The Thursday Inbox discusses the best ever console revamps and remodels, as another reader recommends Metroid Dread.
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So here’s an idea. We all know Konami are in no position to take advantage of EA changing the FIFA name, but what about other publishers? Weirdly, I’m kind of sympathetic to EA’s position here as what FIFA is doing is just naked greed but while EA can probably do without the name what if another big company decided to buy the FIFA licence if they gave it up?
Activision could afford it, but they never seem to have made any sports games, although if they wanted to this would be an obvious way in. 2K seem the obvious alternative though, as they have several sports games already and know how to milk every cent out of people with microtransactions.
I don’t know what they’d be able to do in terms of club and player names but it sounds like they would definitely have exclusive rights to the World Cup, which is definitely something to work a game around – especially if FIFA get their way and start having them every two years.
Usually in this sort of thing there’s some give and take and the status quo returns but I get the feeling EA now likes the idea of not having to pay FIFA anything for not much more than a name. It will be interesting to see how this pans out and no mistake.
This makes me feel wrong and weird but… I agree with the stance EA is taking with FIFA. Basically, it seems like FIFA wants to go on a spending spree and so they just randomly decided to double the amount of money EA gives them. If I was EA I would’ve told them to take a hike too, especially as they only licence of any importance they have is the World Cup.
It’ll seem weird not to call the games FIFA anymore but it’s not like it matters and I’m sure everyone will get over it very quickly. I’m sure most people haven’t got a clue what FIFA actually does anyway. Most people know the name from the game and not really anything else.
So yeah, change the name EA Sports FC and I don’t think it’ll matter at all. It’ll matter to FIFA though who will have killed their golden goose and, assuming EA does fine with their own name they won’t be interested in changing back even if FIFA come begging.
Shenmue 4 real
I haven’t seen this mentioned here, but the first trailer for the Shenmue anime was shown a few days ago. I’m very pleased the feedback has been positive and hope it will act as a gateway for Shenmue 4 to be made and for the curious to try out the other games.
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Beyond 2000 AD
Well done on the Beyond A Steel Sky piece. Charles Cecil deserves more success. Broken Sword remains my favourite game series. Its gentle, witty script works beautifully with its atmospheric 2D art, enhanced by stellar voiceovers.
Never quite clicked with Beneath A Steel Sky but I can already sense the new game, if a tad low budget, will have that tight Cecil touch, with English wit, strong characters, and a smooth rolling story. I particularly like the look of the beanie clad robot.
Dave Gibbons isn’t my fave 2000 AD artist, or personality, but he also deserves more love after being forced to illustrate so many terrible Harlem Heroes scripts, as Pat Mills struggled to find the right formula for our most beloved sci-fi organ.
A definite purchase for us, then.
will sargent, Cumbria
I received my Switch OLED yesterday, which looks amazing both aesthetically, regarding the frankly garish old model with its red and blue Joy-Cons, and the awesome handheld screen quality it now has. This made me reflect on the redesigns of consoles themselves in general. I’ve always felt that a cosmetic upgrade has always been for the better. Whether it is the Master System 1 vs. 2, Game Boy iterations, Xbox 360 original vs. Xbox 360 slim et al. I’m sure you get the drift.
I particularly do have a soft spot for the DS Lite, over that awful Fisher-Price first offering. It would be interesting to hear other readers’ thoughts of their favourite console refurbishments (handheld or static) and redesigns, whether negative or positive. This includes the SNES US version, while not a redesign, was a lot different to what the rest of the world got.
On the back of that, I do wonder what consoles that never got an aesthetic update that readers wish that had. Just a thought. It seems like I’m bombarding you lately, but I will have forgotten this question. Sorry guys. I’ll sign off anonymously.
GC: The US SNES is the ugliest lump of plastic that ever lived, especially with that colour scheme.
Cost of failure
Reading about how Microsoft basically has two studios making exactly the same kind of games, I wonder what will happen when they inevitably start shutting down the ones that don’t work. Not Obsidian and Bethesda probably but given the sheer number that they’ve bought recently, and are rumoured to be buying in the future, the law of averages means some of them aren’t going to work out.
They’ve done it before with things like Ensemble Studios (which seems extra short sighted now they’re having to use outsiders to make Age Of Empires and Halo Wars) and I’m sure they won’t hesitate if someone is seen to be not working out.
We still haven’t heard a thing out of Compulsion Games, who made We Happy Few, and that was over three years ago now. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if something had gone wrong and Microsoft is beginning to get buyer’s remorse over that one.
There’s lots of reasons to be against big companies buying up little ones but the fear of failure is one that’s not mentioned often. Maybe they’d go bust if still independent but maybe they could work something out, with a big company they’ll be given one chance and that’s it.
3 for 1
RE: Chumley-Warner. Totally agree with him about GTA The Trilogy remaster. If it’s 4K it’s worth every bit of that £60 to £70, that’s only £20 a game. In all honest they could charge £100 if they wanted and it would be worth it.
I hope they don’t but if they did I’d still buy it. For that you have got a good three or four months of gaming for £60, that’s a bargain.
The best two dimensions
Well, Metroid Dread is sublime. It has been a while since I played a game where I put the controller down to have a break but impulsively pick it back up to have one more go at a tricky boss or to go explore a bit more. Some criticisms levelled against Metroid Dread was that, as it’s 2D how can it be sold at £50, and some gaming docs state that Konami were not prepared to put a 2D Castlevania on the PlayStation 2 for fear it would be derided as it wasn’t a fully 3D world to explore. I have no regrets at my purchase and feel the production values are up there with the best Nintendo offers – it’s a very polished game.
I welcome the industry returning to its 2D origins after I sat out a lot of the (incredibly blocky) early attempts to force everything into 3D, especially here in the West. As a gamer that grew up playing arcades, I always felt the emphasis on all games being 3D was in some way a disservice to the great gameplay that 2D games can provide. Street Fighter 3, for instance, was overlooked as it wasn’t 3D but that holds up today as one of the greatest fighters ever made.
Metroid Dread is further proof that it’s not ‘retro’ to play a 2D game (despite what some of my younger peers tell me). I recently played the Castlevania Advance Collection – great value, I highly recommend it. Pixel art, in my opinion, stands the test of time while a lot of the 3D games, especially during the PS1 era, haven’t aged at all well now and are borderline unplayable.
There is obviously a place for both types of games and both have merits. Dread and Prime are great examples of the same IP taking advantage of the differing playstyles and gameplay opportunities. Hopefully with Dread’s success and its positive impact on the industry more gamers will see the merits of 2D gameplay. The current gen is so powerful that the early visions of 3D worlds games in 2000 are now truly being realised at a time that 2D gaming, especially Metroidvanias, are coming back into fashion. The irony!
Bring on Metroid Prime 4!
Dying Light 2 is the cover story on this month’s Edge, for anybody that is interested about the game and want to read more about it.
PS: Paladins Epic Pack and Stubbs The Zombie In Rebel Without A Pulse are free on Epic Store from 4pm on Thursday, 14th October 2021.
Somehow I don’t think Vanguard is going to get any sequels. This is going to be another Infinite Warfare situation, whether deserved or not. Although I still think the idea of Russian special forces teaming up with the West is silly, so I don’t know what kind of story they’re trying to tell.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Bernardo, who asks what is your favourite platform game?
It can be a 2D or 3D platformer but which have you enjoyed the most and why? Do you enjoy the genre in general and are you happy with how it’s evolved over the years? What do you think have been some of the best new ideas to appear in recent years and how do you hope things will change in the new generation?
You can include games that are parts of other genres, such as Metroidvanias, as long as the platforming is the main gameplay element.
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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.
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