Is Sony falling back into bad habits? (pic: Sony)
The Tuesday Inbox discusses the real reason Sony might not be able to copy Game Pass, as one reader asks to see last gen Resident Evil Village.
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The old malaise
I’ve yet to invest in a PlayStation 5 for many reasons, including lack of funds, but I confess, with each passing day, I become less of a fan.
Their attitude feels very much like that of the early PlayStation 3 era in which the success of the PlayStation 2 appeared to make them arrogant.
Whilst I have no doubt the PlayStation 5 is an amazing machine, I think I might skip it.
War of the wallets
From a technical point of view Game Pass is just an application that runs on your device (Xbox, PC, etc.) that provides a secure link to a Microsoft server that allows you to download a game. That’s all it is, just a glorified interface to a link.
The constant media and gamer rhetoric that Sony couldn’t develop an alternative is becoming tedious. Sony showed with PS Plus Collection and the Play at Home offer that the PS Store can be used to do the same thing by just ticking the box to free for those games. Sony could knock up a PlayStation Pass interface in a month if they wanted to. They have clearly explained for now they don’t like the model.
I think people amalgamate xCloud and Game Pass while misunderstand they are technically very different things.
GC: Anyone that says Sony couldn’t run their own Game Pass is likely talking about money not technology. Microsoft has to pay publishers enormous sums to have their games on the service; something they can easily afford but Sony cannot.
The Last Of Us Incomplete
I agree that it’s unnecessary to remake or remaster The Last Of Us, but what about The Last of Us Complete instead?
So, Part 1 and Part 2 together, with all available extra DLC to compete Joel and Ellie’s journey. They could call it, perhaps, The Full Cup Of Woe, or The Fall Of Mankind and My Part In It! Yes, I am being sarcastic there, but that’s OK as I didn’t really like Part 2 anyway.
That would be really easy to do, by comparison, give people a reason to play again, especially if the transition to Part 2 was seamless, and allow Naughty Dog to either move on from that vision of the world or create stories within it with a new cast of characters, moving away from America, for instance.
Personally, I’d love to see them move on. I do enjoy their storytelling, especially in Uncharted, but I’d like to see them try their hand at either some kind of full blown, story driven role-playing game, or just an utterly new tale. It’s either that or Uncharted 5 features Nathan Drake discovering the Temple of Cordyceps, becoming Patient Zero and tying both universes together in a horrifyingly daft way.
GC: Naughty Dog previously said their next project was either a new IP or… The Last Of Us Part 3.
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Last chance to play
I’m going to avoid a debate about the closure of the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita stores and just advise readers that if they still own either of those to create a US account (easily done) and download some classic PS1 and PlayStation 2 games. For reasons beyond my comprehension they weren’t made available on the European PSN, reminding me of the old days when NTSC titles were never converted into PAL due to sheer laziness, leaving us with big black borders.
These were games like Suikoden, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Wild Arms, Legend Of Dragoon, Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Parasite Eve, Dino Crisis, Legacy Of Kain, Alundra, the early Final Fantasy games, Vagrant Story, most of the Persona titles and some games like the original Klonoa and Tomba which sell for a fair price if you own the physical copy – all of which only cost $6 (£4.30).
Finding Kuri Kuri Mix and realising From were the developers was quite the surprise. There’s obviously a few duds, which is to expected, but it might be the only way to either not break the bank balance by buying highly expensive physical copies or illegally downloading ROMs for an emulator.
I’ll not hear a bad word said about Klonoa either. I do wish Namco would make either a Switch remaster of the Wii title or a brand new one.
I for one am not entirely surprised by The Last Of Us remake. Let me explain why. Recently I played through the Uncharted tetralogy, as well as the first Last Of Us game, and have come to an unavoidable conclusion: Naughty Dog are not in the video game industry. The reason why both games garnered such a following was their well-drawn characters and cinematic storytelling. But unfortunately, that seems to be where the bulk of development energy goes.
I will suffice on one example to illustrate my point. Frequently in both games, encounters are presented where usual mechanics are broken for the sake of storytelling.
Press square to punch right? Wrong! Press square to throw your arms aimlessly and let Nicole counterattack because the developers decided her superior fighting skills can’t be proven in unfettered gameplay.
Follow the signposted ledges to get to your destination, right? Wrong! Follow the ledges to reach a dead end and wait for the generous devs to guide you to the next location.
Good storytelling, lazy and overbearing game design.
Fury of the furries
Finally finished Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Furry, as my son likes to call it. I started off with 3D World as I didn’t own a Wii U and it felt like the most typical of Mario games, with usual enemies and power-ups. What I didn’t like about the cat power-up is that in Bowser’s Fury the various cats dotted around the Islands start rubbing themselves on Mario when he’s in the cat suit… eeeeuugh. Kept thinking about George Galloway in Celebrity Big Brother when playing the game.
All the comments below are negative but I really enjoyed 3D World, but there are issues. I thought the biggest issue with 3D World was the controls as sometimes I would fall to my death (this was the most I have ever seen the death screen in a Mario game) but realised that it’s actually the camera which makes jumping difficult to judge in a weird isometric view. The situation is made far worse when you have another player, as the other player can become the focus of the camera.
I think it would have been a better game if I could have moved the camera around but then it would have been an entirely different game. As fun as the premise sounds of multiple players in a Mario game, it’s incredibly hard and often I would tell my son to just wait in the bubbles till the tricky section is over. What was telling was that after we finished 3D World he went back to Odyssey, as I think the lack of freedom and the precision jumps was too much for a five-year-old.
As for Bowser’s Fury I really enjoyed it from start to finish. None of the cat shines felt like they were there to make up the numbers, which is one of the problems of Odyssey’s moons for me. I found the moons we’re becoming a chore and the game felt like a collectathon towards the end. I hope we never see the Giga Bowser feature again, well maybe not in its current state, it was a right pain in the backside having him pop up just as you are doing a tricky bit of a level.
I did love the music in the Giga Bowser fight, deserves a mention as an epic piece of music. Also, can we have Plessie’s music in all future Mario games as its upbeat tone is a pleasure to listen to. Finally, Plessie was much better to control in Bowser’s Fury than 3D World, I wonder if it’s to do with single-player controls rather than multiplayer.
So I may as well do my best 3D Mario games list. I haven’t played 3D Land so haven’t put it on. If I was to include Bowser’s Fury it would be either fourth or fifth.
1 Mario Galaxy 2
2 Mario Galaxy
3 Mario Odyssey
4 Mario 3D World
5 Mario 64
6 Mario Sunshine
Have you seen any footage of Resident Evil Village running on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 and if so how does it appear to run and is there a big difference visually between the last gen and new gen console versions?
I wouldn’t be asking this question if I could actually get hold of one of the new consoles! Cheers.
PS: Still disappointed about the seemingly forever delayed Cuphead DLC.
GC: There hasn’t been any press access for Resident Evil Village, as far as we’re aware, so we haven’t seen anything you haven’t.
* WARNING: The Last Of Us Part 1 spoilers*
The last of me
Spoilers for The Last of Us ahead! I am a fairly new father (I have a one-year-old daughter) and last night I had a dream that there was an apocalyptic pandemic and the only cure would involve my daughter dying. My wife and I were all prepared to make the sacrifice, but at the last moment I took my daughter away and doomed humanity.
Back before I was a father, I never really understood how Joel could choose to save Ellie over the cure for humanity. But now that I am a father, I can relate and could see how I might do the same thing as Joel in that situation.
I’m interested to hear if any other readers have had a life experience that changed their perspective on a video game? Or any weird video game dreams?
GC: We don’t think people had trouble understanding why, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t wrong and went about it in the worst way possible.
I think The Last Of Us should be remade in VR.
Sony losing the plot over game preservation, Nintendo being open and unambiguous about their future plans, and Microsoft… still not investing in Japanese games. Oh well, I guess not everything has been turned upside down this year.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grant, who asks what is the last physical copy of a video game you bought?
Was the game brand new or second-hand and why did you buy it physically instead of a digital version? How often do you still buy physical copies as opposed to digital and how much of that is out of preference compared to necessity?
Are you okay with physical copies becoming an increasingly niche concern and will you miss them when they’re completely gone? What determines whether you’ll buy a physical or digital copy if both are available, and do you ever buy limited or collector’s editions?
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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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