Games Inbox: Loot boxes vs. casual gamers, Star Wars: Battlefront II prices, and Tekken 7 season pass

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Games Inbox: Do ordinary gamers care about loot boxes?
Star Wars: Battlefront II – how many people really care about loot boxes?

The morning Inbox predicts new games based on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show, as one reader plays Lenovo AR Jedi Challenges.

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

Who cares?

The one thing I’ve been trying to work out in all this loot box controversy is whether EA purposefully chose Star Wars: Battlefront II to go big on it because the game was review-proof and would sell a gazillion copies no matter what anybody said about it. I fear the answer is probably yes, and that EA really are that evil. Or if not evil then absolutely unconcerned about the artistry of gaming or the long term future of anything but themselves. You know, like every other business.

I imagine they’ll get away with it too, because not only is Star Wars the perfect smokescreen but ordinary gamers just don’t care. A mate of mine asked what all the fuss was about, because he’d obviously heard something, but I could see his eyes glaze over as I explained and I swear the only thing that sunk in was the bit about free DLC.

It’s not that he doesn’t care exactly but he’s a Call Of Duty and FIFA fan. He’ll buy maybe two or three other games a year and he doesn’t talk about things like gameplay mechanics and pay to win, he just cares whether it’s a bit of fun. He has other interests and games are probably not even in the top three. That’s all perfectly fine, but its people like him that are in control of gaming’s future, not the people that actually care, and that’s kind of scary.

GC: Need For Speed Payback also has some pretty horrendous use of loot boxes, although it only came out last week.

Lord of the action

I see Amazon are going to do a new Game of Thrones style TV show that acts as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Didn’t see that coming, but maybe that reader was on to something when he said that fantasy was going to be the next big thing. At the very least you can guarantee it’ll mean more games, I guess from Warner Bros.? I was going to say at least they’d be less fanfic-y than Shadow Of War but maybe not so much if they’re not basing it directly on Tolkien’s work. I bet Shelob’s not a sexy woman in it though.

I do think there’s more that can be done with a fantasy setting, and the idea of getting away from them all just being action role-players. It gets back to having a modern equivalent of Golden Axe I think, or a decent Conan game. I’ve heard some people assume that the fantasy setting is what makes a game a role-player not the gameplay, and I can totally see how that would happen with a more casual gamer.

Nowadays we have lots of non-fantasy games that use role-playing mechanics, so why not have a fantasy game that doesn’t? Whether a Lord of the Rings TV show is the best route for that I’m not saying, but I’d like to see something that was more straight action.

The expense is strong with this one

Being a Star Wars fan since the original came out, and having been amazed by the X-Wing mission on PlayStation VR, I thought I would pick up the Lenovo Jedi Challenges AR headset after being intrigued by the adverts.

Whilst it’s not perfect I have had a lot of fun playing it, and to be able to have a lightsabre duel with Darth Vader has fulfilled a dream I’ve had for nearly 40 years.

It’s pretty expensive considering there’s only three game modes currently, but it’s a well-made piece of kit and the lightsabre is great. I wasn’t as blown away with AR as I was with VR, but it does show a lot of potential and I have absolutely no regrets buying it.

The tactical battles game is pretty basic but does get quite difficult and seeing dozens of tiny troops fighting in your front room is an great experience. Holo chess I haven’t really played much yet, as the other two games are too much fun. Here’s hoping that it shows a lightsabre game can work and that a PlayStation VR game comes out sooner rather than later/never.

GC: Here’s the item in question, for those who have never heard of it…

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Wait and see

GC, not heard much love for Call Of Duty: WWII on your pages since it came out, which is a surprise as it’s very good and quite a few of the gamers on my friends list are playing it. Personally, I’m loving the gameplay again after the sci-fi versions of the last few years. The maps are especially good.

The campaign is, admittedly, nothing special but that’s not why most people buy it. Overall, I would rate it 9 out of 10.
Manic miner 100 (gamertag)
PS: Will be awaiting you Star Wars: Battlefront II review before making a final decision about a purchase. Please be clear in the review how much pay to win it is. Thanks.

GC: Battlefront II is proving very difficult, since EA keep changing the prices. We’ll see if things stabilise today, as it’s now available to the public if you buy the deluxe edition.

Everyday low prices

Can’t believe I’ve just got a brand new PlayStation 3 Slim 500GB with GTA V for 40 quid. Cheaper than CeX. My old one was second-hand and I payed 40 for that.

So if I were you fellow GCers, have a look in your local Asda. Even if you sold it on eBay you could double your money.
Gaz Humpage

Christmas list

I wrote in last week about my work colleague whose two kids wanted a console for Christmas. It seems my suggestion of a Switch was persuasive, and she is buying this, despite the reservations my workmates contributed.

She is now looking at available bundles and additional games. I believe the bundle she has her eye on comes with Super Mario Odyssey, and Mario Kart is already on her list, but she’s looking at other games too. What are a good collection of starter games for kids of their age (five and nine)? Downloads are fine, it doesn’t have to be boxed releases.

GC: Those are the obvious two to start with, but they should also enjoy ARMS. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild should be okay for a nine-year-old but might be a bit beyond someone that’s just five. The same is true of Splatoon 2 and Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom. But there’s plenty of downloadable games as well, such as Snipperclips, Overcooked, Sonic Mania, Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, and of course Minecraft.

A certain point of view

In response to Sheel’s recommendation to get a 4K monitor instead of a TV, the reason they have lower latency is because they have a lower brightness.

Monitors are typically designed to be viewed up close and at a much tighter viewing angle, so anyone that goes this route make sure the viewing angle and brightness is suitable for your needs.
Antony White

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Secret path

I’m pretty worried about Tekken 7. That must sound a little odd considering that the reveal of Noctis from Final Fantasy XV being added to the game has seemingly been accepted by fans as a nice surprise. But aside from him and Geese in the next week or so, the game really hasn’t had any content updates of significant value since launch.

In the summer, a bowling mini-game was added. And it was pretty funny, for the first two rounds. Then you realise that not only is there no online play for it, but it only supports two players. There isn’t even an option to share controllers so multiple people can take turns. A few costumes were added, but these were already available in the arcade edition of the game, so they weren’t exactly new.

Honestly, I find it pretty baffling. Namco haven’t really communicated about what they want to add into the game content wise, if any other returning characters are coming, or if new customisation options are being made. Keep in mind that this game is basically their most successful foray into competitive fighting games to date, and you’d be under the impression they’d want to keep adding more to it to keep people interested.

It’s proved to be more popular than previous entries, and even managed to out sell the likes of Street Fighter V, and yet the amount of post launch support from Capcom from their flagship titles is putting Namco to absolute shame.

Obviously Tekken characters are more complex than their 2D locked counterparts, but the silence makes me think that they don’t really care, or they’ve moved onto different projects. It feels like a huge wasted opportunity, and I bitterly regret jumping in with the season pass. Some people may be tempted to pick this title up when Noctis comes out next year, but I’d really advise caution. Nobody seems to know what path Namco are taking, if they’re taking any at all.

Inbox also-rans

I just don’t understand why EA seem so desperate to put everyone off of Battlefront II. It’s a Star Wars game with really good graphics, that seems to play quite well as well. Wasn’t that enough? Don’t you think that would make money? I guess not.

So I guess the year isn’t ending quite as amazingly as it begun. At this rate I think Call Of Duty: WWII might end up being the best big budget game of the season. Assuming Wolfenstein II and Super Mario Odyssey don’t count.
The Bishop

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Truk_Kurt (PSN ID), who asks what’s your favourite game that nobody else ever seems to talk about?

What game do you really love but which nobody else seems to have heard of, or unfairly dismisses? Was the game financially successful and what kind of reviews did it get? Does your opinion go against the majority or is it just because the game is really obscure?

Did the game ever get a sequel and what is the status of the franchise today? If it could be remade how would you want it to be handled, and what if anything would you change?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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