The Wednesday Inbox discusses alternative games of the generation, as one reader is upset at non-interactive video game endings.
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Just in case anyone missed the memo there weren’t any major new stock shipments over Christmas and it’s still impossible to get a PlayStation 5 at normal prices. I do still plan to, but this has given me some time to sit back and think about it, or more specifically the games.
It is a good launch line-up, anyone that disagrees is crazy, but I’ve begun to worry more about the rest of it. Sony has given me no reason to be excited about Destruction AllStars or Returnal yet and Horizon Forbidden West is a PlayStation 4 game, plus the new God Of War is likely to be too. And that’s it in terms of big exclusives, except for Gran Turismo 7 which I have no interest in because I don’t like driving games.
I’m beginning to see what Japanese gamers are upset about in terms of the PlayStation 5 line-up and its games. I am excited for Ratchet & Clank, and would definitely get that if I had the console, but the rest of it just doesn’t excite me, at least not yet. There is too much of an American influence, with no big budget adventure games from Japan (or any smaller weird ones) and the games that are European you’d never guess they were.
Obviously it’s still better than Xbox. You’d have to have minus exclusives for it to be worse, but suddenly it’s all starting to seem a bit less exciting than it did.
I managed to bag myself an Xbox Series X in that weird week between Christmas and new year. It’s an incredible piece of kit that I’m enjoying, with superfast load times, crisp graphics, and great sound quality.
I’ve only played one new game, Cyberpunk 2077, which I got for my Xbox One S at Christmas; that version was like playing a PlayStation 3 game and I put it away until I could get the Series X, I popped it in the Series X and it’s immediate what this machine can do.
I fired up Mafia 3, not the best game but I like it, and the difference on that game was incredible, the level of detail and sound quality is like nothing I’ve witnessed before.
I’m happy with my incremental upgrade, it feels like I’ve upgraded my phone, if that makes sense?
Really enjoyed your Top 20 games of the of the generation article. While I personally might have included a couple of others, it’s hard to argue with any of the inclusions, at least of the 15 I’ve played. Well, except maybe
Uncharted 4, which I found a bit of a one-note slog besides the incredible graphics and production values. Both Horizon Zero Dawn and The Last Guardian, although arguably more flawed, just resonated far more with me in terms of both gameplay and storytelling. Horizon Zero Dawn in particular was a big surprise of the generation for me – I’m not generally a fan of Ubisoft-style open worlds, but the varied combat, intriguing story and setting elevated it so much. I also feel these two games didn’t overstay their welcome, unlike many other AAA games this gen (including Uncharted 4).
Anyway, it says a lot about the outgoing generation that you could easily swap out at least half the games and still have a phenomenal and pretty diverse list. Overall though I’d guess this was the generation where story driven/third person action adventure games really came into their own (there were notably few first person games on the list), along with increasingly innovative indie gems.
Did you ever do a top 20 of the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 generation, GC? Would be interesting to go back and compare.
GC: We don’t think we did, no.
I’m still a little confused about the criticism of the PlayStation 5 launch in Japan? Would Japanese gamers really be happier with a Japanese made version of FIFA than an American made version of Demon’s Souls? The lack of a Japanese translation at reveal events I can understand as an issue, but everything else feels more like it originates in conservatism.
I enjoy playing all manner of games from all manner of countries (not that I have much choice!), but are we saying that Japanese gamers will mostly only buy into Japanese games made by Japanese developers on Japanese consoles?
I wonder whether the increasing availability of good mobile smartphone games, which have always been preferred in Japan is a more likely driver for the slowly lowering demand?
Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)
GC: Yes, most Japanese gamers are primarily interested in Japanese-made games. Which isn’t surprising given how well served they are by local developers and how little effort Western companies often make with translations. They already have a Japanese made version of FIFA, it’s called PES.
So, looking at your preview for games this year it would seem there’s a nice little treat in the form of Disgaea 6 at the end of the month. But I don’t think that’s the case. The trailers for it suggest a summer release and Amazon gives me a date of June 22nd. For the Switch version. Can’t even see a PlayStation 4 option. Yet.
Which is just as well. I’m going through 5 again, despite how boring Killia is. It still probably has the most quality of life improvements.
What do you make of Disgaea 6 at the moment, anyway? Zed looks like a massive step up from Sir Killjoy. I’m not quite sure about the 3D models, but it will make for much more over-the-top specials.
They really have gone insane with the numbers now because, you know, Disgaea was much too restrained before. I know you guys don’t have time for much or any of the post-game content but let me confess to you right now, I have never ever so much as reached Baal (the true final boss) never mind beat him in any of the games I’ve played. I’ve got many of the later characters, like Marjoly in the first game, but Baal? I don’t even reincarnate all that much, so even at a high level my stats can be monstrously dwarfed by enemies that it looks like I should be able to beat. At least on paper.
Disgaea will be 18 years old this year, old enough to buy booze. I might try and do a retrospective come the warmer months.
GC: It seems to have been delayed again, it’s currently down merely as ‘summer’.
I’m hoping someone out there might be able to help me. I have been a member of EA Access since it launched on PlayStation 4, with an annual membership that generally works out pretty well for me. I haven’t historically needed to buy FIFA (I tend to dip in with friends so 10 hours is actually enough for each version!) but this year, having a bit more time on my hands, I decided to purchase a physical copy I saw going reasonably cheap on Amazon, with the intention of using the free PlayStation 5 upgrade.
On inserting the disc, the PlayStation 4 content installed as the full game but the PlayStation 5 content remains a 10 hour trial… this doesn’t even always work, despite me having six hours or so left, it usually glitches out and says I’ve run out of time.
I initially messaged EA, who said my options were to cancel my EA Access subscription (with no refund for the remaining months of subscription and also losing access to the other games), wait till it’s sorted, or get Sony to look at it. I emailed Sony’s PS Support via their website a month ago, and have messaged them multiple times on Twitter via the @askplaystation handle, however I’m yet to even receive an acknowledgement of a message.
So, at the moment, I can’t play a PlayStation 5 version of FIFA in any way, despite in theory having access to a trial of it, and also owning a copy which has a sticker on the box saying I get a free upgrade. Anyone else had this experience? Or any ideas who to contact to actually get a response? I’m really enjoying the console other than this issue, which is especially frustrating given there’s seemingly nobody I can get a response from.
Thanks in advance!
codename8ball (PSN ID)
Time for a remake
I just finished reading your article from 2012 about an HD downloadable version of TimeSplitters 2. I am a huge fan of the TimeSplitters game, like these games bring me a massive amount of nostalgia to me as they provided comfort in a difficult time (parents divorcing for one), was wondering if you know where I could acquire more info on this as I really want to see what this would’ve looked like or even does look like! Who knows, maybe it’s on a hard drive somewhere!
Anyways, please respond, I’d really like to get a dialogue going here, this game series is a cult classic and believe me, is loved by millions around the world contrary to what Crytek apparently believe according to the article.
GC: A new remake was teased a couple of months ago, although there’s still no official confirmation.
*** WARNING: SPOILERS FOR FAR CRY 3, FAR CRY 5, and BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT ***
Final cut scene
Just finished Far Cry 5 and I’d say I actually enjoyed it but the ending annoyed me as I didn’t get to punch the final boss in the face. No. We had a drug induced gunfight, but after a car chase we fade to a cut scene and the prospect of a really odd future for Rook, the protagonist. Far Cry 3 had the same issue, Vaas had kidnapped and tortured you and your friends, then killed your brother. How did you get your vengeance? A quick time event and it turns out that he wasn’t even the final boss but the first or second.
My issue is that there is no pay off. You have been hunting these guys/girls for 20-50 hours in between the side missions and collectibles but there is no release. I felt the same in Batman: Arkham Knight after the horrible stealth tank sections where I was really looking forward to yanking out and battering Deathstroke but no, denied by a cut scene. Why do the developers torment us so?
Anyway, Far Cry: New Dawn, worth a go or leave it? Also, does it have a similarly non-interactive ending?
Thanks and I hope everyone has a better year than the last ‘orrible one.
GC: Considering your reaction to the ending of Far Cry 5 you’ll probably hate how Joseph is handled in New Dawn. Also, it’s not nearly as good.
If Disney really want to mine the video games for ideas then I demand the next season of Mando features Kyle Katarn! I could actually see it happening too.
I got Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity. I almost feel glad to be back at work…
This week’s Hot Topic
As the first Hot Topic of the new year, the choice of subject matter for this weekend’s Inbox is pretty obvious: which game are you looking forward to most in 2021?
If you’re not sure what’s likely to come out, you can find our list of upcoming titles in our preview of 2021. You can also suggest other games but only if there’s good reason to expect them to be released this year (so no Half-Life 3 or Elder Scrolls 6).
Why are you looking forward to your pick so much and do you think it’ll be a major hit? What other video game releases or events are you looking forward to in 2021 and do you think this will be a good year for gaming overall?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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 Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
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