Xbox’s most desirable exclusive? (Picture: Microsoft)
The Thursday letters page thinks the loss of trade-ins at GAME won’t be so bad after all, as one reader looks forward to more Tomb Raider.
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Number one choice
The news of Microsoft’s CEO confirming Xbox games will appear on other platforms has got me wondering what Xbox games people without Xboxes would most like to see coming to their console?
I have a PlayStation 5 so am excited by this news. However, I can’t think of too many Xbox games I’d like to play (hence me having a PlayStation 5 instead).
I’m not usually a racing game fan but Forza Horizon 5 would probably be my top pick. Reviews and podcast discussions suggest it’s a very approachable racer and also supremely fun, so I’d like to give that a go.
I’m not expecting Forza Horizon 5 to come to PlayStation 5 – I imagine Microsoft will just test the waters with older or smaller titles like Sea Of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush, as has been suggested – but it’d be good to hear people’s hopes for Microsoft’s new multiformat strategy.
In reply to Onibee’s letter yesterday, about a remastered Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, I don’t have much to add with that particular game. But with a remaster of Zeda: Tears Of The Kingdom, even if Nintendo have said no to DLC I can easily see them also remastering this with a Master mode but, more importantly, a Master Sword trial as per Breath Of The Wild.
Neither would be too difficult for Nintendo to implement. I really enjoyed the Master Sword trials for Breath Of The Wild and would love to see this in Tears Of The Kingdom. Perhaps make it even more tricky (and include extra elements linked to Link’s new abilities) and I’m sure this would keep punters happy.
I’m not bothered that GAME has stopped doing trades, I kind of forgot they still did. It’s been years since I’ve bought or traded a game at GAME because they are almost always more expensive than everywhere else and didn’t give you much for a traded game. However, I still always pop in for a look and will occasionally buy some of their (usually discounted) merchandise.
I recently discovered a GAME store inside House Of Fraser in Birmingham and I got a few reasonably priced Christmas gifts for friends. I checked out the store just after Christmas and picked up this Ms. Pac-Man mini-arcade machine in the sale. Originally £149, reduced to £24.95! Very chuffed!
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Don’t know why people are moaning about GAME and trade-ins, the prices they offer you are shocking and the price they sell them for is a joke. You’re better off selling them online yourself, I’ve not traded in a game for 10+ years. A game that had just been released was £50 new and was offered for £16 cash. I refused it while walking out.
I’ve seen some GAME pre-owned sold at £48 and thought they are going to try and double their money out of me. I will never trade in again and I haven’t. As for downloads, I do buy them a bit more now, but only if my mate wants it as well and we Game Share. Other than that, I’m a disc guy. When I buy something I like to hold it.
Minutes vs. days
As with most GameCentral readers, I am not particularly excited about a digital-only future. As I primarily play Nintendo games, I try and buy these as physical editions, since the prices don’t really come down anyway, not to mention saving space on the system memory.
I have to admit, however, that I have bought quite a lot of titles from the Nintendo eShop, almost always due to a compelling sales price, e.g. Doom and Burnout Paradise for a few pounds recently. I also enjoy browsing the eShop and seeing what is available and this brings me to my point: I think people buying digitally is a bit more nuanced than people being too lazy to get up and change disc/cartridge (which has been mentioned in the Inbox and even by GameCentral themselves in relation to Ubisoft’s comment and GAME no longer doing trade-ins).
Buying physical is great but what about if you live in a small town, or worse a rural area? Even in large cities it can be hard to find more obscure or older titles. Sure, you can order them online but when you have the possibility to download and play a game within a matter of minutes with no possible delivery hassle it can be very hard to resist (especially if heavily discounted).
Day one download
The blaming of lazy gamers buying digitally for the end of trade-ins at GAME, and the downfall of physical media, in my opinion, ignores the fact that for the past two console generations, when you buy a physical game you’ll need to also download an update, and more down the line. In the case of Call Of Duty you’ll need to download the full game anyway, because the disc is little more than a licence to play the game.
And then there’s games on Switch like the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes, where the physical cartridge holds a game with MIDI tracks and the end game island is inaccessible, and it seems they did this to cut cartridge costs, since they could have put the whole game on an 8GB cartridge but sold it as 4GB cartridge with an update to download the full thing.
Meanwhile, GAME itself has always been a little weird with their prices. Often, they’d run a special offer on slightly older titles new and sealed, knocking its price to below the pre-owned price. Granted it wouldn’t be much lower than the pre-owned copy, but it’s weird to see copies of Bayonetta 3 new and sealed for £19.97 or pre-owned for £19.99 next to each other on the shelf.
So rather than turn against each other, why not remember how much the gaming industry itself is trying to abandon physical copies and how GAME’s prices have always been kind of weird.
GC: Those updates are for the digital version as well; you just don’t notice the day one because it comes at the same time as the game itself. Not that it matters now, the die is cast.
The only way I’ll keep a console in the all-digital future is if they do a Steam style two hour or under refund policy. It’s so easy and quick. If I can’t enjoy the game by then, it isn’t for me.
Fingers crossed it all goes full circle like vinyl, flares, and the measles and physical discs at least come out in small quantities.
I like having a presence on my shelves, otherwise what are they for?
I can see why players would get overwhelmed by the systems that need to be learned to get anywhere in Baldur’s Gate 3 and just decided they couldn’t be bothered. I know I was in over my head for a good chunk of the first act before it clicked for me.
50% of players not getting passed the halfway mark of the first act is still fairly surprising though, given how good a game it is.
The thing for me was I’ve always been a proper strumpet for pretty graphics and Baldur’s Gate 3 has some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. It made me want to keep playing.
I was surprised to read the GC article where it was described as being hardcore. I strongly disagree with that for two reasons.
It has an easy mode that goes a long way towards taking the edge off until players are comfortable with what they need to do to get the most out of it or play through the whole game on easy. The story is definitely worth it and there is no shame in that, at least not outside of Reddit.
Most relevant to my argument is Whithers. Players can respec any character with him for only a 100 gold an unlimited number of times. I hit a wall with Ketheric until I did a respec for Gale and Shart, I beat him easily on the next attempt.
This is an acknowledgement by Larian that players who have no experience of Dungeons & Dragons shouldn’t get locked into a character build due to that lack of experience.
I played it when it first released on PlayStation 5 so I don’t know how it is now. But what I did find a major frustration was nothing was clearly explained. I admit having to work all that stuff out for myself was difficult.
GC: That sounds like a pretty hardcore experience to us.
I had completely forgotten the Tomb Raider remasters were a think. I hope they work out because it seems an eternity since the last game and I get the feeling the next one is still going to be a while.
Top Spin the tennis game? Wow, that’s great news! I use to love Top Spin 3 back in the day.
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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