Games Inbox: Christmas video game bargains, Final Fantasy X Assassin’s Creed, and Gravity Rush love

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Games Inbox: How to get the best Christmas video game bargains
A peculiar Christmas crossover

The evening Inbox wonders why Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, was a flop, as one reader calls for a new Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

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

Christmas bargains

Given Rak2017’s Mini SNES letter from Tuesday, I was inspired to write about alternate ways to get a great deal this Christmas.

I have delayed buying a Nintendo Switch as I can’t justify such a cost, especially when I have already upgraded to a PS4 Pro this year.

I’ve spent a small fortune on Facebook Marketplace, picking up bargains with TrackMania, FIFA 18, a brand new copy of Minecraft, Injustice 2, Battlefield 1 (times two) and additional copies of other games for online play with my children. Also, instead of that Switch, me, my family and friends have loved returning to SingStar on PlayStation 3 (with PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility too) and Mario Kart 8 and Nintendo Land on Wii U.

These titles will be further bolstered by additional Christmas purchases of Mario Tennis, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and Star Fox Zero, all for under £10 each from CeX. Add to that a copy (or two, depending on whether my son is reading this) of Destiny 2 new from Smyths for £15, and who needs Star Wars: Battlefront II?

Merry Christmas everyone.
SU DOKU (gamertag)/Mydeadgran (PSN ID)

Blade Runner 2016

Having recently completed Deus Ex: Mankind Divided I am surprised this game sold so poorly. The game has an excellent Blade Runner type vibe, and clever stealth style gameplay. Then again I am not surprised really by the lack of sales, as the gameplay is very similar to Dishonored and we all know how badly that sold.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the graphics in Deus Ex, and indeed the overall atmosphere of the game world. I would definitely recommend anyone who hasn’t played it to give it a try, especially as it is now super cheap (under a tenner!). Merry Xmas and best wishes for 2018.

Model collection

I’ve seen plenty of letters in the Inbox over the year suggesting that amiibo are Nintendo’s equivalent of withheld content, but have to agree with GameCentral’s general responses. They offer, for the most part, some relatively minor but fun additions like changes to costume, etc.

But the biggest reason I think they are desired is just that they are generally excellent physical models and often of slightly more obscure characters – there’s even one for Shovel Knight!

Here’s hoping for a Zelda Champion amiibo for Christmas…

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Captain obvious

One game I hope they make a sequel to for the Nintendo Switch is Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, as that and Super Mario 3D World were my favourite games on the Wii U.

I completed most of Treasure Tracker but some of the levels were quite difficult towards the end, so didn’t complete every level fully.
Andrew J.

Falling with style

Goodness gracious! The gravity shifting mechanics in Gravity Rush Remastered are incredibly inventive and exhilarating. Rarely have I had such profound levels of fun simply traversing a game’s world. It’s certainly up there with the 3D Mario games in this regard.

DC seriously need to consider letting Keiichirio Toyama (who also worked on perennial favourites of mine, Track & Field on the PlayStation and Silent Hill 1) and his team of virtuoso talent make a Super Man game; because they’ve absolutely nailed the sensation of flying (falling) in a video game.

The feeling here is damn near euphoric I tell you – Gravity Rush deserved an innovation of the year award from countless publications in 2012 for its sublime ideas (alongside the magical FEZ, of course). I hope the game was also acknowledged for its distinguished art design, soundtrack, and the stunningly illustrated comic book aesthetics for the story segments.

I really enjoyed those levels where your gravity shift mechanics were temporarily deactivated and the game plays more like a traditional 3D platformer… albeit with external gravity-manipulating elements. These parts really evoked the Super Mario Galaxies for me – which is high praise indeed.

The creativity and adventurousness in the level design is marvellous at times. That epic descent chapter was unforgettable and truly felt like a fantastic voyage, a veritable odyssey for sure.

Obligatory admission: as an evangelist of (adequate) motion controls in games, I really appreciated its applications here. As this criminally maligned control scheme made manipulating gravity and zooming through the game’s glorious skybox an absolute blast!
Galvanized Gamer

GC: What’s DC?

While you wait

Despite how bare its bones are, GT Sport certainly has grown on me. I’d just been racing enough to qualify for the daily workout and get a free car while I waited for the single-player league update (I still can’t seem to find a date for this).

But I recently discovered the mission challenges in the campaign section and I’ve been absolutely hooked!
Rickie Ratpack (gamertag)/Rickandrolla (PSN ID)

Chalk and cheese

I just got the email this morning from Ubisoft about the upcoming Final Fantasy XV crossover with Assassin’s Creed Origins, and in the middle of the news was a picture of Bayek riding a chocobo in ancient Egypt. I get that it’s a fictional blah blah blah and glitches in the Matrix Animus yada yada and optional mount rah rah whatever, but it still just looks damn weird.

More importantly, it doesn’t gel with the other mode they’re doing next year, the big educational update that’s being planned. It’s already a good game Ubi, you don’t need to try to go making it everything to everyone… On the same note, Square Enix, stop trying to make Final Fantasy XV happen. It’s not going to happen. (It might have been my #5 ‘most played’ according to my Xbox Year In Review, but whatevs!)

And on that note (sorry this is going all tangent-y) my top five most played games in order, according to Xbox Year In Review were:

#1 Destiny (my boyfriend at the time bought me the collection for Xmas 2016, it was my first foray this year)
#2 Destiny 2 (considering it came out early September and the Xbox Year In Review only counted play till end of October, making #2 is quite a feat)
#3 Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (a good one!)
#4 Red Dead Redemption (thanks Xbox back compatibility; had never played, thought it was good but overrated)
#5 Final Fantasy XV (and it wasn’t even that good)
aelfin (gamertag with lots of pretty Origins photo mode pictures, just saying!)

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Counter points

In support of DAN jmk, I have felt the Xbox digs in the Inbox over the last year and it is difficult to separate my confirmation bias from my memory of history. I do remember when Sony released only Driveclub all year, and it was broken on release… I don’t remember the number of emails deriding Sony’s terrible line-up but it seemed lower than the frequency we’re receiving RE: Xbox.

If we’re counting the number of first party AAA exclusives I actually felt Microsoft had the better selection in the first two to three years, but the release of Uncharted 4 and Horizon Zero Dawn have really shown what giving developers the time they need to make something special can do for high quality software. With that in mind, I am really looking forward to this coming year with Sea Of Thieves, State Of Decay 2, and Crackdown 4 all on my ‘I really hope they’re good’ list.

I was moved to write this letter in part because of the Five ways to save the Xbox One feature which I mostly disagreed with, it read mostly like a ‘make Xbox more like PlayStation’ feature and I wanted to counter the points and make my own suggestions.

Make more games: ReCore, Sunset Overdrive, Ryse, Rise Of The Tomb Raider, Quantum Break all say hi… all decent 6-8 scoring single-player games that all underperformed on Xbox, it seems the audience is not as strong for single-player as on other formats. (See the success of the broken PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds). Microsoft should focus on more multiplayer focussed games, such as those I mentioned above.

Stop making Halo and Gears Of War: while I have every hope they reinvent Gears there really is no first person shooter like Halo these days, and there are still players desperate for the best arena shooter of this generation. Personally, I would give away Halo 6 multiplayer for free (with cosmetic loot boxes – I know, you hate me) and transform the single-player into an entire Halo ring to explore with drop-in/drop-out multiplayer and progression like Destiny but that works and is fun.

Release VR headset: no. The market is not large enough and it just screams of ‘Me too!’ If you love VR I’m happy for you, but it’s never going to be mainstream until we’re using our phones as AR screens. If Microsoft want to develop their VR coding do it on PC until the technology is in your pocket.

Be more confident… as long as they don’t get arrogant like Sony. No EA Access, no cross-system multiplayer, no backwards compatibility because Sony believes these are bad for the consumer?

Fix the dashboard: it’s horses for courses. I find Microsoft’s dashboard quick and intuitive, and it’s certainly able to do more than Sony’s. And with a two-year-old in my life, ‘Xbox watch Cbeebies’ is my most important sentence ever.

I’d like to thank Xane for his feature and everyone who contributes to this website. I don’t always agree but I find the community to be a step above any other forum with polite informed discussion and not SHOUTING MATCHES.

Merry Christmas GameCentral and to contributors a good night.
DarKerR (gamertag) DarKerR-UK (PSN ID)

GC: There were a lot of complaints about PlayStation 4 exclusives at the beginning of the generation, and Driveclub specifically. The problem for Xbox One is things started off okay but have been getting worse, not better. As you say, hopefully 2018 will be the turnaround.

Inbox also-rans

Just a quick thanks to Andrew J and others who are giving a regular heads-up on various free PC games that have been available on Steam, Humble Bundle, Uplay, etc. I appreciate it, as there’s been some excellent games, though it’s doing nothing for my gaming backlog!

Finally got a SNES Mini at RRP on Amazon, thanks to Rak2017’s letter. Happy Xmas all.

This week’s Hot Topic

As is tradition for the last week before Christmas, this weekend’s Inbox asks what was your biggest video game-related disappointment of 2017?

In the new year (once everyone’s had a chance to play their Christmas presents) we’ll run our regular reader’s poll for the best games of 2017, but for now we want to know what you think was the worst.

Your pick doesn’t have to be a complete disaster but what game were you at least disappointed with? Or perhaps there was some other news story, trend, or hardware release that you considered to be the low point of 2017 for games?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

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Original Article

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