The Wednesday letters page wishes that Xbox and PlayStation made more use of motion controls, as one reader imagines a Nintendo+ service.
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A friend brought up the Saints Row reboot the other day and was somehow surprised that I had no interest in it and was completely unaware of the reviews and the fact that it wasn’t much of a hit. It always amazes me how some people who think of themselves as gamers don’t really seem to follow what’s going on at all.
Which then got me to thinking, is Saints Row the worst game of 2022? Although I’m sure it’s worth mentioning in conversation it doesn’t seem that way to me. But then I take notice of reviews, so I haven’t bought anything bad to know first-hand.
But if it’s not Saints Row what is it? Ghostwire: Tokyo maybe? That looked pretty bad and it’s surprising since it was big budget and from a fairly respected developer. Or speaking of, what about Babylon’s Fall by PlatinumGames? Never played it and since it’s being shut down next year, I guess I never will.
Overall, it might not have been a good year for good games, but it does seem as if it was a bad year for bad games, in a good way. If you know what I mean. What does GC think?
GC: It’s Babylon’s Fall for us, that game is shockingly poor on every level.
One more rumour
I noticed GC didn’t bother reporting the Silent Hill story about the movie director saying there were several games in development and basically confirming all the rumours about remakes, sequels, and spin-offs. I imagine it was because there wasn’t really any new information, but I do think this is the closest we’ve had to proof so far, since the guy should know what he’s talking about.
I’d say I’d be surprised if at least one of the games isn’t unveiled this year, at The Game Awards perhaps, but at this point it’s impossible to speculate, given how many opportunities they’ve had already. Funny how some companies will release a CGI trailer years before release and others wait till the last minute to even confirm the name.
I do wonder what’s going to happen when the first game, whichever one it ends up being, inevitably ends up being not much of a seller. Konami must know they never have been so I’m curious to see if they have a plan for getting round the fact that not many people are probably going to care even once it is out.
GC: We didn’t bother with it since a) it’d be out 400th Silent Hill rumour story and b) actors and directors are peculiarly unreliable, even though they shouldn’t be, and at this point we’ll only believe it if we see it.
I’ve been playing Splatoon 3 a lot since it came out and while, yes, it is not the most adventurous of sequels I can’t help but love it. All the modes are fantastic, including Salmon Run, and I just can’t seem to get tired of it.
One of the other great things about it is the motion controls, which work so well I begin to miss them in other games. Which brings me to the reason I wrote in: why don’t PlayStation games have the option for gyro controls and why doesn’t the Xbox have motion controls at all?
I know some people don’t like them on principle (usually based on five minutes with Wii Sports 15 years ago) but it’s such a great aid for shooters and it’s not like you wouldn’t be able to turn it off if you don’t want it. Such a missed opportunity.
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The eternal problem of wanting to replay games while also wanting to play new games is one I struggle with, especially as many games I replay help get me in the mood for the season. I know that sounds weird, but I like to replay Devil May Cry in October to get in the spooky mood and have started a playthrough of Dead Rising 4 every December 1st since 2018, because it’s the only game I know of that feels Christmassy, even if it is mediocre as a game.
But my most replayed game is Transformers: Devastation. I think part of the reason I replay it so often, and an important part of what makes a game repayable, is the length. Being about five hours long, I can pick it up when I’m not sure what to play and have it beaten in a matter of two days. But more importantly, I’m always discovering something new in the game that I haven’t before with each playthrough (must be on about seven now), whether it’s a new weapon or finally figuring out the crafting system after struggling with it on my first couple of goes.
Despite this, I still haven’t taken on the highest difficulty (another factor which adds to my chances of replaying a game) as I feel I still need to max out all the characters before I even try it.
It makes the world go round
I’ve seen a few Inbox letters questioning why Charles Martinet was overlooked as the voice of Mario in favour of Chris Pratt, and the answer is obvious: Hollywood. This is clearly the studio involved demanding an A-List cast, as they believe (wrongly, in my opinion) moviegoers are swayed by knowing the voice of an animated character is a renowned actor. The sad reality is that Hollywood were never going to greenlight a Mario film that needed a budget of tens of millions in animation costs that didn’t feature marketable names.
This is a wider problem than just the new Mario Bros. movie. Every new Disney animation now features the voices of the super famous, whereas the classic Disney animations, up to Aladdin, simply cast voices that worked for the part. It’s a true shame, but perhaps to gaming’s advantage, as voice actors have found more opportunities in this sphere, especially as technology has advanced. Jennifer Hale, Troy Baker, and Nolan North are names that many will not be familiar with, but their voices are iconic.
Unfortunately, Hollywood is now wading further into gaming, with Hideo Kojima providing fast-track entry. Let’s be honest, it’s all about money, unfortunately.
Top of the table
Gave Hyper Demon a go last night, it is frantic and fun. But a strange thing happened and I’m not sure if this happens to others, but my sense of competition puts me off the game. I watched a replay of the top few players then I thought I’ll never get that good, or they have an over-mastery of the game or use glitches.
This puts me off wanting to get good or spending time to get up the leaderboard, as it seems pointless.
A similar thing happened with Returnal. Amazing game, loved the single-player story and difficulty. However, the tower update, when it comes to just constantly increasing difficulty forever, I’m not interested, especially when the top rankings are again seemingly untouchable.
This also got me thinking (this may have been a Hot Topic already, not sure) but what has been the closest you’ve got to being top of the rankings on a game? They always seem so untouchable. Wondering if the good readers of Metro have gotten close or have stories of how close to the top spot they have been?
For example, my closest would be in Halo 3 multiplayer, in singles Slayer I got to rank 44 of 50. Battled my whole summer away getting there but couldn’t get any higher. The elation of getting 44 was immense, then dropping back down after one loss was tough. It was the highest I have seen between my brothers and friends, so it was the closest I have achieved.
I love how the first thing EA feel they have to say about Need For Speed Unbound is, don’t worry, you can actually completely turn off the game’s biggest distinguishing feature. I don’t know if that counts as a lack of confidence in the game or the audience.
If you know people are going to hate something maybe that’s a clue that maybe you shouldn’t do it? (I’m fine with it, although it’d be a little cooler if you could draw/customise your own animations. I hate how painfully ‘cool’ everything in the game looks.
Perhaps Nintendo could provide a Nintendo Pictures streaming app one day in the future?
Maybe exclusive to their consoles and be incorporated into the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service?
Alternatively, the ability to rent or buy future movies (not necessarily just first party content)?
I can imagine it’s something they would’ve done in the past, had they not been so online-o-phobic, and of course if such a studio existed, but perhaps now with so many other outlets they would prefer their content to reach as far as possible via Netflix/Disney+/YouTube, etc.
Obviously, any fan would want their content to be worthy of the silver screen first and foremost, but there are many clever and creative people on YouTube, for example, that they could endorse.
There’s one channel by the name of Densle, whose Animal Crossing: New Horizons shorts look like they were produced by Nintendo themselves and are pretty damned hilarious.
Here’s an example of their work.
Does anyone know why GAME or CeX will not allow you to trade-in or sell to them US NTSC Switch games? Considering the Switch is not region-locked I find it odd, as NTSC games will work on a PAL console.
I will never understand in a million years why people care about paying real money for skins in first person shooters. You can’t see what you just bought! They’re so expensive in Overwatch 2, I find it fascinating that anyone would pay so much money for something so pointless, let enough people to run a whole in-game economy.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Chevy Malibu (PSN ID) and asks what is your most replayed video game?
You can count multiplayer games if you want but ideally we want to know what game you come back to every few years to play through again. What is it about the game that you enjoy revisiting so often and how much of it is due to nostalgia and other external factors?
What makes a game replayable and do you consider it an important feature? Are there any games you don’t have the time or skill to replay again or perhaps there’s some for which once was enough, even though you enjoyed it the first time.
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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.
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