Games Inbox: Are you sold on Pokémon Sword and Shield?

The morning Inbox thinks a future without video game sequels would be a bad idea, as reader offers his own review of Days Gone.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]


Pokémon Souls

Just watched the new Nintendo Direct and got to say that Pokémon Sword and Shield are looking good. It seems as if the game is a mixture of true open world and more traditional Pokémon towns, with the Wild Area looking to be like a mini-Breath Of The Wild in terms of you being able to wander around do what you want. The graphics look good and while I hope there are more online options to be revealed the co-op is welcome.

It’s obviously the best-looking Pokémon ever but while it’s not exactly Detective Pikachu (the movie) quality I think it’s a good step up. Liked some of the designs too, although blatantly everyone’s going to choose the Sword version because its legendary is a dead ringer for Sif from Dark Souls!

The only thing I wasn’t entirely sold on was the giant pokémon angle, which seemed a bit silly and unnecessary. It was hard to tell how much of the game is about that though, so if it’s only an occasional thing I’m fine with it. Wouldn’t pre-order or it or anything but it’s definitely on my radar.
PS: Why is it coming out the same day as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? Do these companies really not own a calendar? How can they keep making these mistakes?!


Constant improvement

I can’t remember who mentioned it the other day, but they said it was a mistake that there were no plans for a sequel to Rainbow Six Siege. Got to say I agree. Franchises with yearly editions, such as Call Of Duty, can become repetitive and tiresome. However, sequels mean that developers can learn from their mistakes and improve and hone the gameplay.

How many sequels such as Uncharted 2, Resident Evil 2, and Batman: Arkham City are considered equal or better than the original? It’s always good to play something new and original but there is always an element of uncertainty when playing something you haven’t experienced before. It’s sometimes more enjoyable to visit franchises you know you already love.
PS: Bit of advice from the readers or yourselves. I’m considering purchasing the PlayStation VR mega pack during the 11 Days of Play sale. This is already a pretty significant amount of cash and don’t particularly feel I can also fork over £70 for two Move controllers. Are these absolutely necessary? And if so will just one do? I’ve heard the PlayStation 3 Move controllers do pretty much the same.

GC: They are the PlayStation 3 Move controllers, there was no new version made for PlayStation VR. They’re not absolutely necessary (although a few games do require them) but you’re not going to get the full experience unless you have them. Which is a shame as they’re both expensive and not very precise.


Anthem of the lost

Perusing the various online stores I was somewhat astonished, but not surprised, to see Anthem selling for under £20. Remarkable for a relatively recent looter shooter title, but given the multitude of reports about a declining user base and a plethora of alternative options in the genre the question arises who, if anyone, is still playing the game? And when do BioWare face the music and decide to fish or cut bait?

Even a casual search of the Anthem forums reveal multiple stories of legendary drop missions being run alone, with no player interactions. I’ll accept or presume there is still a core BioWare fan base that have stuck with it to some degree but the numbers don’t support that and at some point as a company they’ll have to decide whether the cost of pushing forward is too great.

I suppose the broader question for the entire genre is will we see studios adopt a more ruthless business mentality and terminate any project that doesn’t see a return. Or see such a wave of critical and commercial failure that it damages the reputation of the company involved. I’m optimistic BioWare can survive to some degree but certainly given the reputation and history of EA it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see this as a last strike situation. I hope I’m wrong, I have many great memories of the studio and their games, from Baldur’s Gate onwards.
ATBonfire (Facebook)/around.the.bonfire (Instagram)/ATBonfire (WordPress)

GC: The fact that Anthem is not even scheduled for a mention at E3 speaks volumes.


E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


No question

It’s good to have an old skool SNES vs. Mega Drive playground style argument thanks to both Mini consoles. Let’s be completely honest now, the SNES wasn’t just more powerful the control pad was/is far superior and the exclusives were unquestionably better.

I absolutely believe that Super Mario World, Zelda: A Link To The Past, and Super Metroid were, and still are genuinely perfect games. Any thoughts on how those games hold up over a quarter of a century on GC? adams6legend

GC: We haven’t played any of them in a long while, but they all have very similar modern equivalents (we were just playing Super Mario Maker 2 yesterday) and they’re all great.


Save yourself

After seeing the line-up for the Mega Drive Mini I’m very impressed Sega are finally getting things right again. What is also nice is to see not the same stuff we seen on every collection disc or Steam. Alisia Dragoon, by the way, is a hidden gem. I known a lot of people won’t know it but I played it growing up and it’s an amazing game and ahead of its time in the day. Why? Because it had a female lead that didn’t need saving and could kick butt. And also really good graphics and sound and was exclusive to the Mega Drive.

Have I pre-ordered a Mega Drive Mini? No, not yet, because like all the other machines I want to see how well it runs before I invest in it. If it runs well then I will be snapping one up. I grew up with the Sega Mega Drive and, yes, later I owned a SNES and other consoles. For me Sega used to really do some amazing work that was overshadowed by Nintendo, which is shame as the Mega Drive can hold its own and hopefully the Mini will showcase some of its fine titles.
Chris C


Dream game

Influenced by reading up on the new portable console the Playdate, I had a dream where Nintendo released their own portable console with its own gimmick. This new console focused on using GPS in all its titles and the new Zelda game had a Pokémon GO-esque feature meaning that in your home you could play a set dungeon but if you wanted to play another one you would have to pop over to another location.

Key items could be recovered and could be spoken to just by going to certain public hotspots. Some even acted as shops where you could buy things. This particular dream had a bunch of tourists showing up at my door desperate to get access to my dungeon to finish their game. An interesting thing was when pausing to check the game map, it showed you a view of the entire world – but it was in the style of A Link To The Past’s Overworld map! C’mon Nintendo, make my dream come true!


Alternative review

Finally, a decent and fair, balanced review of Days Gone.

I have to say that I agree with practically everything the reviewer wrote.

I’ve been playing the game quite a bit recently and have got quite into it. The last Far Cry was incredibly boring in comparison, and there really isn’t a great deal out there.

The game also introduces a very unique menu navigation, which I’ve not seen on other games.

It’s not perfect, but at least an 8/10 for me, probably higher in the current market.

GC: You sound much more positive about the game than our review?


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Moderate excitement

Lepton’s recent letter has reminded me to write in about my Fallout 76 experiences.

I read the reviews and, like others, changed my mind about purchasing this game but kept an eye on Twitch to see how it was shaping up.

I finally cracked when a cheap PC version came up and piled into Appalachia with moderate excitement. Long story short – It has now taken over my gaming life (just checked and was shocked to see I’m at 376 hours).

I think it’s fair to say that it’s a long way from what it was at release and has had a lot of extra content added and tweaks made, with more to come. Yes, there are bugs and some annoyances. Yes, it crashes now and again but it is a lot of fun. For instance, in Fallout 4 I hated the building but now, while still glitchy, it is something I can spend hours on just building a camp I know I will hate in a couple of days and rebuild somewhere else.

I find the hunt for Legendary gear and the trading compelling too, along with finding out random past stories from the deceased and actually find the lack of other characters more to my vision of how an apocalypse should turn out.

When you do come across another player they are, generally, friendly and try to help lower level players out with free stuff and following along to assist however they can or joining in to take out a powerful enemy. When done, a quick wave or thumbs up and off you all go.

I should mention the Twitch 76 community, which is the most pleasant and non-toxic gaming environment I have ever come across. The likes of MunchkinJesse, GoodmorningDuke, Sabahe QuantunPixie, and Tooniversal (among many others) are a breath of fresh air and all have different styles to enjoy.

Personally, I would suggest people reconsider if they are on the fence and enjoy the Fallout series.

Oh, and by the way, no, I am not excusing Bethesda for the mess!
Wkma (Tigtheelder)


Inbox also-rans

There already seem to be some Void Bastards fans on the Inbox, so just to let you know there’s a new update where you get to take on the whole game armed with just a foon (a cross between a fork and a spoon). Just in case you thought the game was too easy!

Kingdom New Lands is free on PC on Epic Games Store from today.
Andrew J.


This week’s Hot Topic

With E3 due to start in just a few days the subject for this weekend’s Inbox is obvious: what are you expecting out of the show and what are you most looking forwards to?

What are your predictions for the major announcements in terms of games, hardware, and things like new streaming services? What do you expect to hear from the likes of Microsoft and Nintendo and what games reveals are you most anticipating?

What are you resigned to not hearing about and what do you think will end up being the biggest news from the show this year? What unannounced games do you think might be revealed and what previously unseen ones do you think will make the biggest splash?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


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.

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