The Tuesday Inbox asks for advice on more obscure Mega Drive classics, as one reader wonders if Xbox has ever made a profit.
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So Marvel’s Avengers has been in the news a lot lately, for mostly the wrong reasons, but I haven’t heard from anyone, except GC, that has played the beta. I got a code for the weekend and wondered what other people thought? My initial thoughts were that it’s very slick, lots of content, and very accessible. Perhaps a bit too much considering you can just button bash your way to victory 90% of the time.
It was fun but I have a very hard time imagining how its going to be a Destiny type thing where you play it every day. To me it seemed like a good single-player game, about on par with Spider-Man on the PlayStation. The co-op stuff is fun but it all seems a bit random and unnecessary. The areas don’t really seem big enough for it in the story missions and the co-op only stuff is just you and the others in a big room.
To be honest, even as I write this I’m not sure what to make of it. I think it’s pretty fun and will consider getting it this year but… the biggest problem is I don’t really get what Square Enix is trying to do with it, if that makes sense. When Spidey and Hawkeye and whoever is added to the game are they going to get their own story missions? How long are they going to be? And is that really going to be paid for by people buying slightly different coloured outfits for people to wear?
How video games pay for themselves is beginning to become a mystery to me and while that doesn’t really matter it bothers me that it doesn’t seem to make any sense.
Kudos to Ono-san for all his work on Street Fighter over the years, he seemed like such a nice guy. I know Street Fighter 5 gets a lot of stick but I think it’s turned out very well in the end. If you jump in now the amount of content is immense.
But I have no idea what they’re going to do for the next one. Like all fighting games they seem to have run out of ideas years ago. I also have no clue where Mortal Kombat goes from here. Adding new characters seems to be the only concept out there and for me at least it doesn’t seem like enough any more.
Personally I’d like to see the return of Virtua Fighter and a focus on 3D fighters again. You’ve still got Tekken and Soulcalibur but they’ve only ever barely used 3D movement and I think that is the only place left to really innovate. Except I just can’t really see Capcom going in that direction. So yeah, tough one and I’m not surprised Ono chose this moment to bail out.
While I don’t necessarily agree with the sentiment of the Saturday Reader’s Feature, that video game remakes are essential for younger people to experience classic games – I think if you like the look of a game you’re likely to seek it out anyway – I do think that it is important to update them for modern systems so that they retain accessibility. This is an unfortunate side effect of needing the specific hardware a game was made for, unlike a DVD where I can watch pretty much any film released on the format on one single machine.
On somewhat of a tangent I also thought I’d ask inbox magic for a remake of Battlefield Vietnam, considering support for Battlefield 5 has ended and World War 2 has been done now and I don’t know if I’m interested in yet another modern era game.
From my perspective it’s an era where there are plenty of interesting weapons and vehicles to use without all the thermal, laser-guided lock-on nonsense that seems to make parts of the current games feel a little unfair. I certainly wouldn’t mind riding around in a T-62 or hiding in the foliage waiting to lure an enemy GI into a pungi spike trap.
GC: We’d be shocked if the next Battlefield wasn’t a return to the modern day but if the next Call Of Duty is set during the Cold War it may take in the Vietnam War.
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Means to an end
I guess it’s all relative to their competitors, but have Microsoft truly ever made a success of their hardware products, in terms of profits? Sure, they’ve got a lot of their products into people’s homes, but how profitable were they? The mind boggles when you think of how much cash they’ve poured into the Xbox brand over the years.
If the vast majority of their profits come from services and software, surely it won’t be long before Live and Game Pass go multiformat. Maybe the start of the next nex” gen?
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Paper Mario: The Origami King and Deliver Us the Moon
GC: Hardware making a profit is viewed purely as a bonus by all companies, even Nintendo. It’s always been software, and now services, where the real money is made. As for Xbox, the only time they’ve been known to be in the black is towards the end of the Xbox 360 era, thanks to Kinect (but not thanks to the Red Ring of Death). There’s no way to tell about the Xbox One, as they refuse to release any sales info.
I feel like I’ve been fighting the original great console war for far too long and I’ve now relented and downloaded Sega Mega Drive Classics on my Switch (nothing to do with the fact it’s been reduced to £15 of course, it’s just me holding out an olive branch to my Sega-loving former enemies).
I dabbled with the Mega Drive at a friends’ houses at the time but only really played the most famous games. Once I’ve gone through the staples like the Golden Axes, Streets Of Rages, Sonics, etc. does anyone have any personal recommendations from the line-up? I will be giving Decap Attack some time as I’ve read it’s like Psycho Fox.
GC: Couldn’t you… just try them all and see which ones you like?
In response to Spooky Dreamer, I think the reason CeX and GAME have the disc versions of those games so low is because of digital sales and I doubt they would be that cheap otherwise. I remember five years ago or so preowned versions of games would hold their value for much longer. A game like Red Dead Redemption or a Call of Duty would usually cost you around £25-30 until a sequel was out.
It is my belief the market will eventually decide the digital price of games. On PC, which has been digital for an age now, we constantly get games at huge discounts when they don’t sell well and access to trials and free weekends. Something I have noticed has been happening on consoles too.
As for broadband access, that’s just unlucky. Ofcom claims 94% of homes have access to fibre optic broadband. I am also one of the 6% waiting. Have you tried a certain satellite company’s half-fibre broadband gimmick? I get 50mb/s from that.
GC: Do you mean Sky? You can say companies’ names here, this isn’t the BBC.
Do you know if the Capcom Home Arcade will receive any additional games to download as there have been none added so far and it would make it a much more justifiable purchase for myself.
I’m just a bit worried about shelling out £200 then Capcom pretty much forgetting about the machine.
GC: The Capcom Home Arcade has only had minor bug fixing updates since launch, although an upcoming v1.5 should add the much-wanted CRT filters and dip switch options. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of new games though.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
I see a lot of people dismiss the Reader’s Feature at the weekend, about the various ways Sony could shoot themselves in the foot, but I think it could well happen. Sure, nobody’s going to abandon getting a PlayStation 5 because of Spider-Man in Avengers but what happens if they sign-up something really big like Call Of Duty or Bethesda’s Starfield.
That’s exactly what was rumoured last week and if it happens I think we’ll see the mood change very considerably. Sony will immediately be vilified in a way they haven’t been since they got Lik-Sang shut down. Now, whether that will put off any major number of people I don’t know, but we’ll definitely hear about boycotts and, knowing the internet, all manner of death threats and other nonsense.
It would be such a big deal, if it was a game of that magnitude, that casual gamers are likely to hear of it too and join the bandwagon, such that I could Son being forced to take a U-turn. Perhaps the idea that there’s no such thing as bad publicity will win through but I think it’s a dangerous path that Sony would be taking and they’d be much better advised to just keep making their own exclusives instead of trying to buy them in.
Those skins for Virgin and Intel skins for Marvel’s Avengers are hideous. Who would want them? They’re just random different colours too, how does that even count as a new suit?
You know what we haven’t had in a long while? A James Bond game. Any idea who owns the licence at the moment, GC? It’s not still Activision is it?
GC: There’s no indication that anyone owns it at the moment, sadly.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what franchises are you most looking forward to in the next gen?
With the next gen consoles almost upon us which long-running series are you most looking forward to getting a new sequel or reboot? What do you hope to see from the new game and how do you think the next gen hardware will help to change and improve it?
As long as it’s still an active franchise, that has had a recent new entry this gen, it doesn’t matter whether it’s been announced yet or not, so feel free to make assumptions about what will eventually be coming to the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
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.
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