The evening Inbox discovers the truth about Rockstar North, as one reader points out the one flaw in Bloodborne’s design.
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Dark Souls II – did it help change anything?
I’m feeling very jealous about all the PlayStation 4 owners writing in about Bloodborne, but since all I’ve got is an Xbox One I’ve just been playing Dark Souls II. It’s a great game, but as you point out not as good as its predecessor (or Bloodborne by the sounds of it). If I do get a PlayStation 4 though the number one reason will be for that and I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth in just one game.
I just love the way these games are an actual challenge, how you feel like you’re really discovering things on your own and the game hasn’t got it in mind to let you win from the start. That your only allies are other players in the same deep hole is even better.
But what saddens me is that the whole Souls series doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect on gaming as a whole, despite many developer name-checking it as an influence. It’s sad, but I guess the EA and Ubisoft still of ‘press A to win’ game is always going to be dominant.
Did any of them look like Harry Potter?
Regarding the upcoming GTA documentary, I thought I’d throw in my two cents. As someone who worked directly across the office floor from Rockstar North for a few years in the early ’00s I can confirm that it seemed to be mandatory to wear leather trenchcoats, sport a ponytail and have a profound love for ’80s Goth music.
They also consumed Irn-Bru and takeaway pizza by the skip-load.
Sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality…
GC: Wow. Do you fancy writing a Reader’s Feature about what you saw? That sounds not at all like what people would expect (and probably not what the BBC show will portray).
Fly in the ointment
After 70 hours of exploring Yharnam I’ve managed to get the Bloodborne Platinum trophy. It’s intricate world design eclipses Dark Souls and it’s easily the most balanced and focused entry, with the game always seemingly delivering me at bosses at exactly the right level without need for grinding of Blood Echos or upgrade materials for my weapon. Equally, the learning curve for each boss was pretty well judged. Although challenging it is the easiest in the series, but only because it wisely saves the stiffest tests in the optional areas. I’ll have nightmares about the last two bosses in the Defiled Chalice Dungeon and it’s perma 50% health nonsense for a few weeks yet.
Minor gripes though would be, although beautiful and dripping with atmosphere, the one note visual tone and tedious Chalice Dungeons. I spent a fair bit of time scenery gazing in Dark Souls thanks to its gorgeous and varied locations. Traversing from the squalid depths to the majestic Anor Londo cemented Lordran as my favourite game world I’ve had the pleasure of inhabiting, whereas Bloodborne’s locations were quite similar.
The Chalice Dungeons I hated, they had little in them except for materials to create another dungeon to tediously search for materials to create another dungeon and so on and so on. They also exhibited Japanese developers love of reusing assets with many recycled bosses. Trawling through the seven needed to get the trophy was the only time I got annoyed with the game.
It is magnificent though, I have no doubt there are still secrets yet to be discovered and here’s hoping for some Artorias Of The Abyss quality DLC in the very near future.
Flexi_Timms (PSN ID)
GC: The majority of the Chalice Dungeons are procedurally generated, hence the more generic design. We agree they don’t works as well as hoped but apparently they’ll be a focus of the forthcoming patch.
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Half a game
Do you think you could ask these heads of Microsoft and Sony – or even the devs and publishers themselves – why the hell patches and ‘updates’ have to be so big? They don’t as far as I’m concerned.
What gets ‘fixed’ with the update, generally? Usually it’s tweaks here and there… to the codebase? In the Xbox 360 days of updates, we had 4MB that would be done in seconds and fix issues. Now… how can 20GB (or more in cases) be even possible?
If a game is 40GB or so, how can sometimes half the data need patching? This data surely is textures, level data, audio, so on…?
If I play a game from purchasing (don’t allow it to connect to ‘Net to find update) for a couple of hours and can realistically complete it, then allow ‘Net connection and subsequent download of a 20GB patch… what’s it actually done? Nothing as far as I can see. It’s getting beyond a joke and I can’t believe they get next to no hammering for it. Please, raise this with the top dogs will you, and don’t let them go till you get an answer. Or something.
On another note, that Affordable Space Adventure is awesome. Everyone go support it, put a right smile in my face.
Pugmartin (tags and stuff)
GC: We did raise it with Jim Ryan last time we spoke. But Sony and Microsoft aren’t going to do anything if the majority of gamers don’t care about the issue. And the unfortunate fact is that they don’t, or at least not enough to cause any real change.
How did Angry Joe think that video was going to make people support him? He came across like a baby throwing his toys out of his pram because a company stopped him from making money by posting videos of their games. Clearly what he, and other YouTubers, were doing was against the law and just because companies have turned a blind eye to it until now doesn’t mean he has a right to complain about it.
He kept talking about how he is providing ‘free advertising’ but surely Nintendo can’t think these videos are having a significantly positive effect on console and games sales otherwise they wouldn’t have taken the actions they have. He also moaned about how people can’t now enjoy his Nintendo videos but, as the weekend Reader’s Feature said, Nintendo aren’t stopping people posting videos they’re just taking a cut of the money made from their product. If he’s so bothered about his fans then post the video without collecting money from advertisers or write a review of the game.
At the end of the day these YouTubers are profiting from someone else’s work and they have no right to complain when they are stopped.
Nintendo don’t like it
Interesting feature over the weekend on the subject of Nintendo and YouTube copyright policies. I’ve not seen many letters at all in the Inbox, like the reader seems to suggest, but I guess if there’s anywhere on the Internet you will find some random defence on Nintendo’s behalf appear out of nowhere It’s right here on GameCentral.
I don’t intend to write a long snobbish article explaining why one company out of hundreds of others is in the wrong here when I can explain it in two words. Viewing numbers. Whether you like these people or not is irrelevant, that big round healthy number under the videos of YouTubers such as Angry Joe are the reason why companies like Microsoft bend over backwards for them, doing anything they can to get their product into the hands of some of these broadcasters. They’re popular, gamers like them and subscribe in their millions to see and hear their opinions which is a fact, so deal with it.
In some cases studio bosses have even been known for sending out their top men to the personal homes of some of these guys for Interviews, as we saw with Major Nelson and Boogie aka Francis. Did Jimmy Fallon receive a bill for playing Forza Motorsport 5 and Knack live on his show in the run up to the launch of the next gen consoles? Why not he profits from the shows, yet top YouTubers generate viewing figures TV chat show hosts can only dream about.
Sony and Microsoft have no doubt done their market research and understand just how entertainment is bought, sold and shared in 2015. Too bad others don’t and probably never will until it’s too late.
RE: Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I completed the Stone Temple last night and it was even better than I remember it the first time round; great puzzles that use almost all of your items and masks, brilliant soundtrack for both parts of the dungeon and great mini-bosses.
My only criticism of it (which also applies to Ocarina Of Time and The Wind Waker) is at the beginning of the dungeon you have to constantly play that copy melody over and over again to complete the puzzles. This involves entering the song and having to watch the mini-cut scene of you playing it about a dozen times in a row and it is boring. That is my only criticism of an otherwise perfect dungeon and it is probably my favourite one of the whole franchise.
PS: when will your review of Mario Kart 8 DLC 2 be out?
GC: We’ve got a preview event on Wednesday, but probably won’t have a review until the day of launch.
RE: Hot Topic. Surprised no one mentioned Douchemond (Desmond) Miles! A wingey, winey, monotone, one dimensional, loathsome little git of a character. Every single one of his appearances in any of the games really ground my gears (of war)! Merr, merr, merr, Desmond. Merr, merr, merr, Lucy. Merr, merr, merr, my parents! Ooooh I could crush a grape!
Suppose it didn’t help that in the first game I’d come to convince myself that as a big finale, Douchemond was going to escape Abstergo towers, crashing through a window, 120 stories up, clinging onto an inch thick ledge, scaling the tower using all the skills picked up within your travels. A helicopter firing its mounted cannons at you all the way, glass shattering, fuse boxes a blowing, Douchemond hanging on for dear life.
You finally make it to the roof, a moment of silence, before your flying nemesis swoops in to view. Douchemond squints his eyes, the pilot knocks the chopper into neutral. They speed towards each other, brrrrr… stomp, stomp, stomp… brrrr… Douchemond quickly scales some stacked crates, on to some convenient scaffold, jumps to a suspended chain, crashing into the cockpit, and snapping the pilots neck 180 ‘sassin style, before taking control of said chopper and flying off into the sunset!
What did we get instead? Doudhemone using his eagle vision and reading a few words on a wall?! My ending was definitely better!
big boy bent (gamertag)
I was just wondering whether GC or any of your readers have played Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. since the patch speeding up enemy turns was released, and if it makes the game easier to recommend?
GC: Although we’ve had a review copy for a while the patch isn’t yet available in Europe. We’ll delay our review if necessary, to make sure it takes account of it. After all, there’s no rush given that it’s been out for ages in America already.
Do you know if Spotify will be coming to Xbox One anytime soon? I know it’s on PlayStation 4.
GC: Apparently they were in talks for a dedicated app a few months ago, but nothing seems to have come of it yet.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Sparky the Yak, who asks which critically and commercially successful game do you think is overrated – and why?
It can be a franchise, or even a genre, rather than just an individual game but we want to know specific reasons why you didn’t like it and how much you played of it. Was the game sufficiently different to what you expected, or was there some element of the gameplay or presentation that you just couldn’t get on with?
If the game’s part of a series have you enjoyed other games in the franchise? Or are there other similar titles that you’ve liked instead? Do you appreciate why others enjoy and praise the game, or is its appeal totally lost on you
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