptively nuanced, coruscating and fun games I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing!
PS: I’d like to shout out my special brother in ARMS, Brizlepete, aka Peter Watts, aka the man that simply doesn’t age. We’ve had some epic matches on it so far! I’d also like to extend (get it!) the invitation to anyone else that’s up for some games, my friend code is SW-0749-3042-3808, guys and gals.
To the reader from Ireland who asked is PlayStation Now worth it, I’d say no way. Buy a PlayStation 3 and second-hand games, there are only a few games worth playing on it. That’s the only thing Microsoft are doing better really with the Game Pass, though arguably if you’ve played all the major games on Xbox 360 and Xbox One already there’s not much to look forward too on that either.
I have a massive library of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games and never play them, I think backwards compatibility is overrated myself. Just keep the old consoles or rebuy them if you fancy playing older games.
Press the button
RE: Alek Kazam’s letter about moments of stupidity. When I got my Nintendo 64, it came with GoldenEye 007 and was the first first person shooter I had ever played, so had no idea how the mechanics of these games worked. I was so excited that I didn’t read through the game manual properly.
I spent literally three hours trying to get through the double blast doors on the first level. I didn’t realise all you had to do was walk up to the green/red square on the wall and press the ‘A’ button.
I kept restarting the level thinking you had to be with the truck when the doors automatically opened, allowing you to go through so I was endlessly speed running through the level to try and make it in time.
I became expert at dashing through the stage, taking out all the enemies before they knew what had hit them and finally I was quick enough to reach the truck as it was passing through the door only to be hit with extreme disappointment when the door on the other side didn’t automatically open. I tried throwing grenades and firing into the air to get the guards’ attention who were on the other side, hoping they would open the door but all was to no avail. I restarted the level several times absolutely flummoxed as to how to get passed those doors.
My younger sister came in and I explained my problem. She sat and watched for a bit then said, ‘Don’t you have to press that button on the wall?’ I kind of scoffed to myself thinking, ‘No, silly girl! That’s just a light to tell you when the doors are open…’ But then I looked at it, walked over, pressed the ‘A’ button and felt so stupid as the doors started opening.
Up till today, whenever playing a third dimensional game, I try pressing absolutely everything in the game world that vaguely resembles a button, switch or lever just in case!
PsillyPseudonym (PsillySeudonym – gamertag)
I read your God Of War preview with interest today as I have always liked the idea of the earlier games but never got past the Hydra at the beginning of the first one. This is because I physically cannot bash the face buttons on the controller as quickly as it requires. Will the new God OOf War have any of these sequences?
Pigfish2 (PSN ID)
GC: It doesn’t seem to have any QTEs or button-mashing sequences, although obviously we didn’t play the whole thing.
I haven’t seen the latest Tomb Raider movie as I’m cringing at the thought of how bad it is, but have been wondering. Who plays the role best Angelina Jolie or the new lady?
GC: Keeley Hawes.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader R1CH5TER, and asks what is your most played console or computer?
What video game format have you spent the most time on overall, over the years, and how comes? Do you count it as your favourite format and do you still have it plugged in, ready to play, today? Do you keep your old consoles and if not do you regret getting rid of them?
How interested are you in retro gaming and what benefits, if any, do you feel there are in owning the original console itself – instead of a replica or just an emulation of its games?
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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.