Games Inbox: Demon’s Souls difficulty, Destruction AllStars for free, and the best Metroidvania

Demon’s Souls – too hard for a launch game? (pic: Sony)

The Tuesday Inbox tries to understand Facebook’s self-destructive Oculus Quest 2 policies, as one reader gets stuck on Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.

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Hard choice
I’ve got my PlayStation 5 pre-ordered and have given up any idea of cancelling it. But my next dilemma is what games to get. Spider-Man: Miles Morales seems a no-brainer and I’m also thinking of Devil May Cry 5, as they’re both cheaper than average. But the big question for me is Demon’s Souls.

I’m interested in it because it seems to be the biggest and most complete game and the graphics look great, but the series’ reputation of being rock hard really puts me off. I worry whether I’ll have the ability, the patience, and the time to get through it.

These games aren’t cheap, as everyone knows, and Cyberpunk 2077 is out the same day. I have been saving up for this, but I don’t want to waste money on something I’m not going to enjoy or play much. Can GC or anyone offer any advice? At the very least I’ll make sure to get a digital copy so I can trade it on, but I have a feeling this one will go on cheap pretty quick, which also puts me off.

GC: The original was very hard, roughly on par with the original Dark Souls. How much the remake has changed that we couldn’t say but the impression we get is that is that it won’t be notably easier.

Not cynical enough
I’m finding it very difficult to see why Facebook are doing their absolute best to ruin one of the best VR headsets.

The whole thing of requiring a Facebook account, and it being in good standing no less, and then tying your purchases to said account, which can be suspended at their whim or purchases lost if you delete the account, just smacks of someone trying to exert too much control.

They’ve got pretty much all the metrics right and then muddy the water and claim it’s good for the consumer. We’ve seen these kind of things before, and we know how it ends: badly.

It’s turning from a public victory to a public relations disaster for Facebook and Oculus and they should about turn now, make the account linking optional and keep all your purchases separate from your day-to-day social media. It’s not like someone bumbling about in their front room, wearing a headset, is too concerned about how they look on their news feed!

It’s not Don Mattrick running Oculous these days, is it?

GC: It’s madness. We warned of it in our review but at that point we worried we were being too cynical…

20 years later
My son was playing the revamped Crash Bandicoot games and he got stuck on one of the levels. In my arrogance I thought, ‘Let me show you how it’s done’. Things didn’t go according to plan, I gave up after a while as I got frustrated with one of the early level’s high jump boxes section which would send you all the way back to the start if you mistimed a jump.

I completed the game when I was in my teens, now 20 years on (sob) I am struggling with one of the early levels. Was the game this unforgiving back in the day or have my patience and skills deteriorated so much?
Alek Kazam

GC: It was always very punishing, yes. You probably had more time to practice then too, and less of other things to do.

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Variable pricing
After recently sending my Switch Joy-Cons to Nintendo for repair, due to the well-known drift problem, I have reviewed a bill with differing amounts for each Joy-Con. The most expensive being a jaw dropping £26.03! Essentially the price of a new Joy-Con.

After Nintendo finally recognised and the CEO apologised for the drift problem, I was under the impression that Nintendo were fixing Joy-Cons for free even if they are not still in warranty but sadly that doesn’t seem to apply here in the UK.

What would be your advice in this situation?
James Winston Baker

GC: We’ve had several readers claim they did get them repaired for free, even out of warranty, so we’re not sure what’s going on.

Knowingly unpopular
Have you ever run a Hot Topic about, ‘What are your unpopular gaming opinions?’

Mine would be:

Bethesda are rubbish
I could not care less about Microsoft buying Bethesda. Bethesda produce overly long, buggy, boring, and unfinished games and rely on fans and the modding community to finish them.

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is rubbish
Breath Of The Wild is set in a post-apocalyptic world where society collapsed due to their inability to make a weapon or tool that didn’t break after three swings. It removes the best thing about Zelda (dungeons) and replaces them with an empty world where it takes an age to get anywhere, and a generic story that has been rehashed a hundred times already.

I’m sure you and the majority of your readers agree with me!
CarrotCakeIsYum (PSN ID)

GC: That’s not a bad idea. Although we’re not sure who plays Zelda games for the story.

No comparison
I read lots of comments on this here website about how great Game Pass is and how Sony has no answer/cannot afford to do similar/etc., etc.

Just wanted everyone who’s ever written anything like that to type ‘PS Now’ into Google and you will be pleasantly surprised. However if you do that, please be careful as I have it on good authority that if you type ‘Google’ into Google you can break the internet.

I’d be tempted to say that PS Now isn’t as widely known as Game Pass because Sony has some actual good games to advertise, whereas Microsoft bang on about Game Pass all the time because they have nothing else to crow about. I’d be tempted to say that, partly to ignite the comments section into a partisan sea of thumbs up and down, but also partly because it is true.

All the best and keep fighting the good fight, you are my favourite video games website.
Dan (grimwar85 gamertag/PSN ID)

GC: Thank you. But PS Now is just a shadow of what Game Pass offers. You get every first party exclusive (now including Bethesda) on Xbox but Sony, by their own admission, want you to buy those games separately.

Better late than never
Smart move by Sony to make Destruction AllStars a PS Plus title, at least at first. I’m interested to know though at what pointed they decided on this. I mean, it is quite a leap to go from £70 launch game to subscription freebie.

At what point did they realise that maybe people didn’t want to pay £70 for a game they’d never heard of, that didn’t seem to show off the power of the PlayStation 5 in any obvious way, and which, frankly, didn’t look very good? I mean, well done for getting there in the end but what were they thinking?

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Samus of the Wild
Just completed The Mummy Demastered, after picking it up in the current PSN sale. It’s a generic but still highly enjoyable Metroidvania with a rather natty soundtrack. I think Guacamelee is still my favourite Metroidvania. I really like the way it incorporated the expanding move-set into the level design. The late game had some great platforming sections where you had to chain together the moves you had learnt in the game. It felt a bit more clever than the average Metroidvania, where the upgraded moves seem little more than to access a new part of the map.

It also got me thinking about Metroid Prime 4. As much as I like the Metroidvania format I’m hoping Nintendo mixes it up a bit à la Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. I remember when that game released I liked the idea of a Metroid game where you’re not denuded of your arsenal at the start but keep it all and you have a whole solar system to explore, completely designed around the full array of Samus’s abilities.

I think it’s why Breath Of The Wild won’t be replicated by anyone soon. The toolset and breadth of ways it impacts on the game world really is staggering. You can pay homage to the style and structure like the upcoming Immortals: Fenyx Rising but not sure many will be as clever with the mechanics as Breath Of The Wild. I will say though I do think Immortals is looking pretty good.

Games are great though. Don’t ever give up on them kids, even if is Sony is well cheeky pushing for £70 for a first party exclusive.

Inbox also-rans
Oh, thank goodness I can play awful free-to-play mobile games via a browser! Thank goodness for Facebook Gaming, saviour of the industry! (I’m being sarcastic, just how many of these services do we need and why do they get less appealing with each new one?)

I really hope that the relative failure of Marvel’s Avengers will be the final kick to the head for games as a service titles, or at least that particular kind that is obsessed with endless repetition and grinding. And all it took was wasting the biggest licence on the world on a game that got boring the second you finished the story campaign.

This week’s Hot Topic
Since it’s Halloween this week the topic for this weekend’s Inbox asks what is your favourite horror game of all time?

Although they’re not as common as they used to be horror games are still being made today, but which is your favourite and which do you think is the scariest – whether that’s the same game or not.

The next gen already has a number of horror games announced – including Resident Evil Village, The Medium, and Scorn – so what are you hoping for from them and the genre in general on the new consoles?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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