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Games Inbox: The current state of boss battles, The Order: 1886 verdict, and Splatoon Kart

Bloodborne - what's the secret of a good boss battle?

Bloodborne – what’s the secret of a good boss battle?

The morning Inbox wonders why Bloodborne doesn’t have a beast mode, as one reader discovers a treasure trove of fake game art.

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


New boss

A shame to hear that Titan Souls doesn’t quite work as a game because I really like the idea behind it. I think boss battles need a bit of a renaissance at the moment, as a lot of Western developers seem to be taking the rather lazy attitude that the way to avoid rubbish boss battles is simply not to have them.

But games like Bloodborne and Bayonetta 2 show that a great boss battle can still be the most memorable part of an already great game. Although of course they’re both Japanese games and so are most games with good boss battles. I don’t know why it is that Western developers can’t really do them as well (Rare were always especially terrible at them) but there never seems to be as much invention. A good boss should be a puzzle to solve or the ultimate test of all the skills you’ve learnt up to this point, and probably both.

Too often nowadays they’re just bullet sponges or you can only beat them using the handy explosive barrel (or whatever) that is the only other thing in the room with you. A good boss battle can be a glorious thing and I’d like to see more not less.


Never-ending game

Probably not worth a news story but just to follow up the reader’s point about Nintendo continuing to support their games for much longer than usual it seems like Super Smash Bros. might be getting Roy from Fire Emblem and Ryu from Street Fighter as new downloadable characters. The evidence is pretty flimsy but whether it happens or not I do think this is the sort of thing Nintendo should be doing, especially with a game like this that wouldn’t warrant a sequel in the same generation.

In fact I’d be happy to see all fighting games, and other games like FIFA, become more like a service where you subscribe or pay-to-play a game that is always changing but doesn’t pretend to be a new sequel every year.
From what I can see Mortal Kombat X is basically just Mortal Kombat 9 with a few new characters and a few new features. I’m sure it’s good but why not just make it a major update to an ongoing Mortal Kombat service? It seems to me this idea has been suggested on and off for years but publishers never seem interested. I guess they must make too much money just selling sequels instead.
Big Mike


This looks shopped

I have just found the weirdest Facebook page. It’s called the Fakes Forge and is basically a whole bunch of super believable looking box art and collector’s editions, most for games that don’t exist. There’s an Aliens and Predator game from Creative Assembly, complete with collector’s edition statue. There’s Metal Gear Rising 2 (also with a statute) and Soul Reaver 3 (stop it, that one isn’t even funny!)

And some really great looking Star Wars: Battlefront boxes that I’d really buy if they were real. The Metroid Prime Wii U box and Final Fantasy VII PlayStation 4 bundle is just the stuff of fanboy dreams though and I pity the poor person that comes across these believing them to be real.

This sort of stuff must be a nightmare for sites like you GC. Have you ever been caught out by one and how do you sort the believable from the obvious fake?

GC: We can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in our time. But seriously, it’s always a problem and the fakes get better and better each year. Although the easiest way to spot them is that they’re often for things that are just too good to be true, which is certainly the case with most of these.


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


Beast mode

Really enjoying Bloodborne but one thing that surprises me is that you don’t ever seem to turn into a beast. I had the impression that you’d be able to do what Father Gascoigne does at the end of his battle, as a sort of rage mode. But unless I’m missing something, which would be very easy with this game, there’s nothing like that in it.

Do you think this was an idea at one point and then they just decided against it? Or maybe it’s something that’s being saved for the inevitable DLC? It just seemed like becoming a beast was one of the obvious ways the story was going and Dark Souls already features transformations, even if it’s a negative one.

Without getting into spoilers what’s the consensus? Does it happen in New Game+ or something, or am I just imagining things the game was never meant to be?

GC: There’s no way to physically change into a beast that we’re aware, although you can use things like beast pellets and a special weapon that uses the Beasthood stat. But you make an interesting point, and it is quite possible it was cut content or is being saved for DLC. Although as we understand the lore, if you turn into a beast then that’s it – there’s no turning back again.


Obvious choices

I for one am glad that Guitar Hero and Rock Band are coming back. Even though I never played them on my own I was happy to buy them (considering they were always quiet expensive) just to use at parties. It’s always frustrated me that none of my closest friends are really gamers but we’ve had tons of fun with these games over the years and it was a bit of come down when they just stopped making them all of a sudden.

The only thing that worries me at the moment is that the soundtrack sounds more pop than rock at the moment. I always though one of the reasons that the original fad petered out is that they kind of did all of the most obvious songs and had no real plan at introducing people to new music (although Harmonix were better at this than Activision).

Also, I don’t know how bands like Van Halen and Green Day got their own games ahead of much more obvious choices like Queen, Led Zeppelin, and the Stones.


Bigger and betterer

Since there seem to be a lot of XCOM fans on here I just wonder what people are hoping for from any potential sequel? The obvious thing is just to have more of everything and more complicated but they’ve got to be worried about alienating ordinary console gamers, especially as the last two games were still much bigger on PC.

As a reader has already suggested I would like to see a bigger role for the interceptor, and perhaps multiple objectives within a mission. Like maybe one team is infiltrating and being all stealthy and the other is creating a distraction? Bigger maps of course, but I’d also like to have a co-op mode. Would love to have two or three four man teams playing the same mission with my mates.

But really I just want more of the same but bigger and betterer. XCOM deserves it and more people should play it.


Final decision

So did anyone actually like The Order: 1886? I ask that as a, mostly, innocent question but I still haven’t joined the next gen and I’m curious. Usually when an exclusive gets a bad review there are loads of people jumping in to defend it, but I haven’t seen that happen at all in the Inbox.

I ask not so much because I might be interested in buying it but just because it’s odd to think that Sony backed such a dud of a game. Great graphics, fine but it doesn’t seem like it had anything else going for it – plus it was pretty short anyone.

Is anyone willing to defend it or is it unanimously considered to have been a failure?


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Splatoon Kart

While I am as pumped as the next person for the new Mario Kart tracks I can’t help thinking Nintendo have missed a great marketing opportunity.

Imagine a track based on Splatoon, with boost pads being puddles of paint that leave a paint trial in your wake or when drift boosting round corners you leave different coloured paint trails depending how much you built up your boost. Underwater/underpaint sections would also see your Kart turn into a squid.

Obviously fire hoppers would leave a trail of brown paint. There could even be a battle mode where whoever covers the course in the most paint by boosting wins.

Nintendo could also do this for other games coming out, a Woolly World track anyone? I think this would be a great way to raise awareness and anticipation for new games through their most popular game.

If Nintendo stick to the pattern of the past where they only bring out one Mario Kart per generation it would be a huge shame. I am hopeful that they will continue with releasing DLC tracks in a similar vein to how they are doing it at the moment for the rest of the Wii U’s lifespan. Before anyone says it, yes all 18 months of it.
Koozebane (NN ID)

GC: It’s a good idea, although it would’ve taken a lot of development time and effort. However, you can see the amiibos from Yoshi’s Woolly World in the Ribbon Road track.


Inbox also-rans

Good to see that Bloodborne might actually outsell the Dark Souls game, even though it’s only on one format. Fantastic game.

I know GC like their DC universe cartoons, but this new one is by Bruce Timm! Hopefully it’ll be a turnaround for the direct to DVD films because they’ve been going steadily downhill for years.

GC: We agree, we think Superman/Batman: Apocalypse was the last properly good one, and that was 2010. Although The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One were decent adaptations.


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

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.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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