Games Inbox: Should Sony redesign the DualShock controller?

The morning Inbox thinks Life Is Strange should bring back Max and Chloe, as one reader predicts a Rockstar exclusive deal for PS5.

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Out of control

With so many people, understandably, talking about the next gen at the moment it made me realise that this is probably the last chance we have of Sony offering any meaningful change to the DualShock. If the PlayStation 5 is part of the last generation of consoles then the DualShock design is going to end up set in stone if they don’t change it this time.

I assume that means they’re not going to, but I remember the ‘boomerang’ controller they showed off for the PlayStation 3 which for some reason everyone decided was awful without ever trying it. I’ve no idea if it would’ve been or not but at least it was different and an attempt to move away form the outdated DualShock.

The DualShock was a bodge from the very first moment, as Sony slapped analogue sticks into a design that was never meant for them. And while the components have gotten better over the year the design still sucks and the Xbox (and Switch Pro) are clearly much better. Will Sony swallow their pride and redesign? I’m betting not.


A world without Star Wars

Having just played Episode 3 of Life Is Strange 2 I have to, unfortunately, agree with GC’s review. The whole season is going nowhere and there’s only two episodes to go. I don’t even know what the point of the story is now. It’s dropped all the political stuff from the first episode and now it just seems to be about the influences on Daniel’s life and whether he grows up to be a good person? I mean, I guess that’s the point?

I’m hoping that Square Enix announce another game featuring Max and Chloe at E3, from the people that did Before The Storm. Dontnod are very talented, perhaps more talented, but Daniel and Sean are just not as interesting.

Also, do we assume this is a universe where Star Wars doesn’t exist? Because the amount of homages to it, in terms of using the Force, is so off the charts now it’s almost distracting. Like when they have zombies in something but they don’t call them zombies (like The Walking Dead and Days Gone). Does that mean in that universe fictional zombies don’t exist? Sounds awful!


New signings

I’d forgotten Final Fantasy VII Remake was a PlayStation 4 exclusive, that is such a huge catch for Sony. It’s also surprising, because the game looks really expensive and they’ve basically said they can’t afford to do it as one game but have to make episodic to make a profit (I don’t have a problem with that personally, assuming each episode is the length of a normal game).

Sony (and Nintendo) have been schooling everyone on the important of first party and exclusive games this gen and considering how well things have gone for them you’d have to assume that they’re only going to double down even further when it comes to next gen. Which makes me wonder what other franchises might become exclusives.

This gen we had Xbox stalwarts like Call Of Duty making the jump and I’m sure Sony will be very keen to pick up any other up-and-comers they can (which is why I think they’re so against cross-play). I’m sure they’d love to do a deal for Fortnite or Rocket League but I don’t think they’ll be able to now they’re so well established on other formats.

But I could easily something like Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil, or Mortal Kombat. The dream for them has got to be a Rockstar game though. They already tried to sign something up for Agent and Microsoft did have some timed exclusives for GTA IV in the last gen. I’m willing to bet Sony is having a good long word about GTA VI whenever it appears…
Tony T.


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Movie preview

Saw Detective Pikachu on Friday and though it was great. Well, maybe not great but certainly very entertaining and the only time the thought of watching a video game movie for a second time didn’t give me PTSD. The second half and the whole villain plot is pretty meh but the visuals are great and the first half is really funny, with a lot of proper jokes that had me laughing out loud.

But… did anyone notice that the phones they use in the film look like mini Switches? Could this be the design of the model that keeps getting hinted at and Nintendo deny exists? That would be a very special bit of product placement if the product didn’t even exist yet.

I don’t know what they were thinking releasing it so close to Avengers: Endgame (what is it with video games and stupid release dates?) but it seems obvious the film is going to do pretty well so I hope this leads to a lot more movies that are actually proud to be based on games rather than being embarrassed. The end credits for Detective Pikachu almost brought a tear to my eye as a celebration of all things Pokémon.


Animated defence

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie… greatest game movie ever. You’ve got comedy, drama, Vega being very sinister, and particularly vicious, epic fight scenes; characters that look and ACT like their counterparts (ahem reporter Chun-Li, Hawaiian E. Honda?!) and boobs.

Heck, I’m gonna look it up and give it a watch. I’ve convinced at least myself!
big boy bent


Late entry

I racked my brain for this one. I’ve seen nearly all of them I’d wager, and I’ve taken some enjoyment from some admittedly bad films. Doom, Mortal Kombat, the Resident Evils (inc. the CGI ones), the Silent Hills, Rampage, Warcraft – I liked all of them in their own ways, whether it was for looking out for game nods like in the Resi films, or Raul Julia’s deliciously hammy performance in Street Fighter.

Three I remember really enjoying in spite of them being video game spin-offs were the newest Tomb Raider with the beautiful Alicia Vikander, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Rachet & Clank – despite up till then having never played a Ratchet & Clank title.

I think those three could be enjoyed without any knowledge of the respective video games. My grandparents, who are in their 80s, really liked Tomb Raider. They said it reminded them of old-fashioned action adventure movies, Final Fantasy would likely go down well with sci-fi/fantasy fans that don’t game, and Ratchet & Clank would be loved by most families that enjoy CGI films by Pixar, Dreamworks, etc.

I doubt any of them would hit people’s top 20 lists but they’re not bad films by any stretch. A few I have seen that I’d describe as absolutely turgid however are Alone In The Dark and Dead Rising: Watchtower. I couldn’t last half an hour in either of those films, they were that awful. I have vague memories of a House Of The Dead film on a late night horror channel too, set at a party on an island I think? I don’t recall anything other than that so I must have zoned out.

Detective Pikachu looks like it might be fun, even for a Pokémon ignoramus like me, and I’ll no doubt enjoy Sonic for its awfulness and a chance to see Jim Carrey again.


Just one more delay

I’d prefer Final Fantasy VII to be held back and released as a full, standalone title for the PlayStation 5. The console would be better equipped to handle a game of that size and I’m sure people would be okay with the game being delayed even longer if it meant fulfilling its potential.

We’re used to waiting for it at this point, so they’d be better off doing that than releasing an underwhelming remake.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Dream creator

It’s odd and unique to think that, as I write this, I’ve just been building a Mario level with a fully functional Mario character using an editing tool in Dreams – a Sony console exclusive. Having previously sampled a rather good 3D Sonic, a Geometry Wars homage, a fabulous P.T. creation, a Dead Space short showing an amazing fully-functioning rendition of Isaac, and a WIP demo of Resident Evil 2 (complete with tank controls).

I decided upon using our intrepid Nintendo mascot as an inspiration. After laying down some foundational work I popped back into Dreamiverse and took delight in a game of pool, neon tenpin bowling, a space flight sim, some beautiful sculptures, artwork and countless other little artistic endeavours that the global community wished to share with the world. All made using the same engine. Already the level of detail in these early designs is astounding.

It’s early access so it’s not even a complete game yet. We’ve not seen how easy creating VR levels will be or indeed what the single-player story mode will be, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Dreams already really doesn’t need a review. It’s what the gaming community can create with it that’ll guarantee its status and success. Media Molecule have developed something which is very, very complex and yet very simple and the possibilities are seemingly endless. LittleBigPlanet, even now, has some genuinely innovative levels being made but Dreams really does showcase how intricate the levels can be when built.

It encourages ‘Dreamers’ to link up and to collaborate on games, thus potentially building episodic titles with grander themes or larger games with tighter controls, physics, etc. due to helpful playtesters. It’s a welcome breath of mountain air to be chatting with budding game creators eager to showcase their creations in a community that seems to shun the sycophantic, moral turpitude-ridden miseries of many online experiences and is instead pushing for a very friendly environment to prosper.

Some may say it’s far too cumbersome for mere simpletons to create masterpieces but that’s the joy of the experience. A lot of levels can be remixed, meaning you can enter the edit mode of the already built game to see how certain aspects function or how certain effects are used, which in turn trigger events, cut scenes, etc. so you learn to navigate as you become more accustomed to the tools.

Even then, if it still seems like too much you can endlessly play new inventive games, all of which load in seconds. I doubt it’ll sell like God Of War or Marvel’s Spider-Man but the fact that it’s already shown such promise means to me it’s an essential addition to the Sony first party line.
Lord Monty Don Mont du Baton


Inbox also-rans

Wow, am glad to read that I’m not the only one with a whining PS4 Pro fan, I thought it was a safety feature so you know where your console is situated whilst wearing PlayStation VR.

Just seen this about Life is Strange 2. Hopefully it hasn’t happened to me or any readers.
Andrew J.

GC: It didn’t happen to us.


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?

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.

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