The evening Inbox wishes Zelda: Breath Of The Wild had a bigger influence on other games, as one reader asks for advice on getting a home arcade.
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Not surprised to see Rage 2 getting mediocre reviews, in fact I was surprised to see GC be as enthusiastic as it was about the combat. There seems to be two obvious problems with the game though and that’s that open worlds are getting old hat and so too is the post-apocalypse. As GC points out an open world could be anything and yet somehow it’s almost always exactly the same kind of wilderness area filled with enemy camps for you to conveniently take out.
But to me the biggest problem is the whole post-apocalypse thing, whether it’s zombies, nuclear war, or whatever it is just mind-boggling how many there are at the moment. Even games where I don’t think there has been an apocalypse, like Borderlands, still manage to look like there’s one anyway. Even Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was one!
Even just a straight GTA clone in the modern day would be a breath of fresh air at this point, but how about something, you know, different? Remember how pretty and fantastical Oblivion was? We desperately need The Elder Scrolls VI and it really needs to not look like a bomb just went off there. But where are all the fantasy and sci-fi worlds too? Something, anything, that looks and plays differently. That’s why I enjoyed Subnautica so much, at least it’s something that doesn’t feel like 50 other games I’ve already played!
Comic book synergy
Following on from Sol’s point about the mythical sales boost for games connected to films, I seem to remember Dan Slott (back when he was writing The Amazing Spider-Man comics) tweeting that comics don’t see any notable sales increases when MCU films about the same characters steamroll everything in their tracks. I have no receipts for this of course, just an anecdote.
No doubt studio executives draw these imaginary lines to make investors pony up more cash.
GC: This is a list of the best-selling comics in April, you’d never guess by looking at it that Avengers: Endgame came out that mouth. Especially as the top-seller features the lame-o villain from Thor 2.
Arcade in a box
I’ve been looking to get a home arcade machine, similar to the Capcom Home Arcade system that was announced a few weeks back, but with a larger selection of games. I’m looking to play games like Ikari Warriors, OutRun, Renegade, and Double Dragon and other 1980s to 2000s arcade games. But I’m not sure which is the best one to get.
I have read about the Pandora’s Box and the Arcade Pro Mercury 2260 consoles, but I’m not sure about the quality of the emulation or the build quality of the consoles. Do any readers have any recommendations? Many thanks in advance.
Cubes (PSN ID)/Kevin M
GC: We haven’t looked into that scene for a while, but we should warn you that anything to do with MAME, or at least the unlicensed ROMs used with it, is illegal and can’t be discussed here.
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You never know
I’ll go you one further Hubert, when you say, ‘You really can’t know how good a game is going to be by the trailers, gameplay and even previews’ and add reviews into that mix, after all they are only the opinion of one person and no matter how accomplished the reviewer they can’t tell you the most important thing about a game, and that is whether you’ll enjoy it or not.
If I’d listened to reviews I never would’ve bought No Man’s Sky and I loved that game even before any of the updates. Same goes for Days Gone, been playing it for almost three weeks now and it’s only getting better as I open up more of the map and unlock more skills. And popping zombies in the head with a silenced pistol never gets old.
A game could be the greatest ever made but if you don’t like it then you don’t like it and all the reviews won’t make any difference to that, and conversely if you really enjoy the bones of a game you can often overlook flaws that others consider game breakers, one man’s (or woman’s!) boring, repetitive busy work is another man’s (or woman’s!) gaming heaven.
PS: I’ll probably wait till Rage 2 is on the cheap though.
I must say I’m very disappointed in your Rage 2 review. How could you possibly fail to mention Major Miffed, Lieutenant Livid, or Sergeant Sour as a potential DLC option (I would have said Midshipman, but wasn’t sure if that’s an actual relevant rank).
I’ll get my coat
GC: Midshipman is still a rank, as far as we know, in the Royal Navy. It’s very junior though, so it’ll be a while till you have to worry about Midshipman Morose.
Just wanted to say how hyped I am for Everbody’s Golf VR after trying the demo. Initially was disappointed with it, as I believed I would be able to play a sample hole but it just lets you take practice shots. However, as well as the driving range there is a pitch and putt area where you can get a proper feel for how the game will play. If you play your approach shot you can hit circle afterwards to take your putt, almost like playing a par 3. Just thought I’d mention as it isn’t obvious you can do this.
Judging by the demo this looks like it’s going to be a great game. There will be three courses to play initially, yet I’m hoping if it does well there will be more. I enjoy golf games in general but this feels really special in VR. Hope GC have a review soon. I’m already sold though, definite instabuy for me.
Tiddleydwarf (PSN ID)
PS: Enjoyed the Reader’s Feature at the weekend about family commitments and finding time for games. VR is the perfect place for time-hungry gamers. I find I’m going off open world games these days and prefer something shorter. Still not adverse to a challenge though. Recently downloaded XCOM 2 after gushing GC reviews. Ouch, seems so mush harder than XCOM. Ironman mode can definitely wait.
GC: We’ll try and review it, but we haven’t had it in yet. Also, we’re once again short of Reader’s Features this week and don’t yet have enough for the weekend.
Thumping good value
There is some fantastic bargains on the PSN Store at the moment. These are just some from my wishlist: Thumper £5.79 (usual price £15.99), Psychonauts In The Rhombus of Ruin £2.89 (usually £15.99), Iconoclasts £6.49 (usually £15.99), and Horizon Chase Turbo £9.49 (usually £15.99).
I am sure there must be others too.
GC: Thumper is an absolute steal at that price.
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Production line design
After reading your Rage 2 review, I get what you mean about open world games becoming their own genre since so many seem to use an off-the-shelf template without actually adding much to that template’s design. Marvel’s Spider-Man, Days Gone, and now Rage 2 (even Red Dead Redemption II to an extent and I’m assuming the last Far Cry game and many more) all seem to be guilty of trying to paper over the chasm of a severe lack of considered design worthy of their big worlds, high production values and/or good mechanics.
I know compelling and fun environments must be hard and resource intensive but if open worlds are this generation’s equivalent to last gen’s brown/grey gun games then they can no longer get away with appearing to be interesting just because they’re open world. For me, that idea became tired not long after Far Cry 3 in 2012 and was put to bed by Zelda: Breath Of The Wild in 2017.
One exciting thing about the last Zelda game was its potential to break this particular mould and send ripples through open world gaming but I’m starting to think its legacy will be a lot more limited, for reasons related to capability rather than inspiration.
It’s easy for me to say when I’m not a developer but I expect there might be something about clever and engaging design that’s missing from the curriculum. Maybe a textbook with Portal on the cover or something.
GC: It’s a similar answer to the question of why aren’t there more traditional Zelda clones. It’s because they’re really difficult to make…
Imagine if Bethesda’s fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a new character from The Elder Scrolls VI. Now that would get E3 talking!
I could’ve sworn Rage 1 came out earlier than 2011, just goes to show how long it was in development hell for. Maybe it should’ve stayed there?
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Purple Ranger, who asks what is the best Xbox exclusive ever?
Following a similar topic on the best PlayStation exclusives (and with another on Nintendo yet to come) we want to know what you think is the best exclusive released on any Xbox console, i.e. the Xbox, Xbox 360, or Xbox One. Anything is eligible as long as it was an Xbox exclusive at some point – it doesn’t matter if Microsoft themselves published it or not.
Why do you like the game so much and do you feel it was important to the success of the host console? Did it make any special use of the console’s unique features and how did it compare to other exclusives of the same period?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
The small print
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