Games Inbox: Punishing video game leakers, Shenmue 3 disappointment, and best Switch Lite deal

Pokémon Sword/Shield – are video game leakers spoiling the fun? (pic: The Pokemon Company)

The Wednesday Inbox has more on the power difference between PS5 and Project Scarlett, as one reader admits to having eight subscriptions.

To join in with the discussions yourself email


Sympathy for the Giratina
I had a good laugh at that story about The Pokémon Company trying to sue fans for the Pokémon Sword and Shield leaks. But then the more I thought of it I can see how it must upset these companies. They have their reveal plans and everything set up and then some goober comes along and just spoils everything in one go. Like, that 24-hour livestream where all you did is get a glimpse of a Galarian Ponyta? That all would have been ruined if the leaks had happened a little bit earlier.

I’m not one to usually feel sorry for multinational companies, and I’m not suggesting any serious punishment for leakers, but it does also ruin the experience for us ordinary gamers too. We now almost never find out about a game when we’re supposed to, but through a stream of leaks and rumours.

It’s much more fun the official way round and part of me wishes I had the strength of will not to read news stories about it all. Although it all gets spoiled anyway via Facebook or YouTube or whatever. So yeah, I’m not suggesting stringing up these leakers but I wish they wouldn’t do it most of the time and I do have some sympathy at companies that get frustrated with it all.


A word from our sponsors
One thing that I don’t think has been mentioned for Google Stadia is the potential revenue, not from selling games but from selling ads. Microsoft can charge £1 for three months access to Game Pass and provide good value. I can see a situation where Google don’t even bother charging anything and make their money from ads. How many people out there would be prepared to play a high-quality game with a banner ad along the top? I suspect there will be a lot who won’t be bothered if it’s discretely tucked away in the corner or even have a quick five second ad which can be skipped.

If Google’s original plans don’t work out then this is where I think they may divert their attention to. Just look at the number of ads for a single YouTube video and some of those videos aren’t even interesting or good but are still making money for Google.
Alek Kazam

GC: It sounds a horrible idea to us, but we agree someone’s bound to try it sooner or later – whether it’s Google or not.


The Legend of Navi
To clarify. I’m suggesting it should be no surprise Sony have the software development advantage due to its probable early access to aspects of the hardware. I would expect Microsoft to catch up, as the article suggested.

I don’t think there’s any real hardware advantage because both companies are using AMD’s Zen 2 and Navi architectures (as far as I understand it), and Sony doesn’t seem to have exclusive rights to Navi. It’s the customisations AMD will make per Sony and Microsoft’s requests which may make a difference. Perhaps the biggest unknown is how they are going to cool the processors allowing for higher sustainable clock speeds.

Besides, we should know it’s not what hardware you have but how you use it.

GC: What we look forward to the most is all the Ocarina Of Time jokes about the Navi chips. Hello? Listen!


Smart codes
As my Xbox Live subscription ran out in October after 15 years I have been reluctant to renew it as I don’t really play my Xbox anymore, only really use it for Sky Go and now Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – as I play my Switch a lot. People on GameCentral saying how good it is I just got me three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for £1 of your English pounds.

In February before it expires I will cancel it, then use the code I have just bought from Amazon Black Friday sale for a further three months for £15.99. £16.99 for six months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Downloading The Outer Worlds, Gears 5, and Metro Exodus as I type this. Save spending money on Xbox Live Gold for the year. After the six months I won’t get another one.
Niwidi (gamertag)


Long-term purchases
RE: ProEvoSan78 and subs. I’m currently subscribed to eight different services, Netflix
Now TV, (but just for The Walking Dead and Watchmen), Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ (which I got
free for year after buying an Apple 4K TV, Games with Gold, Xbox Game Pass, EA Access (mainly
for the 10-hour trials), and just recently Apple Arcade.

I can justify them as long as I use them each week and can obtain offers like cheap Now TV codes
and Game Pass which was on offer early this year for £8 for three months, so I kept repeat purchasing
and was sorted for two years at the cost of just £32 per year.
Chaosphere616 (gamertag)
PS: Regarding one-handed gaming I highly recommend games that feature on Apple Arcade (TV) that I play one-handed with the included remote. Games like Sayonara Wild Hearts, What The Golf, the very addictive Grindstone, Lifelike, and many others.


Hard to resist
For the guy who said he sees no reason to get an Xbox One as he already owns a PlayStation 4 that’s fair enough. I know a few of my mates are grabbing an Xbox One S just for Game Pass and how cheap it is now.

If you don’t own any other console Game Pass is almost too good to turn down. The £1 deal for three months of Game Pass is pretty amazing.


True horror
After reading your article on Hideo Kojima being interested in making a horror game I couldn’t help but be slightly annoyed at your mentioning that the remake of The Eye was ‘predictably terrible’. It was in fact an irredeemably awful and truly appalling experience.

On a slightly more serious note I remember you had a Hot Topic feature a few weeks back on the scariest horror experiences in gaming and looking back I forgot to ask what GC felt about what is their scariest movie experience. I finally plucked up the courage to watch Threads again last week. Not sure if GC watched it when it came out during the Cold War years of 84 but it’s a TV movie partly produced by the Beeb with screenplay by Barry Hines (Kestrel for a Knave) and it’s arguably the scariest and bleakest experience about a nuclear apocalypse and the subsequent disintegration of society ever made.

There’s no tales of heroism or inspiration and nothing more other than sheer terror at the unfolding events. Which doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement but it really is worth experiencing even if only to point out how everything we take for granted could be eradicated in seconds and that the aftermath would probably be worse than being incinerated in the initial blast.

After watching it it’s advisable to hug all family members and pets and tell them you love them dearly.
Al Gore Rhythm

GC: We accept your more detailed description of The Eye remake. Our scariest game experience is the first few encounters in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, probably followed by Alien Isolation. But yeah, Threads is not happy viewing.


Second time round
In response to the query about the difficulty in New Game+ for God Of war, I for one found it more of a challenge in certain situations but it also felt fairly easy at first as you can carry over all of your stats. I played through on normal difficulty and then went through on New Game+.

There are enemies that can cut you down pretty quickly still, even after initially feeling all powerful, but as long as you make sure you check what armour you have on and check the weapons and sockets and so on you should be able to succeed.

I got the Olatinum as I enjoyed it so much the first time around, although I must admit to having felt slightly apprehensive about having to take on the Valkyrie queen again. Is was worth it though. A great game.

RE: matc7884 in regards to God Of War and the difficulty in New Game+. Its update history informs enemy difficulty tuning, more difficult enemies, and higher level enemies. GC is correct, New Game+ mode is purposefully more difficult in many games (and certainly is in this game).


Double dipping
RE: Your Shenmue 3 sales article. It’s likely even worse than it seems. You mention the 70,000 Kickstarter backers would have their copies. Wrong in my case, and in the case of everyone I know in my little Shenmue circle that backed it. None of us have received a copy yet, and after a quick Google it doesn’t seem to be unusual. So the sales charts might look even worse than they already do as most of the first weeks sales are likely people that should already own the game anyway, being impatient and buying a second copy as their Kickstarter copy hasn’t arrived.

I bought a digital copy on PC, I wish I hadn’t now, I should have left the series in Nostalgia City, I hate to say it as Shenmue is my #1 game of all time, but Shenmue 3 is complete dross, and good lord the ‘ending’ is a slap in the face. Suzuki clearly has aspirations for a fourth and fifth instalment, he definitely won’t be getting a penny out of me that’s for certain and I’ll be shocked if a fourth ever gets the greenlight based on the sales and general apathy.

I’ve moved onto Ni No Kuni 2, something that still feels warmly nostalgic without being total garbage. I didn’t think I’d be starting a new game so soon after Shenmue 3 released, it’s really sad, 18 years of waiting and it’s already been uninstalled. I keep asking for a Skies Of Arcadia remake/sequel – after this week I hope they never touch it, let me fondly remember it rather than ruin it with weird fat men, waxwork-looking characters and wood chopping.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Existence is victory
First the elation, now the inevitable morning after. I love that Shenmue 3 exists. It’s amazing. It’s a miracle that it’s even as good as it is, considering it had been in development purgatory for nearly two decades.

It would have been wonderful to have seen it do well in the charts – which was never going to happen, but would have made the continuation more likely. But, I am disappointed. Not massively. I feel that with the last game, Shenmue 2, there was a better editorial process in place.

That game is still genuinely great. Yes, it is. Come on, fight me over it! I dare you! I mean, you weren’t kidding about the pace – what’s slower than treacle? Something Palaeolithic? In Shenmue II you met Joy within 20 minutes. I’ve been playing for about five or so hours now and it feels like it’s still dragging its feet. Okay, just get on with it Shenmue!

And the combat… absolutely dreadful! I mean, it actually makes me angry. Okay, the Virtua Fighter lite stuff from the past was easy but I looked forward to getting a new scroll and trying out the move, showboating in the various street fights. The IGN review says this is an improvement – I don’t know what universe they’re from but Shenmue 2 was way more enjoyable than this. It was more exciting, much better paced and so far, had the better setting. I know Ren comes back into the story, as we’ve seen him in trailers, but I don’t imagine he makes much of a difference. I changed the voice track to Japanese, but it still doesn’t inject life into the incredibly boring dialogue.

I’m still getting some pleasure from it. Like the stance and one-inch punch training and chopping wood, like I’m in Fable or something. Oh, and those kids in the Sunflower Grove – how adorable were they? Especially the little girl in the red dress. Just too much cuteness. I guess she and all the others… are my age, actually. Huh. Weird.
PS: Shame on you for not letting us climb the bell tower, Yu Suzuki! That would be the first thing I’d want to do in real life! Shame!


Inbox also-rans
Tesco has Switch Lite for £199 with a choice of game including Pokémon or Luigi’s Mansion 3, which makes it a better deal than Asda’s if you were going to buy a game as well. It’s been on offer for a while so it’s not a specific Black Friday deal.

Bargain alert: Metro Exodus only £11.99 at Argos right now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


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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