Games Inbox: What was the most disappointing no-show at E3 2019?

The morning Inbox wonders if Metroidvania and Castlevania will ever change, as one reader accuses gamers of being self-entitled.

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Now that E3 is over I wonder what most people consider the most disappointing no-show? If you don’t count Sony stuff, for obvious reasons, I’d say the most obvious MIA games were Fable IV, Bayonetta 3, and Splinter Cell. Only one of those is confirmed, but the others seem such open secrets I’m surprised they were kept back.

I was also very disappointed in Warner Bros. which had a Lego game and literally nothing else. No Rocksteady, no Back 4 Blood, and no hint of that Harry Potter game that leaked ages ago.

I’m also a bit worried about PlatinumGames’ Babylon’s Fall being a no-show, considering it was supposed to be out this year. As far as I know they weren’t at the show at all, which is disappointing considering how many games they have on the go at the moment. Have I missed anything else obvious though, in terms of games you would’ve expected to be there but weren’t?


Watch Dogs sparkle

I missed the Hot Topic but just wanted to say that the E3 game I was most impressed by was Watch Dogs: Legion. People complain about sequels, often with good reason, but this struck me as one that had an actually really good idea and was using technology to create gameplay that was previously impossible with graphics that are good and all the other modern trimmings.

I’m guessing it plays pretty much like the other games, which it sounds like it does from GC’s preview, which is good because Ubisoft are good at the sort of open world game now and while I didn’t play Watch Dogs 2 I will be giving this a go if the reviews are good.

It helps that it’s set in London too, but I think I’d be interested wherever it was. Although I have to say I’m curious to see how much they’ll dare to say about Brexit. A lot of new games looked good at E3 but I’d say Watch Dogs is the one that sparked my imagination the most and that’s got to be a good thing.


Balance of opinion

The thing about the EA story to me is not so much that it proves there is good in them but that it’s naïve to think of any company, or person, as purely good or bad. Fan favourite companies like Nintendo, Capcom, and Valve have done plenty of questionable things in their time, and continue to do them, but because the good outweighs the bad that’s what we remember.

Likewise with EA, the bad outweighs the good but that doesn’t mean they haven’t put out a lot of good games, are generally very socially progressive, and do seems to learn from their mistakes. Star Wars: Battlefront II may have been this big milestone in publishers not getting away with fleecing their customers but people forget that they put a stop to paid-for loot boxes before the game even launched. Compared to the likes of Microsoft and Warner Bros. who took almost six months to grudgingly remove similar features from their games.

The most sensible thing for anyone to do is judge games as they come and not assume they’re good or bad based solely on the companies involved. None of these corporations are your friends and, by and large, none of them are your enemies either.


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Complaint complaint

Is it just me but do gamers seem like the moaniest, most self-titled brats going? It seems no matter what game companies do people still complain in abundance. Even when it’s justified (loot boxes, expensive DLC, etc.) it’s still the fault of gamers for supporting shady developer practices by continuing to purchase from them. I actually laughed when I found out about the latest Pokémon controversy because it seemed to be grown adults complaining about garbage and I’m fed up with it.

I realise the irony considering all I’ve done is complain but boy do I miss the days before the Internet where you got your (cherry-picked) opinions from a gaming mag.


Return trip

Wasn’t Nintendo’s Wuhu Island supposed to be a reusable location for multiple games? It got about in Wii Fit, Wii Sports Resort, Pilotwings Resort, and Mario Kart. Hardly the most exciting collection of games granted, but fairly canny of Nintendo to create an all-purpose island.

Now if Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 repurposes it, that’d be interesting.
Euclidian Boxes

GC: That’s definitely the Breath Of The Wild landscape in the trailer, the question is whether the majority of the game takes place there.


From trust

I agree that Elden Ring sounds like it could be an all-time classic just from the teaser trailer. I think FromSoftware must have the best track record of any developer currently working, in terms of the number of games they’ve put out (which is quite a lot for a small company) and the fact that they’ve almost all been complete classics.

There was a letter a week or so back about most trusted developers and for me From are definitely that. At this point I would be automatically interested in anything they did and would pre-order (if I thought pre-orders were a thing you need to do) instantly if Hidetaka Miyazaki is the director. Which he is for Elden Ring. Which I was a little surprised at actually as he’s only just finished Sekiro, so he’s really not letting the foot off the pedal.

Personally I would’ve been happy if the game had been announced as a next gen game as I’m always a bit wary of games that come out just at the end of a generation, so that reader may be more on the button with his Zelda: Breath Of The Wild comparisons than he realises. I would imagine a next gen remaster is already guaranteed but my only concern at the moment is that I would’ve rather they design it with the power of the next gen in mind from the start.


No hare, just a tortoise

Tried out the Stadia speed test from yesterday morning’s Unbox link. As I suspected my broadband is too, too slow.

If the test results are being monitored by Google and too many connections aren’t up to the required standard, they might rethink the whole idea?

GC: We’d assume they’d already know, more or less. But the issue is even more extreme in America, in terms of the difference between city and rural access speeds, so that will be the real testing ground.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Stuck in time

Good review of Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night, GC, which I generally agree with based on my dozen or so hours with it so far. It raised or a few interesting topics for me though, the first being the Japanese obsession with randomness and luck. I assume this must be a cultural thing as it is always much more prevalent in their games, where a random element that is completely out of your control is seen as a perfectly normal part of even a skilled action game.

It took a long time for us to get them to give up on random encounters in role-playing games, so the whole idea seems pretty entrenched, but I often find it spoils many of my favourite games and I’d love an option to turn it off if possible.

The other thing was what you do with a franchise like Castelvania, or just a general concept like Metroidvania, that has been going on for so long that innovation seems impossible. Bloodstained, like you said, has an excuse for being how it is but if there’s a Bloodstained 2 or a new official Castlevania? Are they going to be nostalgia driven copies as well? Will it ever end or have some ideas just gone so far that invention is basically impossible?

Even with all the indie games out there they’re still pretty much all the same (the otherwise excellent Hollow Knight, for example) so does that mean the whole genre is basically trapped in amber for ever?


Inbox also-rans

Are you not reviewing Crash Team Racing?

GC: No. No, wait yes! (For some reason Activision no longer likes sending out early review copies of games to more than a few outlets at a time, even though their last few games have all been very good.)

Samurai Showdown going to get a review?
Yes Willesden Green still rocks

GC: Yes, but give us a chance. We’ve still got half of E3 to write-up as well.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tully and asks what would you make the launch title for the PlayStation 5 and/or Project Scarlett?

Despite E3 having just taken place we still have no clear idea about what’s happening with the next gen formats, even though they’re due to launch next year. But if you were in charge what game or games would you ensure were available on the new consoles from day one?

Would it be part of an established franchise or something brand new? If it is new, what kind of game would it be and how would it take advantage of the more powerful hardware? Are there particular types of game that either company are currently missing? And if Nintendo announces a new format soon what would you advise for them?

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