Do you care about a next gen version? (pic: Rockstar Games)
The Thursday Inbox has suggestions for the best games for non-gamers and young kids, as one reader is enamoured by Wild Guns Reloaded.
To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]
Not a mess
It’s been nearly a week since the PlayStation 5 reveal and I’ve had time to digest the design. While I think the controller is the best-looking Sony controller to date I’m not as convinced by the console. But, ultimately, if I get one it’ll sit in a TV cabinet so I’m not going to get hung up on that.
However, I did think Sony’s stream was too long. I watched until the end purely in case they revealed the console, but my attention was elsewhere for the final 20ish minutes. I didn’t think the presentation was as slick as a Nintendo Direct, and the decision to begin with GTA 5 was misjudged. I can’t have been the only one to feel completely underwhelmed by that?
The quality of the games shown also seemed to vary massively, with some sporting graphics more akin to a PlayStation 3 than a PlayStation 5. But, to be fair the same happened when Pokémon Sword and Shield were first revealed. I think it’s all about expectations. A lot of us gamers associate the introduction of a new generation with enormous graphical improvements and that just isn’t going to happen anymore. Reduced loading, due to the SSDs, is a welcome improvement but it’s not something we generally can be wowed by in a video.
Overall, I think Sony did a solid job. Importantly, they didn’t mess up, leaving Microsoft with a lot of work to do. I can definitely see the Xbox Series X coming bundled with a free month of Game Pass, as I think that’s their killer app now. I’m also very interested in Sony’s next steps regarding VR; hopefully, we’ll hear something about an updated headset soon.
Solid but unexciting
I thought the games that Sony showcased looked solid (refreshing to see actual in-game footage) but not particularly inspiring and, aside from Ratchet & Clank, nothing that couldn’t be done on a PlayStation 4. While Horizon Forbidden West looks like it could be a highlight, I thought the original fell well short of its potential and suffered from the fact that Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was released a week later. Hopefully they’ve taken some lessons from Nintendo. It could be so much more.
While it seems unlikely that Microsoft will be able to match Sony for the quality and diversity of exclusives, I see no reason to purchase a PlayStation 5 until at least a year after its release. I’ll be interested to see where they take VR, as this is where the potential for a significant generational leap lies. I guess there’s a Hot Topic in this: what would readers like to see from a next generation PlayStation VR?
GC: We suspect a cheaper price tag would be the number one request.
Excited about getting my copy of The Last Of Us Part 2 on Friday. Just want to say I hope the game is massively successful. After the horrible leaking of most of the games storyline I think Naughty Dog deserve some good news. Whatever anyone thinks about their games the amount of love and craft they put into them is amazing. Can’t wait to slip back into the world they create.
Really enjoyed the review of the game. Was pretty much in line with what I expected. Thanks to you all as always.
GC: Thank you. Judging by pre-orders, the game should do very well.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
Built for speed
In regards to Two Mack’s letter, I don’t think the choice to only use proprietary SSD drives is a money grabbing strategy, it’s more to do with how the technology works. It’ll be the same with the PlayStation 5, it’s not like just plugging in a new SSD drive on a PC, it’s the way the console’s hard drives are hardwired into the rest of the architecture that will make them so fast and enable them to be used like RAM without software solutions.
Any external drive, no matter how fast and just connected via a USB port wouldn’t be able to stream games and interact with the consoles GPU in the same way. That’s one advantage the new generation of consoles can have over PCs with similar specs, their parts are not just purpose built to enable hardware enabled effects such as ray-tracing but the parts can be connected in a far more efficient way than a traditional motherboard, built for all types of chips, can allow for.
First party policy
I have written in a few times but not for a long time. I love reading your news articles and Reader’s Features and find you possible the most unbiased publication with reviews. However, one of your articles is slightly wrong, the PlayStation 5 Smart Delivery article. Smart Delivery only applies to the first party games, other publishers can opt into this, such as CD Projekt and Ubisoft, others haven’t, such as EA.
Also, not all Xbox Series X games will launch on Xbox One. This policy only applies to first party studios for between 12-24 months from November last year. This was confirmed by Aaron Greenburg at the time in November. The Medium and Scorn are both Xbox Series X and PC exclusive and won’t be coming to the Xbox One. The developers of The Medium have confirmed there game will only work with an SSD.
Ilovmyselfalot (gamertag/PSN ID)
GC: The article mentions this, where it talks about Microsoft not forcing companies to use Smart Delivery. The section about no Xbox Series X exclusives is only talking about first party games, as was supposed to be clear from the previous and subsequent paragraphs.
So, what is the vibe on the Saints Row The Third remaster? Is it just a shiny coat of paint or does the game fix any of its more… fundamental problems?
Why my interest? Well, the latter two Saints Row games do have perhaps the most powerful character creation tool that you can get right now and a lot of it was fun. But it also did a lot wrong. Why did they change antagonists halfway through? Why does the pace come to a crashing halt when that happens? Why did they think Zimos was funny? Zombies, seriously? The strange misogyny against sex workers, like the mission where you could either return a group of women earmarked for a life of prostitution to their original slavers or enslave them yourself for that same purpose.
I remember Geoff Keighley asking one of the developers whether or not there would be an option to set them free while GameTrailers was still alive and well. The developer just smirked and said something along the lines of: ‘Nah, man, the Saints wouldn’t do that.’ Because human trafficking is so funny.
And then the bit where the gang is being entertained by erotic dancers only for them to turn hostile and brandish automatic weapons against you. And then you’re tasked with slaughtering them. Much like those assassin nuns in one of the Hitman games, that leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth. Just gross.
By my reckoning, at least 30% of the game should have been left on the cutting room floor. At least!
After saying all that, is the remaster worth a look? If it is just slightly improved graphics then I’m not interested.
GC: Surely, ‘slightly improved graphics’ is the basic definition of a remaster? But we don’t know for sure, we didn’t play the new version.
Yeeha! Wild Guns is a superb little game. Everything about Natsume’s game oozes quality from its gorgeous 2D sprite work and imaginative Western meets sci-fi aesthetics, amazingly tight and creative control scheme, interesting enemy and boss designs, great feeling guns, and stellar soundtrack.
I was most impressed with the dynamic shooting gallery structuring of the game, it must’ve felt wildly inventive back in 1994. You know you’re enamoured with a game when your only complaint is that it doesn’t last long enough. Thankfully sequel Wild Guns Reloaded can fill that void at a decent price right now.
A true definition of a hidden gem on the SNES, and every bit as good as Sunset Riders if you ask me. Konami’s classic run ‘n’ gun shooter is out now on Switch and PlayStation 4, by the way.
GC: Reloaded is a remaster with a few extra levels and characters, not really a sequel.
Games for non-gamers
Just thought I’d write in to say how impressed I am with Ring Fit Adventure. It’s got me and my girlfriend exercising for the first time in probably 10 years! She doesn’t even play games, so finds some of the talking and role-playing elements a little dull but she looks forward to it every day. Those planks, though, are pure agony!
51 Worldwide Classics is also another gem. I’ve been eagerly awaiting it since its announcement and we have been playing it most nights, with Yacht Dice being a firm favourite. Again, she never plays games, so definitely recommended for people trying to get non gamers interested.
I can remember a few people wondering what games to get young children (around three). I think I am now an expert so listen closely Switch owners:
When my son was around two and a half he was watching me play Mario and wanted to try himself but it was too difficult. Then Super Mario Maker 2 came out and I designed simple, bite-sized courses where he had to jump and collect coins in order to clear them. I then started bringing Yoshi and the clown car into it to make the levels more fun or puzzle-like. Now he can do more challenging levels that involve enemies and gaps.
I can provide my ID if anyone wants to try out any of my levels for their toddlers (and a few super challenging ones for adults). Did you ever create a super world, GC? I would love to try yours or any of the readers’ worlds. At around the same time I also downloaded the demos for Kirby Star Allies and Yoshi’s Crafted World. They both come with two levels and he has spent hours completing the same levels again and again.
Because he loved Kirby so much I then purchased the full game. Because the friends help you attack enemies he rarely dies and he pretty much completed the entire game by himself, apart from a few bosses here and there where I helped. Even so, as he’s three I was pretty impressed! He loves to now play the bonus modes where you can play as all of Kirby’s friends. I will buy him Yoshi one day too.
Another game that is great for him to just run around in is Super Mario Odyssey. Recently, I noticed assist mode can be used in single-player too, which means that a bubble protects them if they fall into lava and other things like being able to perpetually breathe under water. He even ground-pounded and found me a missing star at one point. Recently he has playing lots of indie game like Gato Roboto and Pikuniku (we completed all nine co0op levels together!)
Mr Foreign Warren
PS: ID for a more challenging course in Super Mario Maker 2 is Mecha-koopa Infiltration: 5j1-64v-fgg (you should then be able to find my toddler training courses from there).
GC: You couldn’t upload them when we were reviewing it and to be honest, we haven’t gone back since.
The free games on Epic Games Store today from 4pm are Pathway and The Escapists 2.
PS: When do you think you might do a list of the top 20 games of 2020 so far, as we are halfway through the year now?
GC: Probably when we do our half year report Hot Topic in the first week of July. The year’s not quite halfway yet.
Will Fortnite Chapter 2: Season 3 be more realistic?!
GC: Since when has Fortnite ever been realistic? That’s not its thing. You could try PUBG instead?
Rage 2, the most disappointing game I have played. I get so far on levelling up the main characters and it keeps coming up with something about saves, corrupted data will be deleted, and poof it deletes my save file and I end up starting all over again. It’s happened to me four bloody times.
This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox is inspired by last week’s PlayStation 5 reveal and asks whether you now intend to buy Sony’s new console?
What did you think of the reveal and did it change your mind, one way or the other, about the PlayStation 5? What did you think of the games and which impressed you the most? What else would you have liked to have seen and what did you think of the console design?
As similar conversations will probably be going on in the weekday Inbox, please make sure to label your emails for the Hot Topic or the normal Inbox.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
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