The Friday Inbox celebrates the joys of a good video game magazine, as a reader resolves not to buy any of Atari’s NFTs.
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So I’ve had Pokémon Legends: Arceus since Wednesday now, since my pal works at a shop that had them in already and sold it to me early, which I think is how the other leaks happened. I haven’t had that much time with it so far, but I am impressed even if, as it says in GC’s review, the graphics are not great.
What impresses me though is that the open world isn’t a fudge, like in Sword/Shield and you can go wherever you want right from the off. I also like the way the combat is still turn-based but you and the pokémon can wander around until you choose an attack, it works a lot better than you’d expect.
The open world seems to be a fair size, with lots of hidden stuff, and the crafting is quite involved. Although I’m basing that more on the number of different resources, as I haven’t got many recipes yet.
I guess the big question now is where does this rank in terms of all the Pokémon games? GC said it was the best for ‘several years’? But is it better than Sun/Moon? They’re my favourite of the modern games. Or better than Gold/Silver? The games I think most people would agree are the best of the classic era? I’m going to have to play it more to answer that, but the fact that it’s even a question says a lot.
Sony tries to seem aloof from the rest of the games industry, with all this stony silence (when was the last time they announced anything?) but while they’re trying to give the impression of calm professional the way they’ve handled upgrades has been terrible. The original idea was bad, the U-turns were bad, and the fact that there’s still no consistency is stupid.
I would imagine that if they didn’t have the Uncharted movie out now the Legacy Collection probably would’ve been canned and they’d just make it a free patch but they didn’t and it’s just made them look like they’re squeezing people for every penny they’ve got.
Considering the amount of money that Microsoft is wielding at the moment Sony really need to up their game and use the resources they have properly.
One of these is the way
Following the recent clips from the cancelled Star Wars 1313 game, and Disney’s rather portly and reluctant version of the Boba Fett character, I was reminded of Cory Balrog’s comments a while ago, about The Mandalorian being perfect for a game tie-in.
I have a feeling this may end up being what Respawn’s first person shooter game is. It wouldn’t take much to reskin Titanfall as a Star Wars Mando/Boba type adventure. Inbox magic, make it happen.
GC: It depends how much of a shooter it is, compared to just a first person action adventure. At this point we’d imagine the Ubisoft open world title is more likely to be the Mando/bounty hunter game.
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I think it’s pretty obvious by the way they’re working on a Warzone 2 that Activision accept the current one is beyond saving. Really, there shouldn’t be any need to make a new game. There isn’t a Fortnite 2 or an Apex Legends 2. There doesn’t need to be because people don’t pay for them anyway, so you just constantly update what you’ve got with new features and maps.
There needs to be a Warzone 2 though because the first one is so irredeemably broken that they’ve got no choice but to start again from scratch. That’s why they’re not brining any weapons back in the sequel, not because they want a clear break conceptually or anything.
Of course, maybe if they treated their QA department as anything more than wage slaves maybe this wouldn’t have happened, but Activision is such a messed up company that this is how things have turned out. It is going to take Microsoft a long, long time to sort them out…
No frakking thank you
I appreciate GC’s burn of the current fake ‘Atari’ in their NFT story. The whole thing is disgusting, of course, but by now it’s obvious that people are going to buy them anyway. Because all wouldn’t want to spend the equivalent of a house deposit on a screenshot of a 40-year-old video game, that you got a random?
I’d try to ask anyone reading this not to give and buy one but I don’t think anyone here would be that stupid. It’s just looney speculators doing it because they think they’ll make more money down the road, I think? I mean, I can’t imagine a game fan buying one because there’s about a thousand better ways to celebrate your favourite franchise than buying a link to a .JPG then anyone else can download for free.
Go to Hell
With regards to Multi’s letter on roguelikes, I’ve found that I tend to enjoy roguelikes where there is a feeling of progress, but really not getting on with those where there is not. So, I bounced hard off Spelunky 2, where there was no change after a run, quite enjoyed Dead Cells where there were unlocks, and absolutely loved Hades where as well as unlocking new abilities, you also slowly advanced the plot and characters.
It’s also worth noting that a roguelike is a style that can apply to a number of different game formats. You might like the roguelike approach, but if you hate 2D platformers, then Dead Cells probably still won’t be for you.
Either way, I’d always recommend giving Hades a go, but as GC say, there’s nothing wrong with not being a fan of any particular genre. It’s just worth figuring out exactly what you aren’t a fan of (and it sounds like you are in the process of doing that now).
Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)
GC: You’re right that Hades is probably the best one to try now, if he hasn’t already.
Thanks for publishing my letter on Thursday. I should have clarified: I want to like roguelikes because I feel like I’m missing out on some amazing games! And maybe I just need to get over a roguelike hump!
Your reviews are the only ones I trust, so thanks.
GC: Thank you. Try the advice above and see how you get on.
A good read
I’ve been listening to the superb The Back Page: A Video Games Podcast over the past six months. It is presented by two video game magazine writer veterans (Matthew Castle and Samuel Roberts) and the episodes have a variety to them rarely seen in video games podcasts. I’d thoroughly recommend to GC readers to try some of their 60-odd episodes.
I’m writing in because listening to these two talk about their writing careers reminded me of how much I loved reading games magazines. I’m in my late 30s, so used to read magazines like NGC and the like religiously in the days before easily accessible internet. Then I read Edge magazine monthly from around 2006-2012, loving the more serious tone and especially the monthly columns by Leigh Alexander, Steven Poole, and Mr Biffo.
Listening to the podcasts over Christmas, I decided to go and buy Edge magazine but sadly realised it is no longer stocked in any major book or grocery store in Dublin, Ireland (which, to be fair, is definitely linked to people like me stopping buying them years ago).
I’ve had a tough start to this year and decided to treat myself to a subscription to Edge. I then found out that the site is having an unbelievable January sale where you buy three upcoming monthly issues for €3 (£2.50) and then are charged quarterly at €22.50 per 3 issues, but the subscription can be cancelled at anytime.
Because of this offer I also ordered three upcoming issues of Retro Gamer magazine for the same price (for contrast, one issue of these magazines used to
cost around €8.50 per issue when the shop stocked them). I am excited to receive my first issue next month, to sit undistracted and read a games magazine like I did all those years ago.
I’m sure there’s a few GC readers who would be interested in trying a games magazine subscription at such a risk-free price.
Doing my monthly shop tonight, I noticed Asda currently have a sale on a few Switch games, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for £35, Zelda: Skyward Sword HD and Mario Golf: Super Rush for £30, and WarioWare: Get It Together! for £25.
I don’t think a lot of people realise just how easy Soulsborne bosses can be if you use a summons, maybe because it’s not explained that well how to and people don’t think of it? Summon a co-op player for everyone and it’s easier than easy mode would be!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks would you still be interested in gaming if Sony and Nintendo were no longer involved?
The news that Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard has changed everything, with many fearing that equally large companies like Google, Facebook, and Netflix will swoop in to buy the remaining third party publishers. If that happened, how would it affect your interest in gaming?
Do you worry about the increasing consolidation of gaming, where only a few number of giant companies own everything, or do you think it won’t change anything fundamental? What do you see as the most optimistic, and pessimistic, outcomes for the future of the games industry?
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 and content.
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.
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