The Wednesday Inbox is upset at next gen consoles still being difficult to get hold of, as a reader discovers the joys of Cho Aniki.
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Best of the worst
Disgusting to hear that Activision Blizzard is going to fight the accusations against them, considering their own staff are rebelling against them. Mind you it’s, some, of their own staff that are the problem so what can you expect. Just sounds like a horrible place to work really and to be honest so do most video game companies, with all the sexism, bulling, and enforced overtime. I don’t even get the impression it pays particularly well for the ordinary grunts.
Activision aren’t the only ones that have been in the headlines lately for a toxic workplace either, with Ubisoft sounding at least as bad, especially as they didn’t get rid of the people that were identified as doing wrong.
And then you’ve got EA who… don’t seem to have any of these problems but seem to take it as their life goal to lead the way with every horrible anti-consumer idea that anyone ever comes up with. At least they don’t encourage hatred and bullying though, so I guess they’re the best? Kind of?
Especially as Activision and Ubisoft have some pretty nasty microtransaction tactics of their own and I can’t remember the last time I was interested in games from either of them, and yet right now I’m looking forward to Battlefield 2042 and Dead Space. So yay for EA, the least worst of the big three!
Easy-ish when you know how
So I didn’t jump into next gen at launch, because to be honest there wasn’t really much launched to entice me. However, with Battlefield looking particularly decent I thought I would look at getting a special offer bundle when said launch came around. In preparation I started to look round and see what is on offer currently. As I hadn’t been looking to get a console, I wasn’t really aware that they were still as rare as hens’ teeth.
I can see that the stock shortages are still very much a thing and from what I am reading likely to carry on for at least another year. I have started to monitor stock sites for alerts but it seems that I am just not quick enough to get one in the basket and through checkout before they are sold. So perhaps it will be 2042 by the time I get to play a next gen version of Battlefield 2042!
Hopefully my day one Xbox One will hold out a bit longer!
GC: It is now relatively easy to pick one up if you’re in the right place at the right time or use a ballot programme. We have regular news stories on when upcoming stock is likely to appear.
Streets of love
I’d like to say how much my girlfriend and I are enjoying the Streets Of Rage 4 DLC. Survival mode is carnage (our best is level 27), Mania+ in arcade is a genuine challenge (our best is level 9), and the new characters all feel distinct and are enjoyable to play with.
As somebody whose first console was the Mega Drive and favourite game was Streets Of Rage 2, I was always going to enjoy 4, but it really feels like Dotemu have nailed the evolution of the game in terms of the gameplay and replayability. We’ve played it over and over since it was released. If they did something similar with Golden Axe I’d absolutely snap their hand off.
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Limited time, unlimited saves
I thought I would add my view on the current Dark Souls easy mode argument. As someone who also loves the vibe of Dark Souls but also gave up on it, my sympathies lie with those suggesting an easy mode. I personally did not mind the difficulty as much as the repetition upon dying. You only learn through failure but the trudge to get to the same point where you died is what made me give up.
I say keep the difficulty but have a mode where you can save anywhere for those limited in time. Due to work and family I simply do not have the time for endless trekking back and forth to learn how to defeat a boss. Just let me load up again and give it another immediate go. I loved playing the original Splinter Cells on the good old OG Xbox but the checkpoints really sucked. The PlayStation 3 remaster collection was amazing, not just for the great HD visuals but you could now save anywhere. Genius.
Anyway, that’s my twopenn’orth of limited wisdom.
Lord Leaping Lynx
PS: Regarding the Max Payne anniversary video. Sam Lake has aged far too well for my liking. If I tried to wear the same clothes from 20 years ago it would result in shameful tears and fat spillage.
Just wanted to add my thoughts on difficulty in games. I’ll be the first to admit when it comes to games I’m a complete wuss and will ALWAYS play a new game on the easy difficulty. I just want to have fun and enjoy the adventure (I am also disabled so have problems with pain and fatigue, which affect my concentration levels).
I have never attempted a Soulsborne game because I feel that it’s beyond my skillset but I respect that that’s how it’s designed, so much like other types of games, e.g. multiplayer shooters it’s just not for me and I’ll carry on playing my games, my way.
But if Soulsborne games did have an easy mode would I try them? Yes I would, because for me easy has become a demo mode.
If I really enjoy a game, I will return to it and try harder difficulties but as it does take a lot of time and effort; I’ve got to really want to spend my precious time with it, something I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t tried it on easy first.
Over the last few years, I have returned to many games and completed them on hard, including, some 18 years after I first played it on PlayStation 2, Devil May Cry 1 – not just on Normal and Hard but also on Dante Must Die difficulty! It took me ages but just like Henshin Agogo with Viewtiful Joe I felt very proud of myself.
GC: If you can do that, we’re sure you can manage a Soulsborne. Much of its difficulty is overcome by patience and careful observation, as much as arcade skills.
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
I thought Super Parodius would probably be the strangest shoot ’em-up I would ever be likely to play until I had a go at Cho Aniki on the PC Engine Mini. Speedo clad swimmers as power ups, giant chess pieces flying at you and bodybuilders counting down the timer I different poses on the continue screen. I’ve not even got past level 2 yet.
I gather there were a few of them released across several formats in Japan, I’d quite like to play the Super Famicom version.
GC: You’ll be interested to know that the first one is the sanest and least homoerotic of the series.
Wolf it down
That Amaterasu in Monster Hunter Rise looks really nice. I would love if Capcom made a new Ōkami but I can’t really see it happening. Apart from anything I don’t remember any mention of it in the Capcom hack leaks, and they were pretty comprehensive. I know Platinum wanted to make a new one but now they’ve said they won’t work on other people’s properties that looks like it won’t happen either.
It is odd how few Zelda clones there are, given how successful Nintendo’s games are, but I guess that’s a sign of how difficult they are to make. I definitely think Ōkami was the best and if there isn’t going to be an official sequel I’d love to see Platinum do an original game that was in the same style.
Too little, too late
I knew before I even clicked on it that that Animal Crossing news story would be a big fat nothing. What’s the betting that it’s just a new cupboard or something on Thursday? I agree with the Reader’s Feature that says the support for the game has been terrible.
OK, there’s a pandemic on and maybe you can’t do as much as you wanted but they’ve done almost exactly nothing all year and not even explained why or when anything else will come out. You couldn’t ask for an easier game to make DLC for during the pandemic, given everything is very small scale, and yet they’ve managed nothing, while the Smash Bros. team have seemingly coped fine and are still on schedule to finish up this year. And their stuff was much more complicated.
I do hope that the other update, later in the year, is something worthwhile because it’s basically the only game I can play with my girlfriend but that’s not going to change the fact that Nintendo has wasted the last seven months and presumably ensured a lot of people have lost interest much earlier than they would have.
I don’t suppose there’s been any word on whether or not Thatgamecompany are still in business and working on anything at the moment, has there? It’s been a hell of a long time since Journey came out and they don’t seem to have done anything since.
GC: They’ve been working on free-to-play game Sky: Children Of The Light for the last few years. The Switch version was released just last month but it’s been on mobile for a while now.
RE: Twigglypuff. Erm… you lost me at ‘I see’ and I couldn’t even work out which is more powerful by the end of it, but whatever you said you’re right.
GC: The short version was it depends on the game and even then the difference is very minor. Just like last generation.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Olliephant, who asks what is your least favourite video game genre?
No one likes every type of video game so which ones do you automatically avoid? Was there a particular game that put you off them and how many have you tried, to know you don’t like them? Given modern games often include elements from multiple genres do you ever avoid them too, if they have too much of the genre you don’t like?
What’s the closest you’ve come to enjoying the type of game you don’t like and is there anything simple developers could change in order for you to enjoy it more?
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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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