Games Inbox: Paying full price for a video game, Resident Evil in Smash Bros., and Shenmue 4 doubts

The Black Friday bargains are finally coming to an end (pic: Sony)

The Friday Inbox is glad that Black Friday is nearly over, as one reader celebrates Sindel coming to Mortal Kombat 11.

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Full price qualms
With all these Black Friday deals going around the thing it makes me wonder about exactly how important price is to video games. We see a lot of people talk about waiting a few months to buy games at half price, or thereabouts, but given how the vast proportion of game sales happen in the first week that’s clearly not how the majority of more casual gamers do it.

More niche games seem to fall out of the charts within just a week or two and are essentially never heard from again. So clearly paying full price for them is not a problem for most of their fans. But it’s not just niche games, as things like FIFA and Call Of Duty always do incredibly well straight out of the gate. So maybe the price of games isn’t actually that big of a barrier for people, as long as they’re familiar with what they’re buying, i.e. it’s a sequel.

I think that in itself is one of the secrets of the games industry. That people just aren’t willing to take a risk most of the time and it’s on with sales, or things like Game Pass, that anyone takes a chance with something they maybe won’t like. Human nature I guess, but maybe it would’ve been better for Black Friday to concentrate on niche games, instead of just offering £5 off the latest blockbuster.
Ashton Marley


Resident representative
I’d love for there to be a Resident Evil rep in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and I would hope now there’s a decent chance. I know no one has ever gone from just a spirit to a fighter but Nintendo never plays by their own rules, let alone anyone else’s so I don’t see why that would rule anything out.

The question though, is who should it be? Chris Redfield is the obvious choice, but he’s such a boring non-character. At least they’ve got rid of his piggy-eyed Hulk look now but in Smash he’s still just going to look like ‘a guy’.

Leon would be more popular, especially coming off the back of the Resident Evil 2 remake. But I think if there’s only going to be one rep it has to be a character that has been there from the start.

So my vote goes to Jill Valentine. She’s already been in a crossover fighter before, in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and I think she worked well there. Plus, she’s the star of Resident Evil 3, so I can see Capcom being interested in getting her into Smash to promote the remake. I just want her in ‘cause she’s cool though.


Number four
I’ve got more bad news for Shenmue fans. Shenmue 3 was a flop in Japan too. It got into the top 10, at number four, but it only sold 17,857 copies. That’s compared to 382,540 that week for the number one game (Pokémon Sword and Shield). Things a not a look so good, as Mario would say.

I think it was pure hubris for Yu Suzuki to just end Shenmue 3 at a random point in the story and not try to wrap things up while he had a chance. I don’t see how he’s going to get a Shenmue 4 or 5 made now, since it’ll be obvious to investors that there’s no general interest for the game and bakers seem quite angry at the way they’ve been messed about with not getting their copies.

I’m not saying he should have modernised the game, I admire the fact that he didn’t, but he had the chance for closure and he ignored it. Something I think he’ll end up regretting.


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Virtual breakthrough
I believe Oculus Quest is the breakthrough VR system we have been waiting for. I already had PlayStation VR, which is great, but truly wireless room-scale VR with perfect tracking is clearly the future.

Oculus Quest gives you that, along with perfectly good resolution and smooth gameplay. The game-changer however is the recent free update adding PC Link. I tested it using an Anker USB-C 3.0 cable and it works very well indeed, linked to my powerful gaming PC.

This gives the best of both worlds, opening up the entire Oculus Rift S game library to the Quest, in addition to its (wireless) Quest library.

Anyway, I haven’t yet picked up Vader Immortal and I wanted to know whether you recommend buying all three and playing in order – or just to pick up the newest one alone?
KhalsaBlade (gamertag)/Akali (PSN ID)/SW-3292-4519-9214 (Switch)

GC: Just Episode III? No, don’t do that. Try the first one on its own by all means, but don’t start at the end of the story.


Improper games
I’m still finding it hard to get excited about Half-Life: Alyx, for the fairly obvious reason that I have no VR headset and no intention of getting one (purely for monetary reasons, mind). That means that I’ll have no way to see the end/continuation of the story, except reading some plot summary on Wikipedia or watching a Let’s Play, which in my experience looks really weird when it’s for a VR game.

Despite all the talk, Valve aren’t really back making ‘proper’ video games they’re just making some high-end experimental stuff that only a tiny percentage of people are going to see or play. I doubt they’ll even release a version for PlayStation VR (although that might be a nice PlayStation 5 exclusive thinking about it, seeing as Microsoft apparently don’t want anything to do with it).

Not making Half-Life 3 will never not be the strangest decision in gaming. If they were a dying or broke company I could understand it, although that didn’t stop Yu Suzuki. Instead Valve are a mega rich company that apparently just can’t be bothered to make games that the majority of their fans can play.


The long Black Friday
I didn’t realise quite how much Black Friday was going to take over this whole week: no new game releases, almost no interesting news or announcement, and… not really many great bargains either. Can’t imagine that’s much fun for GC either, since so many of these ‘deals’ seem to end up being almost the same.

To be honest I find it all a bit gross really; late stage capitalism at its worst. We all sit here anticipating bargains that never come and then end up buying the really bad ones that are the only ones dished up to us. If I was being conspiratorially minded I’d say they were purposefully getting us used to worse and worse deals while still pretending they were amazing.

I guess if you wanted a cheap Xbox One then you would’ve got something out of Black Friday, but for me I’ll be hoping next year really is just the Friday and not the whole month.

GC: Let’s just say we’re glad it’s all over now, although hopefully we helped some people to find some decent bargains.


Exception to the rule
Saw a great Black Friday deal today. I picked up a 2019 Switch with Pokémon Sword and Mario Kart 8 for £299, but if you click ‘buy now pay later’ they give you 50 quid off – this only works for new customers to Very though.

So I have basically got the whole thing for 250 quid.
b4dg3r uk (gamertag)

GC: Yep, that’s definitely one of the best deals this year. There had to be a couple at least.


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Return bout
I don’t know if GC goes back to any of the fighting games when DLC comes out? Like Smash Bros., Soulcalibur 6, and Mortal Kombat 11?

Sindel has just come back to Mortal Kombat – the original scream queen of fighting games. Always my favourite female character in the series, she retains her position I’m happy to say. For me. She can fly, she has that ghost that can attack foes and a couple of nice – if not the best – fatalities. If anybody is going to Johnny Cage’s crown in that area, it’ll probably be the Joker.

They have retconned her story, however. Now she was always evil. Can’t say I like that. In dialogue she is a very thirsty, snickering saucepot. She is very into people submitting to her and licking her boots – but why does a girl who likes a bit of S&M have to be evil?

It’s a shame, really. And yet another waste of a potentially great character. Maybe Mileena shouldn’t come back now. Perhaps she’s suffered enough…

GC: We always go back to Smash Bros. when there’s a new DLC fighter. And we’ll be getting all the Resident Evil spirits today.


Inbox also-rans
Rayman Legends is free on PC on Epic Games Store from today for the next week.
Andrew J.

Hope lots of people play through the story campaign for Titanfall 2. It’s not very long but it definitely is my favourite of recent years and much better than Call Of Duty.


This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader ‘Daley’ Thompson, who asks what game that you like now did you not initially get one with?

Some games take a while to get into, but do you have any where there’s a particularly marked difference between what you thought of it at the beginning compared to how you feel about it now? How long did it take to change your mind? What caused the initial problems and what finally brought you around?

How patient do you tend to be with new games and how long do you usually give them before giving up? What do you do with the games then and are there any you keep meaning to go back to but never have?

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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.

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

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