The evening Inbox wonders what’s next for From Software after Bloodborne, as one reader admit to not liking GTA.
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Seal of quality
Yes! Baby Park is in the Mario Kart 8 DLC! So often Nintendo seem to go out of their not to give fans what they want, but this time they actually listened. Or at least made the logical decision. I think the way they’ve supported Mario Kart 8 so far has been exemplary, and should be a lesson to all companies about how to keep interest in a game and not rip off fans with more content.
Compare this to recent games like Evolve and Mortal Kombat X, both of which have launched with so much DLC that it would double the price of the game to get it all. And yet almost none of it seems worthwhile or interesting. In fact apparently Warner even released a patch for Mortal Kombat X to make it harder to unlock items in the crypt by just playing the game, thereby increasing the reliance on microtransactions.
Nintendo has their faults, and they’re not above ripping off their customers either, but I think the way they’ve handled DLC this gen has been great. And although I don’t collect them myself I don’t really see the amiibos as being other than a fun extra. Perhaps you could count them as withheld content but earning the benefit of the doubt is just one of the benefits of treating customers right with the big decisions.
Phil Spencer is a class act and deserves all the credit for rescuing the Xbox brand when its reputation was left in tatters. He is consistently complimentary of the competition, which I believe is genuine. He hasn’t quite rubbed off on rival execs as yet, though I do recall a Nintendo executive was extremely complimentary of Phil Spencer as a person when he was first appointed.
Who says rivals can’t be complimentary. Unfortunately that doesn’t extend to all walks of life, a recent example being a premiership goalkeeper (Tim Krul) being heavily criticised for patting the opposing striker (Jemain Defoe) on the back for his wonder goal. Classy I thought, if only such acts received more encouragement.
If Phil Spencer continues in the same vein then I’ve no doubt it will be he that is on the receiving end of many accolades. And not for his gentlemanly behaviour, for delivering on his promise to Xbox fans.
Out of order
Just completed Bayonetta 2 and what a quality game it is. After seeing all the praise it received I’m really glad I gave it a go.
The only thing is, I dived straight into the second game and regrettably didn’t give the first one a chance! Is it worth me going back and getting the original still or is it too much of a downgrade?
swan89 (NN ID)
GC: Not at all, there are some things we prefer about the original – especially the endgame and final boss. The combat is also more complex, although not necessarily better. The camera is unquestionably worse, but if you enjoyed the sequel we’re sure you can forgive it that.
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Drawing the line
I just watched a video of some of the fatalities and X-ray moves form the latest Mortal Kombat game. They are suitably gory and entertaining in that strange way Mortal Kombat has always been, but the X-ray moves are really putting me off the game and I don’t know why.
I have no problem suspending disbelief for all the other aspects of the game. Obviously no one could withstand even the ordinary pummelling the characters take in real life but the X-ray moves take it too far. How is someone who has just had their spine broken or eyes poked out supposed to carry on with the fight? Why does that bother me when I have no problem with characters who can teleport or shoot flames and ice from their hands?
Are they at least harder to perform than they were in the last game? If it required a bit of skill to actually pull them off I don’t think I’d have as much of a problem with them.
GC: We’ve never particularly liked the X-ray moves either. They’re not that hard to pull of but they are less of a focus than they were in the last game.
Bargain alert! Nintendo Wii U 32GB Premium Pack limited edition console, includes full game download for The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and boxed retail edition of Mario & Sonic At The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for £189.99 at Argos.
Just wanted to make everyone aware that Argos are selling a pretty good value Wii U bundle at the moment: £190 for the Premium version, plus Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (great) and Mario & Sonic At The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (not so great). That’s a good deal and anyone intrigued by all the talk of Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros. and Bayonetta should really consider it.
Next from From
Great news to hear that Bloodborne is doing well, and classy response from the Xbox guy. But this makes me wonder what’s next from From (apart from maybe getting a better name for their company). When Dark Souls became a hit they didn’t really do much to try and parly that into anything else. There was a new Armored Core that used a Dark Souls style miserable colour scheme but it wasn’t a success and I don’t think those games ever will be.
But surely the company must now have plans to expand and make something other than sequels? Except looking back at their previous games I’m not really sure what they’d do. If you count out giant robot games then there’s not much, although I suppose Microsoft might feel it’s worth bringing back Otogi after all this.
By what I’m think is something someone mentioned when Lords Of The Fallen came out: why not make it sci-fi? It doesn’t have to be that different from the existing style of the Souls games but a switch in genre would make the world of difference and it would be a way to indulge Bloodborne’s robot fetish. They could even call it an Armored Core game if they want. What do other GCers think?
Back to Japan
I know it’s not probably going to be a big deal to most people, especially as even I admit the last couple of games weren’t that great. But I was excited to see that Square Enix are making a big budget Star Ocean 5 game with Tri-Ace. That’s quite the surprise given both companies have been focusing more and more on mobile lately and even in Japan it’s not that big of a franchise.
I know Square Enix get a lot of stick, and quite right usually, but I am hoping to myself that they’re seeing a turnaround at the moment. Most of their Western stuff is consistently good and with Final Fantasy XIV, Bravely Default, and Final Fantasy XV they’re actually starting to put out some good Japanese made stuff again too.
Star Ocean is more sci-fi than most of their stuff so maybe they think it’ll appeal more to the West than some of their other stuff, but it’s still a surprise to see them putting money into such a game. A pleasant surprise mind you.
Everything but the game
I don’t want to be mugged or anythign for saying this, but am I the only one that doesn’t like GTA. Like, any of them? I mean, I like the soundtrack in Vice City and I can absolutely appreciate the massive achievement that is the game world in GTA V, but… it’s not that great a game is it? The driving’s not very good, the shooting is equally woolly, and the story is just a bunch of random scenes with no real plot.
I’m not for one second suggesting it’s actually a bad game but it’s certainly nothing I’d want to play for long beyond gawping at the graphics for a bit. It surprises me that the most successful game out there still isn’t really much of a game. It does everything, sure. But it does do any of those individual bits particularly well. Does this not bother anyone else?
I just wanted to offer my 3DS Mewtwo code to one lucky GC reader, make a good Pokémon question and give it to the winner.
SNIPERMikeUK (PSN ID/NN ID/Steam ID)
I have a spare 3DS Smash Bros. Mewtwo download code if anyone wants it.
GC: That’s very good of you both, we’ll give them away to the first two readers that can name a pokémon character that has been a playable character in a previous Super Smash Bros. game but is still not in the new ones.
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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The small print
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