The evening Inbox wonders why Days Gone is so popular in Japan, as one reader asks whether The Last Of Us Part II will be out this year.
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So I see GC was right to warn us that there wouldn’t be many Rage 2 reviews today, with not even Eurogamer getting a copy early. I thought Bethesda had learned their lesson about withholding review copies last time but apparently not. Did they give any reason for this one being late and can you give any first impressions on what the game is like? I’m hoping for not another Fallout 76 disaster but my trust in Bethesda is pretty much rock bottom at this point.
Except for online-only games (which this is not) not having reviews at launch is almost always a bad sign. The only exception I can think of is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and I think that was just because Activision has so few games nowadays they’ve forgotten how the whole thing works.
At the end of the day there are some publishers, you might say most, who want to keep people as much in the dark about the quality of their games for as long as possible. Sometimes they don’t seem to want them to know anything about it at all, especially when it comes to pre-orders, and would much prefer they buy on blind faith then because of any kind of informed decision. This, to me, is wrong.
GC: The reason given to us was that it was because they wanted to wait for the day one patch. We are hoping to have our review finished for Wednesday but we’ve had the PC version since last week and it’s definitely not a Fallout 76 situation.
Saw Detective Pikachu at the weekend and thought it was very good. Well, maybe not very good but the first act was great and very funny and then it got less and less interesting as it got closer to the villain plot (which made no sense on about 10 different levels). There was also no detecting in it, just watching weird 3D computer models.
It’s an odd mix because the dialogue is surprising adult and funny whereas the plot and characters are bog standard kid’s movie nonsense. It probably would’ve been better if they’d picked one or the other, and obviously I’d rather they’d gone with the funny.
Still, it’s now had the biggest opening ever for a video game movie, which still doesn’t seem to be saying much but at least it’s something. Roll on… Digimon?
One thing I’ve wondered about Final Fantasy VII Remake is whether they’re going to keep the story the same as it was. That may seem an odd question but there a things like that that death that are now so much of a part of video game folklore that everyone knows it and it’s impossible to be shocked by it in the same way as players were at the time.
What if the death didn’t happen at that point anymore? Or a different character was killed instead? Would fans be okay with that? I would, if it was done well. I don’t really see the point of just remaking the exact same thing with new graphics, although I’m sure that’s what others want.
I’m excited to see the new combat and if I can be surprised by the story as well that would be even better.
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So I see Days Gone is doing really well in Japan at the moment, outselling God Of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. That seems very odd to me? God Of War I can kind of get wouldn’t be their thing but you would’ve thought an action role-player with giant animal robots would’ve been right up their street. I suppose both games are quite slow paced, but I’m still surprised given that Days Gone Isn’t any better in that regard.
I suppose what seems to us to be generic dudebro characters is properly quite novel in Japan, where the characters are usually anime influence. But that doesn’t explain the fact that the game… isn’t that great.
It’s at times like this that I’m reminded that while Japan might make the best games in the world their buying public doesn’t have any better taste in them than anyone else.
GC: It is odd, because we remember the E3 it was announced a disproportionate number of Japanese developers named it as one of their favourite reveals. We have no idea why.
I know we talk about FromSoftware a lot on the Inbox but I’m worried I may have missed a memo, so are we expecting them to reveal something new or not? I know there’s that rumour of them working with the Game of Thrones guy but I’m not sure how likely that is. Although I did very much like the idea of an open world Dark Souls.
Do you think we’ll see that, or the rumoured sci-fi game at E3? If Sony had been there I would’ve said there was a reasonable chance of hearing about Bloodborne 2, but well… they’re not. I know it’s not been long since Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice but the ninja stuff wasn’t really my cup of tea so I’m desperate for more!
GC: Nothing is scheduled and we have no hint of it from the appointments we’ve made so far, but who knows what may get announced that week. (Personally, we’d bet against seeing anything new.)
While Detective Pikachu may be good for a movie based on a video game, I have to say I found it pretty awful as a movie in its own right. Plot development was hugely contrived; Basil Exposition had a starring role and its main method of trying to illicit an emotional response was to simply make Pikachu look cute.
The praise for this movie and the ridicule for the Sonic one, based solely on trailers, highlights to me that people should wait for the finished product before judging it. While CGI Sonic may not be perfect, it really isn’t that bad and, to me, is another example of how reporting on the Internet primarily focusses on extreme (love/hate) points of view.
PS: Yes, Pikachu was cute.
GC: That bad compared to what? We’re struggling to think of any CGI character that looks worse than Sonic. Plus, if fans hadn’t complained they wouldn’t have promised to change it.
Thank you for your cooperation
Regarding the Hot Topic about retro gaming over the weekend I’ve just bought myself a Nintendo Game Boy Pocket and a copy of what I believe is the best version of the original arcade game RoboCop from Ocean both for the measly price of just £30 with free delivery!
It’s just one of them games I used to play back in the day on my then ZX Spectrum and if I remember rightly the music and digitised speech were both ground-breaking for their time.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
I’d second two recent Inbox niggles with PlayStation 4. DualShock design and PS4 Pro fan noise.
I actually really like the DualShock 4. It feels more comfortable in my hand than the Xbox controller and has a far better D-Pad. It’s just the sticks that let it down with large dead zones and poor surface contact with your thumb when they’re pushed to their furthest in any direction, the placement of the sticks I find perfectly fine. Sony won’t change the design I feel as it’s iconic and well liked enough. But I’m hoping for some improvement on the sticks for PlayStation 5.
I’ve an original Pro and the fan is loud when the console is working hard. I’ve an original PlayStation VR and the fan noise got so bad I watched a YouTube clip to take it out to clean or possibly replace it. It had next to no dust on it and in the end I just didn’t put the plastic casing back on, which seems to have helped a little.
I’ve an Xbox One S, it’s whisper quiet even without the X’s vapour chamber cooling. I don’t need headphones to use it unlike Pro. I’ve read later Pro and PlayStation VR models are quieter but still far from Xbox quiet. I hope to see a big improvement in this area on PlayStation 5.
I can’t honestly think of any single game I’m more looking forward to than The Last Of Us Part II.
But is it out this year?
Johnny five stars
GC: We’d say that’s only a question Naughty Dog can answer, but we wouldn’t be surprised if not even they were unsure at this point.
I’m guessing they changed Gears Of War 5 to Gears 5 because they were fed up of it sharing an acronym with God Of War. Although not sure why they only realised now.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Purple Ranger, who asks what is the best Xbox exclusive ever?
Following a similar topic on the best PlayStation exclusives (and with another on Nintendo yet to come) we want to know what you think is the best exclusive released on any Xbox console, i.e. the Xbox, Xbox 360, or Xbox One. Anything is eligible as long as it was an Xbox exclusive at some point – it doesn’t matter if Microsoft themselves published it or not.
Why do you like the game so much and do you feel it was important to the success of the host console? Did it make any special use of the console’s unique features and how did it compare to other exclusives of the same period?
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