Games Inbox: Are you still playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

The Friday Inbox thinks Xbox Series S is perfect as a second console, as one reader is upset there was no E3 2020.

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

Hardcore gaming
So how many people are still playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons? As a hardcore gamer who has beaten all the Soulsborne games I want to say that I got bored of it quickly and gave up, but I realised on Wednesday, when all the new bugs arrived that I’ve bene playing it pretty much every day since it came out.

It really is an amazing game that does almost nothing, still offers little real freedom, but is just amazing relaxing and… nice! I was excited to find I’d grown a purple windflower the other day, it was liking beating Ornstein & Smough all over again. I don’t know what I do if I actually managed to cultivate a blue rose. And this is coming from someone that doesn’t have a garden and has zero interest in real flowers.

I now find myself really looking forward to the Friday update that will add swimming and a bunch of new underwater critters to catch for the museum. Although I admit I didn’t really enjoy the wedding photography and am glad that’s gone. I’m curious to know what’s going to happen with the second summer update too and when we will see Brewster’s café.

This and the reveal of Elden Ring are the two things I’m most excited about at the moment. Isn’t gaming great?!

Open world master
I know some people are getting fed up of open world being thrown into every game now but I really liked the idea of an open world Halo. I really like the idea of flying around and setting up based wherever you want. The best parts of the original games was always the more open-ended sections on the Halo ring. Those are still my most vivid memory of the original game and while I’m sure the playable area would seem tiny nowadays at the time it seemed huge and filled with possibilities.

If Microsoft want to get back to Halo’s roots then that’s the sort of feeling they want to inspire and given how much tech has improved in the intervening years I think it could work out really well. Don’t worry too much about the story (the original didn’t) just focus on large maps and emergent gameplay. That’s what I think of when I think of Halo.

Obviously multiplayer is important but I don’t think there’s anyway for that to get back to its original popularity without a major change that’s going to be at odds with the campaign. Maybe they can come up with something to do in a large multiplayer map other than battle royale but we’ll have to see, but getting the story campaign right first is the highest priority for me.

Butter scraped over too much bread
I’m going to have to disagree with Hubert and Summer Games Fest and the lack of E3. I hate it and I really hope things go back to the way the were before next year. It feels like we’ve had no news at all. This week, I’ve noticed, has been extremely quiet and the only one I even remembered out of the ones you mentioned was the PlayStation 5 reveal.

Dragging out the same amount of announcements over a much longer period of time is terrible. Especially as there are far fewer previews and interviews at the same time. How anyone could prefer this far more controlled, sanitised version of E3 I couldn’t begin to imagine. At least with people getting hands-on and being able to talk to the developers we got some sense of what was real or not.

Now everything is just slicky edited videos where everyone is on message all the time and everything is amazing no matter how it looks. I realise this isn’t anybody’s fault this year, but if it continues it will put even power in publishers’ hands to spin any story they like and have it be instantly believed.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Five-year cycle
I’m very sympathetic to the idea that games are now much too expensive to make and have difficulty making their money back, but I don’t see how increasing the RRP by £5 is going to make any difference to that. All it’s going to do is put gaming out of the reach for more people and have the majority only buying games when they’re on cheap, which I’m sure a lot of people already do for all but their most anticipated games.

I really think the only option is to make games shorter. Like many I have recently finished The Last Of Us Part 2 and there is absolutely no need for that game to be 30 hours. It is filled with filler and highly repetitive in terms of combat and puzzles, to the point where the gameplay never really evolves the whole time.

I get why they thought it had to be that length, because of the twist in the middle, but it really didn’t. The game feels bloated and poorly paced and it only works because the presentation and script it so good. If it was half the length it would’ve been a better game, but it would also have been a cheaper one to make and out in half the time.

If a game now takes five years to make how many are some of these big name developers going to make over their career? Neil Druckmann is apparently 41, so how many more games has he go in him at this rate? Three or four? And how many of those are going to be sequels? I’d much rather see him, and Naughty Dog in general, work on seven or eight that are half the length and twice as varied.

The Worms have turned
I’m in two minds about that new Worms game. On the one hand it is nothing like Worms but on the other it does look quite fun and to be honest, I don’t think they’ve ever been able to find anything new to do with Worms in at least the last 10 years. So I don’t see why they shouldn’t try to experiment.

This is one of the problem with sequels. Everyone wants them and publisher love ‘em because they’re less of a financial risk. Except of course the game are less of a risk too and are always just more of the same. If they called this something other than Worms then obviously it wouldn’t have been controversial but then equally it would’ve probably been ignored. And if the game’s good then it should take every chance it has to get noticed.

Fan hot takes are hardly a new thing but it makes me think of that reader letter recently about franchises that just ended of their own accord because they were done. I think that would be Worms if it didn’t take a chance like this, so I’m all for it.

Science fiction vistas
Having a bit of time to spare at the moment I decided to pick up Mass Effect: Andromeda and have a play through. I originally gave it a miss as the reviews were pretty meh and I didn’t want it to sully the trilogy for me, as they provided some of the most memorable moments in gaming I’ve had.

Being a decent way into the game now I agree that its mechanics are pretty meh, however, I’ve also realised that I don’t care. What this game – and moreso the original trilogy – provides for me is pure escapism. Being able to exist in other galaxies and solar systems alongside varied and interesting alien species, playing a part in galactic conflicts or just hanging out in alien bars and talking to these other people is exactly what I dreamed gaming would be like when I sat in front of my 48K Speccy as a kid.

Walking around bustling space stations or marvelling at alien vistas whilst being able to interact with these in some limited fashion is all I really need, and also all I’ve really wanted from gaming, I think.

Here’s hoping that BioWare and EA continue to add to this incredible, virtual universe that they have created.

GC: We thought the mechanics were excellent. It’s the story and characters that are terrible.

RIP Bob Hoskins
Oh, good I so want to go to that Nintendo theme park in Japan. I’ve never been to the country and this and the Olympics would be the perfect excuse.

Weirdly it had me thinking about what if the Super Mario Bros. movie had looked like this, instead of the weird cyberpunk think it was? It would all depend on the script, which in the original was awful, but I hope if this CG movie ever happens they can make something good out of it. I always imagine it could be very good if the guys that did the Lego Movie did it. A cross between that and Paper Mario would be great.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Perfect product
There has been a bit of talk about the Xbox Lockhart (Series S) and many gamers seem to have been fairly dismissive of it. Personally, I think it is a great idea to create a 1080p optimised next generation console. No, I will not be buying one but I am not the target audience.

There was a similar dismissiveness to the Switch Lite. Nintendo pitched a console at younger gamers and the partners of gamers. It sold really well as it was the right product for that demographic. But that demographic was not us.

Microsoft are not pitching the Xbox Series S as the console that sits under the living room television, they are pitching it as the console that sits under the teenage son’s television. That five-year-old hand me down 1080p television that used to be in the living room but was replaced by the fancy new 4K television you recently bought. (Or in my case, intend to buy during this year’s Black Friday sales).

The Xbox Series S is potentially a great product for parents to buy for birthday and Christmas presents. It allows their children to access the new games but does not require the purchase of a new television to get the most out of the console.

GC: Technically, Microsoft hasn’t even admitted the Xbox Series S exists yet.

Inbox also-rans
The Last Of Us Part 2 is great and all but man, it’s so depressing. What are we supposed to learn from it, that people are terrible to each other and lack empathy? I could’ve switched the news on to find that out, and saved myself 30 hours.

I have to admit I’m pretty hyped for the Xbox reveal later this month. I just hope it’s not just Halo. We need to see more games, surely Microsoft realise that?

This week’s Hot Topic
Since we’re now halfway through 2020 this weekend’s Inbox asks the question: what has been your favourite video game of the year so far?

To qualify, the game must be a new release from 2020, not just whatever older title you happen to have played this year. (You can see our top 10 so far here.) It’s obviously been a very strange six months, but how different has the year been in terms of how many new games you’ve bought and how many you’ve played?

What do you think of the quality of the games so far this year and do you think they make up for the lack of quantity? What are your expectations for the rest of the year and how many new games – and consoles – do you expect to buy in the next six months?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

Source: Read Full Article