Games Inbox: Will Xbox Series X win the new generation?

Games Inbox: Will Xbox Series X win the new generation?

The Tuesday Inbox wonders about the future of Resident Evil nostalgia, as one reader has an idea of how to bring back Star Fox.

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I’ve got a bad feeling about this
I really don’t want to come across as a fanboy but I really have a terrible feeling about what Xbox is going to become this generation. Microsoft has got so much money they’re just going to steamroller the competition and that worries me because they’re going to do it all without games.

Every time Sony or Nintendo (or Microsoft with the Xbox 360) has won a generation it’s been because of the games. Never mind the marketing or the gimmicks or the technology it’s fundamentally been the games that people have chosen one format over the next. Now the priorities are low cost and easy convenience, with the game selection, at least of new titles, not even coming into it.

Presumably there’s someone out there buying an Xbox Series X for the promise of Fable 4 or Perfect Dark 2 in three years time but most people are just buying it because they can play old games that already exist or to use Game Pass which is really cheap. The focus is being taken away from the games themselves being the most important thing and instead it’s quantity over quality, value for money over experience.

And I’ve no doubt it’ll win out. When people think a button that takes away the effort of turning one game off and another on is the most exciting new feature of the new generation it worries me that more and more people don’t care what they play as long as it requires the minimum amount of effort and money.
Tardigrade

Remake > reboot > reincarnation
RE: Tomb Raider reboot discussion. I’m of the opinion it needs to be reincarnated, à la God Of War or Resident Evil 4, etc. The trilogy felt completely tired by the end of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider and I nearly forgot I completed it last year.

Just to don my armchair game design hat, I’d even suggest to make a new game without combat in mind, or at least significantly stripped back. If the next one has the same balance of cover-based shooting, they’ve already failed.

I’d like to see a Tomb Raider focusing entirely on puzzles, platforming, and a proper attempt at a character (probably just drop all the stuff about her parents too – it never goes anywhere and she’s not Batman!).
I’m not sure what confidence Square Enix have in Tomb Raider these days but they need to put their full weight behind the next one.
Chris Tandy

The future of nostalgia
I think we’ve known for a long time now that Resident Evil Village is heavily influenced by Resident Evil 8 and I’m fine with that, because it’s my favourite game in the series and probably my favourite game ever. But as much as I’m looking forward to Village I’m really curious to see what they’re going to do once they get past Resident Evil 4.

Does anyone really want a remake of Resident Evil 5 or 6? Or a new Resident Evil that’s influenced by either of them? They could try and bring back co-op, as a homage to 5, but that’s as far as I can see it going. So what will Resident Evil nostalgia be like after that? Is the first person Resident Evil 1 remake that GC predicted inevitable at this point?

But then what? A remake of Resident Evil Gaiden or just a first person 2 and 3? I’m not predicting, or even asking, for anything specific here I just genuinely have no idea where Capcom go after Village and the Resident Evil 4 remake. Expect more rubbish multiplayer games that nobody wants, obviously.
Dime

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The way back
I have to say I’m really enjoying Bowser’s Fury and I’m very impressed by how big a game as it is, since it’s basically a free extra that Nintendo didn’t have to include. Given that, and especially if it’s by a new team, the amount of polish and clever ideas is really cool. I really like the way the map opens and dealing with Bowser. Plus, riding on Plessie is a lot more fun than it was in Super Mario 3D World.

Who knows if this will lead to a full sequel but I agree with a previous reader that Nintendo should consider making more of these types of small, experimental games and consider selling them all on the eShop. I’d definitely buy Bowser’s Fury for £20, maybe even £25, and it would be a good way to try and bring back lesser franchises like Star Fox and F-Zero, that Nintendo are worried aren’t big sellers anymore.

F-Zero just needs the exposure but Star Fox is in such a creative funk now they really need someone to take a creative risk with it and either revitalise it or stick a fork in it and say it’s done.
Freddie

Break the tradition
Unfortunately, thanks to the leaks, I don’t think there’s much mystery as to why the Great Ace Attorney duology is seemingly skipping Xbox.

I happened to see the sales numbers for the 2019 multiformat rerelease of the Ace Attorney Trilogy on another website. Not sure if I should share them here since it’s part of the leak, but basically the Xbox sales were incredibly low.

The PlayStation 4 sold roughly 21 times more copies, the PC 51 times more, and the Switch 96 times more copies than the Xbox version. I suspect the only way any future games in this series will hit the Xbox is if Microsoft pays for them.
Lord Darkstorm

GC: You’re almost certainly right, but Microsoft has got to help break the cycle. If there are no Japanese-orientated games on the Xbox then fans will go to other formats for them, even if the Xbox has other things they’re interested in. Nobody buys Japanese games on Xbox currently because that’s not the sort of audience Xbox traditionally attracts.

Lost in Samus
When I played Metroid Prime on the GameCube, I recall a moment when I returned to Samus’s ship to recharge health and refill ammo. For anyone who doesn’t know, you do this by standing on top of the ship.

I don’t quite remember how I did this but after the recharge and refill I remember being able to go inside the cockpit of the ship. I think I stood directly above the cockpit and got taken inside the same way you do for the recharge. However, whereas the recharge just shows you an animation of Samus being taken into the ship and then coming straight back up again, when I entered the cockpit I was able to move and look around in first person. It was a really cool place to be, the green glass of the window bathing the room in a beautiful emerald glow as I looked out at the alien landscape and studied the control panels.

On the computer there was an intercepted message in which Samus’s enemies said they knew she had landed on the planet but didn’t know exactly where.

The reason I’m writing is because I can’t find any reference to this on any Metroid forum or gaming site and none of the playthroughs on YouTube show Samus going into the cockpit and accessing this file. Which leads me to believe this might be an Easter egg. If I still had the game I could put this on YouTube so you could see for yourselves. Obviously, any feedback from you guys or the readers would be most welcome.
Kehaar

GC: We do seem to remember doing that, perhaps entering in morph ball mode? But really, we haven’t played the game in years… thanks to Nintendo and the non-existence of those rumoured remasters.

Junior baby
Didn’t Bowser Jr. first appear in Yoshi’s Island as the baby Bowser to Mario’s infant self? Hence, I always thought Bowser Jr. was just a Back to the Future/Family Guy style paradox. Great Scott!
big boy bent
PS: Lemmy, Wendy, Frodo, Sleepy, Doc and the others were all much better than Bowser Jr.

GC: No, his first appearance was Super Mario Sunshine. The Koopalings are not Boswer’s biological children, although they might be adopted – Super Mario lore tends to be fuzzy on the details.

Lighter Dungeon
Having finally bought Darkest Dungeon last week in one of the PSN sales for £3.59, being tempted by it for at least a year, I was looking for recommendations from yourselves or the GC faithful as to similar titles but without the negative aspects in their gameplay loops.

Easily got my money’s worth already but despite liking it as much as I do with regards to characters, their progression and group setups, the onslaught of negatives for your characters is affecting my overall enjoyment of this fine game. I completely expected, and was fully aware of, these gameplay mechanics going in but still wanted to experience this highly rated title and am glad I am but know it will shorten my dungeon delving once the enemies and environments get more difficult, resulting in me having less fun playing it.

Similarly how I’ve never gone back to XCOM 2 (When it was free on PS Plus) after my one attempt was derailed by an event that happened hours earlier and I couldn’t progress because of the spike in difficulty. Just wasn’t fun at all and seemed like I had wasted time playing when the game had already put a barrier to my progression without me knowing. I loved the first XCOM, but played it in a very non XCOM manner, as I utilised multiple saves and reloading like I would in most role-playing games I have played since The Bard’s Tale on the Atari ST.

I know there are mods available for the PC version of Darkest Dungeon that will mitigate many of my misgivings with it but I’m not sure buying the game again, on a format I rarely use, just to mod it is the best solution. That and although my PC runs games well enough it isn’t really set up in a space for comfortable gaming sessions, more for browsing and media streaming.

So any suggestions would be very welcome please, PlayStation 4 mainly (PlayStation 5 eventually if the scalpers ever let the gamers get the games consoles that is) but PC titles will definitely be considered.

Appreciate all your hard work as always and the efforts of those who put forward their Reader’s Features.

Best wishes and good gaming.
NCD
Currently playing Darkest Dungeon (PS4) and Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)

GC: It sounds like you just don’t get on with games with a punishing difficulty or which can appear unfair, which is a perfectly reasonable position. We’re not sure whether you’re attracted more to the strategy or role-playing elements of these games though, which makes suggesting an alternative difficult. Perhaps a strategy role-player like Disgaea or Fire Emblem – they can be hard but the modern ones usually not unmanageably so.

Inbox also-rans
What does it mean that parents think them playing games is fine but for their kids it’s mindless entertainment? Shouldn’t either they go read or book or accept games are good for their children?
Boson

I don’t really get where that reader says the controls in Super Mario 3D World are not precise and it’s all based on luck. Sounds more like a broken Joy-Con than a critique of the game.
Tracker

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Austin, who asks what game do you remember thinking would never be beaten in terms of graphics… and now looks laughably outdated.

I can be any game from any era or format, as long as you thought at the time that graphics were never going to get any better (or at least not by much). Was the thought justified and did the game in question prove to be an important milestone in gaming or just one you happened to be impressed by?

Are you still regularly impressed by video game graphics or do you worry that they’ve reached a plateau and are now only slowly improving? What do you think of next gen visuals so far and what’s impressed you the most?

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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.

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