Games Inbox: Black Friday bargains, Destiny 2 experience changes, and Assassin’s Creed Origins graphics

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Games Inbox: What Black Friday bargains did you get?
How did you get on with Black Friday?

The morning Inbox marvels at the Internet’s inability to predict Nintendo, as one reader looks forward to seeing the NES in Stranger Things 3.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Successful purchase

Just want to let you guys at GC know, I managed to yoink a Switch and Super Mario Odyssey at bang-on 3pm on Friday, thanks to your news story. As I understand it, it sold out in under three mins, which may have been quicker than the official Super Mario Odyssey pack, first thing that morning.

I was convinced I was going to miss out on one, and wasn’t prepared to pay over £280 with Odyssey, as this, in my opinion, wouldn’t be any kind of decent discount for a Black Friday deal. So thank you, GC. You’re absolute stars.

I now have to exercise utmost restraint when it arrives through the mail in the next few days, as I’m planning to take it round my mum’s and get her to wrap it up for me, and to not open until the 25th.
PS: I may do exactly the same thing with my Masterpiece Sunstreaker, when it’s released next month! Masochist? Me?

GC: That’s great, we’re glad it worked out for you.

Relative return

With all the Black Friday emails, it made me think about how the sales used to work when I worked in HMV (albeit 15 years ago… when they had multi-buy deals on laserdiscs!).

So, sale stock isn’t clearing unsold stock at a discount, it’s selling new stock that’s been bought from suppliers at a lower price to sell on at a lower price. So when you’re buying Wolfenstein for £20, the developers (and publishers) are still getting a relative return on the game, rather than that £40-£50 game being devalued.

It’s still not great for the developer, but it’s not a case of the retailers slicing 50% off a cost price they already spent to stock the game – these will be the full price games that reappear after Black Friday. I guess the question remains though as to whether the publishers should have been selling at Black Friday prices in the first place…

GC: Exactly, and nobody wants to make a game purely to be fodder for sales. Which means the primary problem for gamers – that these sort of games are now less likely to get made in the future – still stands.

Doomed since 1889

I bought both Wolfenstein II and The Evil Within 2 day one because these are the kind of games I personally enjoy and want to see more of. Galling as it is to see their prices tumble in such an obscenely short space of time, I don’t regret my decision. For one, no one other than the biggest fool in Christendom would have predicted otherwise. And for another, I can sleep soundly at night knowing I did my bit, futile as it might have been, to support the developers and hopefully try to prevent the stagnation of this industry.

Regarding Nintendo… am I alone in thinking what short memories people have? Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a fan of Mario as the next man and my machine has been tucked away for Christmas for some months now, but rewind to January 2017 and the Switch reveal… no one could deny the coolness of the hardware but that price?!

From all corners of the Internet came the wails of doom…’What the —- are Nintendo thinking?! This will surely spell their demise! Suicidal pricing! Have they learned nothing?’ After the Wii U debacle it was widely predicted that Ninty would unveil a sub-£200 console but, to everyone’s consternation – myself included – no. And yet… the thing has sold like proverbial hot cakes. Go figure.
Karl S

GC: The Internet is great at wails of doom, not so much at predicting Nintendo.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Water result

I haven’t seen Assassin’s Creed Origins mentioned much in the Inbox, I guess people have got too many other good games this year to fall for its middle-of-the-road charms. I’ve always enjoyed the games (or most of them anyway) but one thing that I feel I can recommend in Origins that everyone can appreciate is the water effects.

I know it sounds silly but I’m always really interested in how games do water and it’s funny how an amazing looking game can have bad water and vice versa. Nintendo used to be one of the bests at it, but I haven’t been impressed with anything on the Switch yet. Origins though looks fantastic – super realistic not just to look at but the way it reacts when you get in it and the different depths and weather effects.

For my money it’s the best ever and I look forward to presumably it being used in Far Cry 5 as well. I guess it’s probably some guy’s (or maybe a whole team’s?) job to work on this and use it in all the Ubisoft games, so kudos to them, whoever it was.

Gaming unplugged

Well, I decided to take the plunge and went out to buy a Mini SNES. So I went to GAME and traded in some old PlayStation 4 games. I think TrackMania Turbo was the most up-to-date game out of a pile of about 10. After receiving £28.50 trade in it’s probably the best £51.50 I’ve ever spent on gaming in the last 37 years!

You can forget your Call Of Duties, Battlefronts, and FIFA games. The Mini SNES games are all quality and most of them are timeless still to this day, even after 20+ years. No more DLC, updates or loading times, just ask my 15 and 13-year-olds.

I never got the original Mini NES, but to be fair I wasn’t interested in buying one anyway. Roll on next year for the Mini N64 if all the rumours are to be believed! An amazing bit of kit loving the nostalgia and most importantly the variety/choice of gameplay.

GC: A mini N64 is by no means a certainty (it almost certainly wouldn’t have GoldenEye 007 or a lot of other Rare games, for a start) but the Mini NES is being re-released next year.

Trust issues

Been reading all this stuff about Bungie doubling the experience required to level up in Destiny 2. I still don’t really understand it, except in that it seems one of the obvious problems with games as a service – beyond their tendency to have microtransactions and/or season passes.

The problem is they can just change everything in an instant and there’s nothing we can do about it. Play a game one day and turn it on the next and it could be something completely different. We can see this happen right now with Star Was: Battlefront II, where the whole point of the game (from EA’s perspective) was removed the very day it was out.

Then they’ll change it again when they add microtransactions, and who knows how many times after that. Destiny 2 is clearly the same, and I can’t wait for the developer to try and wriggle out of it, and deny everything, then end up reversing the changes. There’s a great lack of trust I feel between game makers and gamers and it’s only going to get worst. And perhaps it needs to.

Rivals reunited

RE: Nick the Greek. I am very honoured you remember me. I went by Hotrod! during the Wii U’s time but I now go by Deadbones on the Switch. Sorry I lost touch. I sold my Wii U last year to get the Switch so I wouldn’t have seen any messages on there for a long time.

I remember your Saw Mario Maker courses were excellent. I’ve not played much Mario Kart 8 on the Switch but would be really up for a game if you’re getting a Switch. GameCentral can pass on my e-mail address if you want to get in touch.
Ryan O’D

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Born to be cheap

I know Wolfenstein II had probably the most stupid release date possible, and it’s suffered by selling badly enough to end up being discounted heavily this week, but couldn’t that actually be to its benefit in the long run? I remember around 2011 when Rayman (Origins, I think it was? Legends wasn’t that long ago, right?) was released in early December where it would be competing with Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 for Christmas sales, but ended up getting discounted everywhere and I think ended up being number two in the Christmas chart, and actually moving up to number one in the new year.

From the comments in the Inbox it seems like everyone who hadn’t already picked up Wolfenstein grabbed it this week (guilty!) so if that’s representative of a wider trend then surely it should give a bit of a boost to the figures? If it was planned as a trilogy from the start I really hope they get to finish it.
Sparky the Yak
PS: just read your thoughts on Justice League (I’ve been a bit behind this week). Really surprised you liked The Flash, I thought he was pretty obnoxious in a trying-too-hard-to-be-quirky-and-funny kind of way. Your DC opinions usually tally pretty closely to mine, but we’ll have to disagree on this one! The CGI really was rough though, wasn’t it?

GC: That could happen, yes. Certainly something similar occurred with Doom, but that is a very backwards way to run a business. Unless Bethesda are purposefully using stealth tactics to slash the price of games. You’re right that Flash was a bit of a try-hard, but it’s easy to understand how they’d end up overcompensating when trying to give the DCEU some likeable characters. Their next goal should be upgrading the memory on the Amiga 500 they used to render the CGI.

Inbox also-rans

Just finished watching Stranger Things 2 (it’s great!) and I can’t wait until next year when at least one of them gets a NES. They’ve already mentioned an Atari VCS. When did the NES come out in America?

GC: 1985, which is presumably when the next season will be set. Which makes any mention of Atari in 1984 slightly incongruous, as that would’ve been right in the middle of the American console crash.

Thanks to Black Friday, come Christmas I will be wearing this and putting this in my backlog!
big boy bent (gamertag)

Do you have a jumper backlog?
Do you have a jumper backlog?

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by the recent Reader’s Feature – about how few people ever beat the games they play – and asks how often do you usually finish a game to the very end?

What percentage of your games have you gotten to the end of, and how many of those have you beaten 100% – or thereabouts? For those games you haven’t beaten, why is that? Is it because they were too hard, you lost interest, or something else? When do you decide to give up on a game that doesn’t have an ending, like Destiny or other multiplayer games, and do you ever come back anyway?

Without giving away any spoilers, which game do you think had the best and most worthwhile ending, and which has been the most disappointing?

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