The Monday Inbox argues over whether Microsoft or Sony will dominate this generation, as one reader admits they don’t like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
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I was quietly hoping that Sony were waiting to see what other announcements, if any, were made at Microsoft’s extended E3 showcase before announcing the date of their E3 showcase equivalent State of Play. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of a new State of Play just yet, although I appreciate Microsoft’s extended E3 showcase was only yesterday, at the time of writing this, so hopefully there’ll be an announcement soon.
I believe Sony are a partner for Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, which gives me hope that there’ll be a State of Play sometime soon but I could see a smaller State of Play, like the recent Horizon Forbidden West one, maybe for Kena: Bridge Of Spirits, filling this partnership need instead.
If Sony doesn’t produce an E3 showcase-esque State of Play within the next week or two, then I can only put this down to arrogance on Sony’s part, where they believe they don’t ‘need’ to be at/around E3 in any capacity.
It’d be a real shame if this were the case, as E3 is a time where gamers look forward to the big announcements for the year and for the console industry leader to completely separate itself from this celebration of gaming would be very disappointing.
And I say this as someone who particularly enjoys Sony’s first party games and will most likely buy a PlayStation 5, once I’ve gotten through my PlayStation 4 backlog and PlayStation 5s are more readily available.
GC: That’s a good guess about having another small Stare of Play. We could easily see them do just one game at a time for the rest of the year.
In response to Cubby’s Reader’s Feature on Sunday about the Stranger Of Paradise demo, if Square Enix really want to dabble in Dark Souls style game play then a Vagrant Story sequel, or even remake or reboot, would be a perfect way for them to explore this. The atmosphere of Dark Souls always reminded me a little of Vagrant Story anyway, with the one character gameplay, lonesome feel, rock hard combat, and very few other characters to interact with.
To this day Vagrant Story remains my favourite Square game after Final Fantasy 7 and I’ve always been gutted they’ve never returned to the franchise. Although it was nice that Final Fantasy 12 was set in the same world and had some references.
To my knowledge the game has never even been re-released as a download in its original form, making owning a PS1 and a copy the game the only way it can still be played other than illegal emulation.
Well now I appear to have talked myself into dusting off my copy and… aww why has my PS1 turned tobacco stain yellow in the loft…?
Birdo’s biggest fan
After writing in begging Inbox magic for a new Mario Golf (which was answered) and then replying with dismay at seeing there was no Birdo (which has probably been answered with the free DLC) I have noticed another shocker has been confirmed – there is no accuracy bar.
I repeat… there is no accuracy bar.
You simply set the shot power and the accuracy is randomised!
How the hell have they allowed this to happen? Sure, they want to make the game as accessible to as many people as possible, but why not simply have an auto shot like before and let the experienced players use manual accuracy? What a complete and utter travesty of a decision.
GC: You’d do well to wait for the review.
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Ban them all
Good news about EA doing preview packs on FIFA. It won’t stay around for long. You think how much they will lose, a person that buys the packs will see what they’re getting and think, ‘No don’t need them, I’ll wait’. You will get the odd few that can’t wait and say I’ll buy just so I don’t have to wait.
I think all in-game purchases should be banned and that’s not me being tight, they’re just a money maker for some that can’t afford it in the first place. I mean, they get money from selling the game, then money from DLC, then money from in-game purchases. Maybe not from all three in one game but won’t be long till they are doing that.
Saying that, I don’t play FIFA. Why play football on a screen when you can do this silly thing, go outside and play football for real.
Wait till you know
I wonder if Elden Ring was due to release in October/November in time for the Christmas rush, but From had to delay it due to the COVID-19 impact, or other reasons.
If that was the case, then kudos to From for playing things that way and not announcing a release date too early. It certainly beats the now all-too-common announcement for a game to be released Q4 and then having to delay into the next year.
January is currently looking surprisingly good with that and Pokémon Legends – hopefully neither get delayed!
Time is money
I can’t see Microsoft winning the next/current generation. They may do better, but they still don’t seem to have those top quality exclusives. They may buy studios up left, right, and centre but their history of acquiring studios is not great.
Remember what happened to Rare as a prime example. Bungie couldn’t wait to leave and Halo has not been quite the same since. Forza looks great but scales on what machine you play it on and it’s cross-gen, something people moan about (personally, it makes sense for developers to make their games to the most people available and the leap in graphics between generations is getting smaller each generation).
A reader said quantity over quality will win. I am not so sure, I would always go for quality over quantity myself. As a gamer with family commitments I have less free time nowadays and would rather spend it playing the best games possible and at the moment that’s not Xbox. Hopefully in the future they will have more killer than filler games but I think that’s at least a year or so away, by which time they may be in the same situation as last gen.
Current playing: Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS5) and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild on Switch.
In terms of announcements the biggest let-down at this year’s E3 has to be the Starfield reveal, there was a lot of hype surrounding the game prior to the event but all we ended up with was a short and not particularly impressive pre-rendered trailer with a distant release date.
Surely even the most ardent Xbox/Bethesda supporter has to consider that as a disappointment?
Not sticking the landing
I was very impressed by Microsoft’s showing at E3, and I personally don’t see how anyone who sees themselves as even close to hardcore gamer could have seen otherwise. I like all types of games on just about all systems (even including strategy games on PC) and if anyone was to let some fanboy foibles make them miss out on all the excellent games coming to Xbox I think they would have to stick to the ‘casual’ and leave any ;hardcore’ pretence far behind.
The Xbox line-up, just from first party, has Microsoft Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite all coming before Christmas. Then there’s the amazing looking STALKER 2 in spring next year (which admittedly is a third party timed exclusive), and who knows what else will be announced at Gamescom in August and The Game Awards in December, and also maybe through some of Xbox’s on direct style showcases. The Outer Worlds 2 is coming, obviously Starfield, Forza Motorsport, Hellblade 2…
To me Flight Simulator looks superb. I emphasise ‘looks’ because I have played the game on PC but my rig is simply not up to it. In fact, my Xbox Series X is pretty much twice as powerful as my once monster PC, in all departments. So I am very much looking forward to the immense virtual tourism that this incredibly ambitious game offers.
Psychonauts 2 is a quality looking sequel to a genuine classic and is down as a must-play. Now Halo Infinite is an interesting one. It wasn’t the graphics I had a problem with in its initial reveal last year but the gameplay. And also, those ancient looking explosion effects. Now, I do think it will be a solid game, and maybe surprise a few people, but it has to be borne in mind that this a 60fps game on all platforms, including base Xbox One, and the development challenges of pulling that off must be great. (I thought Halo 5, while plot-wise near incomprehensible, was a good game but far too short. The multiplayer was excellent, however.
However, Forza Horizon 5 looks like 100% gaming heaven to me. Driving games are just my bag, I love to turn down the in-game music and put some favourite rockers on my own stereo and tear up the streets/mud/sand/mountains. All the previous Horizon games were superb and this one may raise the bar again.
But now we have moved on from Sony fans taking a break from their ‘nobody likes shooters anymore’ comments and letters to squeeze in a couple of games of Apex Legends or Fortnite. This being because apparently Xbox is the shooter box. Now it’s ‘nobody likes Western role-playing games’ But hey, let’s not forget, apparently nobody likes masterpiece level arcade driving games either!
GC: You were doing quite well there, until that bizarre last paragraph.
Bayonetta 3 is going to be one of those games I don’t believe exists until it’s actually running on my TV. I really don’t see what anyone is gaining from this secrecy. Actual Nintendo games have shown more than this in the run-up to their release, with the new Zelda being a case in point.
Am I the only that didn’t really like the first Hellblade? Personally I found it to be pretentious and boring, with horribly repetitive puzzles (really, the Ridder puzzles from Batman?). The combat was fine at first but it was so simple it got old long before the end.
GC: We didn’t like it much either, for similar reasons.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Andee, who asks what’s your favourite video game soundtrack?
We’ve run similar Hot Topics in the past, so to ensure the discussions is different your musical choices can only be from the current and previous generations (i.e. PlayStation 4 and 5). What has been your favourite soundtrack from that period and how does it compare to other classics?
Do you listen to the soundtrack separately to the game and do you enjoy the whole thing or just a few tracks? What do you think of current standards in video games music and what are you looking forward to in the new generation?
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The small print
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