The morning Inbox wonders if Insomniac will ever make a Resistance 4, as one reader is very impressed by a Jet Set Radio tribute album.
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Never mind Star Fox, I’ve got another anniversary for you. It’s five years to the day since the PlayStation 4 was unveiled! Obviously it’s didn’t come out until November, but this was the week that Sony first announced it, although if memory serves they didn’t actually show the box (which always seemed weird, because it turned out to be… just a box).
I think it’s fair to say that things have gone well with Sony since then, although like many I attribute their success more to Microsoft’s own unveil event later in the year. It is crazy to think that it’s going to be five years this Christmas though and that some generations have barely lasted that long in their entirety. It’s gone so quick, but I put that down to the first two years being so weak with too few proper next gen games.
The obvious question then is when Sony announces a PlayStation 5, especially as it seems sales of the PlayStation 4 have peaked – if only just. Personally I give it two years tops before Sony starts dropping hints at least. And I do expect it to be a proper next generation console and not a PS4 Pro Plus.
Will that one be online-only perhaps? I could see that happening. I bet it’ll emphasis streaming as well, maybe cloud computing too if that actually does become a thing. It should definitely come with a PlayStation VR 2, which I would be all for. So I don’t agree that there’s no need for one, even if the improvement in graphics is slowing.
As an Xbox 360 owner who switched to PlayStation 4 I’ve been very happy with the machine and I reckon the next next generation is already Sony’s to lose.
Faster than a speeding accountant
Very glad to see Burnout Paradise Remastered confirmed, but I’ve gotta say it’s almost a little scary to see how quickly EA react to trouble. They knocked Star Wars: Battlefront II’s loot boxes on the head before the game was even out and they’ve set-up this remaster just months after Need For Speed Payback crashed and burned.
Now I know a remaster doesn’t take as long as a full game, obviously, but March seems awful quick to me. Does that mean they commissioned it before Payback came out and they were expecting it to flop? Talk about having faith in your own product!
I know it never made sense for them to have two street racing series going at the same time but I always thought Burnout was the better of the two, and now that Need For Speed is dead I hope the true challenger can prove itself.
Children of all sizes
The more I hear about Nintendo Labo the more I’m convinced it’s going to be huge for them. I know I will definitely be getting the Variety Kit at least for my girl, as she’s already fascinated by the Switch and I think this will blow her mind. My concerns, like everyone I suppose, is whether the cardboard will break too easily, but I guess there’s only one to find out on that.
I do like the idea of being able to customise the toys, and the ones they did at the event you went to are super cute. Basically it seems like a mix of Lego, video games, and just craftwork. Which seems like a great thing for stimulating kid’s minds (and upsetting hardcore gamers).
I’m not so sure about the robot though, just because it’s more expensive but only one thing, that seems to have less uses. I’m also not clear how it works with people of different sizes. Do you have to swap and replace parts with different sized people?
GC: The length of the straps are changed by wrapping or unwrapping the cord that connects to the pulleys. It’s super low tech but it seemed to work fine, to the point where we were using exactly the same set-up as a little kid.
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Lost in the PS3 era
I too am curious to see what Sony will come up with for this E3 and beyond, but I think that they’re in a better position than Nintendo because they haven’t burnt through their big names as quickly. I’d still be really happy to see a new WipEout, Ratchet & Clank, and LittleBigPlanet.
The one I wonder about though is Resistance. I know it wasn’t super popular last gen but I really liked the last game and feel another could really be something special. Now I come to think of it it’s mostly the PlayStation 3 era games that haven’t lasted, as I don’t expect we’ll be seeing anymore inFamous or Killzone games either.
Not so much worried about them, but I would like more Resistance.
GC: Developer Insomniac are currently working on the new Spider-Man game, so it’d be a long time till they’d be able to come out with anything else. And even then we’d expect more Ratchet & Clank over Resistance.
Old school chief
I can certainly sympathise with the reader saying that his love of Halo has been burned out of him by the last few sequels. The worst thing is with what Bungie are doing to Destiny I’m not sure wishing them back would be any better anyway (not that they would return, I suspect).
My only hope for Halo 6 is that it goes back to basics and out of its way not to play like other modern games. The problem with the multiplayer in the last couple is that you could just tell someone went around trying to see what ideas from Call Of Duty, and Battlefield, and whatever could be sneaked in round the edges and now the whole thing has lost its sense of identity.
And then they went and messed up The Master Chief Collection and I don’t whether younger gamers even realise how big Halo used to be. I’d love for it to be the definitive console shooter again, but I honestly don’t know if 343 have got it in them…
Much ado about nothing
I would just like to add more praise for Firewatch. Although I can understand GC’s perspective with their review I definitely think is a game worth picking up. The visuals of the American wilderness, especially the lighting is great. The tension and sense of being vulnerable in an isolated wilderness is palpable. Most of the reviews I have read which gave the game less than stellar reviews seem due to the reviewer’s disappointment with the ending. I appreciate the ending is not quite what the game initially seems to be presenting but I thought it was rather moving.
The player does come across items and areas which add to the backstory of those whose tragic tale becomes the narrative driving force at the end of the game. As it has been a while since I played the game I cannot be sure of this but I wonder if they were sometimes off the beaten track (Firewatch is a mini open world but quite expansive) which GC might have missed. Either way I recommend the game to those with combat fatigue or those who like ominous, tense games but do not want to soil their pants with fear (thanks Resident Evil 7).
Lord Leaping Lynx
PS: I really enjoyed the weekend feature on the Kingdom Come: Deliverance programmer. I managed to avoid this and the Gamergate scandal. It has only enhanced my view that social media sucks and comments sections should be struck from all websites. To quote from a Day Today sketch from a newsreader, ‘Your comments are in and they’ve been described as ‘tedious, boring and stultifying ill-informed’ so thanks for that’.
GC: It’s not so much the ending itself as the fact that the game sacrificed all the set-up and mid-game revelations in favour of another far less interesting plot twist. The storytelling techniques were excellent, and yet we found the story itself very unsatisfying.
Any port in a storm
I have to admit I’m getting increasingly confused as to the difference between a port, a remaster, and a remake. Especially as some sites seem to be using the words almost at random. I thought a port was like a conversion and was like moving a game to another format without changing anything.
But something like Bayonetta 2 seems to be in a kind of grey area where it’s mostly the same but does have some improvements. So I guess that’s why you called it a remaster. Can you clarify?
GC: Like most things there isn’t any hard and fast rule but a port is supposed to be exactly the same game, just working on another system. A remaster is the original game but modernised in some way – usually by increasing the resolution, frame rate, or improving some of the textures or object models. A remake is something created almost from scratch to resemble the original but featuring all new graphics and controls.
Video game connection
I need access to the hive mind for identifying an old toy I used to have. Well, two to be precise. It was one of those Max Skull-type toys – you know, Polly Pocket but for boys. There was a Star Fleet-style spaceship base for the human good guys where it was a ship that opened up, had other little ships inside and tiny, plastic dudes. Need to have them tiny, plastic dudes.
But the villainous, alien version was more interesting. It had this neon green play dough that was meant to be acid and green, gloopified humans who had fell victim to the stuff. I was always cautious to touch it as I thought it might melt me too. Still not sure it won’t after twenty-plus years. Maybe it’s very slow-acting, okay!?
Inside and out it looked like some sci-fi horror land of mutant vegetation. I also remember a purple lid that vaguely looked like a heater shield and it had a scary looking ‘S’ inside a circle engraved on it. Hopefully this jogs someone’s memory. Because this has been annoying me for ages now.
GC: Do you mean Monster Max? For which there was an excellent Game Boy tie-in by renowned 8-bit developers John Ritman and Bernie Drummond (with music by David Wise)?
Count me in as another person that is really loving Celeste. It always amazes me that these little indie games that look like they had a budget of 2p are much better at telling a story then something with a gazillion dollar budget. (I admit I may have exaggerated in both directions a bit there.)
Since it was mentioned a few days ago I’d just like to make readers aware of this Jet Set Radio tribute album. If there’s ever a sequel I hope they come straight to this guy for the soundtrack. You can listen to it here.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what do you think is the most overrated video game?
You don’t have to think the game is actively bad, just not as good as its reputation suggests. But do try and describe exactly why it didn’t live up to your expectations and what it got wrong. Was it just a good game that was hyped up too much, or do you feel it has flaws that were brushed over in reviews?
Was the problem that you were expecting it to be one thing and it turned out to be something completely different? Or was there some other personal preference that meant you couldn’t enjoy it