The bumper-sized morning Inbox considers creating a new day of the week just for video games, as a reader asks for advice on Rocket League loot boxes.
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I’m enjoying the Punisher on Netflix at the moment. Watching the show has reminded me of The Punisher video game that came out on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2005.
I remember the game being a fairly enjoyable Max Payne style shooter, but the best bits were when you got to interrogate/torture certain enemies. I haven’t played the game in years (I’ll be interested to see if it holds up) but I believe there were special, more elaborate kills dotted around the levels also.
For some reason The Punisher game bottled it slightly by defocusing and showing its worst violence in black and white. Was this a reaction to the political climate at the time?
Maybe the press are too busy boring us to death with Brexit these days. I haven’t heard any media outrage about video game violence in ages. Why is this? Are video games less violent than they used to be?
I can’t immediately think of a modern counterpart to Manhunt. That new Friday the 13th game could be comparable I suppose.
You can set people on fire in Grand Theft Auto V and the results are quite unsettling. And yet no one’s complained about Grand Theft Auto this time around.
Logically I would have thought that as character models become more realistic violence in games would become less tolerated. But it seems that the opposite is true.
GC: The Punisher was censored in both the US and Europe because of its violence, more so than almost any other modern game.
On the subject of loot boxes I thought I was fairly clear in my mind. I will not buy them. However, as a father of four young gamers, it’s become I bit of an issue. My current dilemma concerns my eight-year-old son who absolutely loves Rocket League. And he’s stupidly good at it, way better than me. But it has loot crates. Lots and lots of loot crates. To open these crates you must buy keys. You can’t win keys in game you can only buy them with real money.
Now, I’m not tight , really, they have pocket money which they can save or spend as they wish. My lad wanted to buy some keys to open up all his accumulated loot boxes. I allowed him to spend £4 on five keys. Reluctantly. But it was his money. What an utter waste.
For starters you don’t get all the items in the box. Just a random chance of one item per key. His keys won him three skins for cars, two of which he didn’t have. A festive boost thing and a pair of rare wheels. I was mortified. He however was moderately pleased and has asked if he can use future spending money on more keys. There’s my dilemma. Should I let him or not?
GC: That’s got to be your choice, but we’d go with your gut not your guilt.
Nothing to save
Does the Xbox need saving?
I can’t get my head around the letters talking about Xbox being in trouble. Apart from not having the lead in sales it has by far been the most played console in my house, with the PlayStation 4 being an exclusives machine. When you look at sales of games this year on both consoles the exclusives barely scratch the top 20 on both consoles.
There is a lot of hyperbole surrounding Xbox, and granted it is their own fault thanks to the 2013 debacle launch, but since then you have to admit they have been on a steady rise and seem to have clawed back mindshare amongst defectors I know who went to PlayStation 4 this gen from Xbox 360. Media outlets guess Xbox is around 40 million now, which is nothing compared to PlayStation 4 but in its own right it’s fantastic.
I have been more than happy with exclusives from Microsoft this gen, and the guy that said normal people don’t care about the minute differences of 4K is a bit of a broad statement to make when the smaller differences of 900p to 1080p was a massive thing for the first two years of this gen when the PlayStation 4 was more powerful yet the Xbox One had better exclusives in that time period.
I’m not a fanboy, as this may look like, but merely a gamer who isn’t blinded by media outlets who feed off this vitriol. Play what you like but let’s not be stupid and say Xbox has no games when my ready to install list sits at 147 games and installed I have 76, more games than I have ever owned on all consoles combined in my 31 years on this planet.
DAN jmk (gamertag/PSN ID)
GC: The comments in the Inbox have been mostly about the lack of exclusives, and we don’t feel any of them were attacking Microsoft unduly. Most of them are just bemused at their lack of effort in that area.
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A lot to be getting on with
Just like to say I’ve been reading since the Teletext days and really love to read all your content, and the morning and evening Inbox, definitely my go to place for gaming news.
I’m currently playing The Evil Within 2 and while it’s not perfect (very little is) I have been enjoying it immensely. I find myself doing all the side quests and trying to upgrade as much as I can before doing the main missions. I’m about 15 or so hours in on chapter eight of 17, so would like to say for £20 you can’t go wrong if you’re into your survival horror
Also have Wolfenstein II, Super Lucky’s Tale, and Yesterday Origins to go through, and will be giving that Hitman Christmas contract ago, along with Zelda: A Link To The Past on the Mini SNES, among others.
Would like to let everyone know Mafia III Deluxe Edition is currently £15.99 at GAME, which includes the season pass for all DLC worth £25 on its own.
Keep up the great work GC, and Merry Christmas all!
R1CH5TER (gamertag/PSN ID)
Thanks Crunchie it’s Gameday
It’s been a while thought I’d thought I’d drop you a quick update.
I’m still struggling with fitting in all my gaming needs. I have a PlayStation 4, Switch, and Mini SNES.
How do I manage this? Recently got Star Wars: Battlefront II, still playing Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, got a few VR games, Super Mario Odyssey, Snipperclips, Super Bomberman R, Mario Kart 8 and, want to complete Zelda: A Link To The Past and Metroid.
Please, advice from anybody would be much appreciated.
Merry Christmas to all the GC and skeleton staff. Thanks for all your hard work.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
GC: Advice on how to manage all that? Um… invent a new day of the week (please, it would help us out too).
So I recently got The Evil Within for £3 or £4 on PSN, at that price I thought why not? Started off good but I quickly (chapter six or seven) gave up: horrible controls/camera/shooting/exploration.
So I then bought A Hat In Time, which I’m really liking. The reason I mention it is that there’s a level in it where you enter a spooky mansion and you’re being followed by a giant shadow monster, I honestly found it more tense and atmospheric than anything I’d experienced in Evil Within! A game I wanted but failed to like.
GC: That is a great level, and in part a homage to the creepy ghost house in Super Mario 64.
Getting back together
Just found out that Catherine is getting a re-release in the near future, Catherine: Full Body I think I read.
I for one am excited by the news as I still feel to this day, that it has one of the most unique stories for a video game. It is one of the most unique video games full stop, in my opinion.
The game really makes you feel like you are the protagonist, it gets your heart pumping during the confrontations with the titled C/Katherines. It really makes you feel like you are being unfaithful towards Katherine and it is such a strange feeling.
On top of new storylines and characters is multiple difficulty options including easy (thank goodness, no more YouTube guides for me) and online play which could be interesting.
I’m looking forward to hearing more from this – particularly the pricing. Hopefully a budget price as I imagine there won’t be much of a graphical upgrade, more of just a port with extras thrown in.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Steve P Willz (gamertag)
PS: Just finished the Zelda DLC. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it has left me wanting more. Here’s hoping for some Super Mario Odyssey DLC reveals. Extra kingdoms wouldn’t go amiss.
GC: There isn’t really any information on the Catherine remaster at the moment but there’s a livestream on Friday morning, so hopefully we’ll get a proper trailer then. We agree with you that is a great game.
Christmas party game
Bought The Jackbox Party Pack 2 for Switch this weekend. I have three kids: five, nine, and 12. What a laugh we had with it. Always had me eye on it, but didn’t think it’d be worth the punt.
Definitely was, I’m now looking at the other packs ready to get another one over Christmas.
Happy Christmas GC and everyone.
PS: I hope Gaz be rotten gets his remasters and Dead Rising announcements over the festive period.
New year revelation
Hi GC, Thanks for all the great work for another year. A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.
Wondering what the New Year will bring. Do you think we might find out what Retro Studios are up to? Wasn’t it confirmed that they’re not the ones doing the new Metroid?
Haven’t had much gaming time of late and Wolfenstein II is still in the box! Played some Super Mario Odyssey and that’s great. Won’t get much gaming time over Xmas either, as we’re going to the sun for a week. May take the Switch if its allowed on planes.
Smell you all next year!
GC: It was confirmed they’re not working on Metroid Prime 4, but there’s no real clue as to what they are doing.
RE: Virgil GC’s top two will most likely be Zelda and Mario for 2017. With us readers I wouldn’t guarantee it, as there’s more diversity in console ownership.
Are we voting for games we’ve actually played or just what we think was a great game in 2017?
Personally, my favourite two that I played are Horizon Zero Dawn and Sonic Mania. Some games that I think were great this year are (in no particular order): Cuphead, Nioh, NieR: Automata, and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
Kudos for asking about the design and attire of Ivy in the SoulCalibur VI interview. But the screenshot of Sophitia you had and the developer’s response, ‘I still want to keep the body shape and the atmosphere of each character to the backbone of each character’.
The choice of words makes me chuckle as he’s saying yes to assets that would cause real women severe backpain.
Oni-Samurai (PSN ID)
GC: We’re not sure we understand you, but if you’re asking if the game has to have been released in the UK during 2017 then yes. It can’t be an older game you just happened to have played this year.
Oi oi! Bought the girlfriend a Switch for Christmas… should I be this excited about giving a present? Damn right I should be! Bring on the Mario Kart marathons! Happy Christmas and all that jazz.
Oxenfree is free on PC on GOG.com
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
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