Games Inbox: What do you think of video game collector’s editions?

The Friday Inbox looks forward to being addicted to Animal Crossing, as one reader is unimpressed by the Final Fantasy 7 Remake demo.

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The new norm
A pleasant surprise for Ghost Of Tsushima’s release date there, I figured it was going to be a lot closer to the end of the year rather than straight after The Last Of Us Part 2. I think that’s got to be Sony making a statement there. They want people to remember how good they are at making exclusives (while pointing out Microsoft don’t have any) and then make the next step the PlayStation 5. Makes good sense to me, especially if they reveal the games are going to be enhanced with patches, so no need to double-dip.

Game looked good too, as you’d expect, but I agree it’s a bit odd that they haven’t shown much of it so far. But then they haven’t done that for The Last Of Us either. Sony basically doesn’t seem to have done any previews since 2018, when they were last at E3, and I’m not really sure why. The did it for Days Gone, because I remember your preview, but why stop then? Especially given Days Gone did better than expected.

Maybe you can draw a connection with Nintendo and their lack of announcements lately. As has been pointed out they have no reason to be secretive but they’re doing it anyway, so maybe this is just the new way of launching games nowadays. I have no idea what brought that idea on, but then who ever really understands how these companies think?

Speculative fan
Have to agree with what you said about pre-order. Who has more (probably much more) than £100 to waste on a collector’s edition for a game they haven’t played? Nobody buys collector’s editions for movies they haven’t seen, they leave that for ones they’ve seen a bunch and really like. So why is it the other way round for games?

And a mask that you can’t wear and a really big flag that I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with it? I mean, okay, I guess it’s not for me but I can’t think of any game I like enough to ever buy one of these things.

Not even Zelda is that much of a sure thing. If you pre-ordered and got a nice set for Breath Of The Wild then great but what if turned out to be more like Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword? I think my mantlepiece can survive without a Groose statute on it, thanks.

I’ll give you Final Fantasy 7, because that’s a remake, but anything else I just do not understand.

Perfect record
I don’t get why people are so desperate for the release date for the PlayStation 5. We’ve got Persona 5 Royal, The Last Of Us Part 2, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and now Ghost Of Tsushima release date announced.

Let’s just enjoy these exclusives and Sony will announce it when they are good and ready. They haven’t let us down yet.
StuRobbo1984 (PSN ID)

GC: Haven’t they? You’re speaking for a lot of people there.

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Another 23 years
I don’t really know what to say about that producer saying that he’s okay with doing nothing but Final Fantasy 7 remakes for the rest of his life. Surely at some point you’re going to get sick of this stuff? But whatever, if he wants to take one for the team, as it were, then great.

What fascinates me is what gaming will be like in another 23 years. Will we even recognise it as the same thing we have today? Two decades isn’t really that long in the scale of things, but think how far we’ve gone from the PlayStation 1 version to the PlayStation 4. Now imagine that again.

Ignoring whether it’s all in VR or something what will the graphics look like? When we can do everything hyper realistic doesn’t that mean that characters like Cloud, with their weird hair and stupidly big sword, are going to look silly and/or creepy? I have no answer for this but I can’t imagine things in 2040 are just going to be like now but with super ray-tracing and 16K resolution. But what will they be and is there anyone that can really give an educated guess?

Long stretch
Sorry if GameCentral or a reader have already mentioned this but the Kickstarter for The Wonderful 101 has reached $2 million dollars (about £1.6 million) which has unlocked another stretch goal.

Never played the game on Wii U but am looking forward to trying it as I will get a physical copy on PlayStation 4 or Switch (haven’t decided which yet). The Kickstarter ended yesterday evening.
Andrew J.

GC: There’s a good chance that by the time you read this it will have reached the $2.25 million stretch goal too.

No comparison
Perhaps Valve simply do not have the talent to make a decent game anymore, especially with the likes of Mark Laidlow and Viktor Antonov having moved on.

Valve as a game developer is well past it’s sell by date, especially with the likes of Naughty Dog, Platinum, etc. on the scene. You can’t blame Gabe Newell and Valve for being intimidated by these ambitious developers.

Maybe it’s time to accept that Valve has had its day and perhaps this is one Valve that is best left turned off.
Mr B

GC: There’s almost nothing to judge them by in the modern area, although The Lab was excellent and the Half-Life: Alyx trailers look very impressive.

It means heaven
Speaking of mythologising Nintendo, I’ve just had an epiphany… the word ten is in Nintendo and they just so happen to have made more 10/10 games than anyone else in the history of this still quite young medium, in my opinion. Coincidence? I think not.

Leave luck to heaven? More like when you’re as old and experienced as NinTENdo top marks are an inevitability…
Galvanized Gamer

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Everything is okay
I wanted to try the Final Fantasy Remake 7 demo on classic mode before composing my thoughts on it. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it.

The graphics are gorgeous and the Prelude theme on the title screen is beautiful. Sadly, that’s the only iconic melody I recognised. The level design was by the numbers and the combat was perfunctory. Though as a real-time system it doesn’t give Dragon’s Dogma or even Fable 2 anything to worry about; so Platinum’s NieR:Automata? Forget it.

It doesn’t really gel as a turn-based system, either. Persona 5, not even the best in this category, was much more satisfying.

And I learned in my second playthrough, that I should never ever play a role-playing game on anything higher than the easiest difficulty setting, should such settings ever be offered. It’s never worth the grief to go ‘normal’ or higher. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is exactly the same.

Everything is okay until the end boss of the demo. The Scorpion Sentinel takes forever to whittle down its health. I think after about 20 minutes of combat, and the boss literally on its last legs, it killed me off. On easy, the fight is over in less than 10. Which is much better.

I’m not keen on the dialogue or characters. Cloud is terse and unapproachable, Barrett is just big and shouty, and Jesse, who at least managed to raise a smile, is still pretty clichéd. But then, the original had even worse dialogue and characterisation. And this is early days, so the story may improve. And it’s not a bad opening. Bombing a power plant is pretty exciting stuff. It could just be much better in hands of a more professional writer.

I for one am quietly taking this off the list for game of the year contention. I’m not expecting this to be awarded any 9s or higher by any serious sources. I hope I’m wrong, but my gut tells me that it will once again be Final Fantasy 7 out of 10.

Inbox also-rans
I really hated your preview of Animal Crossing: New Horizons because now I know there’s no chance I’m not going to get it and become completely addicted all over again. Oh well, Isabelle here I come!

I can tell you I’m done with Destiny and there is nothing that could convince me to buy a third game at this point. I’m tired of the game playing me, instead of the other way around.
The Bishop

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what’s the most infamous let-down you’ve had with video games?

The obvious choice is a game or console you were really looking forward to but it can also include preview events, or shows like E3, that ended up being a disappointment. Do you think the let-down was the company’s fault or would you admit to having unreasonable expectations?

Did the disappointment cause you to readjust how you look forward to new games and announcements? Are you often disappointed by games or events or have you since learnt to keep expectations in check?

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.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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