The morning Inbox has a hard time imagining a portable-only Switch, as another reader offers advice on autistic children playing video games.
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PLEASE NOTE: The main GameCentral team will be away today at a press event (two, in fact) and so there will be no evening Inbox. Normal service will resume tomorrow.
I agree with iFires comments about why some games are unnecessarily hard for the sake of it. Im all for the niche existing, but surely the option to play on easier modes should exist? Or do humans just have no restrain and then everyone would play it on easy mode? It does seem an interesting design decision to alienate a large part of the market by making games purposefully difficult and Below has been mentioned since as well. I will be put off from reading a review instantly if that is the case.
I understand the arguments that it wouldnt be the same game or that it needs to be experienced in a certain way, but I work long hours and see myself as time-poor, so the thought of playing something which has the fun sucked out of it because I cant get past the first area seems beyond unappealing. My brain is taxed enough throughout the day that gaming is a great release and something I look forwards to, so I would much rather play something that can be beaten.
On this point, do the type of games people play have any correlation with their real-life jobs? For example, I work with numbers all day so the thought of playing a Japanese role-playing game is also unappealing. Conversely, back in the days when I was farming, I wouldnt ever want to play Harvest Moon or anything similar. Has a study ever been done on something along those lines, GC?
Happy New Year to all readers and everyone at GC – keep up the fantastic work.
GC: Humans rarely have any restraint for anything, let alone video games. But thats an interesting point about your choice in games being influenced by your job.
Just been reading, and agreeing fully, with your review of the new Mario Switch game. Even back on the Wii U the only thing super about it was how dull and lifeless it was. Then I got to the end of it and saw it costs £50! I love Nintendo as much as anyone but I just find that so incredibly disrespectful to their fans.
I genuinely cant begin to understand how they can justify charging that much money for a repackaged B-minus (when new) game. Do they think fans will just mindlessly march to the beat of their drum because we love them?
Id be almost as annoyed about this kind of thing as I am with loot boxes. I hope people give it a miss until the price more fairly reflects the product – about £30 in my view.
Glad to see you back after the new year. Loving your reviews.
Call of Overwatch
Theres been a lot of talk about how to make a sequel to Rocket League when theres basically nothing to improve on with the original but what Im most interested in is Overwatch. I dont think Blizzard ever had any intention of making a single-player spin-off but at some point theyre going to have to do a sequel of some kind. I know Warcraft went on for ever but Overwatch is going to start looking seriously old-fashioned by the time the next gen rolls around.
I guess maybe they werent sure if itd be a hit the first time out, but now that it is I hope they go full Call Of Duty on it and include a story campaign, multiplayer, and some kind of co-op. Ive heard it said that the engine theyre using just wasnt set up for single-player (I dont see how not, but there you go) but if the new one is made with that in mind then we should get a significantly beefier game. I hope thats what theyre planning for the PlayStation 5, etc.
Big and small
I cannot talk for anyone else but I buy a lot of indie games on the Switch due to its portability. Some games, like Into The Breach in particular, are perfect for portable play.
Also, in the rare moments I get use of the TV I usually take the opportunity to play something grander, which leads to me playing bigger PlayStation 4 games like Spider-Man or God Of War in preference to indie games.
I then find myself in a situation where big, epic Switch games like Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and smaller, more contained, PlayStation 4 games like The Witness and XCOM 2 fall through the cracks.
GC: Theres nothing small about XCOM 2.
Regarding the higher sales for indie games on Switch, the PS Vita was previously the darling of indie developers and I think for similar reasons. Firstly, lot of indie games suit portable gaming well – I dont think I wouldve played games like OlliOlli, Guacamelee, or Hotline Miami on a home console but I had great fun with them on Vita.
Secondly, the Switch isnt a main format for most third party developers so there are larger gaps in the release schedule which likely contribute to increased sales of indie games. This is less of an issue on Switch than it was latterly on Vita, but Nintendo are still largely reliant on first party Switch games for the major releases and this means that the indie games get a better chance to shine (particularly as there are still a large number of gamers who are Nintendo-only).
Sony have definitely pulled back on their indie support though as far as I can tell. They lost some of the staff that were key to signing up indie developers and dont seem to have replaced them. The games are still there but they get lost in the noise now, while with Vita they were nearly the only thing to play for the last couple of years.
Fun to see all the next gen speculation in the Inbox. I agree that motion control is not something that should be abandoned altogether, but rather gradually reintroduced as technology matures – which is basically what Nintendo is doing at the moment.
The argument that most caught my eye though is the one about when games would start becoming cross-generation. I know theres some speculation that The Last Of Us Part II and Cyberpunk 2077 might be but I dont see anything to suggest anything being released at the moment will be. Which leads me to agree that that the next gen probably wont start until next year.
The litmus test for me is Ubisoft, who always seem to be first to go on new hardware but dont seem to have hinted at anything obviously next gen yet (except Beyond Good And Evil, which just seems to be stuck in permanent limbo). I would imagine that whatever new games are announced at E3 are likely to be first of the cross-gen titles and that will be our indication that the next gen is getting closer.
I see more rumours doing the rounds of a handheld version of the Switch but I just dont believe it. What would they call it? The Non-Switch? And just because it can run Switch games that doesnt change the fact that Switch games are still at least £15 more expensive than 3DS games, so apart from the initial hardware cost its not actually any cheaper for kids. Maybe sell a version without the dock, but how much would that save? £50 tops?
The whole idea doesnt make any sense to me. I dont even see how they do a Lite version, considering the Switch is already as small as it can be. Maybe improve the screen quality, but I dont see many people double-dipping if thats the only difference.
Before and after
RE: wasimr34. Youll just have to be patient with your kid for the time being but dont give up hope with him and the games. My son has autism and hes a couple of years older than yours and doesnt speak, so I know what youre going through.
I wrote in regarding my son and his Smash Bros. obsession, the game we saved for Christmas which he has still yet to have a play on might I add.
The excellent single-player mode has left dad playing it but he does comes running in to choose your characters and takes the controller off of me to set up the game then disappears again.
When I get a victory, he comes running back in, steals the controller, goes through all the end game statistics and then chooses who Im playing with again. Then sets me off on my way.
On another note, when I saw the Nintendo Direct of Masahiro Sakurai and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate I thought it was just a rehash of the Wii U version with small additions but after spending a little time with it Im realising that it feels like a completely new game. A great game.
Excellent review GC on Smash Bros. Ultimate. Read it before playing and after, and you hit the nail on the head with everything once again.
Last thing, excellent GC feature over the Christmas period by Nick Gillett, about single-player games not dying. Really enjoyed it.
Nick The Greek
Cant wait for the Resident Evil 2 30-minute demo. 21 years ago we got that 10 minute demo of it on the official PS1 demo disc, anyone remember that?
Im desperate to like Below – I love the visuals and Ive really liked Capys other stuff – but I have to agree with the majority: its just too hard. I dont want to be punished, I want to be entertained.
This weeks Hot Topic
As the first Hot Topic of the year the subject for this weekends Inbox is obvious: what new games are you most looking forward to in 2019?
You can find a list of all the most prominent titles here, but feel free to suggest anything else that is confirmed for this year – but please dont use games that are either unannounced or have only vague release dates (so no Half-Life 3 or Bayonetta 3).
Why are you looking forward to the games so much and how well do you expect them to do in terms of sales and reviews? What do you think of this years line-up in general, in comparison to 2018 and other recent years?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.