The morning Inbox discusses the pleasures of playing Nintendo Switch in bed, as one reader talks up Project Octopath Traveler.
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Making a list
I know it’s sort of already started but just wondering what Black Friday bargains other readers are looking out for? As has been said it’s kind of easy to guess what’s going to get discounted and I see Wolfenstein II and The Evil Within 2 have already been on the chopping block. They’re on my list but I’m going to wait until Friday to see how low they really go.
I’m also hoping to pick up Destiny 2 (will swing by an HMV tomorrow) and I expect Sonic Forces will be cheap as well. I know it’s going to be bad but I’m a Sonic fan and I can’t help myself sometimes. (Well, I can help myself at full-price, obviously.)
But the big questions are Star Wars: Battlefront II and Call Of Duty: WWII. Call Of Duty was discounted last year, but that was Infinite Warfare. This year it’s WWII, which is selling fine at full price. I’d still guess they’d be cut, except the supermarkets don’t seem to get as involved anymore and they were the ones that really went crazy with the prices.
More to come
Now that almost all the 2017 games are out I can’t help but turn my attention to next year and beyond, especially as we’ve got PSX and The Game Awards coming up in a couple of weeks. I remember from previous years that these can almost have as many new game reveals as E3, and now I’m wondering what they might be.
I don’t see how Sony can possibly have anything left in the tank, but perhaps an explanation of what happened to Days Gone? (My bet is it’s been turned into Destiny with zombies.) Nintendo could reveal Metroid Prime 4, maybe? And that Animal Crossing game we all assume they’re working on.
It’s Microsoft that should be bringing out the big guns though as they really need some exclusives, and an announcement in early December could actually do them a lot of good for Christmas. Could be the perfect end to a great year (especially no loot boxes have been put in their place).
GC: PSX isn’t expected to have many new announcements, but there might be one or two. The Game Awards though (which we’re one of the judges for this year) does have a good track record of major announcements from lots of different companies. There are no rumours of what any of them might be yet though.
I agree we shouldn’t dismiss EA as just one giant mass of people. I feel particularly sad for Criterion making Starfighter Assault, I bet nobody there wanted to use loot boxes and now all their work is being thrown on the bonfire along with everything else with Battlefront II.
I have to admit that I did buy the game, because I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but always had no intention of paying for loot boxes. And I’ve got to say they really are as annoying as has been described, even when they’re free. You hardly ever get anything you want and they make certain classes pointless to play as until you get some decent cards.
The most worrying thing is that not only has the connection been fairly dodgy that last few days, but I’ve found it increasingly hard to actually get a go on Starfighter Assault. Maybe that’s server trouble as well but I fear that people are just switching off. I hope EA takes a long hard look at themselves after this, and ask themselves why they keep doing this sort of thing to themselves.
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Travelling in style
Got a Switch recently and loving it. Wanted to point out something specifically about the awesome free demo for Project Octopath Traveler. I’m always jonesing for old-school Japanese role-playing goodness but I feel like the stunning ‘HD-2D’ presentation of the game is really a huge reason why I enjoy it so much.
I just find that games presented in the ‘chibi 3D’ style of the Final Fantasy IV remake, Bravely Default, and I Am Setsuna discount how charming those SNES-style sprites are and something gets totally lost in translation. For me at least, 16-bit era Japanese role-players are more than just grinding, job systems, turn-based battles, and characters hitting their adversaries from the other side of the screen.
I wonder if Nintendo and Square are surprised by the response to the demo. Do we know for a fact that it’s a SaGa game? And will you be able to carry your demo save over to the full game?
GC: It’s a great look and we agree with the reader who said it’d be perfect for remakes of 8-bit and 16-bit games. As far as we’re aware though Project Octopath Traveler has nothing official to do with the SaGa series, and the demo is unlikely to carry on to the full game (which itself is still some way off).
Really glad that L.A. Noire got a remaster as I think it was a great game, even with a few of its problems. Like you say, you’ve got to assume that it was done because Rockstar are thinking of doing a sequel, and given it seems to have sold pretty well that hopefully means they’re gong to go ahead with it.
Just wondered what everyone else would like to see from a sequel? I certainly won’t mind if the open world is removed, as I can’t see how they can fill it up with things to do. But I hope they keep the rest of the gameplay pretty much the same. Maybe speed up the looking for clues and make the dialogue options more obvious, so you know what you’re choosing.
Mostly though I’d just like to see a better story. This time Rockstar would presumably be doing it themselves, instead of Team Bondi, and that will hopefully mean less jarring plot twists. The original is underrated I think and gets a lot closer to perfect than some people realise.
Just wondering if you intended to review Hidden Agenda at some point? The girlfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed watching each other play through Until Dawn so the whole play link idea has me intrigued.
Also, that new Andy Serkis/Planet of the Apes game looks interesting too. Will you be adding it to the list? Keep up the good work!
Ed (Capt_BaconBeard – PSN ID)
GC: They are both already on the list, but given they’re both PlayLink titles we’re dubious about their level of interactivity. If you’ve enjoyed Hidden Agenda though, why not write a Reader’s Feature on it?
Dare to care
Great to see so much positivity for the Switch, and negativity for loot boxes. It makes you feel that people really do care. Especially as I see all those people writing in to say they’re ‘not bothered’ by Battlefront II and will buy it anyway have gone quiet.
I guess they realise that some people really do care and that maybe the problem wasn’t been overexaggerated. It was amazing to see those politicians talking about the situation too, and completely understanding what was going on too. I don’t think I’ve heard any MP do that about anything, let alone video games!
In response to Austin’s mail in the Inbox, I completely agree. I picked up a Switch myself a few weeks ago and can’t praise it enough. It’s a fantastic piece of kit. The ease in which you can ‘switch’ between using the TV and handheld modes is amazing. I too love the simplistic interface down to the truly Nintendo-esque sound effects as you navigate around it. Everything about it is pure Nintendo and I absolutely love it.
Its replaced my PS4 Pro as my go to gaming experience, for example I recently picked up L.A. Noire and decided to go Switch rather than PlayStation 4 and believe I made the correct decision. Being able to lie in bed and put the final pieces of ‘The Red Lipstick Murder’ case together before heading to sleep is fantastic (as a side note the case ‘Fallen Idol’ seems scarily relevant in light of the recent Hollywood scandals).
On top of this you have games like Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, both instant classics without a single microtransaction or loot box in sight.
For anyone on the fence about the Switch all I can say is take the plunge and you won’t regret it.
Pierco82 (Switch user)
A quick question if you could help. I’m about to upgrade to a PS4 Pro. I upgraded my launch day PlayStation 4 1TB hard drive to a 2TB. I presume I can straight swap the hard disk but would I have to format it? Thanking you in advance.
bywyd_diwethad (PSN ID)
GC: To be honest we’ve never tried, but we’re sure a reader has.
Wolfenstein II coming out just before Black Friday is just another nail in its coffin, I never even thought of that. What were they thinking?!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader billystanley71, who asks what’s the most difficult story-based decision you’ve ever had to make in a game?
Games like The Walking Dead and Mass Effect popularised moral decision-making in games and now they can be found in all sorts of different titles, from Life Is Strange to Wolfenstein. But which have you found to be the toughest and why? Did you stick with your decision or go back and try and change it?
Do the decisions you make in games generally follow your real-life sense of morality, or do you play a character – perhaps one that is the opposite to your real self? What’s been the most significant consequences of a decision, and how did you feel when you realised what you’d done?
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