The Tuesday Inbox discusses the possibility of even more Nintendo remasters, as one reader discovers Greedfall.
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Just one more
So there’s not much to go on with that Zelda: Skyward Sword remaster rumour for Switch, but the fact that the producer seems so keen, perhaps because he recognises the flaws, make me suspect it’s true. But boy, that is a lot of remasters Nintendo seems to have in the pipeline right now. And… I’m about to suggest another one!
I know, I know, but while the idea of a remake of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time isn’t exactly new it is something I’d like to see a lot more than Skyward Sword or Pikmin 3. The problem is, I guess, that it would take time to do properly and probably the last thing Nintendo wants to do once the whole pandemic is over is spend more time with old games.
But I think it’s in a similar position to Demon’s Souls where the old game is technically still playable on a not-too-old console but it’s a pain to get hold of and the frame rate alone is really off-putting. I’m of the opinion that Ocarina Of Time is still the best video game ever made but it’s getting harder to convince newcomers the older the game gets.
I’d actually be totally fine with giving the remake chores to Bluepoint, and I’d bet they’d love it. After all, Nintendo got the little known Grezzo to do the 3DS remaster and Link’s Awakening.
I know GC has already made the buses joke but really DC? Two, possibly three, new games being announced this weekend after checks Wikipedia three years of nothing? That is some quality bad timing, especially with the next gen just round the corner so that they won’t take full advantage of that.
However, it’s better than the alternative so with Marvel finally waking up now too can we officially say we’re starting a golden age of superhero video games? I hope so, because comics are so weird and imaginative they’d be a great influence on modern games and there’s tons of characters I’d like to see done well.
Except… I’m not sure where they go from here. Batman and Spider-Man can front their own games, we know that, and I’m sure Avengers will do well. But is anyone going to spend real money getting a – to pick some B-tier names at random – Doctor Strange or Daredevil game made? DC can’t even get a Superman game off the ground and I don’t think there’s any evidence they’ve even tried Wonder Woman.
The only ones I could see them spending the dosh on is X-Men and maybe Guardians Of The Galaxy? Marvel has more chances because the movies are so popular but I think for DC they’re going to use Suicide Squad to introduce characters and maybe try and spin them off into their own games from there? If that’s not the idea it probably should be.
There’s so many great heroes out there but games are so expensive to make nowadays I still don’t see many of them getting much exposure out of team games.
Greed is good
I just finished Greedfall and what an unexpected treat that was. I remember your review last year made me curious, but I was convinced the action wouldn’t be my thing – I much prefer a turn-based approach. It arrived on PlayStation Now so I thought why not try it. Around 35 hours later the credits were rolling and I felt like I’d really lived in that world, and that many of my choices really mattered.
I reread your review when I was about halfway through and sort of regretted it. You’d said it reveals all its secrets early on and that it doesn’t maintain that intrigue through the rest of the game, so I was worried I’d seen all the best bits. I do agree the big twists come early, but I still found I wanted to see what happens to all the various clans, factions, and individual characters. Overall, your review was pretty spot on – personally I would have gone with an 8, simply for the ambition of the developers, but I do recognise it also had some flaws – invisible walls anyone?
It made me wonder what else they’ve done so I checked out Bound By Flame – also on PlayStation Now. I’ve only played an hour or so, but you can tell it’s by the same developer and the improvements made between that and Greedfall are considerable. Makes me excited for their next project – whatever that may be.
GC: Greedfall is the perfect sort of game for PlayStation Now or Game Pass: flawed but very interesting and ambitious. Developers Spiders are probably best known for their so-so Sherlock Holmes games but their next is Steelrising, which has an… unusual premise.
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I’m not sure why Matt would take offence to my saying I’d give up giving if Nintendo were no more. I play plenty of other games that are not by Nintendo, and which they’d never dream of making but without Nintendo there is no games industry, as far as I’m concerned.
Nintendo is video games in a way no other company could be and without their great games and inspiration I’m not sure I ever would’ve fallen in love with or kept with games all these years.
That said, you cannot live on Nintendo alone and I actually like the fact most multiformat games don’t appear on Switch. It means I have to get another console and that exposes me to lots of games that are decidedly un-Nintendo.
In regards to your news piece on Skyward Sword I don’t understand why you think the controls wouldn’t convert perfectly. The nunchuck/wiimote combo was basically identical to holding two Joy-Cons. The left Joy-Con would work as the nunchuck, with analogue stick, and two triggers present. The right Joy-Con would work as the wiimote.
If anything the extra buttons and more accurate and responsive motion controls would make the game even easier to control. I personally used to love the controls for (most) Wii games, having what is essentially a controller split in half (with the motion controls in the wiimote replacing the right analogue stick) is more comfortable than having your hands stuck in one position.
Same with the switch, I’d prefer to play games with a Joy-Con in each hand rather than using the adaptor to connect them together. The only issue I have is their tiny size doesn’t match my giant hands and would love Nintendo to release bigger versions as an alternative.
GC: We said in the article, because the Joy-Con isn’t designed for use like that and would likely be uncomfortable for long periods of time when held in that way, especially if you’re left-handed. The nunchuck was carefully designed for that purpose and a very different shape.
Speed it up
I did not write into last week’s Hot Topic as I could not think of a long-running series I really wanted a sequel to outside of Nintendo’s franchises. For pretty much everything else I would rather see developers do something new but relatively similar to their previous titles, like CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077. I also could not really imagine anything that would be revolutionised by the next generation’s hardware.
Then yesterday I finally completed XCOM 2, which is an excellent game clearly forced onto my launch PlayStation 4 against its will. I honestly dread to imagine what the recent port would do to my poor Switch if I tried that version.
We have heard a lot about how solid state drives speed up the loading of premade assets and levels but does this also apply to procedurally-generated worlds too? As I am not a developer I have no idea why XCOM 2 takes such a long time to load a level but I imagine it is the logic on how to build the level, place the enemies and then the checks to ensure it will work that take the time not finding the assets on the hard drive.
Would an SSD eliminate the loading times of XCOM 2? Or are the loading times caused by the limited processing power of the current generation of consoles? And if it is processing power would this also be overcome by the extra teraflops of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?
Essentially my very, very late entry to last week’s Hot Topic would be for Firaxis to develop a turn-based strategy game similar to XCOM on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X which has minimal load times. Although I do not mind if this game is XCOM 3 or an entirely new franchise, possibly something with the depth of XCOM but applied to levels which are not created on isometric grids.
GC: The Switch port is actually surprisingly good, but we’re certainly in agreement. We’re hoping the Xbox One version will be improved by backwards compatibility, but we doubt it’s a priority for special attention.
Justice for Injustice
You know, I didn’t think I had anything of note to contribute to the Hot Topic just gone. But in true procrastinator’s style I have now come up with something. Or rather, an interesting route to take it.
You’d have to say, whatever happens to WB’s gaming division, an Injustice 3 must be inevitable. The more interesting question becomes then – who would you like to see in it? Like the more interesting The Question? He would be cool. Stargirl maybe? Beast Boy? In fact, by and large, the Teen Titans haven’t been all that well served by Injustice so far. Robin is forgettable, Cyborg was okay, and Raven was a real disappointment. Only Starfire has been truly great so far.
I would also like to see John Stewart become the default Green Lantern. This is my bias from the old Justice League cartoon talking, but whenever Hal Jordan shows up I have just found him to be so relentlessly bland and uninteresting. I don’t think Lauren Faust likes him all that much either. In her DC Superhero Girls cartoon Hal is depicted as a dumb, meat-head. But anyway, who else would make a good addition to the roster?
GC: Booster Gold, obviously. Some Doom Patrol representation would be nice too.
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Leave luck to heaven
Interesting news and rumours on the Switch remasters, not just in the last few days with Pikmin 3 Deluxe and now the Zelda: Skyward Sword listing but over the last few months really. First we’ve had all the talk of Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario All-Stars 2, before that news that Metroid Prime Trilogy was ‘already finished’ and let’s not forget Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition that has just released.
With most Wii U games still looking modern today it seemed obvious Nintendo would have these games in the ‘smash glass in case of emergency’ pile for when the release schedule became a little barren. We all know deep down it’s a matter of time until Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Metroid Prime et al. appear on the Switch in some form. This thing is supposed to last ten years remember, and it’s not Nintendo’s style to do a Microsoft and buy up a load of developers to make more content (even if they probably should).
The surprise is that Nintendo would just drop them all at once to fill out 2020, I expected more a sprinkling between new games to pad out the releases, like we have seen so far with Bayonetta 2, New Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE coming at quiet times of previous years. It also looks bad on the company and is bad PR to have a run of first party ports without new games, maybe COVID has delayed these new games to such an extent they have no choice? Japanese corporate culture isn’t exactly work from home friendly at the best of times and you get the impression Nintendo are more traditional and conservative than most.
I generally say bring ‘em on, remember these are some of the best games ever made and I’d love to have them portable. As for the Wii controls… Super Mario Galaxy was quite wiimote specific and is officially on the Nvidia Shield in China with (mostly) remapped controls, with Nintendo’s pedigree on attention to detail subbing in traditional Zelda controls on Skyward Sword might lose a bit of the purpose but it’ll be fine and new players probably won’t notice. You’ll probably be able to wave a Joy-Con around if you want to anyway.
GC: Your comments on Japanese work culture, and it affecting Nintendo more than most, are probably accurate. What’s made the situation even worse is that they were already being unusually uncommunicative before the lockdown started, implying they had nothing ready, so from that perspective the pandemic came at the worst possible time. They must be thanking their lucky stars for Animal Crossing…
My concern with Marvel’s Avengers is not the number of heroes but the villains. As far as I understand the only supervillains are Taskmaster, Abomination, and a boring version of M.O.D.O.K.? That is a pretty miserable line-up even by Marvel villain standards.
GC: Super-Adaptoid was implied by the beta but that’s the only other named villain we know of so far.
I love seeing how well The Last Of Us Part 2 is doing. I think the threat of a boycott must be the best guarantee of sales a company can get!
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what is your favourite role-playing game ever?
You can name any game, from any time period, but which one is your favourite and why? How much experience have you had with role-playing games and what is your preferred style, including Japanese vs. Western and action vs. turn-based?
Do you generally like role-playing games or was this one relatively unusual for you to enjoy? What general things would you like to see change about the genre and what are you hopes for the next gen?
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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.
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.
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