The Thursday Inbox is not convinced that next gen tech specs are ever useful, as one reader struggles with Hunt: Showdown.
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One sale and counting
Fantastic news about Platinum’s new game Project G.G. Ignoring the fact that it’s Platinum I love that it’s a brand-new game and that they actually turned down money in favour of owning the games themselves. I really do think Platinum are the best developers working today and would happily buy anything they made without knowing a thing about them.
Sure, not every one of their games has been a classic but there’s so much heart in all of them. They’re not making these games just to pay the rent, but because they love what they’re doing. Or at least that’s the way it seems to me. I guess you could argue they were taking the money and running with that Legend Of Korra game but given the budget they were working with I’m not willing to criticise them for it.
The point is that when it comes to their big chance they’ve not taken any safe options and are planning to make what basically looks like an Ultraman game. I mean, as sure fire bets go that’s not really on the list. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic, especially with Kamiya as direct, but I’ve no idea how it’ll sell. Except that I’ll definitely buy it, even if no one else is.
Maybe GC could do a Hot Topic about who the best developer is but whoever the other choices are I bet their output is going to involve a lot more sequels than Platinum.
RE: Jag. I’m not sure why you think Sony will wipe the floor with Microsoft and undercut on the price massively.
Rumours indicate that the Sony machine is not much less powerful, if less powerful at all, and that they are also struggling to keep costs down with components; especially the RAM, which is going up in price due to console manufacturers trying to buy it all up. That and apparently the cost of the cooling system required to cool the higher end CPU and GPUs the next gen consoles are employing.
Don’t expect Sony or Microsoft to be too far apart in pricing, unless Sony decides to come in using a potato for a GPU.
No game for loan wolves
I can hardly believe there’s so many people talking about specs for next gen consoles in the Inbox recently. As if they mean anything. I try to skip past them now as much as possible because I really believe people who obsess over these things are missing the point of gaming. You know, something that immerses us in a world for our own pleasure.
I just can’t imagine there’s anything more pointless than arguing over how many thingamabobs your computer has over another. The inner workings of a console don’t matter a jot, as Nintendo prove repeatedly with less powerful consoles.
On a happier note, thanks for the Hunt: Showdown review. I went out and bought it after and while it’s great in many ways it’s much too difficult for me. I never seem to last very long before being offed!
GC: You need to find a good team to play with and make sure you communicate, that’s the secret to it.
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Not to get all technical but since there hasn’t been much coverage of it here I just wanted to add a quick note about the new 3.6 patch for The Witcher 3 on Switch. I commend the developers Saber Interactive for putting the support in this long after release as this update is truly game changing for those still playing it. And that’s without factoring in the cloud save function with PC, since I don’t have a PC.
The main complaint with The Witcher 3 was always the blur and low resolution and that can now be tweaked quite extensively thanks to options to remove antialiasing and increase post process sharpening. Maxing out the sharpening makes the game look a lot better on the surface, but I can see why the developers didn’t activate this setting as default since it highlights a lot of the cutbacks made to the game that the blur masks. Namely low-res textures, pop-in, half frame rates on distant objects, you can also kind of see the adjustments to the dynamic resolution happen in real-time. I’d say it’s still worth it though overall, max out the sharpness but keep the AA. It makes it look great in handheld mode too, where the small screen hides some of the issues and is still the only way I’d recommend to play it.
Personally, I would argue the uneven frame rate, not blur, was the most damaging to the overall experience… cut scenes were near unwatchable and gameplay was noticeably janky compared to locked 30fps games on Switch like (mostly) Zelda and Astral Chain. The game’s new graphical settings can be used to help the consistency here. If you crank the foliage draw distance down to the minimum and disable depth of field I’ve noticed some credible gains to the moment-to-moment stability, so much so I’m more than happy to sacrifice those graphical options for it. The foliage pop-up is only really distracting when galloping through the countryside.
I wouldn’t recommend these kind of PC style setting for everything on Switch, it’s nice that something like Dragon Quest 11 was rebuilt for the system and just works and that’s the way to go. Here though, on a game hammered down almost as an experiment to fit, it’s nice to pick which of those unavoidable compromises you want to live with. I hope for the same on Doom Eternal.
This might be a redundant point of discussion, but I wondered if was likely that we’ll see another Soulcalibur? Say on a scale of Street Fighter 6, all but guaranteed, to Power Stone and Rival Schools 3, maybe one day. Assuming anyone who played it in the first place lives so long.
It was probably not on the cards when the game was released back in October, 2018, but with a second season’s worth of DLC characters on the way? Perhaps the franchise’s prospects are looking a little rosier in the eyes of Namco executives? What do you think, GC?
PS: This may or may not be a fun idea for potential Hot Topic: who is your personal video games nemesis? What is that one boss or enemy that you dread facing and has wiped the floor with you more times than you like to admit?
GC: It not only has new DLC coming but has also made EVO this year. It wasn’t a major hit but it doesn’t seem to have done badly, so we’d imagine another game is fairly likely sometime in the next gen.
The generation in brief
Given the recent games drought and conversation about gaming backlogs I have a big ask of you that I would well understand if you were to say, ‘Metacritic is your best option’.
Would you be willing to list every game you have reviewed over the past console generation (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch) and include their score out of 10 at the side, listing the highest scoring at the top?
Simply the name of the game and the number would be very useful.
I say this mainly because there have been so many indie games in the 8-9 region that I would like to start working through the ones I’ve missed. A GC 9 is a guarantee for me, so If I could see all the 9/10 games that would also help.
With older game prices now low, I picked up Dishonored 2 in the January sale for less the £5! With a list of GC 9s I could probably pick the entire generations best back catalogue for under £100.
GC: We’d have to do that manually which… we’re not going to do. But our top 20s of the year should be helpful, here’s everything from the current gen: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
I don’t know if gaming pet peeves have ever been covered in the letters or Hot Topics before, but a few games I have played recently have reminded me of one that has silently bugged me for years. Darksiders Genesis is the latest to demonstrate it, but it is rife throughout many different genres.
I’m talking about when you have just polished of a wave of attackers or destroyed a goodie-laden stack of boxes and a cut scene kicks in WITHOUT letting you collect all the goodies first. Yes, I know that, in most
cases, said booty doesn’t start its ‘3 seconds before I disappear’ flashing warning, but this inability to collect immediately sends my OCD into overdrive. And in some rare cases it DOES disappear during the cut scene. No fair, just let me collect dammit!
Is this just me, or does anyone else suffer this insignificant-but-at-the-same-time massive annoyance?
So devs; either lets us collect BEFORE having a cut scene kick in or don’t have goodies drop before them. Please. with sugar on. Thanks.
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Three horse race
RE: GC’s thoughts on next gen plans Inbox letter. No decision has been made by me regarding what I will do based on what we know or don’t know about the next gen consoles. The letter was to express that a year ago Microsoft didn’t have a credible proposition for me, so it was taken for granted I’ll get a PlayStation 5. Now with what they’ve divulged so far, they already seem to have a strong next gen proposal to go up against Sony with.
Regarding backwards compatibility. Sony have confirmed PlayStation 4 compatibility, which is great, but have said nothing on legacy games whereas Microsoft have confirmed all four generations of Xbox games will be supported. I’ve my fingers crossed Sony will announce the same deal and support all generations of PlayStation games on PlayStation 5.
Regarding a Game Pass alternative. Sony have one with PS Now. Legacy games have to be streamed but most PlayStation 4 games can be downloaded. It’s a good service it’s just missing the deal Microsoft have of exclusives being on it from day one and all time. Sony have already said they feel their exclusives are too good to offer that deal but in the face of Game Pass competition they might change their mind, which like Game Pass would elevate PS Now to pretty much essential for me.
No firm plans. It’s just idle speculation and musings. I’m looking forward to pouring over and ruminating on all the forth coming PlayStation 5/Xbox Series X details. It’s great that all three console manufactures now have really strong products and services to offer, certainly wasn’t the case at the start of the last gen.
Nice interview with Moon Studios but surprised you didn’t ask anything about the action rpg they have in production. Wonder if it will be multi format this time, as they’re still an independent studio.
GC: Technically neither worked for Moon Studios (Daniel Smith was Microsoft) so there was no point. Although given the way everyone works from home at Moon we’re not sure anyone on Ori would necessarily know anything about other projects.
InnerSpace is free on Epic Games Store on PC from today for the next week.
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. You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
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