Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League -have you played it? (Picture: Warner Bros.)
The Monday letters page asks questions about classic Sega games and their revivals, as readers discuss their most anticipated games of 2024.
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I’ve been playing the Suicide Squad beta, so if anyone wants to ask me any questions then shoot. I’m not much of a reviewer but I will try and give an overall impression, which is that it’s… okay? I signed up for the beta, not expecting to get in, because of my love of Batman: Arkham but as you may know the story of the game is that all the Justice League, except Wonder Woman, have turned evil.
My first complaint, as a DC fan, is that the game does not feel very authentic to most of the characters. It’s also not very funny, even though people are always wisecracking. It’s not painful or anything but they spend too much time on it and it doesn’t work, in my opinion.
The basic gameplay, which is basically a shooter, works fine but it’s nothing very unique and a lot of the special abilities are hard to get/activate. Turning Suicide Squad into a four-player shooter just doesn’t make much sense to me and there’s a lot of acrobatics as well, which is fine but also feels out of place. The biggest problem though is that it’s so repetitive, which you realise after just an hour or so.
I had some fun playing with other people, but I’ll be honest and that the beta put me off the main game, rather than made me excited for it. I’ll wait to see the reviews but I’m not expecting them to be very positive.
Walk before you can run
As optimistic as I’m trying to be about these Sega game revivals, or whatever they are, it worries me that they’re planning so many and yet we haven’t seen a single one yet. I’m already dubious about the Streets Of Rage and Shinobi ones and yet there’s talk of some really obscure ones already, after that.
I have seen nothing from Sega in the last 20+ years that suggest to me they know what they’re doing with these franchises and I would be much more confident if it turned out they handed them over to someone else.
I do suspect though, that these are going to turn out to be part of some overarching compilation game, where you buy individual games to add to it, which are basically indie titles. That’s my guess anyway, but I hope we learn something more soon.
Variations on a theme
Happy New Year, GC! Why does my mind keep linking Panzer Dragoon with After Burner now after all these years? Do you know if there’s any connection between them whatsoever? Any same developer or programmer between the two? They are both on-rail shooters. Would like any enlightenment if you have any.
Anyway, one thing similar with Panzer Dragoon and Alisia Dragoon (great game, mind) is… auto-targeting!
GC: They’re both Sega on-rail shooters with a powerful lock-on system, so we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the same people worked on both. Coin-ops of that time didn’t feature people’s full name in the credits though, so it’s difficult to be sure.
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Dreams can come true
Back in November 2022, the weekend Hot Topic was ‘The best video game platformers’ and I nominated Rocket Knight Adventures, and its sequel Sparkster (both the Mega Drive and SNES versions) because of the uniqueness the rocket-propelled opossum brought to the genre.
I finished my letter asking Konami to package all three games together and sell them like the Castlevania and Contra collections, claiming I would buy it twice if they did. Limited Run Games have just announced they are relaunching all three games together for PlayStation and Switch, as well as a whole line of Rocket Knight merchandise and I am thrilled. Sparkster is one of, if not my favourite, 16-bit mascot and he is finally getting the love and recognition I have always held for him, I can’t wait for orders to open.
Thankfully I only have to buy it once because it’s not technically Konami releasing this, although I’ll get that plushie too, so as not to anger the Inbox gods (and Sparkster looks adorable).
Thanks again GC for providing this majestic wishing portal on a daily basis.
Beastiebat (PSN ID)
Currently playing: RoboCop: Rogue City and it was worth the wait until Christmas Day.
All the same
As a gamer who has opted for an Xbox for the last three generations, the speculation that Microsoft may be gearing up to go third party really doesn’t bother me, make me angry and defensive, make me want to combust or send some death threats to the hardworking guys and gals who make our hobby what it is. I only really stuck with Xbox because of the achievements. Strange reason I know, but after amassing a Gamerscore of over 300,000, friends from around the world and just generally preferring the interface and online services, it was always just easier to stick with Xbox.
Now I always had a secondary console (at the moment it’s a Switch) now there’s nothing whatsoever secondary about the Switch, but we’re never gonna play GTA 6 and Red Dead Redemption 3 on it, are we?! I also pick up/lend/get given a PlayStation (add your number here) at the end of the generation to play what I missed. Sony formula single-player games are my thing, weirdly for an Xbox gamer, and I catach up on Uncharted, The Last Of Us, Spider-Man, Ghosts Of Tsushima, Horizon, God Of War, etc., etc.
So if indeed Microsoft goes third party, hopefully keeping some semblance of Game Pass and some sort of rewards scheme, and I can play Forza, Starfield, Spider-Man, and Wolverine – as well as GTA and Elden Ring – then it works for me. The only worry would be that if Sony had sole control of your living room, they could, I suppose, charge the world for their consoles and if you wanna play Call Of Duty 2037 and Dark Souls 12, then you will have to pay up, sausage!
big boy bent
So, you can upload as many brain exploding headshots as you like but a little full frontal nudity gets you a smack on the bonce with the ban-hammer? That’s sooo American.
I love Baldur’s Gate 3 and I thought the sex scenes between Asterion and Lae’zel were handled maturely. Not a Benny Hill ooer missus! type of thing.
I mean its hardly online porn. What? I’m 53, leave me alone.
Be careful what you wish for
In response to the Reader’s Feature over the weekend and Xbox multiplatform denial. They’re right, it’s impossible to deny that Microsoft already release multiple titles across rival platforms. The Minecraft franchise, the Ori series, continued support for their Bethesda MMOs and legacy titles such as The Quake series remakes.
As a primarily Xbox gamer, I’ve loved my time playing Sea Of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush and I welcome the idea that more people would be able to enjoy these games.
But to suggest this move will lead to Xbox exiting the console market and is a good thing may very well be a double-edged sword.
PlayStation 4 saw Sony with their back to the wall and a decision to double down what they’d done best with Uncharted and The Last Of Us and make a range of games with the greatest production values in gaming history.
Now with PlayStation 5, they’re already outselling Xbox 3-1, having mostly provided upgraded sequels to PlayStation 4 games, and they’re radio silent on their future plans.
People have written multiple Reader’s Features asking: Why are Sony not telling us more, and I’m thinking, ‘Because they don’t have to’. Trailers cost money, advertising and flashy demos cost money, and expensive story-driven one and done video games cost money, and can still be a gamble – even with Spider-Man 2’s success Insomniac are laying off workers.
The video game market has been in a unique position from its inception, that no single format became dominant, and with Xbox out of the way maybe there would still be ample competition between Nintendo and Sony, driving the creation of first class, first party support.
But I worry Sony would do what every big corporation would do with a monopoly (Microsoft included, I’m not picking sides): minimise expenditure and maximise profits.
Maybe it’s a good thing, I don’t know, but it would make my 15 years of investment in the Xbox ecosystem somewhat obsolete and, I think, would be a high price to pay when you can play any of those Xbox games you’re interested in for a £1 buy in with Game Pass.
DarKerR (gamertag)/DarKeR-UK (PSN ID)
2024 looks to be a bit of an unusual year. While there doesn’t seem to be much with a fixed release date after April, and what there is don’t seem to be the most high profile games, the first four months of the year are packed. It’s especially busy if you like Japanese games and role-players.
Between 24th January and 23rd April there’s Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy, Granblue Fantasy: Relink, Persona 3 Reload, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Dragon’s Dogma 2, Rise Of The Rōnin, and Eiyudin Chronicles. From this we can learn two things; one, that publishers still haven’t learnt to spread things out sensibly, and two, they love a title with a colon!
The game I’m probably looking forward to the most, though, is Unicorn Overlord by Vanillaware. It looks to have their trademark excellent graphics and be the full blown tactical role-player they’ve always threatened to make. Based on 13 Sentinels and GrimGrimore this should be really special. The collector’s edition even comes with a card game version to play. When I’ll actually find time to play it though is a mystery!
andy_b720 (PSN ID)
PS: As someone from Yorkshire I am also looking to Thank Goodness You’re Here. If it’s half as good/funny as the trailer it will be great and it’s definitely worth a watch.
Not that odd
Well, this is easy. And it would still be very easy if I had one of the newer consoles. Princess Peach: Showtime! The only question is: what is it going to be? Platform game? Roaming fighter, à la Bayonetta? I’m going to guess that, while it will have elements of both of those (we’ve seen Peach brandish cold steel after all), I think it will be primarily be a Metroidvania-type experience. That way it can have a generous helping of both combat and navigating the environment in fun ways. Well, that’s what I hope.
Odd that Nintendo aren’t telling us what kind of game it is yet – it’ll be out in a couple of months! Or have I missed something?
GC: There’ll probably be a Nintendo Direct next month about it.
The games I’m looking forward to are quite front loaded this year. 2024 isn’t really exciting me at the moment, as even though there are some really good releases they mostly look to be role-playing games, which isn’t a genre that speaks to me despite my best attempts. So, I’m hoping for some more announcements. For now though the first game I’m looking forward to is Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown. I was already optimistic about this game given it is from the Rayman Legends team and I thought the gameplay trailers looked good, so I was pleased to see it review as well as it has done and placed my pre-order straight away (15% off at Currys with code CROWN15 for anyone interested).
The other game, which I know will surprise people, is Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. Since the first deep dive video they did late last year I have been looking forward to this game. I sincerely think it looks a lot of fun and I trust Rocksteady to do a good job, given their past games which have all been amazing games in my view. I think the game was being harshly judged from the off as soon as the words live service were mentioned and I’ll admit I didn’t like that either. However, the fact it’s all cosmetic stuff makes me not that bothered about that aspect to the game anymore.
It seems more live service in the sense of constantly adding new story content through the year, which is a good thing in my book. The recent previews were mixed and I think they raised valid concerns, particularly the interface, which does look very cluttered, and I hope they change that down the line, but again I still think it looks a lot of fun and the script and voice-acting all look top notch to me. Games rarely make me laugh but I have been chuckling whilst watching some of the cut scenes they’ve shown off.
I’m really hoping that Xbox announce that the Indiana Jones game will be this year at their showcase next week, as I’m very excited for that as I love both Indy and MachineGames’ Wolfenstein games. However, I’m expecting that to be a 2025 release.
Now playing: F1 23 (gamertag)
GC: The rumours are that it will be 2024.
I have a ShopTo code for £5 off a game priced £40 or more, which has to be used by February 2024. I didn’t think I would use it by February as two of the games (Super Mario RPG and Mario Vs. Donkey Kong) I am
interested in getting cost less than £40.
GC: That’s very good of you. We’ll pass it on to whoever wants it and sends us a useable Inbox letter.
Definitely agree that I do not want to be hearing anything about the PlayStation 6 for at least four years. That’s not a prediction, just a hope.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gadfly, who asks how interested are you in retro gaming and are publishers doing enough to support your favourites?
Do you play a lot of older games, either on their original format or via remasters? What percentage of your gaming time is spent on retro titles and do you enjoy them just as much as newer games? Is it just a matter of nostalgia or are there things that the older games do that you can’t get from modern titles?
When it comes to your favourite games and systems do you think publishers are doing enough to keep them easily available to everyone and what would you like them to do in the future, especially in terms of remasters, remakes, and sequels.
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The small print
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