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Games Inbox: Predicting the next Sony State of Play

The Tuesday letters page wants Microsoft to subsidise the cost of a Saturn mini-console, as another reader worries about Sonic Frontiers.

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June predictions
So Xbox has two showcases planned this month but the Summer Game Fest won’t have much in the way of new announcements. Boy, I really miss the days of E3. We don’t know of any other events that are definitely happening but we do know that EA and Ubisoft aren’t doing anything. So will Nintendo do their normal Direct? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I doubt they’ve got anything else coming out this year, so they don’t really need to do anything right now, especially as they’re not playing the same game as Microsoft.

Sony is though and I’ve got to assume that they will have another State of Play this month. They’ve got to. If Microsoft has a ton of big reveals for Xbox – which I assume they will or someone’s not doing their job – there’s no way Sony can let them go for weeks or months with all that good publicity and nothing from themselves.

I’m pretty confident Sony will have another show before the end of the month. They still haven’t given God Of War: Ragnarök a release date and they must surely have other games they could announce now. If Sony does leave those reveals until July or August then their marketing people will be the ones that have messed up. At this point it’s less a question of who blinks first and more who makes a dumb decision first.
Etherness

A moment in time
Sounds like GoldenEye 007 is going to be one of the big announcements on Sunday but I really wonder what kind of remaster or remake it’s going to be. As iconic as that game is it really is basically unplayable in its original form so you immediately run into the Resident Evil 4 effect people are talking about, where you have to change so much to make it modern that you lose everything about what made it interesting.

I think we have to accept that some games are just a product of their time and if a remaster means anything more than increasing the frame rate and upping the resolution that’s a sign it needs to either be turned into a full remake or just left alone.

We don’t know which it’s going to be for GoldenEye yet but I’m willing to bet it’s just the remaster they tried to release before, which is not only going to still look pretty old fashioned but is going to seem really odd with modern controls.
Meshen

Getting worse
Diablo Immortal sounds almost unbelievably awful. £80,000 to level up a character or you can choose to not spend a penny and it’ll only take you 10 years?! Is it me or are mobile games quickly getting out of control in terms of loot boxes and microtransactions? I know they’ve always been bad but now they seem to be giving up any pretence of being an actual video game.

I don’t see what anyone could possibly get out of them but that’s their business. My primary concern is that none of this leaks into real games and actually, apart from sports games like FIFA, I think most publishers have done pretty good on that count, given what the temptations must be.

I’ve also been impressed by the fight back against NFTs and how most gamers are united in making sure they don’t become a thing. Hopefully we can keep these immoral practices at bay, because if console games were like mobile games I think I’d rather read a book.
Tropper

GC: Wait till you hear about Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds.

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Evil in name only
Tezer’s description of the remake of Resident Evil 4 was exactly what I was thinking.

This new game might have the same characters, locations, etc. but it quite simply is not the game I have been in love with for over 17 years!

As Wonk said in their Reader’s Feature at the weekend, Resident Evil 4 needs cheese, but at the moment it’s feeling like Resident Evil 4: Vegan Edition!

Capcom are already calling it a ‘story of gruelling survival horror.’

Resident Evil 4 is tense and thrilling but even on the hardest difficulty it’s never gruelling!

In an attempt to make a more modern grimdark game Capcom has not understood what made the original so special.
LastYearsModel

Lost to time
It’s a real shame about there being no Sega Saturn mini-console but I can’t say it’s a surprise. The machine is famous for being a nightmare piece of hardware and let’s face it. As rabid as Sega fans can be nobody’s buying a mini-console for the price of a PlayStation 5.

Well… a few would (I might) but nowhere near enough for it to be worth Sega’s effort. Besides, didn’t they lose the source code for most of the games?

If Microsoft are serious about game perseveration they should jump in and help to balance the costs, because there are a mountain of great games on the Saturn that only those rich enough to afford rare imports has ever got to play.

Not that I’d normally think it was any business of Microsoft’s, but if they want to put their money where their mouth is this would be a great example.
Zone 2

GC: The source code for Panzer Dragoon Saga has been lost, but we’re not aware that happened to any other game. And even so, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be emulated.

Elden Protocol
Seeing as Starfield has been delayed, The Callisto Protocol is now my most anticipated game of the year.

Because this type of gory horror doesn’t usually sell amazingly well, I was looking to see what bonuses I get if I were to pre-order, and to my surprise it can’t be pre-ordered on Xbox. Strange.

I know, I know we shouldn’t pre-order but we don’t get games like this very often, so I’ll just buy at launch.

I hope it does very well. Elden Ring sold a lot and it’s definitely not a normally mainstream type game. Can lighting strike twice with Callisto Protocol?

Either way, I hope it sells enough for a sequel. I think 5 million+ across all platforms should do the trick and if it’s good, it’ll comfortably hit this.

What do GC think regarding sales?
Jez

GC: 5 million is a major hit. Resident Evil Village only did 6.1 million and it’s the fastest selling entry in the franchise. If The Callisto Protocol manages 1 million it’ll be doing very well, on what is probably a relatively low budget.

Sonic spin cycle
I think that reader writing in about Sonic Frontiers has it right. There’s no way this doesn’t turn out to be another mega (no pun intended) disappointment. As others are pointing out, the footage so far looks bad, and nothing like Sega, and Sonic Team are probably the most reliable company in games… reliable for being awful.

Where are we expected to believe they suddenly got the ability to make a game of the quality and complexity of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild when most of the time they can barely match Bubsy 3D.
Onibee

Soulsbornekiroring for lyfe
Margit and Godrick were memorable bosses but the sense of spectacle and camaraderie in the Radahn fight was absolutely epic. It took me around 20 attempts to fell the scarlet-rotted beast, and what ensued after the fight took me completely by surprise – I had activated Ranni’s questline during the time. Hands down one of the most cinematic, atypical, grand bosses FromSoftware have designed, in my opinion.

I really don’t understand how some gamers found this battle too frustrating or unfair to be honest, I was at level 50 something and every time I died I felt it was entirely my own fault for not reacting fast enough to his deadly strikes, or adapting my strategy and using the surroundings to my advantage. The lock-on camera was also surprisingly well behaved for such a frantic, dynamic clash.

One incidental moment in the fight, involving a recurring character of a dubious nature was pure chuckle vision. This boss has it all, even the venerated general’s lore is among the most fascinating and melancholic in all the Soulsbornes. That poor horse though..

Then I visited Japanese Hogwarts, fortified by many duplicates of the Burger King mascot, and administrated a royal beat down to Queen Rennala. Now, whilst not the most challenging boss in the game, the singular aesthetics, atmosphere, music, attack patterns, and battle arrangement truly left a lasting impression on me. I don’t know if I was experiencing Bayonetta withdrawal symptoms or what but the superlunary backdrop/atmosphere and the sorceress’s impossibly proportioned dimensions in the second phase of the fight evoked PlatinumGames’ leading lady. The classic Moon River song also came to mind..,

From humble beginnings to unassailable prestige, long may the Soulsbornekiroring formula incandescently permeate the video game industry!
Galvanized Gamer

Inbox also-rans
Sanitarium is free on GOG for the next 48 hours, grab it while you can!
Andrew J.
PS: Looking forward to all the game shows this week.
Currently playing: Far: Lone Sails (PS5)

Just Cause 5? Does someone at Avalanche have indiscreet photos of Square Enix’s CEO or something? I can’t think of a series so underserving of so many sequels. It’s not even bad, it’s just so meh.
Koffey

This week’s Hot Topic
With the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase set to take place late on Sunday, this weekend’s Inbox asks you what you’re hoping to see announced, both at it and other E3-esque shows this June.

E3 may never be coming back but Microsoft, at least, is keeping to the same schedule with its big 90 minute preview event. So what games and other reveals are you hoping for? What surprises do you predict, including new hardware and service announcements, and games intended for release this year?

Sony, Nintendo, and third party publishers haven’t confirmed if they’re doing anything similar this month but if they do what do you hope from that? And what do you think is probably not going to happen?

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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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