Games Inbox: What do you think of the Xbox Series X?

The Friday Inbox gets to see how its predictions of The Game Awards 2019 went, as one reader calls for more Battle Royale games.

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PLEASE NOTE: As usual, GameCentral will only have a minimal service over Christmas and the New Year, although we will be running various end of the year (and decade) features and a preview of 2020. We always like to include Reader’s Features as well though, so if you’ve been meaning to write one but haven’t now would be a great time to send one in for us to use this month.


A long night
Okay, so more fool me but I stayed up to see The Game Awards and I’m not sure I’m going to recover. The first half an hour or so (not counting the ‘pre-show’) was great with the Xbox Series X first reveal and the PlayStation 5 game, but after that it just went on and on and on. I’d swear the adverts became more frequent the longer it went on until I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the rest of the show.

And Green Day? Just stop! Stop singing. In fact, everyone stop flapping their lips in general and just show the trailers! I’d heard it was bad but I wasn’t prepared for something quite inane and never-ending. That said, there were tons of reveals. You can’t deny that. Although I’m not sure I’m much the wiser about most of them.

Anyway, the big draw was the Xbox Series X which was, terrible name aside, looking pretty good. I like the non-traditional look and as long as it works on its side as well I’m all for it. It looks stylish and modern and not just a big black brick like all the others. Well, I mean, it is just a big black brick but at least it’s a different kind of brick.

Not much to say about the games but if the graphics really do look as good as that Hellblade 2 clip then we are in for a ride next gen. Be interested to see what Sony’s response to all this is now.


Tight ship
I write this at 4pm on Thursday and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any leaks at all for The Game Awards, which is a bit of a surprise to be honest. Some stuff about a Fortnite yearly pass but even that doesn’t seem a definite. That’s great by the way, I’m not complaining, but maybe the publishers should get whoever organises The Game Awards to do their security, as apparently they can keep a secret.

I’m definitely hoping for a reveal for the new Batman game tonight (tomorrow?) and as much new Switch stuff as well. In my head it’ll be Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 and Bayonetta 3 but I suppose the more realistic option is probably something like Metroid Prime Trilogy or something, but that’s cool too. Definitely pulling for another Smash Bros. reveal though, which is always fun (Master Chief is my big hope).

Looking back at previous award shows a lot of times the ’10 games’ turn out to be two big ones and a bunch of indie stuff so I’m going to guess it’ll be just Crash Bandicoot (that I don’t personally care about) and maybe one or two others. BioWare have been on the show a few times so maybe they’ll have something new? Or some proper info on one of those new Bethesda games.

I’ll see tomorrow how right I’ve been but I’m hoping for some fun surprises. Just glad I’m not the one that has to stay up to see it all, so thanks for taking the bullet on that one GC.


Play the show
That indie PC game thing for The Game Awards is a good idea in theory, although I’d be lying if I said I’d heard of any of the games before. But it does make me wonder why when these sort of things happen companies don’t make playable demos available via consoles, at least for a limited time.

Obviously that’s not going to happen with The Game Awards, where it’s mostly just trailers and not just one company, but surely the likes of Microsoft and Sony could organise that sort of thing? I have a vague memory of Microsoft doing that for one E3 and then never again? Seems an obvious way to do it but I guess it must be more difficult than I realise.

Anyway, hoping for some good news on Friday morning, because let’s face it we’re not going to have it in terms of politics…


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Keep the cheese
My one worry with the Resident Evil 3 remake is that they try to get rid of all the cheese. Resident Evil 2 still had some of it in its dialogue and the general absurdity of the situation but I don’t think any of that was intentional. It’s pretty obvious listening to Capcom talk about it that they think the story is deadly serious now and that the dialogue and voice-acting has been ‘fixed’.

I get the feeling that maybe that’s how Japan want it but the Western writers and actors are still slipping the cheese under the radar, as it were, but that’s not necessarily going to happen a second time. It’s a very fine line when you’re trying to be bad on purpose, but still funny, but Resident Evil has managed it all these years and I’d hate to see them give up now.

We’ll have to see I guess but for me it’s a very important part of the Resi puzzle and I hope they don’t start thinking it’s a negative or a mistake after all this time.


Peas in a drop pod
I’ve been waiting for a giant stompy mech game for years that doesn’t control like it’s an arcade shooter.
I did play MechWarrior online for a while, which I know is developed by the same studio, and they both look very similar.

Could GC comment on how MechWarrior 5 compares to MechWarrior Online?
Sven Kirby

GC: We never played MechWarrior Online much (there was no single-player content and it was all very repetitive) but from memory it controlled in a similar way. We definitely remember it had the same rotating torso option.


À la mode
That Battle Royale mode for Forza Horizon 4 actually looks a really good idea. I’d try it if I had an Xbox One. It is odd though, how Battle Royale doesn’t really seem to have taken off as a thing beyond Fortnite. You never hear about PUBG anymore (I think it’s big in China or something?) and Battlefield’s attempt was a flop and Call Of Duty doesn’t have it this year (although it might be coming back or be a spin-off?).

It makes me wonder what will happen when Fortnite really does start to become less popular. It’s got a long way down to go but when it’s finally gone will Battle Royale go with it? I think Tetris 99 and Forza Horizon proves that it’s an idea that’s got a lot of ways to be interpreted, much more than Deathmatch or something, but something tells me it’s going to go out of fashion pretty quick and never come back.

One thing’s for sure when the TV is nothing but remember the ‘10s for the next month (and then again in about 20 years time) you can bet that Fortnite is going to be something that nobody in the future is going to understand just how big it was. Truly a phenomenon, but a strangely limited one.


Keeping on keeping on
RE: DMR. To answer your question, if you haven’t even left the village yet in Shenmue 3, then yes, it’s worth playing onward. The city of Niaowu is huge yet dense by comparison, artfully designed with surprises tucked around every corner.

Once you do play more of the game and let the story take its course, I hope you’ll follow up on your immediate admonishment of Yu Suzuki not letting you climb the village tower…
Dynamite Headdy (@2Tweet2BeSour)


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Movie tie-in
RE: Zebra. Snap, I thought the exact same when I saw Nemesis, those weird toothpick teeth just look cartoony and bizarre.

I loved Resident Evil 2 remake but I think I’m going to pass on Resident Evil 3 until it’s £15 or so like Resident Evil 2 is currently. I wasn’t much of a fan of the third back in the 90s, if I’m honest. It seemed like DLC before it existed and with the lumping in of the comically woeful Project Resistance (I beta tested it and it was truly stinking) seemingly to pad the content, it really looks like it’s going to be another barebones, DLC-esque outing.

That being said I hope it sells like hot cakes to improve the chances of a Code: Veronica remake, it’s always been a guilty pleasure of mine and I like the flatout silliness of it. I’m not fussed with Resident 4, as I fear remaking a true gaming masterpiece could go badly wrong. Although the power of the upcoming consoles might be able to do it justice.

For me they’ve totally ruined Jill too, in the few videos I’ve seen she looks an awful lot like a plainer Milla Jovovich from the Resident Evil films. I’m sure that can’t be a coincidence, so it’s quite puzzling why they’d make an iconic game character purposely look like someone from the terrible movie adaptations. I’m not sure how many Resi fans will want reminding of those abysmal Paul W.S. Anderson efforts, although I’d happily take his Nemesis over that odd nit comb-mouthed thing Capcom has shown up to now. Here’s hoping for a Sonic movie style makeover, I’m sure they’re aware of all the comments about how ridiculous it looks with that ‘50s Jaguar front grill.

I’m away to Japan tomorrow – sadly a little too late to visit the Resident Evil Cafe, so happy Christmas in advance to everyone, I hope you have an awesome Yuletide. Thanks for all the reviews and content this year GC, you’ve helped me avoid some turkeys and also pointed me towards some crackers, you and WAB are the only gaming outlets I hold any faith in nowadays.

See you when it’s game of the year voting, I’ve only got to pick three out of five great games I’ve played this year and sadly Shenmue 3 definitely isn’t one. Last year I had a dozen or so to whittle down, although that’s more down to having less free time in 2019 than a lack of good games I think.


Inbox also-rans
So what is going to happen if Death Stranding wins all the awards at The Game Awards? I can totally see it happening and I don’t see how they avoid that looking really dodgy.

Never mind Resident Evil and Dino Crisis, I’m still pulling for Capcom to do a full remake of Onimusha. I’d also settle for a new sequel. Maybe at The Game Awards?


This week’s Hot Topic
With the PlayStation 1 celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, the subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks you about your fondest memories of Sony’s first console.

Did you own a PS1 when it first came out and why did you choose it over the alternatives? What was the first game you played on it and what did you think of it? Do you remember the marketing and general buzz over the new console and how did that affect your view of it?

What do you think of the PS1 looking back on it now? Which are you favourite games for it and how well do you think they stand up today?

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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 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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