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Games Inbox: The best video game of 2024, Beyond Good & Evil popularity, and Shadow Of The Erdtree Day-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

The Friday letters page is glad that Microsoft is copying Sony’s PS4 formula, as another reader looks forward to Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom.

Games Inbox: The best video game of 2024, Beyond Good & Evil popularity, and Shadow Of The Erdtree Day-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – game of the first half of the year? (Square Enix)

The Friday letters page is glad that Microsoft is copying Sony’s PS4 formula, as another reader looks forward to Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom.

To join in with the discussions yourself email

Half-year report
So, as we’re at around the halfway point of the year, what would GC say is the best game of the year? Or the one to beat? Do you expect anything on the horizon to sweep up in the second half of the year? Is there any chance that you’ll do a top 10 or five at the end of the month?

Alas, I haven’t had a chance to get around to anything released this year yet…

GC: We might do something on July 1. At the moment though we’d say our top contenders are Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Animal Well, and Balatro.

There are a lot of unknown quantities in the second half of the year but we’re particuarly interested in Kunitsu-Gami: Path Of The Goddess, Thank Goodness You’re Here!, Star Wars Outlaws, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Astro Bot, Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom, Life Is Strange: Double Exposure, Mario & Luigi: Brothership, and Slitterhead – amongst several others. It could potentially be a very good year, in terms of new releases.

PlayStation in disguise
It is indeed very interesting to see how different the approaches are for Xbox and PlayStation at the moment, with their approaches to Gamescom and showcases in general varying so much from each other.

I really couldn’t explain Sony’s logic, other than that they don’t want to spend money, but I think it’s fairly obvious that Microsoft’s is to copy everything PlayStation 4 was doing at its peak. That seems like it would put them behind the times but so far it’s working. I certainly enjoyed their showcase a lot more than I did Sony’s and their line-up of first party games is leagues ahead.

You might say that’s easy when you spend $70 billion on buying up companies, and I get it, but at the end of the day it’s the type of games they’re making that’s important and, so far at least, they haven’t forced any of those developers to start making live service games.

I have always preferred PlayStation to Xbox and at the moment everything Microsoft is doing feels far more like the classic PlayStation approach than whatever it is Sony’s playing at.

Erdtree o’clock
It should be Friday by the time you read this and that means only one thing: Shadow Of The Erdtree Day! Everything seems to be setting me up for another unforgettable experience and I can’t wait for my level 200+ character to be made to look like a chump within just a few minutes.

I love FromSoftware’s stuff and for me Elden Ring is easily the best game of the generation so far. I’ve stayed away from spoilers and purposefully not watched the launch trailer, so I’m looking forward to being surprised, amazed, and thoroughly frustrated. Prepare to die, everyone!

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Forgotten adventures
In response to Farquinn’s letter on Thursday, regarding calling the new Zelda game Zelda’s Adventure. Unfortunately, that name has already been taken by one of the Phillips CD-i titles. Also, the main character was indeed Zelda. So, I assume Nintendo didn’t want any confusion or indeed for anyone to mention those games again.

Also, GC you mentioned that there were two Zelda CD-i titles when in fact there where three: The Wand Of Gamelon, The Faces Of Evil, and indeed Zelda’s Adventure.

On another side note, Mario had a game called Hotel Mario on the system too.
freeway 77

GC: They could still call it The Legend Of Link, as Farquinn suggested. We said there were two CD-i titles starring Zelda; you play as Link in The Faces Of Evil.

In real life
Excited to learn more about the new Beyond Good & Evil remaster, because I’m a big fan of the original, but I have to admit, after all these years, I have never met anyone else, in real life, that has ever heard of it, let alone played it or liked it.

I do think we get a very skewed view of how popular video games are when you’re a fan. I bet for at least 60% of people who own a console they only ever play Call Of Duty and FIFA on it. Or Fortnite and EA Sports FC now, maybe.

The amount of people that know and care about Beyond Good & Evil must be tiny and yet it’s getting a second remaster and maybe a sequel. Maybe that reader was onto something when he said games should be more expensive, so they become more profitable.

Name recognition
Add me to the list of people that are excited by Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom. I don’t even really like the art style (the depth of field effect in Link’s Awakening was awful) but the gimmick with cloning objects seems so clever and unique. The amount of echoes they showed just in the trailer was amazing. I loved the bit where Zelda drops a slab of meat to attract crows and the uses a Deku Baba to eat them! So clever and funny.

The emergent gameplay potential seems immense and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I think it also illustrates why it’s so silly to complain about Nintendo reusing the same franchises, when the individual games are so radically different.

If this was some new IP with ‘Belda’ as the main character it would get no attention at all and probably flop, especially with those graphics. But the fact that it’s a beloved property means they can afford to be original and go with lower tech graphics – and therefore a lower budget, which also enables more freedom. It essentially is a new IP in terms of the gameplay but so many more people are going to look at it now because it’s a Zelda game.

It’s the same with Mario, where you can go from Mario & Luigi to Mario Party to one of the platform games and they’re all technically part of the same franchise but completely different games.

Monkey business
One thing I haven’t seen commented upon is how the only remaster during the Nintendo Direct was Donkey Kong Country Returns, which seemed pretty random. It comes after we had Mario Vs. Donkey Kong earlier in the year, which I also wouldn’t say is exactly the most requested game ever.

I think this is adding up to make those rumours of a new Donkey Kong game, or a Mario and Donkey Kong, seem more believable than ever. At this point I’d be surprised if the Switch launch didn’t have a 3D game with the pair in it. That and Metroid Prime 4.

Parts of it are good
After around 45 hours I’ve completed the main quests and a good chunk of the side quests in Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s such a strange game: brilliant in some parts, super dull in others. I reckon at least four hours of my playtime was spent repeating the opening section which, much like Red Dead Redemption 2, was so dull that it put me off playing the game on a couple of occasions.

I’ll never understand why developers do that – surely an exciting opening is a must and then you can do the slower stuff afterwards (like The Last Of Us Part 1 did)? Anyway, once I powered through that I found a beautiful, superficial, open world, a great core premise with fun combat and enemies but also the most laughably po-faced dialogue of any game I’ve played (seriously, I rarely ever skip dialogue but I treated this like a DS text adventure and kept hitting X to advance…).

It felt like the side quests were a cut above the norm, with a lot of them offering something different to the main game, and the ability upgrades were worthwhile (to the point where I’m annoyed I only got to level 41 and didn’t unlock them all). And yet I’ve been spoiled by Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, so the fact I couldn’t climb every rock face stood out, as well as that the grass doesn’t burn even if you explode a huge machine on top of it. The comparison is maybe a little unfair but that’s a route they could go down in future – a better realised, more substantial open world (not necessarily bigger!).

Also, good lord, embrace the inherent silliness of the concept and not have every character be a tool. I’ll give it a rest and then return to play the Frozen Wilds, which I seem to remember you guys quite enjoying, then see what the sequel is about. Solid 8.5/10 and loads of potential, but I’m not sure it’ll ever be fully realised.

GC: ‘Brilliant in some parts, super dull in others’ sums it up for us. It’s fascinating how the background lore is really clever and interesting, but the story and characters are dull as dishwater. Given that, it’s really weird they’re making a Lego game out of it.

Inbox also-rans
RE: Shahzaib’s Wednesday letter, having just started Elden Ring you’re in for a treat. I’m far behind the most skilled player but I finished it (granted with co-op help for some bosses) and I’m just about to fight Mohg in New Game+ to access the DLC this time, though just me and my mimic (my PS Plus has expired). Good luck!
Chevy Malibu (PSN ID)

Sorry, I forgot to say Islets is on sale on Xbox Store. It is not available on PlayStation unfortunately, it is on Steam but not on sale currently.
Andrew J.

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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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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