Games Inbox: Was Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice a disappointment?

The evening Inbox discusses how a Zelda: A Link To The Past remake could work, as one reader names the best games for Oculus Rift.

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Ninja detour

Not that I’m showing off but I have now beaten Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and am trying to process what I think of it. I have enjoyed it greatly, and once again From show that they are the absolute masters at level design. But I think I liked it less than any of the Soulsborne games.

For me it’s both too much like the others and while there are big differences they seem almost superficial. I think it should have either been a clear break or just a full-on Souls game. The combat is great but I agree with the reader who said that it’s a bit too regimented and you never quite feel you’re working things out for yourself like you do in a Souls game.

The stealth also seems slightly undercooked to me, as the game doesn’t really acknowledge or reward that you’re doing it. It’s a good game but it seems a bit like a detour in From’s legacy and to be honest I’m already more interested in what they’ll do next, rather than going back to Sekiro.
PS: Is there any word of any DLC?

GC: Not so far.


Smouldering fire

Can’t help but notice that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice hasn’t exactly set the Inbox on fire in the same way Dark Souls and Bloodborne did. I see that the PlayStation 4 version is number two in the charts, so it must be selling okay?

I’ve been only dipping into it now and again because I had other games on the go and want to give it my full attention, but it doesn’t seem to have gone down as well as the Soulsborne games did.
PS: Very disappointed with Yoshi’s Crafted World. Even though it’s stunning to look at it plays almost identically to Woolly World and I played that game to death, I don’t seem to have the patience for more of the same.

GC: As ever, it’s impossible to tell exactly how well a game has done but Sekiro seems to have sold pretty well. It was number one the week it came out, beating The Division 2 in just its second week.


Art of the unveil

So, this Borderlands 3 reveal has been pretty botched, hasn’t it? For anyone that was watching the annoucement at PAX East they even had trouble running their video properly. Not their fault really but the whole thing has been a bit of a shambles and ends up reflecting badly on the game I think. I also don’t understand why there are no pre-orders outside of America – doesn’t exactly make you feel wanted.

Maybe I’m being unfair but the art of the unveil really seems to have been lost in recent years and it’s really starting to deflate my hype with some games. Maybe that’s me being a bit shallow but looking forward to a new game is almost half the fun I always feel. Now it’s just an endless churn of leaks as people that obviously don’t care about anything (mostly shops and age rating boards) spoil all the secrets and every annoucement is usually old news.

I mean, even Nintendo were victims today. I don’t know what can be done really, because I get the feeling nobody ever gets in trouble over these sort of things.


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Bordering on disinterest

I’m conflicted about the upcoming Borderlands 3.

I played Borderlands 2 Game Of The Year Edition and it is probably some of the best times I have spent with a game. The style was perfect and the humour and tone is so refreshingly different from a lot of other shooters. Even the DLC was brilliant and oddball (especially the Dungeons & Dragons inspired stuff).

I left a decent interval of a few months after playing that before getting The Pre-Sequel and…. it never clicked. I’ve tried a few times to get into it and never get more than a few hours in. I just get bored.

Is this just me or did anybody else struggle with The Pre-Sequel? If it is just me then I suspect I will have the same problem with Borderlands 3 unless there are some major changes to the gameplay (and I don’t even know what changes as I liked the second so much?!).

GC: We think most would regard The Pre-Sequel as the weakest entry, and it wasn’t by the original developer. Although it remains to be seen just how different Borderlands 3 will be.


Definitive Drive

I think there’s some reason to hope that the new Mega Drive Mini will actually be a decent effort, unlike all those cheapo cash-ins that Sega has allowed to sully their name recently. The inclusion of Castlevania and other third party games shows it’s not just the usual suspects that are being dragged out and some effort is being made to make this a definitive collection.

I’m not quite sure what the previous reader was talking about when he said the ones from ‘other companies’ was filled with fillers because I thought the Nintendo ones were both excellent and the standard which the Mega Drive one needs to strive for. The Sony one was bad, sure, but I think that was the only one.


The problem child

So what do we all think that Zelda: A Link To The Past game could be that has been leaked? I don’t see how it can be the original if it’s being sold in a shop so surely it’s got to be a remake? But a 3D game or something like Link’s Awakening? As long as they change the art style a bit I’d be happy if it looked like Link’s Awakening and would encourage them to remake the first game in the same way as well.

It’s what to do with Zelda II that’s the thing though. That game has always fascinated me as it’s a big-name Nintendo game that… isn’t very good. It’s got lots of interesting ideas and it’s not unplayable but especially today it just is not even in the same stratosphere as the other games.

I would love to see them remake the game with a more serious style, perhaps something that was 3D and like Breath Of The Wild but on a smaller scale. Remasters of things like Borderlands might be kind of pointless but these are classic games that would definitely benefit from a complete revamp.
Gordon Bennett


Independent interests

It looks like those reports about working conditions have hit a nerve at BioWare, that response in their blog was pretty embarrassing. The thing I don’t understand is why they ever let themselves get bought by EA in the first place. Or why any developer is so keen to get bought by a big publisher. It almost always ends in disaster and it seems to me it would have been just as easy to get funding form some other partner rather than just get bought outright.

I suppose the truth is that was what made the most money for the execs and who cares about the rest? Which is certainly not a problem unique to gaming. But it’s sad to think that indie developer today tends to mean bedroom programmers when it could easily mean a giant studio the size of Bungie.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Secret successes

In response to Keith in Wednesday morning’s Inbox who said, ‘If the PC doesn’t have its own great (VR) games then that sounds like a failure of the people making the headsets’.

Although Valve have almost given up on making games, Oculus have spent millions funding first party VR titles via Oculus Studios. Their problem seems to be an inability to effectively publicise them. As evidence, witness the following mostly excellent Oculus exclusive VR games that you’ve probably never heard of:

1. Marvel Powers United (Yes, this is a big budget Marvel Comics first person VR game where you get to play as all of the greatest Marvel superheroes…and you’ve probably never heard of it)
2. Lone Echo (An immersive, space-based adventure game and one of the best VR games yet made)
3. Robo Recall (The best VR first person shooter, bar none)
4. Wilson’s Heart (A creepy and immersive, psychological thriller… in black and white!)
5. ARKTIKA.1 (A graphically stunning and atmospheric cover shooter from the developers of the Metro games)
6. Edge Of Nowhere (An atmospheric H. P. Lovecraft inspired third person adventure made by Insomniac games)
7. Rock Band VR (Does what it says on the tin)
8. The Unspoken (A fun PvP magic-casting game)

I’d encourage anyone with access to an Oculus Rift to give some of these games a go. Yes, the entry fee for PC-based VR is high but why Oculus don’t make more of an effort to publicise some of their great exclusives is a mystery to me.
TheMilkybarKid (Steam ID)

GC: You’re right, their marketing for these have been non-existent. We’d welcome a more detailed Reader’s Feature on them, if you were up for it. We’ve heard very good things about Lone Echo but never played it.


Inbox also-rans

Will you have a chance to review Outward? Never heard of it until after its release and seems to be getting good reviews from players, not so much by critics (although the reviews aren’t ‘bad’).
glennuk1 (gamertag)

GC: It came in rather late, but we should be able to get a review done.

Just noticed Gods Remastered is now available on PlayStation 4 (it’s already released for Xbox One/PC). I loved the original back on the Amiga, is it any good?

GC: Not in our opinion, but then we were never fans of the original.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Crinkles, who asks what is your favourite ever video game cut scene?

Whether it’s pre-rendered or something using in-game graphics what’s the most impressed you’ve been in terms of a video game cinematic (including intros)? And were you primarily impressed by the visuals and presentation or the storytelling, or both?

How important do you think cut scenes are to a video game and do you have a limit on what you think is too long or too frequent (or too short?). What game gets the balance just right and what are some of the worst examples?

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The small print
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