The Wednesday letters page feels bad for the negative press Saints Row is getting, as one reader takes a chance on Cyberpunk 2077.
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I can’t say whether Saints Row is the worst game of 2022 because I haven’t played it, but I do feel bad for the developers as everyone piles onto it. There’s a certain type of person that loves to be able to rag on something just because they think everyone agrees it’s bad, and so they can be part of the team if they do the same. Maybe that’s not what’s going on but it’s how it seems to me.
So instead of joining the dogpile I thought I’d reverse things up and talk about a game that’s exceeded my expectations and that’s MultiVerus. If you’d told me a free-to-play Smash Bros. clone would end up being my game of the year I’d have thought you very strange, but it really is.
The action’s great, the characters are varied in both looks and abilities, and the whole thing feels very complete and well designed even though there’s hardly any maps and you have to unlock characters. I’m honestly shocked it turned out this well and that it’s not even that bad with trying to make you spend money on things.
It’s really opened my eyes to what a free-to-play game can be and proven that as unassailable as Nintendo seem to be it’s not impossible for others to make games that are as good. Maybe it won’t be my favourite by the end of the year, but it really is a great game.
Too good to be true
A remake of Assassin’s Creed 1 may just rival The Last Of Us Part 1 for the least demanded remake ever! I’d be all up for Assassin’s Creed 2 but I understand the idea is to just to reuse assets from the main game, so it’s being done on the cheap.
What I think is neat is that this is going to be part of the season pass, which to me seems a really good idea. The idea of adding an extra city as DLC sounds good too, in fact, and I’m not even an especially big Assassin’s Creed fan.
Unfortunately, this is what leads me to think that part of the rumour is probably not true, as it seems to be too generous. If it is something that’s practical though I encourage publishers to try it because this is the sort of thing that would get me spending money on a pass, not stupid cosmetics and such.
I was doing my daily Google search for the word Nintendo today, when I came across an article I just had to read. The beginning of it said The next Legend Of Zelda should be a first person RPG – Reader’s Feature. I read this entire article and am left sickened. The Legend Of Zelda is a franchise that will always live on even after sub-par iterations. Breath Of The Wild was a decent game. Because of it there are now more Zelda fans than ever.
That fact is much like when Final Fantasy 7 was released on the PlayStation 1. The open world, go anywhere, changing weather, giant map aspects of Breath Of The Wild made this possible. Not having REAL dungeons helped maintain these new adopters through to the end. And has made them permanent Zelda fans. That’s great, I’m happy about that. Breath Of The Wild 2 will keep the same world, same Link, same Zelda. Breath Of The Wild 2 will bring it back closer to the puzzle solving adventuring role-playing game it’s always been.
On the next system, when an eventual new Zelda comes out, I pray with all my being they do it all. Third person, as it’s always been, an open world like Breath Of The Wild but even more and vast, and dungeons. No more breaking weapons. Ocarina Of Time was a masterpiece because it took every great thing you had seen in the 2D games leading up to it and used it perfectly in a 3D game.
Honestly, why not give us a Zelda remake? The original Zelda in full 3D with the scope being greater than Breath Of The Wild, complete with the second quest. The reason why they don’t do that is because I don’t run Nintendo. So in conclusion: no gosh darn it, no. Do not make it first person, do not keep altering it further and further down the Western role-playing trail.
GC: Zelda has never been a role-playing game, that was the point the Reader’s Feature was making. There’s also no indication, so far, that Breath Of The Wild 2 will be closer to the earlier games in terms of puzzle solving or anything else.
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I do feel sorry for Saints Row as I feel its main problem is simply budget. I’ve watched the game on a few streams and it not only looks last gen (as in Xbox 360 gen) but it just all looks so cheap. The graphics, the bugs, the radio stations with like two songs you’ve heard of… it all smacks of game that wouldn’t match the catering costs of a GTA, let alone anything else.
I think what they should’ve done is either cut down the size of the game world or just make it linear levels. At least have it more like God Of War which was kind of open world but more like a number of hubs stuck together. Since the best part of Saints Row is the combat that would’ve made a lot more sense to me to focus on.
I may still pick it up when it inevitably goes cheap (which I doubt will be long) but I think the whole game plan was flawed if they just though they could do a knock-off GTA with no money.
The reason that the price of the PlayStation 5 hasn’t increased in the States is defined in Sony’s stated reason, it’s increasing here because of the exchange rates.
It’s not favouritism, it’s just that a lot of intercompany trade contracts are set in USD, so the cost price of the PlayStation 5 probably hasn’t changed relative to the US retail market.
However, Sterling has plummeted 15% vs. the dollar this past year, so relative to their cost, Sony was selling it here for 15% less on their books than they were last year.
It’s not their fault our pound is worth less than it was a year ago, that’s ours.
GC: The price increase is for the entire world, except the US. It was primarily blamed on inflation, which is 8.5% in the US but just 2.6% in Japan and China or 6.1% in France.
The curse of success
It seems that if you ‘win’ a generation in a console war, then you are doomed to make a raft of poor decisions in the following generation.
I wrote this tongue in cheek, but it’s frustratingly accurate. Sega’s Mega Drive beat out Nintendo’s SNES in many countries, but they fudged the Saturn, which was the catalyst for their exit from console-making. Sony followed up the ridiculously successful PlayStation 2 with the ridiculously expensive PlayStation 3. Microsoft managed to learn nothing from the success of the Xbox 360 and focused on Kinect and always online features that doomed the Xbox One before it had even launched. Finally, Nintendo followed up the Wii, the console that even your nan owned, with the Wii U, a console that your nan doesn’t even know existed.
Now, it seems Sony are repeating past mistakes by following the success that was the PlayStation 4 with the increasingly expensive PlayStation 5. The price increase is, in my opinion, absolutely abhorrent. It’s a stark reminder that these companies are not your friends, their only motivation is to make money out of you. Seemingly, the rest of the world is now subsidising the US’s PlayStation 5 purchases, which adds insult to injury.
But the price increase is only the latest in a long list of missteps by Sony, and I struggle to understand how this company has managed to destroy all goodwill it created with the PlayStation 4. It’s actually impressive how poorly they seem to understand what gamers like and want, or even how to communicate with them.
As most purse strings tighten even further over the next 12 months, I believe console sales will falter. Hardly anyone I know has a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, or even seems to want one. It’s not helped by most of the games still being available on the previous generation consoles.
But I digress, one thing is for sure: Nintendo’s next console will somehow manage to unravel all of the good things about the Switch and be an absolute disaster. It is the way of the console wars.
Consider me another person that is baffled by the success of Mafia games. I’ve never played one and have never wanted to, simply because they just looked like GTA but boring. That’s fine, there’s lots of games I don’t like the look of, but like you said I have never met anyone else that likes them either.
Are they like really popular on the Moon or something? I’d very interested to hear from any readers that would consider themselves fans. Not dissing them, I just have never heard from such people.
Now this is a letter that I didn’t think I’d be writing, at the weekend I took a bit of a punt. I had a physical copy of Ghost Of Tsushima for PlayStation 5 that I’d finished (and also I’ve got access to the digital version now through PS Plus Extra) so I decided to trade it in at CeX and pick up a couple of games that I hadn’t played or maybe missed.
The first was prompted by reading your article about Project CARS and Project CARS 2 being removed from digital stores due to licensing. Reading the article took me to the review of Project CARS 3, which sounded interesting to me so I picked up a copy. The next game that I picked up though was the real punt: Cyberpunk 2077!
Now I remember the Inbox at launch and seeing the videos and articles about how awful it was but knowing that there has been plenty of patches and I’d get the PlayStation 5 game upgrade for free I thought it was worth checking out. Now to give a bit of pretext, the game wasn’t even on my radar on release. I hadn’t really paid much attention to it at all and if it hadn’t been such a shambles when it was originally released it would have totally faded into obscurity and I’d have never paid it another thought.
I have to say though that I have been both pleasantly surprised and absolutely blown away by it. I guess that the PlayStation 5 version with all the patches is what everyone was expecting the game to be like at launch. The world is absolutely jaw-dropping, the gunplay is pretty good, and the story is really engaging and acted out well.
It’s been the perfect tonic to a bit of a rut where I haven’t really played anything for a few weeks, and I never thought I would be saying that! I get that people who were burnt by it probably aren’t in a rush, but it’s worth taking a look!
I’ve returned from holiday and I’m trying to catch up with the Inbox, but Friday 26th August seems to be missing. Was there no Inbox or is this just a glitch?
GC: There was one, it’d just been given the wrong article tag. Here’s a direct link.
I don’t think Sony has anything to worry about by increasing the price of the PlayStation 5. The market is large enough to disregard this and still buy it. Look at iPhone and their prices. I don’t think Sony is worried.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Pinky, who asks what do you do when you’re stuck in a video game?
As technology has changed so too has the way people cope with difficult games, either because they’re stuck by a puzzle, don’t know where to go, or simply because it’s too hard. So what do you usually do? Do you look for text-based help online, watch a video, ask a friend, or something else?
Do you still buy physical guides and if so, is that primarily for help playing the game or more as a collector’s item?
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The small print
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