The Tuesday Inbox is frustrated that sci-worlds are never very alien, as one reader is disappointed by Bravely Default 2 being too old school.
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Maybe next year
I’m fascinated by how different the Japanese style of development must be to Western companies because they really do not seem to have coped at all well with the pandemic and lockdown. Whatever they do that’s different though I hope they go back to it once it’s all over, because I find almost all my favourites are Japanese made. It’d be one final twist of the knife for the coronavirus if it ended up spoiling the way Japanese developers work forever. Which brings me, you may have guessed, to Elden Ring.
An open world Dark Souls game with giant dragons, horseback riding, and what looks like considerably better graphics than usual? I am sold already. The only question is when is it out and when are we going to see it for real? Given this trailer has leaked I’d guess it’s going to be in the next month or two, and that possibly Microsoft are lying about it being at their event.
As for when it’s released, I’m going to guess 2022 tops. The rumours are already saying that’s looking likely and I don’t see much reason to expect things to suddenly speed up and allow a 2021 release. I mean, you’ve got George R. R. Martin helping out with the story, we’re going to be lucky if we see it for 2023 with him on board!
Thanks for your review of Bravely Default 2. I loved the original game and I had a bit of a classic-RPG itch, so I took the plunge (6/10 isn’t a dreadful score, after all) but… I really wish I hadn’t.
The character designs are charmless, but I can live with that. And I zoned out of the story immediately, but fully expected that.
What I hate is that everything feels so clunky in the way the game functions. The towns are difficult to navigate with non-player characters rooted to the spot (and you frequently end up talking to the wrong one because the game seems to be very precise in where you should be standing) and the loading screens. Oh. the loading screens! They litter the game.
Annoying, but at least they display information about status ailments and how to cure them. which in theory is actually quite helpful. Except they give a few examples of curative strategies and then just say ‘etc.’ – how is that useful in any way whatsoever?
The game is utterly cumbersome. But worse is that it feels deliberate. Or worse, a product of laziness in not bothering to smooth out some of those glaring quality of life aspects.
GC: We think it is deliberate – a misguided attempt to feel old school that ruins what could’ve been a good game.
Yes, I take your point GC, about purchasing Anthem not being a wise move. I would agree.
My point being EA are developing a track record of running away. I seem to recall Mass Effect: Andromeda in the months after release, whilst many were patiently waiting for news of DLC, they suddenly announced there would be none. They washed their hands and moved on, fairly quickly, when the writing was on the wall once again.
I should lower my voice here a little, but I have put perhaps over 500 hours into Fallout 76. I don’t play it all the time but still dip in and out for extended periods. So much so that I even have a sub to Fallout 1st. My point here is there are certain similarities in how Anthem and Fallout 76 were received at release. 76 sure ain’t perfect now but it’s a totally different offering than what it was at release. Why? Because Bethesda dug in and worked at it.
When it seems like too much hard work EA don’t seem to either want or be able to. It’s noticeable that’s all.
GC: We don’t want to seem like we keep defending EA but the main fault with Andromeda was the weak story and unengaging characters, which is not something that can be fixed with a patch or even DLC. Washing our hands and moving on is exactly what we wanted to do after playing it.
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Drag-On Dragoon redux
This Square Enix news is a bit of weird one. Chrono Trigger does seem like the logical suggestion, since it’s the one big franchise they’ve done nothing with in decades, but would you really give the best 16-bit role-player of all-time to some two-bit developer I’ve never heard of? And how could they remake Chrono Trigger considering it had pre-rendered backdrops? I really don’t see them redoing all them again by hand.
I’m not sure what else is likely though? Xenogears, maybe? It’s got the name recognition but people are going to be put off when they realise it’s nothing like Xenoblade Chronicles. No, my guess is Drakengard. It’s three games, they’re not very well known in the West but they are technically part of the NieR series (the links are minor but they are there).
The originals also got censored a lot in the West so I think it has everything necessary to be a useful remake, including being popular in Japan already. I hope I’m right!
Codename8ball’s letter made me smile. I have also read Other Minds and thought it was a great read. I recall their intelligence being likened to something alien, so definitely suitable for video game treatment.
Entangled Life is another eye-opening book which 8ball and GC may enjoy if you haven’t read it already. The thing about lichens and panspermia, mind-blowing. Could be in a sci-fi game.
GC: We’ve not read Entangled Life, but it sounds very interesting. We’re always frustrated that sci-fi in general makes so little effort to have any actual science it, what with the adage of truth always being stranger than fiction. There are stars that shoot out water and planets in our own solar system that have clouds of acid and lakes of methane and what do we get in games and movies? Endless sand planets and locations that don’t look any more alien than a Doctor Who rock quarry.
The Legend of Whoever
Thanks to everyone who wrote in about Zelda’s 35th anniversary and their favourite games. I particularly enjoyed yourhomeisatrisk’s feature, analysing the series as a whole, and I liked their hopes for a Breath Of The Wild sequel to have increased links to Zelda game lore.
I’ve only played A Link To The Past, the N64 games, and Breath Of The Wild myself (plus Phantom Hourglass, but I got bored with having to repeat that stupid dungeon and didn’t finish it), so my knowledge of the overarching lore is limited. I’m vaguely aware that all the Zelda games are somehow linked, and I got the more obvious references in Breath Of The Wild to the previous games (the Lon Lon Ranch ruins, for example), but it would be great if this could be explained properly, in-game, as opposed to by some dedicated fans in a forum.
Not that I think anyone plays the Zelda games for the story, but the series is one of gaming’s most important, and it would be great if Nintendo could provide an explanation of how all the games fit together.
One other thing – apart from sounding cooler, do you know why it’s called The Legend of Zelda and not The Legend of… Link?
GC: We’d assume because Link is only the default name and you can change it to whatever you want (except in Breath Of The Wild, to our considerable annoyance). Zelda’s lore is extremely superficial but the Hyrule Historia book has a good summary of everything pre-Breath Of The Wild. Although the fan wiki seems to do a good job for free.
I just finished Far Cry: New Dawn and I need the online co-op trophy to complete everything. Is there anyone out there that can help me, as none of my gaming friends have this game?
I am on the wrong side of 50 and the reflexes are not so sharp as they used to be, so I need someone to co-op with that doesn’t want to play on too difficult a level. If anyone can help contact me at my PlayStation account.
captainbloodsnot (PSN ID)
I always found the name for MAG, Massive Action Game, quite strange as it was directly referring itself to a game and not a game with a backstory or lore to its universe. MAG supported 256 players on PlayStation 3, which is a very impressive achievement and it surprises me that following generations have not been more ambitious with this sort of idea.
I found MAG to be a defining moment of what next gen is about, that could not be done on the previous gen PlayStation 2. Even Resistance 2 had 64 players, but it seems all this was scaled down on the following gen and also what is disappointing is the lack of destructible environments as you’d seen in Battlefield: Bad Company games.
I’m guessing supporting so many players made it difficult to have more balanced or fun matches but with Warzone, Fortnite, and Apex Legends being popular could suggest MAG was the right game that just came out the wrong time as I feel it would be desired now.
The game was developed by Zipper Interactive and it’s a shame the studio was closed down as they were on to something. With PS Now, I wonder if Sony could release the game again. What was everyone’s opinion on MAG? Future Hot Topic could be about games that were not popular on release that would be more relevant or successful in present day.
GC: We think it was just used because it was mag, as in magazine of ammunition. But you’re right, we’re surprised MAG was never really built on by Sony. The presentation was pretty bland but, as you say, the technology was solid.
Well that was a surprise reading the name Stuart N Hardy, Sheffield in Monday’s Inbox! I’d forgotten that name. Haven’t heard anything of him since the Teletext days of Digitiser and GameCentral. His name seemed to crop up in letters pages everywhere! I wonder if he still sends letters on a regular basis?
Tony–1975 (PSN ID)
I feel I have to congratulate you on the Cephalopod Racer letter headline in the Inbox yesterday. They were all on point actually, but that one did make me chortle.
GC: We have to admit, we were proud of that one.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader David, and asks what is your experience with PC gaming and do you think it’s better or worse than consoles?
Do you own a gaming PC and if so how much did you pay for it and how well does it run modern games? What do you see as the pros and cons of PC gaming and do you feel either option has got more or less appealing in the last few years?
If you don’t own a gaming PC what would make you consider it and what has put you off so far? Overall, do you think PC gaming will become more popular in the future or less?
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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 and content.
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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