Games Inbox: What will be the biggest Christmas 2019 flop?

The Evening Inbox previews some of the most promising upcoming indie games, as one reader finally enjoys the glory of God Of War.

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


Destined for the sack

Don’t want to come across as too morbid but I was looking through the release schedules and I couldn’t help start trying to predict which of the games were most likely to swap. It’s easy spotting the big winners, with Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare and Borderlands 3 bound to do well, and obviously FIFA.

But that does leave a lot of other games that are less of a sure bet. I think Ghost Recon: Breakpoint will definitely be fine, but I can easily see Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order underperforming given the state of the movies now and the poor unveiling.

As much as I’m looking forward to it The Outer Worlds seems to be coming out in that silly spot Bethesda always gives their games, where they always flop because it’s Christmas gift giving season and no-one mainstream’s ever heard of it. I think Death Stranding has a good chance of suffering the same problem too, while the other poorly placed one is Shenmue III.

All three of those games seem like they should be coming out at a completely different time of year to me and I think they’ll suffer for it. But I guess there’s only one way to find out…
Terry Gold


Letter of the law

Well, Rockstar have never been one to avoid a controversy and it looks like they’re happy to take the baton from EA and be the face of the gambling controversy. Maybe they want the publicity?

I have to say, from reading the comments published by the UK gambling commission in response to the lootbox controversy it seems more that the current legislation needs updating rather than lootboxes not be classed as gambling. Isn’t a lottery a type of gambling anyway? I think there’s age limits on purchasing lottery tickets, so why should children be allowed to buy lootboxes.

Microtransactions are truly one of the worst additions to gaming.

GC: We agree, on all fronts. The language used by the commissioner suggests, to us at least, that they’d very much like to regulate lootboxes and microtransactions but aren’t legally able to.


Arcade authentic

For those complaining (quite rightly) about the lack of superhero videogames you might be interested in these reissues of Capcom’s Marvel arcade games The Punisher, X-Men: Children Of The Atom, and Marvel Super Heroes. Don’t really remember The Punisher, to be honest, but the fighting games are great and the great granddaddy to the Marvel Vs. Capcom series.

Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is being released at the same time, in the same kind of arcade authentic cabinet which I’m sure will cost a fortune in the UK but which I’ll wistfully imagine I’ll one day get.

Does underline the fact that we used to get more superhero games when superheroes weren’t a big thing than we do now, which is weird but somehow par for the course for video games.


E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


They don’t make ‘me like that anymore

I can’t help but wonder, with all the talk about Joy-Con drift, why Sony has never been called out for the same problem? It’s a massive problem for them too if you research online. Between myself and my son, we have had four genuine DualShock 4 suffer with the same issue since PlayStation 4 launch! Two were V1, two V2. One is off to Sony under warranty at the moment, but the other three have been out of warranty. Ironically none of our two pairs of Joy-Cons have developed this problem after over 18 months use… yet.

We have N64, Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and Xbox One controllers and not one has developed this problem. They are not made the way they used to be and wonder if they are using poorly made off-the-shelf components?
anlygi (gamertag/PSN ID)


Late to the party

I know this isn’t exactly current but I wanted to say how much I’m loving God Of War on PlayStation 4.

It deserved every vote it got for game of the year and the GameCentral readers top 20 of 2018.

I’m about halfway through the game and I’ve come across no bugs or glitches, it really did have a lot of love and time spent on it and it shows, it’s got quality written all over it.

If there is anyone who has a PS4 but haven’t played God Of War I can’t recommend it highly enough it really is a must buy.

It actually took me by surprise if I’m honest, because though I’ve played the previous games in the series none of them are as good as this PlayStation 4 version.


Everybody’s doing it

I have read your pages for years and will continue to do so. There is no environment elsewhere on the net that blends so many of my favourite features in one place. Great, considered reviews. Insightful interviews, the superb Inbox and Reader’s Features, and of course your wonderful previews.

There’s one article I didn’t like but I recognise that I am a bit of a zealot here and will remain so (Only EA and Activision qualify for equal zealotry). King, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, seemed to have an easier ride than is the norm in GC’s (not so recent) article. I’ve taken a while to write in because I wanted to get my thoughts in order.

I think King are a rather abhorrent company. Naturally, I therefore loathe anything they’ve ever created. Take Candy Crush for instance. Candy Crush begins as a skill game but it quickly becomes a money game. Initially, the player is given just enough reinforcement to believe their skill will impact upon the outcome of each level but in reality it’s largely based on luck. This article is a rather good assessment in my opinion.

Whilst it would be hard to justify King being subject to any greater scrutiny than similar developers, I remember King’s ridiculous behaviour when they tried to trademark the word Saga, among others. Worse than that though, was their deplorable approach to the man who made CandySwipe. You can read about it here.King even went so far as to buy the trademark for an earlier game, which bore no resemblance to CandySwipe, to bolster their claim of copyright infringement.

Evil I tell you. Eeeeevil, like the fruuu-its of the devil.

My other bees are not so angry as this one. The above rant does not change my view of GC, which I hold in high regard indeed.

GC: We understand your frustration, and we did make sure to point out their many controversies in the article, but although King are an obvious example to use many companies have done very similar things. Bethesda, for example, with their ridiculous attempts to trademark the words ‘scrolls’ and ‘prey’, while Nintendo’s recent Dr. Mario World has a very similar set-up to Candy Crush Saga. That CandySwipe business was beyond the pale though, we agree, and we covered it extensively at the time.


Customer recommendation

I have used for a number of years and found them wholly reliable and good value. They also offer points for pounds spent towards future games/merchandising.

Only quibble they charge for same or next day delivery if a new game release. Free on 2-5! Hope that helps.

GC: Thanks, we had lots of letters saying the same thing, so they definitely seem to be legit.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


It’s a mega blast

Selam, GC. I have some stimulating retro gaming prospects to share. But before I get into all of that, I’d like to say thank you for reviewing Blazing Chrome. I purchased it the other day and I’ve been having a mega blast, it’s everything I could’ve hoped for and more.

Admittedly, I’ve been savouring its Contra/Metal Slug inspired magic and have opted only to do the first two levels before restarting it because of its brevity. But what I’ve played so far has been extremely impressive.

Moving swiftly on, here are four more retro0inspired indie games to look forward to in this and next year: the first is Bushiden, a gorgeous 2D action platformer that has echoes of Strider, Shinobi, and Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night. I can already tell the soundtrack is going to be special.

The second is Xeno Crises, a top-down shooter which mirrors classics such as Mercs, Shock Troopers, and Smash T.V. It’s even scheduled to be released on the Mega Drive, Neo Geo, and Dreamcast. What year is it again?!

Next up is the impossibly cool sounding Moonrider by the creators of Blazing Chrome, JoyMasher. The Shinobi, Hagane, and Strider influences on this stunning looking project are very clear. Can’t wait to get my hands on this, and the boss at the end is pure Contra 3!

Lastly (for now) we have the eclectic, introspective coming of age arcade action game, 198X. Incredibly, unbeknownst to me this game is apparently already out on PC and PS4, but a Switch port would be a dreamy proposition as the versatile device really is the perfect system for retro and indie games in my opinion. I can’t seem to recall but did you ever review this most peculiar looking game, GC?

So those are some of my most anticipated indie games, and I’m really loving this resurgence in 90s retro aesthetics and side scrolling games. Long may the retro veneration superabound!
Galvanized Gamer
PS: Fingers crossed for JoyMasher’s Oniken and Odallus making it to the Switch someday (I am rapidly becoming a big fan of this super talented developer!).

GC: We did have our eye on 198X but never got round to it, in part because it’s episodic. We’ll have another look though and, especially at this time of year, welcome any indie recommendations, as this is the perfect opportunity to spotlight more obscure titles.


Inbox also-rans

Shenmue I & II currently only £12.49 on the summer sale PlayStation Store. Absolute bargain for both titles.

Hi GC, can you tell us when the embargoes for Fire Emblem and Wolfenstein: Youngblood are? I was kind of hoping they might have been up already. I always wait for your prognosis though!

GC: Thanks. The Fire Emblem embargo is tomorrow afternoon. Wolfenstein came in late though – we’re not sure whether on purpose or not – so the earliest we’d be able to do that is Friday.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, and asks what multiplayer game have you played the most overall?

No matter when it was released what multiplayer game, including the same game on different formats, have you played the most? What do you like so much about it and how often were you playing it at your peak?

Would you say you were good at the game and how much did that matter to your enjoyment? Who did you generally play against, in terms of friends and randoms, and were you playing mostly online or local? If you don’t play it much anymore what stopped you and what would get you back?

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.

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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