Games Inbox: Pokémon Sword/Shield expansion pass praise, Dante in Smash Bros., and Elden Ring

Will you be paying for more Sword and Shield? (pic: The Pokémon Company)

The Friday Inbox discusses the advantages of consoles over streaming, as one reader calls Luigi’s Mansion 2 one of the games of the decade.

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Pretty whelmed
I’ve no idea if fans are going to getting into a huff about it or not but personally I thought the Pokémon Sword/Shield expansion pass was a great idea. Much better than the old director’s cut or the Ultra versions. I never understood the point of those as you had to basically play the game again, including the rubbish stories, to get not much difference. This completely avoids that problem by letting you keep the same save and seeming to have a lot more content anyway.

Two new open world areas is a great idea and hopefully as sign that Game Freak are getting the hang of the idea and are going to build on it quickly, not just stick with the same thing for another five years.

I’m one of those that enjoyed but was pretty underwhelmed by Sword/Shield but this has piqued my interest enough that I’ll probably pre-order. Pokémon is a great franchise and I agree entirely with those wishing it would just get a bit more technically savvy and ensure that the games make good on the full potential of the concept.

It’s nowhere near close yet but I think the expansion pass and its new features are a good step in that direction.


Ninth circle of Heaven
Nice Pokémon Direct, I think expansion packs make a lot more sense than the extra third version that I could never be bothered to play through properly. It was a nice surprise too, as I didn’t expect the idea (the rumour was a Pokémon Diamond/Pearl remake) and it took up almost the entire 20 minutes. So no Super Smash Bros. Ultimate announcements or anything. Which means… Dante?

I have to agree with your article on Devil May Cry 3 that if it wasn’t going to be announced today than Dante in Smash has got to be the odds-on favourite for the fifth slot. The port coming out at around the same time and the dev guy telling us to keep an eye on those dates just seems too much to be coincidence.

I’m all for it too. Not only is Dante a classic character but now we get to have Bayonetta vs. Dante fights, where you can also throw Pikachu and Mario into the mix too. God I love Smash Bros.!


Public service announcement
Just wanted to let those who don’t look down at the comments section know that it has now been revamped. I know a lot of people were driven away by the whole Facebook integration (I gave up as my comments would always disappear) and the comments section has been incredibly sparse for a good while.

I used to enjoy the old days with a group of regular commenters having discussions, and the odd argument, so it’d be nice to see a few of them come back (I promise I won’t bring up Resident Evil 6). If I recall correctly we hit over 1,000 comments during one Christmas period! There is even a notification system again, so you can actually see when someone has replied to your comment.


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Console benefits
On New Year’s Eve I was unable to watch Prime Video because it kept buffering and the picture would freeze and I would have sound but a still picture. YouTube and iPlayer were working fine but if I had been
streaming a game from Amazon, who eventually intend to enter the crowded market, I wouldn’t have been able to play.

At least with game consoles at the moment, if the Internet is not working you can still play a single-player game offline you can’t obviously guarantee this with streaming.
Andrew J.
PS. Sundered: Eldritch Edition is free on PC on the Epic Games Store from now until Thursday 16 January.


Adding to the list
I really enjoyed reading your top 10 games of the decade article over the Christmas period.

As you’d agree, many classic games were omitted, but it got me wondering, where would you rank Luigi’s Mansion 2? Having played this game over the holiday period, I believe that is the finest in the series, and one of the very best games of last decade.
Steve Derricourt

GC: We’re not sure where we’d rank it without doing a longer list, but we agree that it’s the best of the trilogy and one of the best games on the 3DS.


Predictably late
I really hope we get to see Elden Ring, and get a release date, at that game show next month. Since I’ve never heard of it before I’m guessing we won’t but maybe the date? Or at least confirmation that it’s going to be on next gen consoles?

It obviously is but I’m curious to know whether the lack of information is because they’ve delayed it to take more advantage of the new consoles or if there’s been some redesign or something. They could be going for a sudden stealth release too, which I don’t think is something From has done before but you never know.

And then I realised: George R. R. Martin is writing. This guy has taken so long to write his books I doubt we’ll ever see him finish A Song Of Ice And Fire. It was six years between one of them and he is not a guy to be hurried. From probably finished the game months ago and they’ve been sitting their waiting for the script all this time…


The real battle
Maybe I’m just a cynic but I’m not sure I really believe that the PlayStation 5 has some super secret feature that Sony just happens to have mentioned yet. Unless it’s like a Switch hybrid or something I bet it turns out to be an extra USB slot in the back or something.

Not that I really care either way, as all I’m interested in hearing about at this point in the games. It’s weird that Godfall, a third party game, was the first one to be shown although I’m sure it was probably all pre-rendered anyway. What we need to see is Sony’s first party line-up, that will be where the console war will be really fought.
Taylor Moon


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


15ms of inconvenience
Happy new year to everyone! Whilst we’ve been on the subject of TVs I thought I’d just like to mention about my new one I just purchased yesterday. I’ve just bought the new 2019 Panasonic 65″ GX800b LED telly and after a lot of research and reviews I decided to pull the trigger. (Having the previous 2017 generation Panasonic TV was a big influence too.)

Anyway, whilst looking at some of the reviews I noticed this: ‘The ALLM (auto low latency mode) feature we mentioned earlier is currently only supported by the Xbox One X, but it’s a nice time-saver nonetheless: fire up the console and the GX800 automatically kicks into ‘Game’ mode. For other gaming platforms, users will have to navigate through the settings menu and enable the Game mode manually.

‘The clincher here is that the GX800 has an input lag of just 15ms in both its 1080p and HDR modes. An input lag of 15ms would be considered more than acceptable for a gaming monitor, and for a TV it’s competitive with the most responsive models on the market – and that’s at any price.’

Now I don’t play any games on the telly, except maybe a quick blast with my Capcom Home Arcade Console, but I just wondered what all this meant with my new telly being fully compatible with an Xbox One X and nothing else? I don’t have an Xbox anymore, only access to PlayStation 4s in the house. However, reading this caption about the Xbox One X I just found it very strange about it only being compatible with Microsoft consoles and none of the rest of them?!

GC: Does it really matter? As far as we understand all it means is you have to switch game mode on manually if you don’t have an Xbox, rather than it happening automatically.


Inbox also-rans
I’m liking what I’m hearing about the Resident Evil 3 remake so far. Changing it more than Resident Evil 2 makes perfect sense as it’s a weaker game and it’s good to see Capcom acknowledge this. Can’t wait.

To me Vikings seems like the least interesting choice possible for Assassin’s Creed. I don’t know why they don’t just finish the Ancient World trilogy. It just makes too much sense, or is that the point?


This week’s Hot Topic
As the first week back after the Christmas break, the question for this weekend’s Inbox is an obvious one: what are you looking forward to from gaming in 2020?

You can find a list of all the most prominent upcoming games in our preview of the year but feel free to mention anything that has a good chance of coming out in the next 12 months (although try to avoid random guesses). What new games are you most looking forward to and which do you expect to be the most successful?

Of course, a huge part of 2020 is going to be the new consoles, so what do you hope and expect to hear about in regards to them, and how likely do you think it is that you’ll buy one of them this year?

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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 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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