Games Inbox: Classic Mini Sega Saturn dreams, Destiny 2 success, and Assassin’s Creed vs. Wolfenstein II
The morning Inbox argues that GTA V is the only good game in the series, as one reader wonders what Nintendo loot boxes would be like.
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I wish Sega would make a Classic Mini Saturn. Apart from the stock issues I think Nintendo has done a fantastic job with their ones and I’d love to see a Saturn version that had the same thought put into its game selections. I know the Saturn is hard to emulate but if it was a mini console they could put a custom chip in there and finally solve the problem once and for all.
You could have a mix of the obvious stuff like Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Fighters Megamix, and then the obscure Japanese-only stuff that costs a fortune on eBay, like Magic Knight Rayearth, Bubble Bobble Symphony, and Soukyugurentai Otokuyo.
I know it’ll never happen, because Sega don’t care and not enough people remember the console, but I’d dearly love it to happen anyway. I can’t believe it’s been over 20 years since the Saturn first came out and we still haven’t got a decent collection of its games.
Bigger than big
It really is crazy to think what GTA has become in just 20 years. Just four years after the first game came out GTA III was already the biggest thing around and now look at it. Funny thing is I don’t think the games have actually been that good until GTA V. Super ambitious and groundbreaking in terms of the story and swearing and everything but I’ve never found them to be much fun.
Go back to GTA IV and it’s almost unplayable now, with fiddly and overcomplicated shooting and fighting. The cars handle terrible and the missions are really unimaginative. GTA V really is a massive improvement on all fronts and while it’s still not perfect I think it deserves all its success.
I don’t think it’s any wonder there’s never been a remaster of any of the older games though. It’d just take much work to make them playable for today’s audience and I think Rockstar realises this. They don’t even have the original game as a free download anymore, almost like they’re embarrassed of it.
I am now playing through, and really enjoying, Injustice 2. Which of course, has loot boxes. And though you can buy virtual currency with real cash, you can’t do the same with the loot boxes. I’m sorry, I mean Mother Boxes. It does turn the process of unlocking things into a bit of a lottery, but I’m reasonably okay with the feature. Thus far.
But this is Warner Bros. we’re talking about here. Possibly the slimiest of the slime when it comes to policies that seem openly adversarial toward the consumer. You could even say that they are pioneers in the field. And with somebody like Activision, it would be easy to boycott their material. I despise military shooters and Skylanders seems too expensive to sate my mild curiosity. But then Warner Bros. own NetherRealm. And Rocksteady – if they’re still alive.
It won’t be so easy for me to boycott the next Mortal Kombat or Rocksteady’s next big project. And there’s a very good chance that Warner Bros. as a publisher will do something to sour those experiences. We might even get nostalgic for buying easy fatalities or unlocking everything without any effort, or enjoyment.
EA also hold BioWare to ransom. What might the next Dragon Age look like? Might EA make us pay for extra character classes in this rumoured Star Wars role-playing game? These are not happy thoughts. I am happy to pay for what I want to whomsoever gives me what I want – credit where credit is due, to put it simply. None of us like feeling ripped off or short changed, but I don’t want to punish good developers who are only unfortunate enough to find themselves serving cruel masters. The Quintessons.
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I think that reader is mistaken if he thinks Destiny 2 hasn’t been a hit. The delayed US charts just came out the other day and it’s already the best-selling game of the year. Not in terms of its first month but overall it’s beaten everything else already! Maybe things are different in the UK but I doubt it, it’s probably just your circle of friends don’t happen to be into it.
I’m not saying it deserves that level of success but I’ve enjoyed it and don’t regret my purchase. I’ve definitely got my money’s worth out of it and while I’ve probably had enough of it for now I’ll be looking to see what the DLC and expansions are like. I am kind of miffed there’s no Halloween event though. I know it’s just a minor thing but you kind of take those things for granted.
Look at the full list of American games in 2017 I was also surprised to see Zelda: Breath Of The Wild at number five, behind only Ghost Recon: Wildlands and two sports games. That means it outsold Horizon Zero Dawn and basically every other multiformat game. Mind you Mass Effect: Andromeda was at number 10, so maybe I shouldn’t be looking too much into it.
Mass market advertising
I think worries about Wolfenstein II being crushed by Assassin’s Creed Origins are pretty likely to come true. The last day or so I have seen tons of adverts for Ubisoft’s games and only a few mentions of Wolfenstein on gaming-only sites. Assassin’s Creed is just inherently more mass market and it was always pitched as a sort of ‘safer’ version of GTA in terms of the open world and do anything approach.
I’ve only played two of them before and wasn’t very impressed but I don’t hate them. I just wished Ubisoft had picked a different day (or Bethesda, I don’t know who went first). It’s pretty bad knowing that a great game is going to get ignored just because it came out a few weeks too early (or late).
I assume it’ll still get to number two in the charts but I hope that we get some information on how it actually sold, and that it’s good news.
Crowded round the Internet
Thanks to the people who offered advice regarding my issue with PES 2018 in yesterday’s Underbox, I would reply directly but my comments still seem to just disappear as soon as I leave the page.
From what I can gather it is the game itself that is region-locked so my mate is going to return his US copy to the store and get his parents to send him out a European copy. Apparently the game is not region locked on Xbox One so I have no idea why it was decided to do it on PlayStation 4. I’ve e-mailed Konami regarding the issue but who knows if I’ll get a reply.
Like one of the guys in the Underbox said playing PES on the PlayStation 2 with five of us all crowded round trying to win the Master League was one of my favourite ever gaming experiences and, since my brother and mate both moved to the US, we thought this would be our chance to do it again for the first time in about a decade. I really have no interest in playing PES by myself, even online, so hopefully we’ve found a solution or I’ll be trading it in.
Does anyone think Microsoft are just a little too obsessed with the past? I’m sure GC was half joking but the original Xbox isn’t exactly overflowing with lost classics that I’d want to replay, and I’m sure they could’ve funded a new indie game at least with the money they spent on doing all that.
You don’t see Sony doing that sort of thing, and while some may think that’s a negative you’ve got to say that at least they have new games coming out on a fairly regular basis. I worry that Microsoft keep resurrecting old titles because they haven’t got any new ones.
During the Xbox 360 era we saw the highly successful Xbox Live Arcade platform which brought us great games from developers that we never thought we would see happen but did, like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 HD, South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defence Play, Uno as well as hundreds of excellent games.
On Xbox One we have seen indie games show up but not an Xbox One version of the Xbox Live Arcade. It is for this reason that I believe that Microsoft should bring the Arcade section back but this time for the Xbox One and also allow developers to produce Arcade games for some of their most popular franchises. Not only would this boost the games library by increasing the number of new releases every month but this would also allow a bigger choice of games to choose from.
It would also provide much better and more tougher competition for indie developers and would significantly improve the quality of many games.
One example as to why the Xbox One needs the Xbox Live Arcade back to bring the much better competition is games like Fighter Within, which wasn’t very good, to say the least. There are other examples like Angry Birds Star Wars which demonstrate the needs for an Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox One.
I hope Microsoft would consider bringing Xbox Live Arcade back as the Xbox One really needs a boost to its games library.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
GC: Xbox Live Arcade is just a name, a label for digital-only games because they were a new idea at the time. Exactly those same sort of games still exist on all formats.
I’ve just got my copy of Super Mario Odyssey early too! Wa-hoo! I don’t know why I’m telling you this now, probably because I don’t expect to speak to anyone or see the outside world for several days now!
I wonder what will happen when Nintendo has its first loot box. It’s bound to happen, they have had DLC and season passes after all. They always seem to make them more fair than other people’s but I don’t see how they can redeem loot boxes.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Trancer, who asks you to imagine what the video games industry will be like in 10 years’ time.
Before you start imagining holodecks and virtual reality connected to your brain bear in mind that in 2007 the best-selling games of the year included FIFA 08, Call Of Duty 4, and Halo 3 (as well as Brain Training and Wii Play) so in some ways at least it wasn’t really that different. But what do you think will change in the next 10 years, in terms of the hardware and the games that are popular?
Which franchises do you think will last another 10 years and which do you think will not? How do you think games will be paid for and will consoles still exist or will streaming, or some other technology, have taken over?
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