The Evening Inbox doubts whether TimeSplitters will ever be a hit, as one reader argues against silent protagonists in Fire Emblem.
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Not a penny
Whenever I see one of these stories about microtransactions I feel like I’m an alien that’s just landed. People are spending over £100 to buy a slightly different looking axe for one of the characters in a ‘free’ game? As if the world didn’t feel like it was going mad enough people (kids mostly, I assume) are literally spending money on nothing.
As far as I can gather loot boxes are successful because of peer pressure amongst young teens and preying on the easily addicted. Obviously EA execs are okay with it but I’d like to think I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew that was where all my money was coming from.
People say that it doesn’t matter because they’re all cosmetic but it does matter in terms of people’s lives they’re ruining, addicting them to gambling and encouraging them to clear out their parent’s wallets. The whole thing is just awful.
But the strangest thing is I don’t think I’ve ever spent a penny on loot boxes or been even the slightest bit tempted? I asked my friends if they had and they immediately said no, although then they admitted that they do use them for FIFA Ultimate Team which apparently ‘doesn’t count’. I’m sure that’s not how it seems to EA’s bank balance.
I had no idea that this delisting of Forza games was a regular thing, to the point where they’ve invented a name for it. How awful. They’re not really my thing but the idea of a game just disappearing from existence, and only those that originally bought it in its narrow window of existence ever able to play it just sounds wrong.
I realise car games are usually always improve on in their sequel but aren’t the Forza Horizon ones always set in a different country, that they’re obviously not going to go back to in the next one. When Forza Horizon 4 is four years old and gets delisted does that mean nobody will be able to drive around in the UK anymore? As far as I can see it does.
You’d think a company the size of Microsoft could afford to spend the extra to extend the licence, or just buy a lifetime one in the first place. Seem unnecessarily cheap and once again undermining the worth of games and their longevity.
The story about the imminent delisting of Forza Motorsport 6’s digital version really made me appreciate the incredible foresight (considering that the Internet and digital video game stores weren’t even a thing back then) that Olivia Newton-John displayed in her seminal 1981 hit, ‘Let’s Get Physical’.
That’s what the song was about, right?
GC: You realise they’ll stop printing disc copies as well?
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Ignoring the alternative
The most interesting part of the THQ news for me was that they’re definitely making a sequel to Metro Exodus. Like many on the Inbox I feel the game was unfairly overlooked (and will almost certainly be sidelined when it comes to end of the year awards) and I’m glad it did well enough to get another game, hopefully the same or even higher budget.
GC’s interview with Dmitry Glukhovsky is still one of my favourites and I’m very interested to see how he’ll continue the story given the unusual politics involved. People complain about there being too many Call Of Duty games and whatever but I do wonder whether that means they’re still buying the games or not and if they’re seeking out alternatives like Metro Exodus.
If you’re just supporting the status quo then there’s really no point complaining as all these companies are ever interested in is what makes money. Activision would stop making Call Of Duty tomorrow if it became unprofitable and switch to Barbie Horse Adventure sequels if they thought that’d make more.
Brothers in arms
Kind of crazy to think there’s only four years between Contra III and Duke Nukem 3D. In my mind they’re generations apart (which I guess they are, technically) with no crossover at all. They are kind of similar in terms of the tone though (dumb dudebro style action) but I’ve never found Duke Nukem funny or charming.
I didn’t play a lot of first person shooters back in those days as I didn’t have a PC but the few times I played at a friends I was more impressed by the tech than the gameplay. That said, seeing 2D guns and enemies running around did get a chuckle out of me, so good luck to those who still like that sort of thing.
Out of time
As much as I’d love to think otherwise I really don’t see a new TimeSplitters being very successful. People seem to forget that the games weren’t even very big when they first came out, at a time when first person shooters were still new on consoles and it was very rare to see something of that quality. Even with the GoldenEye 007 connection it didn’t seem to make any difference.
I think it was because they were silly and had a sense of humour, rather than being grim and serious, but they neve really took off and I remember being really disappointed that the Future Perfect one by EA was obviously going to be a flop before it was even released, which it did end up being.
If THQ can make the new game a hit then great but I think fans have to accept that most people will never care.
Going to get my request in early. Can we get a review of Crab Champions when it’s released?! It looks absolutely bonkers. For those who don’t know, the reveal trailer can be found here:
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Whenever someone writes in saying that Link should talk in a Zelda game I am the first to howl, ‘Neverrrrrrr!’ (Well, in my head anyway, I don’t want to look a loon on the train). I’ve generally always been fine with silent protagonists in general and feel they’re usually the best choice for anything that doesn’t rely on cut scenes. But the one in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is awful.
If you haven’t played the game it works kind of like Zelda and while you’re given a choice of gender (and eye colour, I think) and then that’s it. They don’t say anything the whole game just make a weird gesture with their hand that I think is meant to imply they’re talking, even though their mouth never moves. This animation goes on for awkward long seconds and takes me out of the game every single time it happens.
I never feel like the character I’m playing is real or my avatar or anything. It’s just a stupid, badly animated prop, a literal shop dummy for all the difference it makes. The weird thing is they will say a one sentence little quote when you select them on battle and that’s the only time ever in the whole game. It works in Zelda but it really doesn’t in Fire Emblem.
Just out of curiosity, I assume I’m not the only person who has got a pretty large library of generally great games from Epic Games Store for free without ever having bought anything from Epic store.
GC: We’re sure you’re not. But do you now have a more positive impression of the store than you might otherwise have? That’s why they do it.
And I thought I was good at Tetris… till I played Tetris 99! Friend code SW-0703-4469-5210
big boy bent (gamertag)
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tolly, who asks what’s your favourite strategy video game?
Although they’re usually quite rare there’s been an unusual number of strategy and strategy role-playing games released this summer but what is your favourite of all time? What is it you like about it and how does it compare to both other strategy games and action titles with a similar setting?
If you don’t play strategy games why not, and is there anything that might convince you to give them a go? Do you think they’ll always be a niche genre or could you see them becoming more popular in the future?
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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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