Demon’s Souls – now is the time (pic: Sony)
The Thursday Inbox asks if this will be the last video game generation, as one reader wants the PS Plus Collection on PS4.
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So we’re all back together in lockdown, so much for 2021 being an improvement on last year! (Hopefully it will be by the end but that’s not much compensation right now.) I never thought I’d be so upset to have so much free time but, as ever, the best way to fill it up is with video games. The problem is I’ve kind of run out and January isn’t exactly the best time for expecting more to come out.
I did get a PlayStation 5 for Christmas but have now beaten Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Cyberpunk 2077 (loved the first, was a bit disappointed in the second) so I’m thinking the obvious choice is Demon’s Souls. I was put off by the difficulty and the fact that I haven’t played a Souls game before (and that it’s really expensive!) but now looks like it might be the time to give it a go.
Based on GC’s Games of the Generation list I’m also considering giving Divinity: Original Sin 2 and XCOM 2 a go. They’re not usually my sort of games but given they’re quite long-lasting, as I understand, now seems a good time to get out of my comfort zone. I might also give Persona 5 Royal a go for the same reason.
I figure at least something good should come of all this and if broadening my gaming horizons is it, at least it’s something.
The last generation
Hi all, and happy new year (for what it’s worth).
Some nice game lists over the holiday period. Especially the end of the generation list yesterday. It has probably been the best generation so far in terms of gaming. Personally, from the rules as defined, I’d go with a five of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Hollow Knight, Return Of The Obra Dinn, and Alien Isolation… with a special shout out to Persona 5, technically one but I played that on an old PlayStation 3.
With the incoming consoles though am hoping we can finally throw the video game generation on the scrap heap of history, as it’s made increasingly less sense over recent years. Nintendo stopped playing the game with the Wii and now with the last gen machines getting mid-cycle updates, endless prior gen games getting remastered/remade to be indistinguishable from the current and the PC ever advancing the technology is much more fluid and gains more marginal; less likely to bookend eras and then leap forward, thus opening up whole new design decisions.
Now with streaming on the horizon, actually viable this time, and Microsoft’s new Xbox brand strategy will we be looking back in seven years’ time at a generation just because Sony’s new console has a 6 in the title? I’m not so sure.
I enjoy the arbitrary rules the video game world lives by as much as anyone, like the annual end of year debate over whether remakes should be in best of year lists, but it does feel like now is the right time to let the generations go.
GC: It’s just a label, it doesn’t affect anything.
RE: PhantomZ. While I wouldn’t say there’s ‘too much of an American Influence’, I can certainly see why there’s not much for the Japanese to be excited over at the moment. Like the Japanese, I seem to prefer Japanese games and I have felt their decline in the mainstream over the past two generations. I don’t think it’s the case that there’s too many Western games, it’s more so that there just hasn’t been as many quality Japanese games in more recent times.
If you compare Metacritic listings for best PlayStation 1 and 2 games with lists for the best PlayStation 3 and 4 games there’s a glaring discrepancy between those in regards to the amount of critically acclaimed Japanese games. I’m sure there’s a few reasons for this, but one of them seems to be development issues on PlayStation 3 and the rising costs of making video games in general.
Sony’s Japan Studio seems to have been crumbling little bit by little bit ever since then. I don’t think it’s due to Sony’s neglect of the Japanese market, more that it just hasn’t been going as well for Japanese studios as it has for Western ones (first and third party). I’ve no doubt that if there’s a renaissance in AAA Japanese video game development, the Japanese consumer base will be revitalised.
GC: While the Japanese industry almost collapsed during the PlayStation 3 era it fared much better in the more recent generation. Metacritic don’t seem to have a games of the generation list but this one for the last decade has three Japanese games in the top five (admittedly all Nintendo) and plenty of others in the top 50.
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Hello and happy new year to all at GC and our fellow readers. Hope everyone is safe, well and had a nice time over the holidays.
It’s been a while since I last wrote in but wanted to mention an interesting looking game called Gods Will Fall that caught my eye and wondered if GC would be reviewing it? I was sent the following trailer along with a press release which I’ve put a lot of information from in the description box of the video. I’m hoping to be covering the game myself and it’s coming up soon on 29 January for all platforms!
Big Angry Dad82 (gamertag)
GC: It looks quite interesting, so maybe.
So is this correct then, GC, that if you own a PlayStation 4 and have PSN account you don’t get the free 20 games from the PlayStation Plus Collection, but if you have a PlayStation 5 and PSN you do get access to all these free games included onto your account?
Games like God Of War, The Last Guardian, and Uncharted 4, etc. are just some of the games I would love to start playing as I missed out on all these classics the first time round. If this is correct and PlayStation 4 users are not able to have these 20 free games I just think it’s so unfair, especially when you’re paying the same subscription price irrespective of whether you own a PlayStation 4 or PS5 console. I mean at the end of the day guys everyone of these extra free games are all PlayStation 4 titles anyway?
GC: Yes, that’s how it works. They’re enhanced for PlayStation 5 and aimed at those that never had a PlayStation 4.
You didn’t die
After 43 hours playtime (six weeks in real time!), I’ve finished my first playthrough of the Demon’s Souls remake. As a fan of Dark Souls and Bloodborne I was confident I would enjoy it and it certainly didn’t let me down. In fact it’s provided the best possible start to a console generation, with the sumptuous 60fps graphics, fast loading times and gloriously satisfying gameplay setting the bar sky high for future titles.
By no means would I describe Demon’s Souls as a perfect game, with the world tendency element feeling particularly at odds with the rest of the streamlined game design (having to kill myself multiple times just to turn world tendancy black seemed particularly silly). I also found the weapon upgrade/scaling more cumbersome that it needed to be, not helped by the game’s absolute refusal to explain itself and requiring the player to rely on wiki guides to establish how it works.
Minor gripes aside though, there are few games that match the satisfying feeling of progress the game affords you. The perfectly tuned combat mechanics meant it never felt like a chore, even when repeating the same area for the umpteenth time following an inevitable bout of deaths. Whilst Demon’s Souls may appear difficult at first glance, you soon realise it’s entirely beatable – especially as you start to master the game mechanics and level up your character. In fact, by the end of the game I felt positively overpowered and it never took me more than a handful of attempts to best any of the game’s bosses (which were also a delight).
It’s also worth noting that I played through exclusively in single-player mode and am aware the game would be improved further by playing online. I’m just too tight to pay for PS Plus! I only hope more PlayStation 5 stock becomes available soon, so more people can experience this gem of a game.
Adzz1986 (PSN ID)
GC: We agree with you on world tendency, we would’ve been happy to see it cut from the remake.
New year hopes
Happy new year GameCentral and its readers and contributors. I hope everybody is able to get a PlayStation 5 soon (including me), with the rumour of a large amount of new stock incoming.
Thank you JAH, for mentioning Super Star Wars being on sale. I checked to see how much credit I had left on my PlayStation 4 after buying a few games in the sales and I had exactly £3.99! So bought it. I only briefly played it originally on a friend’s console in the ‘90s, as I could only have a Mega Drive or SNES, and I had a Mega Drive.
PS: Crying Suns is free on Epic Games Store from 4pm today.
I’d just like to say thanks to the guys that mentioned about Horace being on sale before Christmas. An absolute steal for the low price. It actually cost me nothing at all as I had a few spare gold points at the time, but I would have missed the deal completely without reading the Inbox.
I remember reading GC’s review of Horace at the time of release. I spent a good 20 minutes watching YouTube afterwards and was engrossed in its story and nostalgia. I only stopped watching for fear of ruining the game for myself on what I felt would be an imminent purchase.
With UK lockdown now in full flow I’d just like to make a couple of recommendations of my own to people that are stuck and bored at home.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is really good. I got addicted to it and have also purchased the season pass because I enjoyed it’s content so much. Anyone that likes Zelda: Breath Of The Wild would enjoy this I feel.
Hades is my current favourite. When I read about it I didn’t like the idea of the game but it’s absolutely fantastic and very addictive. Once you start to understand everything it just oozes quality.
I couldn’t bring myself around to buy it for a while (I had this idea of roguelike permadeath in my head that won’t bring me enjoyment and only frustration) but I gave it a shot and bought it.
Death has become comical for me. The story continues and although you died trying, you know you’re going to get laughed at for your failure and you’re also going to level up for failing, so it spurs you on for the next playthrough which is always different.
Not only that, sometimes the next playthrough, you feel like you’re god-like at random with the boons that are gifted from the gods of Greek mythology. Excellent idea. Excellent game. Don’t be put off my screenshots and permadeath like I was or you’ll miss my favourite game of the year.
Sorry for covering multiple topics all at once but I read the page at 4am before work and don’t always have that chance to join in the chat.
Nick The Greek
Thanks for the advice on which headset to get. I found a Turtle Beach Stealth headset new on eBay.
Things like that Lego Mario Kart video kind of depress me, as I realise how uncreative I am! I assume these guys (husband and wife?) are professionals of some kind but that really was great.
This week’s Hot Topic
As the first Hot Topic of the new year, the choice of subject matter for this weekend’s Inbox is pretty obvious: which game are you looking forward to most in 2021?
If you’re not sure what’s likely to come out, you can find our list of upcoming titles in our preview of 2021. You can also suggest other games but only if there’s good reason to expect them to be released this year (so no Half-Life 3 or Elder Scrolls 6).
Why are you looking forward to your pick so much and do you think it’ll be a major hit? What other video game releases or events are you looking forward to in 2021 and do you think this will be a good year for gaming overall?
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 Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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