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Games Inbox: Have you ever bought a video game Collector’s Edition?
Would you pay $150 for this?

The morning Inbox is upset that there are plenty of betas but no game demos, as a lone reader sticks up for the idea of a Dark Souls easy mode.

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Statute of disappointment

I know a lot of people have been worried about the lack of release date for God Of War, but I’ve just seen they’ve announced one of those super expensive collector’s editions. I can’t imagine they’d do that if it wasn’t coming out quite soon, which seems to match up with the March release date that everyone expects.

It’s one of these jobs with a giant statute in it that costs £100+. I mean, you shouldn’t tell other people what to do with their money, but what I never get is why do you buy these things for games you don’t even know you’ll like? I mean, I assume only hardcore God Of War fans are going to be buying it, but are they that certain they’re not going to be disappointed? Despite the fact that it’s a completely different type of game to before.

I know I’ve been stung before by hating things I thought I was going to love, and I’m not even talking about The Last Jedi. But at least I didn’t get the added indignity of having spent £100 on a statute to something I don’t even like. Is anyone here willing to own up to making a mistake with collector’s editions in the past?

Demonstrably bad

Surely I’m not the only one to be frustrated about all these ‘betas’ that are around at the moment, and yet apparently normal game demos are no longer really a thing. I really don’t see the difference between them anymore, except that betas only last a week or so. I don’t believe that betas are seriously being used to change anything about the game, seeing as most of them seem to happen just a couple of weeks before the game come out. They’re clearly just time-limited demos, just like we always used to have.

So why not have it for everything? It used to be Microsoft policy to have a demo for everything, but since they stopped that they’ve all but died out. I know it’s because apparently people are less likely to buy a game if they’ve played the demo. But then how come betas aren’t a problem. If it’s the time limit that makes it work for publishers just do that. Have it delete itself after two days or something, like a movie.

Watching something on YouTube is all very good but I want to know how a game plays. And do often I’m still having to take a risk I don’t think I should have to.

The Mattrick Revolutions

So it looks like these Fable rumours are really on the money. Eurogamer just repeated the same basic story as we had a few days ago with their own sources, saying that Playground Games are going to make it and Microsoft are treating it as a really big budget game. Which as a fan of the series does make me very happy.

But I still don’t understand why they shut down Lionhead Studios. I could see if it was by the guy that was in charge for the Xbox One launch (what was his name again?). But this was all done under Phil Spencer. It is very hard to reconcile the things Phil Spencer says and what he actually does, which does make me wonder how much power he (or rather the Xbox division in general) really has.

Why shut down Lionhead and cancel Scalebound if the main problem is you haven’t got enough exclusives? Surely that’s the time to make the best of what you’ve got and worry about tightening things up later? I mean it’s not my money, so obviously I don’t care in that sense, but a lot of people lost their jobs, over both things I would imagine, and it doesn’t seem to make sense why.

GC: His name was Don Mattrick.

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Friends are easy

Dark Souls has an easy mode in summons. It makes bosses or navigating the path to a boss much easier with a friend or non-player character in tow, personally I think it breaks the game in making it too easy and diminishing what is an integral part of what SoulsBorne games are about.

There’s no easy mode, as it goes against one of the things the developers were trying to achieve with their game. Which is to show there’s reward in struggle, perseverance, and overcoming difficulty in general. That central artistic notion at the core of SoulsBorne games, and is an immutable ingredient to their identity and appeal in my eyes.

Like the recent Hot Topic, I tune into Twitch fairly often. One of my favourite things to watch is someone playing Dark Souls for the first time who struggles at first but sticks with it and it all clicks. I think for anybody who’s been getting destroyed by a boss in a SoulsBorne game, the feeling of when you finally beat it solo is one of the best gaming has to offer.
Simundo Jones


RE: Jendu. Some diehard fans may balk at the suggestion of any easy mode for Dark Souls, but there is nothing wrong in wanting easier access to one of the best games ever made (in my opinion). I don’t know how many people are currently playing Dark Souls, but when the remastered version is released I am sure there will be players you can call upon for assistance via the summons signs.

There are also non-player characters that can assist with certain boss battles, and some are good enough to beat the boss on their own if left to it. I certainly used them when I last played the game. Perseverance is definitely key with the Souls games, but I can understand the desire for an easy mode if your gaming time is limited.

Just out of Interest, what do you think an easy mode should look like? Perhaps an extended tutorial level would assist those struggling with the mechanics of the game.
Ron Obvious

Key ingredient

I really don’t think that playing Dark Souls in easy mode, if it had one, would be worth it. You’d be missing out on a big part of what makes it so special, and it would make it a lesser game. If it was easy you wouldn’t get the sense of achievement and all that comes with it. The sweaty hands, the adrenaline rush, and the relief/elation when you finally beat a boss or get past the part you’re stuck on.

I didn’t start the Chalice Dungeons in Bloodborne until I was at the end of New Game+ and the first few were so easy that it was boring. It was only when I got to the harder ones that I started to enjoy it again, and I think people would feel the same if the main game was like that. It’s like playing a Telltale game without the story, Elder Scrolls or Fallout without the open world. Or turning PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds into just another Call Of Duty clone.

Everybody can finish it if they want to, and help is there if they need it through co-op and wikis. I’m not sure how true this is, but if all else fails you can try playing as a mage which I’ve heard is like Darks Souls easy mode.

Spanish inquisition

Nintendo has turned its hands to origami, where did that come from? Just when I think they are unpredictable they go and do this and confirm how bonkers they really are. They seem to have more money then sense.

Well, it was expected after the success of last year.
Alek Kazam

GC: You think Nintendo Labo is a mistake?

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Your head around it

Yeah, I’ve played the open beta of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT twice now and I feel your description of ‘complicated’ has to the quaintest understatement of the decade.

I read all the tutorials in the basic menu and then threw me into a mock battle. Let me tell you, Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution is complicated. this game is an M. C. Escher nightmare of infinite twists and loops. The battle was dragging on forever and you have to deliver a certain kind of hit to win a bout. Huh? What? What’s happening? What’s going on? Am I doing badly? Am I doing well? Why hasn’t anyone died yet? Why does that woman from the intro wear wheel heels on her shoes?

These are all valid questions I’m sure you’ll agree. But I will try to wrap my head around it all before the beta ends. It’s just that the game is doing a very good job of making me feel exceedingly thick in the process.

GC: Just punch people until they stop moving, the rest will come later.

Inbox also-rans

I cannot wait for Nintendo’s announcement to a) be completely weird and silly and b) really annoy hardcore gamers. Nintendo always provide entertainment, video games or not.

10pm (in the evening) is a strange time of day to make a ‘specifically crafted for kids and those who are young at heart’ announcement. Although some kids do stay up late…
Mr Spacefoxy

GC: It was a simultaneous, worldwide announcement – so it was the afternoon in America.

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks what you would do if you were suddenly put in charge of your favourite games company.

It can be any company you like: a console manufacturer like Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo; a third party publisher like EA or Activision; or a developer like Naughty Dog or Bungie. Especially bearing in mind that it’s the start of the year, and the plans for many companies are currently unclear, what would you do in terms of commissioning new games, working on hardware, and dealing with issues like loot boxes and games as a service?

How would you market your company’s games and make sure they’re a hit? And if you’ve had a problem with what the company has been doing lately what would do to make amends? Is there anything you’d stop them from doing, and why?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
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