The Monday Inbox tries to decide which is the best Red Dead Redemption 2, as one reader is upset that EA’s Skate is dead forever.
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Great interview with the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order guy, GC. But isn’t a bit weird to be doing interviews just a few days before the game comes out? I know you said you probably wouldn’t get review code early but I can’t think of any other major game that’s doing that kind of preview this late in the day.
I’m stuck in two minds about the game to be honest, because on the one hand I don’t trust EA and a single-player Metroidvania sounds like the opposite of anything they’d ever make. Plus they’ve been terrible with the Star Wars games so far. And yet everything I’ve heard of in terms of hands-on has been really positive.
You know what the only sensible thing to do is? Wait for the reviews… Now, I can believe that maybe Lucasfilm don’t want plot spoilers early or something but with EA’s reputation there’s no way I’m buying day one, least of all pre-ordering. No doubt the same half dozen big American sites will have reviews on Friday but I think I can wait just a few more days after that.
GC: It is odd, we assume it happened because they don’t intend to send out review copies till the last minute.
Two game show
There’s a certain poetry in the fact that just after EA starts talking about fan favourite remasters, causing everyone to get excited about their favourite EA games, you immediately get a bit of news to deflate it, when you find out that they’ve lost the rights to the Skate name.
I honestly thought that that might be one of the ones to get brought back, but apparently not. Maybe it is a mistake but other than Dead Space I don’t know what else EA has really got in the way of fan favourites. Unless they’re going to start remastering old Star Wars games or something, now they technically have access to them.
It’s funny how few sports game EA has nowadays. They just stopped their basketball one the other day, I saw, and I had to look up to see whether they were still doing an ice hockey one (they are) so that means other than that their only regulars now are FIFA and Madden NFL. Since they seem to have given up on UFC and boxing.
That’s a pretty sorry line-up really for what’s supposed to be the masters of the sports game. At the very least I do not understand how they can go wrong with golf, but they haven’t done that in years.
Just to point out right from the off, I haven’t actually played Death Stranding yet. It was going to be a day one purchase but the negativity leading up to its release gave me pause.
What I have picked up from videos and reviews is that visually and gameplay wise it looks very similar to Metal Gear Solid 5. That got me thinking.
Do you think that Kojima had more to do with the flaws and troubled development that Metal Gear Solid 5 ended up having than people let on? I ask because to me at least Death Stranding seems to be a similar mixed bag of ideas that just doesn’t come together fully and leaves the experience flat.
Personally, I think he peaked at Metal Gear Solid 3, and that was in 2004. Since then he has been making a living off reputation alone.
GC: The combat is similar but that’s a very small part of the game. We agree Metal Gear Solid 3 is still the best one though.
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100% agree with what you said about Red Dead Redemption 2 in hindsight (and which was echoed by one of the Reader’s Features at the weekend). I think the game has been greatly overrated since it came out and going back it later it really does not hold up and is definitely not as good as the first one.
Rockstar always seem to get benefit of the doubt and while their games always look amazing they clearly value story and immersion of everything. There are plenty of gamers that do as well, so you can’t say that they’re wrong doing what they do but I just wish for once they’d prioritise gameplay. With all the money they have they could afford to hire every talented action developer in the world and put them to work on whatever they like. But they never do.
I also agree that Red Dead Redemption 2’s story is not that great though and did not justify the length or even really make that much sense. Again, the first one was much better and that weird bit at the end of the sequel, where they try to link the two up is just a lot of padding for no reason. I don’t think anyone would say it was a terrible game but I definitely don’t think it’s a classic.
Bugs of War
Has anybody else had any bugs with Gears 5? As a friend got to Act 3 and he has had to restart chapters because of the game glitching and being impossible to continue the game without restarting a chapter or
two. I managed to complete Gears Of War 5 without any serious bugs, except in one bit where one of the big enemies got stuck in a wall and couldn’t attack me, but I could attack it.
Also, I did not get the achievement for completing Gears 5 as the achievement stuck at 93% and I looked online and someone else had this problem and my friend with said bugs also got stuck at 93%.
GC: It’s a well-known bug which Microsoft still hasn’t fixed. Apparently, it comes from completing Act 3’s objectives in a certain order.
I might be one of the few people that actually enjoy the voices in Okami.
Bad voices in games really puts me off of them, especially Japanese games that come to the West with over-the-top American accents and it’s always the usual cast of Yuri Lowenthal, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker. Great voice actors but so cheesy in Japanese games. (Maybe it’s the localisation?)
I love the fact that Okami doesn’t have real voice actors and I think it even brought more emotion to it for not having them. The sounds the boy in the forest made when he had lost his dog broke my heart. It’s incredible that those tiny sounds, all with different tones can translate into something I can put a feeling behind. So here’s hoping that a sequel will keep them, or at least add the option to have them.
Six month lag
I found the weekend Reader’s Feature about waiting for Black Friday to purchase new games resonated with me quite a lot. The only games I purchase at full price are Nintendo games because, as the feature rightly said, they never drop in price.
I have deliberately held out on purchasing a number of games in the expectation of Black Friday deals. My gaming pattern is pretty much set at getting games six months to a year after release, when they are on a good deal. I always have a ‘new’ game to play this way even during release schedule droughts.
Pigfish2 (PSN ID)
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The Internet problem
Gamers are actually only the second worst thing about video games, coming quite a ways below fishing mini-games.
Other than being game-related acts of hate, though, there’s one thing all Ashton Marley’s examples have in common: empowerment. Or, more accurately, unwarranted empowerment.
It’s not just in gaming, it’s a social media phenomenon in general. The views and actions of people who haven’t earned it, and don’t deserve it, are given the same weight as almost everyone else and they become listened to. That encourages them, particularly when they find they have the tools and platforms to arrange things to put their money where their ignorant mouths are.
It’s not exclusive to gaming but gaming is more associated with the Internet than some other spheres. There needs to be something that corrects the absence of feedback that you get in real-life social interactions.
When I’m having a conversation in public, it’s very unlikely that some unknown idiot will turn up and start spewing bile in my face. Not because such idiots don’t exist but because they know society regulates itself in such a way that they’d achieve nothing except justified alienation.
Online, there’s a degree of wider social regulation but there’s also scope for the reset button to be hit for these people on a daily, maybe hourly basis. Not just because of the relative social impunity but also because the mere disapproving words they might encounter can easily be filtered out in favour of more encouraging cherry-picked nods. That’s an empowering phenomenon that can be exploited.
PS: One thing I can’t understand is why 900+ pokémon in a single game wouldn’t be universally regarded as way too many anyway. If you’re a fan of a game series, it’s probably not because you’ve got control over what happens to it but because there’s a trusted developer behind it. The fact so many people who think otherwise are being given so much attention demonstrates why we are where we are.
Would you just check out the Metacritic user reviews of Death Stranding? I’ve never seen so many reds…
GC: The review-bombing was mentioned in the Reader’s Feature referenced above.
Does Tennis World Tour play on the Switch Lite?
GC: Every game works on the Switch Lite, it’s just a small percentage require Joy-Cons to work. We haven’t played Tennis World Tour to know though, is it exclusively motion controls?
I have seen so many differing views on Death Stranding. I’ve never been a fan of Metal Gear, just because I haven’t played them much, but I feel I am going to buy it just to support big budget games that are so different.
Just a quick heads up about the current offer on Switch games at Tesco. Selected games are 2 for £60, which isn’t bad. I picked up Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, saving £29.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader NL, who asks what is the best video game sequel you’ve ever played?
As a flipside to last week’s Hot Topic about the worst sequels, what do you feel has been the best? Was is it a major overhaul for the series, a return to its roots, or simply a minor upgrade that nevertheless made it the best there’s ever been?
What sequel has been most effective at reinventing a series or rejuvenating interest in what may have been an ailing franchise? To be clear, anything counts as long as it can be generally counted as an official sequel, follow-up, or reboot.
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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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