The morning Inbox wonders what it would take for Nintendo to make a more powerful console, as Astro Bot gains yet another fan.
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So video game streaming is going to be the latest technology that companies introduce too early and then sour everyone on before theyve got a chance to work properly? I mean, I dont like to be negative but thats blatantly whats going to happen isnt it? Like motion controls and whatever the heck the Xbox One was trying to do at launch they just cant help jumping on the bandwagon too early and getting all their investors hyped up on buzzwords.
I dont like to come across as cynical but its just so infuriating to see this happen again, and it be so obvious to gamers but not the people that make them. Like all the stuff with release dates, its like some companies just shut them off to common sense.
Streaming is a great idea but its entirely dependent on broadband speed and unless youre in a big city I dont see how its ever going to be enough. And its not even as if it wont work completely, itll just be really inconsistent which is worse because itll mean lots of people that dont really care will just say its, good enough and thatll become the standard. I hope Im wrong. Im willing to bet Im not.
Cake and eat it
With talk of there being a redesigned Switch next year and of what would happen if Nintendo ever did VR I have to ask the question of whether Nintendo will ever again make a powerful console. Now dont get me wrong, I own a Switch and its great but I would love to play a game like Zelda: Breath Of The Wild that looked as good Red Dead Redemption II. I mean who wouldnt?
But the last time they were state-of-the-art like that was the GameCube and it got them nowhere, and yet the Wii and Switch have done great for them. You can absolutely see why theyve stuck with gimmicks over power and a part of me is glad they have. But cant we have both?
Like, how big and successful does Nintendo have to get before they would consider that approach. I somehow have the feeling that even if they were as big as Apple theyd still somehow convince themselves not to do it. Its a shame because it limits what they can do, even if often those limitations do create better games. And better games sell I guess, so thats whats most important to them.
In the stars
So post E3 Todd Howard gave interviews to various journalists about Bethesdas current and up and coming games.
Nothing unusual about that, but in one interview he was asked about the new Elder Scrolls and Starfield.
He said that the Elder Scrolls game was only in the development stages and no work had begun.
But when pressed by the journalist to be a little bit more specific about Starfield he said that this game was very far along and in fact work had started as soon as Fallout 4 had finished.
So as Fallout 4 was released in November 2015 could we be playing Starfield in November 2019?
Johnny five stars
GC: If thats a reference to a possible release date for the PlayStation 5 (or Xbox Two) then we imagine theres a chance. Were sure Bethesda remember how well Oblivion did coming out so early in the Xbox 360s lifespan.
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I had never heard of Astro Bot until your review, GC. I looked at Metacritic for the other reviews and immediately ordered it. I played the Robot Rescue demo/unintended prototype/whatever they retroactively call it on The Playroom VR whilst I waited for delivery (the fans demanded more from that demo so Astro Bot exists). I thought it was really good but nothing special and was a bit disappointed at the hype and my purchase. Then the actual real thing fell through the letterbox a couple of days later.
Well, I am the biggest long-time Nintendo fan I know, I had a NES when others had Master Systems and Mario is the greatest platforming series of all time in my opinion. But Astro Bot just beat Nintendo. Every level you think you have seen the peak of what video games can be, then the next level just takes what you thought was great and blows your mind even more.
In fact, I am limiting myself now to only playing three levels a day and replaying past levels to get all the bots, I dont want it to be over. Im on world three and even if the rest of the game is rubbish it will be my favourite game since Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
Two things though: how on Earth did you not give it a 10?
Some might say it is an easy game to complete, which is great for younger players etc., but like all great games it is disgustingly tough if you want to do the challenges the game has. It took me around 30 tries to get gold in the hookshot time trial.
Cheers GC for letting me know about Astro Bot.
PS: I am writing this whilst listening to the soundtrack which would take up another inbox letter to describe its brilliance.
How do you buy yours?
With several big releases coming out soon I was wondering, where do GC readers actually buy their games?
Years ago I used Gameseek but they went bust, didnt they? Recently Ive been ordering games from eBay because the site now sells a lot of new items and several video game retailers have their own virtual shops there.
At a push Id buy a new game from a supermarket but generally Im against that. If I bought everything from a supermarket Id be concerned that wed lose specialist retailers and the choice of products they can offer.
With regards to GAME I havent bought anything from them for so long Ive almost forgotten why they upset me in the first place. I think they ticked me off by selling pre-owned stock at high prices.
In general I try not to buy games second=hand because someone else has had their sticky mitts on the disc and the developer/publisher gets nothing.
GC: That seems ideal fodder for a Hot Topic.
Well, after the muted response to my request for wheel suggestions I plumped for the Thrustmaster Ferrari Racing Wheel for the release of Forza Horizon 4.
Its taking some getting used to (and Im told its actually easier to play on a pad) but Ive definitely got a new appreciation for driving games and will hopefully pick up Forza Motorsport 7 when it next goes on sale.
Horizon is astonishingly pretty in 4K… so much so Ive plumped for resolution over frame rate and the mix of race types and seasons means I should be happily playing for months.
If anyone else new to driving games has picked up Horizon and would like to race a player who spends 90% of the race desperately trying to pull out of the skid he started on corner one please add me.
DarKerR (gamertag)/DarKerR-UK (PSN ID)
Benefit of the doubt
I feel I have to defend Ubisoft when it comes to Assassins Creed Odyssey and microtransactions. I know you cant prove it one way or the other, and perhaps there were different people at Ubisoft who thought it was one thing or the other, but I feel that it was not meant as a con.
For whatever reason, and I do agree they went overboard, they wanted Odyssey to be as big as possible and that means some areas and enemies are off limits until youre much higher level. Thats how it always worked in old school role-playing games and that seems to be what they wanted this to be.
The problem with microtransactions is that so many companies have misused them that nobody gets the benefit of the doubt when theyre not bad. And its for that reason more than any I think they shouldnt be included in anything.
Last gen prevention
Reading the recent Inbox letters and various comments about backwards compatibility, I very rarely see an argument for it put forward that, to me at least, seems a no-brainer: PlayStation 5 launching with full backwards compatibility for the current generation would mean I am more likely to upgrade to the new system on launch day, or as close to as finances would allow.
The first batch of games for a system are always a bit poor anyway these days and coupled with a backlog of games that I always seem to have, means that there is little incentive for a week one purchase of any new hardware.
I didnt buy a PlayStation 4 until the end of 2015, two years into its life, and that was only because I bought into the Fallout 4 hype. Ive had it less than three years and dont feel like its been long enough to warrant a generation upgrade. Being able to finish off my PlayStation 3 backlog on it would have meant I bought a PlayStation 4 much earlier than I did. Backwards compatibility certainly would have provide more incentive for a day one purchase than Knack or Killzone ever could.
Eiichihoba (PSN ID)
GC: Sony found that by having backwards compatibility at launch they encouraged people to buy last gen games instead of next gen ones, and thats what theyve been trying to prevent ever since. Although it may be that Microsoft will force their hand next gen.
Just browsing the games section on Smyths website and noticed theyre currently selling PlayStation 4/Xbox One Onrush for £11.99. A bit of a bargain but probably good confirmation its been a big flop.
Has anyone noticed we still havent heard anything new about BioWares Anthem since Gamescom? I have a real bad feeling about that game…
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what is your favourite video game soundtrack?
The game can be from any era or format but were interested in which game had the best overall soundtrack, not just one good song. What is it you like so much about your favourite soundtrack and how well does it work together with the game? How much difference do you think a good soundtrack makes to a game and have any been ruined by a bad one?
Do you own the soundtrack separately and if so how often do you listen to it and other video game music on its own?
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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.