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Games Inbox: The best of 2015, Bloodborne vs. Mario Kart 8, and Tropico 5 PS4

Mad Max - what's your most anticipated game of 2015?

Mad Max – what’s your most anticipated game of 2015?

The morning Inbox looks for suggestions on 2D shooters for beginners, as one reader has an unusual idea for reviving Blast Corps.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Slow year

2015 is looking brilliant for next gen! Mad Max looks epic, as well as Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V, and Star Wars: Battlefront. And after seeing trailers for all four I think I need all of them!

Mad Max looks astonishing in terms of graphics and gameplay and I cannot wait to get my hands on it, I want it yesterday not September. What are you guys at the Metro looking forward to the most?!
Charlie Ridgewell

GC: Well, it’s been a quiet year so far, but those four do indeed look very promising. We’d also add The Witcher 3, Splatoon, and Halo 5 to the list – all of which we have high hopes for.

 

Two contenders

I’ve been playing the new Mario Kart 8 DLC for hours now and it really is an amazing bit of value, that makes the game even better. The number and quality of courses is great and the graphics are amongst the best I’ve seen this gen, including on the PlayStation 4.

Reading your review of the DLC I pretty much agree with all of it, but your suggestion that it was the best game of the generation so far made me pause. Not because I necessarily disagree but because I struggled to think of any alternatives.

In my opinion the only one that even deserves to be spoken of in the same breath is Bloodborne. But does it deserve to be called that best? I’d say it had more flaws, with disappointing boss battles compared to Dark Souls. It’s also shorter and less varied, even if the combat is more fun. A great game but I’d say that Mario Kart 8 had less flaws. The only real one is battle mode and I’m not sure how many people really care about that.
Onibee

GC: It’s an interesting question, we’ve used it for the basis of this week’s Hot Topic.

 

Crazy bargains

RE: Gannet and the like. Why would I pre-order a game? Let’s say Batman: Arkham Knight, been coming for over a year, Three previous games, basically all the same premise, know kinda what your getting (it#s not likely to become an isometric 2D shooter!)

Pre-order two to three weeks in advance, your likely to get it two days early and in most cases a tenner cheaper?! Why wouldn’t someone do that?
big boy bent (gamertag)
Currently playing: Mortal Kombaaaaaaaat X… On my new Xbone… Wooooooo!

GC: £10 cheaper than what? The current online pre-order price of Arkham Knight seems to be around £45, surely it’s not going to increase to £55 once it’s out?

 

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Two extremes

So I continue to persevere with Bloodborne. I find a way past the boss that I can’t defeat, but now it simply becomes more apparent to me that this is a terrible game. Or I’m terrible.

I’ve been gaming for years and would say that I’m an above average gamer, but I cannot see past the frustration in this game.

Yes, you can learn the attacks of the enemies, but what happens when there’s more than two? And what about when there are fast-moving dogs attacking you? This is not clever design; it’s difficulty for the sake of it.

As for the attacking controls, are they purposefully sluggish to make defending yourself so difficult?

I would really appreciate some general advice on this game, otherwise I’m trading it in.
Dunners

GC: It or you being terrible are not the only options, maybe it’s just not a game for you. Success in the Souls games revolves around patience, deliberation, and precision. Think through every movement, and every attack and dodge. Be aware of your environment and listen: you’ll hear dogs long before you see them, and if you’re ready for them they’re very weak. And if you’re having trouble with the weapons try one of the faster ones, like the threaded cane. A good player can play for hours without ever dying but an incautious one can barely go a minute or two without succumbing.

Just started playing Bloodborne and I’m already really struggling! I’ve probably died about thirty times already, which is getting a bit frustrating to say the least. I can tell it’s a really good game but maybe I’m just not up to it. I’ve read that once you get past the beginning, you should come to terms with the games mechanics. Any truth in that?
swan89 (NN ID)

 

Start shooting

Regarding the Gradius V review, I have a question or two about 2D shooters. A while ago I wrote in about my frustration at being rubbish at 2D shooters, especially since they invoke old style arcade games with a purity unequalled by any genre. They look so damn fun if you can play them well, and it irks that I haven’t enjoyed them due to my incompetence at playing them.

I’ve been good at many games that others consider very difficult, and yet my repeated attempts with shmups have ended in abject failure. You have stated that it requires memorisation but watching a good player it seems supernatural, or put another way: equivalent to learning a phone number a mile long by heart. Is there truly a trick or knack to playing them well? Are there any tricks or strategies that apply to most of them?

I know that I’m repeating myself but every last ounce of help you can give is required because I don’t believe that I’ll ever lose hope of playing them properly.
Mr Verbosity
PS: It would be great if you did a retro review of the criminally overlooked God Hand.

GC: 2D shooters do tend to be abnormally difficult, and in a way few other modern games are. But like fighting games most follow the same basic internal logic, so success in one will definitely help with others. Some easier ones to start with would include Sine Mora and Gatling Gears. Get to grips with them and the others hopefully won’t seem so daunting.

 

Strategic review

Hello GC, will you be reviewing Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4? I think I remember you reviewing the PC version but would very much appreciate your thoughts on how well  it translates to console. It’s got me interested, as I like strategy games and it seems like a nice change from all the remakes, shooters/racing games, etc. Thanks.
Jones_81
PS: I’m really loving the GC Facebook Bloodborne forum. So many laughs and everybody having a jolly old time helping out and encouraging each other, long may it continue. May the good blood guide your way!

GC: We’ll try to have a review done this week.

 

Break not build

Wishful thinking perhaps but Inbox magic please, please deliver me Lego: Blast Corps. It’s win, win, win! A cult-hit is revived, Rare will be firing on all cylinders again, and Lego get to advertise existing merchandise as well as sell Lego versions of J-Bomb, Thunderfist and Cyclone. And the little pilot is a Lego figure!

I can see him doing a jaunty walk and getting in the crane!
Claude

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

 

Immersion is relative

Maybe it’s my age – I’m now in my mid-thirties – but though I have no current plans to inflict my spawn upon the world, something got me thinking about whether, if I did have kids, I would introduce them to gaming and if so, at what age and to which games?

I remember reading Charlie Brooker’s (cautionary) tale of what happened when he introduced his son to video games and how it passed through the five stages of grief after being forced to go cold turkey due to a growing addiction to Trials Fusion. Games can become addictive and with children being so receptive I wonder whether some choices are wiser than others. I think length and replayability are both relevant.

When I was a kid games were a lot shorter and, in single-player at least, didn’t tend to have the replay value that many games have today. I’d complete a game in an hour, then go and play football with my friends. There wasn’t as much ‘one more go’ or ‘one more mission’-style gameplay to be had – certainly nothing as immersive and time-consuming as World of Warcraft or Minecraft.

I know you’ve had Hot Topics about what games you’d use to introduce non-gamers to gaming, but I’m not sure if there’s been one suggesting games to give to children as part of their first gaming experiences. I like the idea of them experiencing an evolution, i.e. starting with something like Sonic, then eventually arriving at – after they’ve graduated from uni and got a job – Mass Effect. Do you see?
Renaissance2013 (gamertag/PSN ID)
PS: The end of Charlie’s article is mildly depressing. You have been warned.

GC: ‘One more go’ as a phrase, if not a concept, was much more common in previous generations than now.

 

Inbox also-rans

Are other fans of the F1 series concerned by the lack of career mode in F1 2015? I couldn’t care less about Pro mode or racing as a real driver, I only ever really played career mode. Massive disappointment!
stickman1

Further to adams6legend’s email about Slippy sounding like Martin from The Simpsons, does anyone else think most of the male ghouls in Fallout 3/New Vegas sound like Krusty the Clown
Panda

 

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what’s the best game of the generation so far?

To clarify, that’s any game released on the Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, 3DS, or PS Vita. Or on PCs or smartphones between around 2011 and now. You can name remastered games such as The Last Of Us and GTA V if you really want to, but we’re most interested in games that were created primarily or solely for the new consoles.

How good do you think your choice is compared to other classic games and how much does it live up to your expectations of what a next gen game should be? How satisfied are you with the quality and quantity of games this gen, and how big a difference do you think there is between them and the last gen?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

 

The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

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