The Wednesday Inbox makes suggestions for the next Star Wars game, as one reader recommends Two Point Hospital on Game Pass.
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So another day another complete lack of news or rumours about what Nintendo has out this year. As others have said, it’s even a mystery why it’s a mystery. There doesn’t seem to have any reason to keep anything secretive so you’re left with the possibility that either they’ve got some massive game-changer they don’t want to reveal too soon (totally possible) or they’re just being weird and stupid (also totally possible).
I have no idea which it is but I did try and make a guess as to what their next big game might be after Animal Crossing… and I still have nothing to go on. I will say that I suspect Mario Golf or some other sports game is pretty likely but beyond that the only major franchises we haven’t had yet on the Switch are Metroid, 1080°/Wave Race, F-Zero, Donkey Kong (we’ve only had ports so far), Mario Kart (ditto), Pikmin, and Star Fox.
Do any of those seem any more or less likely than another? I wouldn’t say so. The only clue we’ve had from leaks is ‘tyres’, which could indicate another Mario Kart but I find that hard to believe really. I think Splatoon 3 is more likely and also maybe something new? We haven’t really had a major new IP now since launch and with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 still in the wings as their safe bet now is a good time. But I really don’t know. This has been a very odd year so far.
It really seems like Capcom can do no wrong at the moment. The Resident Evil 3 remake sounds perfect, again, and I really like that they’re attempting to make up for the original’s short length by having what sounds like a pretty interesting multiplayer mode in there. I agree with the reader that said that Resi feels like the one franchise nobody hates. I’m sure there are people that don’t like it, especially if you’re not a horror fan, but the series has such a good hit rate, and so lovably goofy despite the scares, that I’ll always give it another chance.
Not that it needs another one at the moment though, given how well everything has been going since the failure of Resident Evil 6. It almost feels like that game was worth it just as a wake up call, as everything’s been going great since then and they really seem to have got back in touch with what Resi is about and have stopped trying to turn it into a Call Of Duty beater or whatever other rubbish they were talking about before.
There’s no question I’m getting the remake as soon as it’s out and I hope after that they’ll start talking about what comes next, in terms of both Resident Evil 8 and more remakes like Onimusha and Dino Crisis. They seem to be able to knock these remakes out pretty quick so I am totally up for one a year for the foreseeable future.
Scum and villainy
So, I see Lucasfilm has announced the High Republic thing that was rumoured earlier in the year, but it doesn’t involve a video game – just books and comics basically. I’m not too upset about that because it sounds kind of a dull period in the timeline and since the only good things to come out of Disney Star Wars so far have been Rogue One and The Mandalorian I’m much more interested in something more grounded then more prequel-esque Jedi waving lightsabers around.
It was good to hear that Fallen Order 2 is confirmed to have a sequel but I would prefer that be the only Jedi focused series, at least in terms of story-based games. What we need now is something set in the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars universe. Something involving bounty hunters, smugglers, and crime lords. Basically, a sci-fi version of Red Dead Redemption 2.
I’m in two minds on how much overlap it should have with The Mandalorian as I think probably the Mandalorians deserve their own game. So maybe make the compromise being that you can play as a character that, like Boba Fett, is wearing Mandalorian armour but is not actually one. There’s tons of potential here though and no need to jam it all into just one game. I just hope this is a plan, or something similar to it, they’ve already come up with and is relatively close to being announced/released.
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Watched an interesting video from Digital Foundry on the Xbox Series X specs.
They’ve announced a powerful machine. The game announcements will come, considering Microsoft’s recent developer buying spree. I guess now it comes down to price. Considering all Xbox One consoles will play first party games at least, and that a 12 teraflop machine can’t be cheap a minimum of £499, akin to the Xbox One X seems likely.
Anything more and I see Sony happily undercutting this and wiping the floor with them again. As there has been no news of the Lockhart I wonder if Microsoft will continue selling the Xbox One X in a new slim version, which would be much less than the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. That would still be an attractive option to many as the price of a console is a big influence for many gamers. Yes, this is all hypothetical but what is your opinion on this GC?
GC: It seems possible. Certainly, the implication has been that they will continue to promote the Xbox One for at least all of next year.
Talk of streaming games for the next gen, or even rivals like Google’s Stadia, is well and good if you have the broadband speeds to do it. My download speeds are still one of the lowest in the country. My contract was up recently but no one wanted to know because I have on average 3 Mbps speed. Doing a check on the internet, my area is 99% worse off than anyone else in the midlands.
It can take two days to download a game. I don’t think next gen will be exclusively streaming but I can see games going download only. And it frustrates me that single-player games are getting less and less thought put into them. I get it that mutliplayer games are easier to produce but I can’t play online, so rarely buy multiplayer unless there is a single-player option, which on the whole turns out to be a waste of time.
GC: Multiplayer isn’t easier to make; it just tends to be more profitable. And we’d say the previous fears of publishers abandoning single-player en masse, have largely abated over the last two year.
This time last year my next gen plans were pretty solid: get a PlayStation 5 at launch. But now I’ve no idea what they will be. The Xbox One X has become my main gaming console at the close of this gen due to Game Pass, backwards compatibility, legacy games, and being the most powerful machine on the market, making it the clear multiformat choice.
We’ve yet to see Sony’s plans in more detail but I have a feeling that trio of pluses the Xbox One X has might be true of the Xbox Series X over PlayStation 5, so would probably opt for an Xbox Series X at launch and pick the PlayStation 5 up after a few years; unless Sony has some absolute must-have, Zelda: Breath Of The Wild quality launch exclusives.
It’s going to be interesting seeing what exactly both are bringing to the party and who will blink first in the game of launch price chicken. To be honest the Xbox Series X sounds like it would be excellent value at £500. But being of value and affordable are two different things. Maybe it’ll be a complete role reversal of the last gen and Microsoft release the more powerful console at the cheaper price. Unlikely, as I think it’ll be as we’ve seen before, with Sony waiting on Microsoft to announce first.
GC: Sony has already said the PlayStation 5 will be backwards compatible, it remains to be seen if they’ll have a credible alternative to Game Pass. But there’s no need to make a decision now, more than half a year before launch and with still very little in the way of real information on either console.
Whatever happened to Panzer Dragoon on the Switch? It was supposed to be out late last year? Being a big Sega Saturn fan like yourselves I was looking forward to that.
PS: I’m still pining for the original Sega Rally to get a HD makeover, like the brilliant Daytona USA one we had a few years ago. I don’t ask for Inbox magic often but really need it to do its thing to get this cast iron classic rereleased.
GC: Like so many games lately it’s been delayed to later this year.
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Rain, rain go away
Since the apparent current dearth of games to play I’ve recently managed to get my hands on a cheap unboxed cash-in-hand Wii U console for the sole purpose of playing Zelda: Breath Of The Wild – having not bought anything Nintendo since the N64.
It’s a game I’ve long wanted to play, especially given the tremendous reviews it has received. Due to its fundamentally open world nature I’m not entirely sure how much I’ve completed, only to say so far I’ve got the Master Sword, defeated two divine beasts, and opened up about two-thirds of the map.
But what a joy of a game this is. Its genuinely open world freedom often throws into sharp relief Rockstar’s more scripted efforts in the same genre. A hint of what is to come is in the early hours when I discovered at least four different ways to achieve baked apples. Later I find different solutions to the same shrines, some more difficult than others and probably not always intended.
My experience thus far is that Zelda is somewhat of a slow burner, which becomes more special the longer you play it. It completely and utterly rewards exploration and experimentation. The more you explore the more the game surprises you, often with nuanced environmental puzzles which sometimes at first are not obvious.
That said, however, there are a couple of caveats which have been reflected here in the letters pages over the last few months. In a small way I feel I’m in Red Dead Redemption 2 territory, where the overwhelming 10/10 ‘best game ever’ reviews don’t always tally with my experience of playing the game.
Standing around in suddenly inconvenient rain long enough for me to make a cup of tea in the real world, while waiting to complete a fire-based challenge isn’t fun. Suddenly raining when halfway climbing a mountain isn’t fun either. The biggest problem though is weapon durability. It feels artificial and at odds with the freedom of the rest of the game and I suspect has the opposite effect than intended, in that it makes players reluctant to use the best weapons for fear they will break.
I’ve since read Jim Sterling’s notorious review and I agree with most of his complaints about the game regarding this.
The overall feeling I have is Zelda is very good, which I would recommend wholeheartedly, but a degree of caution about much of reviewers’ hyperbole is necessary regarding elements that prevent this fundamentally from being a 10/10 game.
After reading your review I was quite fancying getting Two Point Hospital for my Switch. However, turn on my Xbox One this evening and there it is sat in Game Pass ready to download. £35 saved straight away. I know Microsoft do get a lot of things wrong, but Game Pass is one they definitely got right. Not quite sure how they do it but I’m not complaining!
Saints Stickman (gamertag)
GC: Being filthy rich helps.
Wow I can’t believe this problem exists over so many Nintendo console generations and on 3DS it can possibly brick your 3DS. It’s just a short five-minute video but very interesting.
Currently playing: Oxenfree (PS4)
This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Hammeriron, who asks what’s your favourite online multiplayer game?
It can be any game on any format, regardless of whether it also has single-player or offline components. What is it about the game you like so much and how much have you played it? Has the game been running for a long time and if so when did you start and how regularly do you return to it?
In general, how much do you enjoy other online multiplayer titles and is your favourite a one-off of just one of many similar games? If it’s part of a series how often do you buy new entries in the franchise and if it’s unlike your normal taste in games why do you think that is?
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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.
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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