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Games Inbox: Will Sea Of Thieves be a hit?
Sea Of Thieves – how successful will it be?

The morning Inbox thinks The Avengers Project is a games as a service title, as another reader worries about the future of BioWare.

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Sea of hopes

With all the talk about Microsoft’s first party games recently I want to ask whether anyone else on the Inbox has actually played it? I don’t know why it hasn’t had a proper open beta yet but I played the closed beta and really enjoyed it. It’s only really the graphics that tell you it’s a Rare game, but trying to organise what you’re doing with three other people is a lot of fun.

I don’t even know if it’s possible to play it on your own really but after playing a lot of Destiny it was fun to just mess about and look for trouble, rather than just permanently having your finger on the trigger button. I suppose some people might call it a bit aimless, but as someone that doesn’t like to be told where to go in an open world I really liked it.

The question is whether it’s going to be a hit? Rare always seemed an odd company to buy considering they really don’t match with the Xbox audience, so there’s that for a start. There’s also the fact that you’ve kind of got to play it first to really get the idea of it. But I honestly think it could be really big, especially because it’s made (probably literally) for Twitch.
Balloon Kid

Heroes for hire

I don’t want to burst that reader’s bubble but if you read the small print on that Avengers quote in GC’s story it says, that it’ll be a game players ‘will play for years to come’. Maybe it’s just me but that does not sound like a linear single-player game. That sounds like exactly what you were hoping it wouldn’t be. At the very least it’s going to be a multiplayer game and most likely it’ll be a games as a service.

It might have single-player, because Destiny and other games do, but just those few words basically rule out anything like Batman: Arkham Knight. I’m not going to say it’s a good thing or a bad thing but this is the future and microtransactions and loot boxes make money. If you were in charge of a company would you tell everyone not to add them in? Even if you did, I don’t think the investors would keep you around for long if you did.

BioWare’s destiny

I think that reader talking about BioWare being KOed by EA is onto something. Just hours after reading that on the Inbox I saw this story which basically says that almost everyone at BioWare is working on Anthem now, and that if it’s not a hit then the studio is basically doomed. Apparently there’s a small team working on Dragon Age 4, but I assume that’s not going to happen until after Anthem. Assuming it’s a hit.

Oh, and the game’s probably been delayed until early next year as well. Nothing’s confirmed, but considering how many people work at BioWare it doesn’t seem very ridiculous that some of them would speak up.

I mean, I don’t know anything about Anthem yet, other than it’s supposed to be like Destiny, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Especially as it probably means no Mass Effect for at least two or three more years.

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Countdown to E3

I see we’re only in January and we’re already talking about E3, but then I suppose most companies start planning for it even earlier than this? I don’t know how it works to be honest, but it’s obviously such an institution by this point that I assume it’s all a well-oiled machine.

Last year’s was a bit of a quiet one really though, so I wonder if it’s all starting to go into a bit of decline now with the livestreaming and everything. Although I suppose the Sony 2015 conference isn’t that long ago (the one with The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII and Shenmue III) so dreams can still come true and all that. Although I doubt anyone will ever beat that triple.

I don’t really know what to expect this year, but I’m getting the impression from how Microsoft’s talking at the moment that they’re finally going to announce a bunch of new games. They missed their chance last year, I thought, but there’s always another year…
Terry Gold

GC: Some companies start planning the moment the last one is finished.

Nindie Jones

As we all wait for Nintendo to make their major announcements for the year I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s most looking forward to new IP. Not that Nintendo sequels have been bad lately (obviously) but I’m really hoping Splatoon and ARMS wasn’t a short-lived phase they were going through.

Personally what I’d like to see them do is attempt a more serious Uncharted/Tomb Raider type of game. Serious in the sense that it’s not cartoon characters, but still quite light and funny. Now I think of it they’d probably be perfect for the Indiana Jones licence, but I assume EA’s got that and I’m not sure kids are that familiar with the films nowadays.

But something like that would be great. I guess it would kind of be like the dungeons from traditional Zeldas but on a bigger scale. I imagine Nintendo might not want to do guns too much but punching is fine, I’m sure, and well… a whip or something like that would be great too. Maybe even make it more of an action role-player, but definitely have a brand new hero and not someone that exists already. What does everyone else think?

Source material

That was a great review of Arc System’s latest coruscating brawler, guys. But Dragon Ball FighterZ would have to be very, very special to surpass Astro Boy: Omega Factor as the best anime tie-in game for me. Oh Treasure, how I miss you dearly…. I’m certain I’ll derive immense satisfaction from the Dragon Ball FighterZ though because the fighting in it looks absolutely spectacular. Judging by what I’ve witnessed so far, the game’s Super Saiyan power levels are at least around the 150,000,000 mark…
Galvanized Gamer
PS: Were you fans of Astro Boy: Omega Factor, GC? I suspected it was licensing issues that prevented the game from appearing on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, but I hope Nintendo/the ghost of Treasure can work around it and get it on the Switch eventually.
PPS: A Treasure games compilation on the Switch including all the Game Boy Advance games, Sin & Punishments, Wario World, and super niche titles like Bleach: The Blade Of Fate, Silhouette Mirage, FreakOut, and even McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure would make me an extremely happy gamer.
PPPS: This letter is partially a requiem to my beloved Treasure!

GC: Astro Boy: Omega Factor is a great game, but we doubt many UK gamers have ever seen the anime or knew it was a tie-in. Not that it’s at all similar to Dragon Ball FighterZ anyway.

Permanent fixture

Count me in as another that’s in favour of Game Pass. I haven’t got it yet, but if works as promised and Microsoft announce a bunch more good-looking first party games then I’ll pay that much for it. My question though is whether these games are going to stay there for good. Because if it is really like Netflix then things come and go, which is fine with shows and films but not if you’re playing a game.

I imagine they’ve thought about that, but you never know with companies sometimes. Maybe they do go, and that’s when they want to talk you into buying the game on its own.

GC: Apparently the first party games will be a permanent part of the service.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Another subscription

Regarding people watching games on Twitch, rather than actually playing them themselves, I can’t see the appeal in that either. I do sometimes use Twitch, but that’s just to get an idea of how a game plays to help make a judgement to whether I think I will enjoy said game.

I have however watched Twitch while playing a game (not simultaneously) to see how someone else fairs/reacts to the same situation I’ve just got through, although I’m not in the habit of doing this.

Also, on the subject of the new Game Pass announcement, I’m a bit divided. I do think it’s great value and has potential to save money, but at the same time prefer physical copies of games and worry this will lead to less opportunities to get boxed games.

I don’t currently subscribe to Game Pass, as when I’ve looked at what’s on offer I’ve usually got or at least played the ones I’ve been interested In. I would need to add another subscription to my already growing list to get onboard. It’s something I’m considering, but may just hold off on the new first party games for an inevitable price drop for the boxed game.
PS: In response to Rolph, from that list I would say to play Resident Evil 7 and agree with GC on the Link To The Past suggestion for the SNES Mini, or you can’t go wrong with Super Mario World.

Inbox also-rans

Is it going to be the Reader’s Top 20 poll next week, GC? I always look forward to that, and even if the number one is a given I’m curious to see how everything else will rank. I hope the problems with the Hot Topic letters recently won’t be an issue.

GC: Yes, it’ll be next week. We hope people will make the effort. The frustration is that more people than ever are reading the Inbox at the moment but the number writing in has not increased, in fact it’s gone down for the Hot Topic and we once again don’t have enough for this weekend yet. We hate reminding people though, we feel like a teacher ordering you to do your homework.

Never mind a Classic Mini Amiga, what about a Classic Mini Atari ST? Yeah, I know… It’s no fun when your machine was on the losing side of a format war.

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks what is your favourite ever sequel?

It can be any game for any format, but we want to know why you like it so much and what it did right to improve on its predecessor. Was the sequel very different from the original or was it just a minor improvement on an already great game? Did it fix problems in the previous games, or add much wanted new features?

How does your favourite sequel compare to other entries in the same series and do you expect it will ever be bettered?

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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.

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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