Games Inbox: Is Final Fantasy VII really as good as people say?

The morning Inbox wishes Microsoft would make more games and less consoles, as one reader asks for help identifying an old arcade game.

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First timer

So Final Fantasy VII is re-released on Switch and Xbox One today, giving even more people the chance to experience a legendary games. But legendary doesn’t mean good and I’d love to hear from anyone who plays it for the first time this week and what they think of it. I’m willing to bet it’s going to be none to positive.

I remember Final Fantasy VII when it first came out and be very impressed by the CGI intro and then appalled by the ultra basic polygon graphics of the characters. They literally seemed like they were made out of about six boxes with little eyes painted on. And then there was the dialogue… it was just awful. Literally incomprehensible in some cases. I don’t know if that’s been sorted out for the final release or not but if it has then you’re not really getting the original experience.

To be honest Final Fantasy VII put me off Japanese role-players for life. I have tried a few since and I kind of liked Persona 4, but the only one I really enjoyed is NieR:Automata, which isn’t really a role-player at all really. I’ll be curious to see what’s done with the Final Fantasy VII remake, purely because I imagine it’ll be state-of-the-art in terms of graphics. But if the gameplay and story is anyway similar I don’t see it working in this modern age.


Dare to hype

So that State of Play thing was a bit of a letdown. Not if you have PlayStation VR perhaps but that’s not going to be a lot of people so I was surprised they would lead with something that was so niche. There wasn’t much to get excited about elsewhere, although I do agree that Observation looked interesting. Even though we seem to have a lot of narrative-based indie games set on a spacestation games lately. And they overdid it a bit on the 2001 nods.

It was fine though, nothing to get angry about, but I hope this isn’t going to be the only way Sony communicate with fans in the future. I enjoy the razzmatazz of E3 and other stage show type events but I get the impression Sony just can’t be bothered with them anymore or something.

A lot more people are going to watch E3 as well. Maybe they could get an audience for State of Play too but if they’re all going to be like that I don’t see it. Don’t be afraid of hype, I say – sometimes it’s the most fun bit of being a gamer.


Extra different

Good review of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, GC. It jives with my experience of the game so far and I definitely hit ‘the wall’ exactly where you described. To be honest I’d be happy if they took all the Soulsborne stuff out of the game and just made it more its own thing. I don’t know whether it was left in as a sort of selling point to fans or whether From has just got used to doing things that way.

It doesn’t ruin the game or anything but the complicated way it deals with punishment for death seems all a bit of a fudge for you just not going back and collecting your lost souls (or whatever) again. A straight up ninja simulator with a bit of a supernatural edge would’ve been fine for me and it seems like they’ve over-egged it a bit.

I have a feeling it’ll end up being regarded more in the Dark Souls II end of the scale when all is said and done but I’m loving it overall and glad to see something different and not just a sequel – although something even more different would’ve been even better.


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Cardboard block

I watched a Nintendo Life YouTube video about the rumoured Switch Mini and the presenter was very sceptical about the rumours.

It is assumed that the Mini will be a cheaper model aimed at children and the rumours suggest that it will not have detachable Joy-Cons and will not have HD rumble. The presenter had concerns with this because it would mean that the Switch Mini would not be compatible with Labo which is also aimed at children.

I think the presenter has a valid point, however there is a simple two-part solution.

1. The Mini has controllers permanently attached and is no larger than the screen (tablet) section of the existing Switch. Therefore the entire Mini can be used in place of the screen when using Labo.
2. The existing Joy-Cons (purchased separately) could be paired with the Mini. This would then enable them to be used in conjunction with Labo. (And would enable HD rumble to be used on compatible games).

GC: Whether the rumours are true or not we doubt Labo is a big enough consideration to influence the decision, but your second point is almost certain to be the case.


Wrong priorities

I don’t get Microsoft. And let me say I’ve read leaks that a download-only Xbox is coming out. I don’t get why. Let me explain, it’s not the price of the console that is the problem, far from it, it’s what you can play on it. Don’t get me wrong, some of their games do look amazing; it’s the fact that there isn’t enough of their games.

I mean, you get a max of four games a year if you’re lucky, with a wind behind you. Sony beat their games in the first six months of the year. The only game that I liked the look of was Crackdown 3. I was going to to buy an Xbox till it was shot down in reviews.

What they need to do is stop bringing a new console out every year and invest in games, if they do that I’d go and buy an Xbox. The amount they plough into a new console you could make 10 top quality games. I just don’t get why they have four consoles out and nothing on them, which is a shame.


Round and round

After hours of frustration I’m turning my hopes on the wonder that is the GC community to help me out on something that’s been bugging me for ages!

Back in, what I believe would’ve been the mid to late ‘80s (possibly early ‘90s), I remember playing a racing game in the arcades that was housed in a circular, rotating cabinet that span around from left to right as you steered in the game itself. Countless hours of Internet trawling have thrown up nothing as to what it could be, so does anyone else remember what it was?

From my, granted somewhat vague, recollection it was a checkpoint-based Grand Prix style racer that looked quite impressive for the time, in a similar vane to OutRun.

Fingers crossed somebody knows what the hell I’m on about as it’s really annoying me.
WonkiestAnt (gamertag)

GC: We’re tempted to say Power Drift but that’s not a Grand Prix game, maybe a reader knows what it is.


Half-price bugs

Earth Defence Force 5 is on sale for 20 quid on the PS Store, I’m just wondering if it’s worth buying at this price it seems to have had some decent reviews.

But I notice the GC review says it’s too expensive at full price, how does it sound for £20 though?

GC: That’s half price, so sure – if it’s something you’re interested in.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


The long haul

I’m not sure I really understand who Apple Arcade is aimed at. The idea sounds fine in theory but it’s surely aimed at fairly core gamers, who care about indie games and don’t like microtransactions. But why wouldn’t they just want to play the same games on console or PC? I guess the subscription making it more cost effective, like Game Pass, is meant to be a major appeal but seeing as we don’t know the price yet it’s kind of hard to get excited.

I agree with the other reader that it was an unconvincing pitch by Apple and I really didn’t get the feeling they knew what they were doing or that the service was all the amazing.

Like someone else said I’m glad they didn’t announce a new console because I just don’t think we need that kind of complication at this point, but they obviously feel they need to be involved. Until the next fad comes along and suddenly they’re not so interested in anymore. I’m not convinced any of these new companies are in it for the long haul and I hope Amazon aren’t silly enough to want to join the party.


Inbox also-rans

If Nintendo wanted to reduce the cost of The Switch (to make and sell) could they not produce a download only version with no cart slot? They could sell it cheap then rake it in on download sales.

GC: It’s removing the disc drive that makes download-only consoles cheaper, the cartridge slot doesn’t have any moving parts so would make little difference.

Sorry I’m late for the hardest trophy stories but my hardest trophy is still For the Motherland on Call Of Duty: World At War. I got it over nine years ago and nothing has come close to that level of difficulty. Hey, GameCentral will you be doing the Assassin’s Creed III Remastered review this week?
mch2011uk (gamertag)/mch2010uk (PSN ID)

GC: This week or next, yes.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what is your favourite portable game ever?

With the 3DS’s lifetime coming to an end what handheld video game have you enjoyed the most? It can be from any format, including dedicated portables such as the Game Boy Advance and PS Vita, as well as smartphone games, and Switch titles (assuming you played the game in handheld mode the majority of the time).

How much do you enjoy portable games compared to home console and PC titles and how would you describe the difference? Are you worried that if portable-only consoles disappear a certain style of video game may disappear forever?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ 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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