The morning Inbox wishes Activision had taken fan’s advice before its current troubles, as one reader asks about the return of the Game Boy.
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So The Division 2 beta is now ended and I am one of the many who played it, and most now decide whether to keep their pre-order. I am a great fan of the first game and so naturally wanted to experience the sequel. I was pretty happy with the showing at E3 and was very excited to play a game that would take on all the comments and experience gained from the original.
But I have to say, after playing the beta, I was… underwhelmed. The gameplay is largely the same, which is fine, it’s a third person shooter but I found the new setting not very interesting. New York in the snow and the dark was a very atmospheric background. There was an almost supernatural edge to what was going on, and you could tell they’d been influenced by Cloverfield when they originally made.
The new game though just looks like a regular shooter with a bit of a post-apocalyptic element. I did enjoy it for what it was, and I like what they’re doing with the Dark Zone, but there are just too many games like this now. Too many team-based shooters that want to dominate your life and for me this one doesn’t really have enough to justify that investment. I’ll still read the reviews with interest but my enthusiasm has definitely been cured.
All your eggs in one basket
Seems like this Activision Blizzard problem has brewing for so long, with so many warnings from fans, and yet still they’ve just carried on doing nothing about it. What am I talking about? Not making enough different games. For over a decade now they’ve been nothing but Call Of Duty, one or two or other big games, and practically nothing else. Call Of Duty, I will admit, they have handled well and I’ve enjoyed most of them. But the others? Guitar Hero – run into the ground, Skylanders – run into the ground, Spider-Man – you get the picture.
And now they’ve for some reason let go of Destiny, so they’ve got Call Of Duty and nothing else. Sure, they’re publishing Sekiro but it’s not their game and they don’t own the name. But this isn’t just a nerd saying told ya so on the Internet. Now thousands of people are going to lose their job, and all because company execs were getting paid and didn’t care about anything but their wage packets and bonuses (I notice one left recently as well, a rat from the sinking ship).
And what’s their answer to this problem? Cut costs at Blizzard, who never put a foot wrong hardly and have quietly been getting on with themselves. You could argue that they should put out more games too but at least they do better than the Activision side of things. I realise that this is all a complaint more against capitalism that video games specifically, but really why did they risk being so vulnerable for so long when everyone could see the problem?
It seems pretty obvious now that Resident Evil 3 will be remade. However, despite it being my favourite of the series (and probably my favourite horror game) I just am not sure if it will be as good a remake.
A large part of what made Resident 1 and 2 memorable are the settings but seeing as three takes place more on the streets of Racoon City I can’t imagine that being as unique an experience as it was nearly 20 years ago, seeing as how many zombie games have taken place in that sort of setting since then. What do you guys think?
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It’s an interesting question on what Sony will choose to launch the PlayStation 5 for. The reader is right in that they probably have a lot of options and Horizon Zero Dawn 2 is probably one of the most likely. But previously I would’ve thought it was too slow-paced a game to be a launch title. It’s not something people can pick up and play, that will immediately demonstrate why they need the new console. Although assuming i’s graphics will be suitably amazing may do that.
Sony has had a great generation with their exclusives but none of them are straight action games. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a problem though, but more a sign of the changing times. Even things like Fortnite and Apex Legends have quite complex rules that have to be explained and you never get anywhere with them for the first several hours.
I think that’s just the nature of the games business now. You have to be pretty old now not to have grown up with gaming in some degree so the basics are much more universal now than they would’ve been even 10 or 20 years ago. That doesn’t mean that the big name games aren’t still usually shallow and unchallenging but they do at least allow for time to breath.
No one will notice
RE: Red Ring of Death. Microsoft knew that it had a flawed product before even releasing it to market. The Xbox 360 had a very low yield rate.
During testing at one point, the defect rate for the console was an abysmal 68% and this was flagged up by engineers but they were desperate to get out ahead of the PlayStation 3. Microsoft just hoped to ride it all out and just fix it as required.
Something to answer for
Can I ask GC if they have ever interviewed Bluehole? And if so, how did they come across? I ask because I love PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds but since the last update the game on Xbox is a mess. Flying cars, rendering issues, falling through the map, desync, the list goes on. Its a mess.
Is it just that the hardware is not able to run the game the way the developers want it to run, or is it something else?! It’s so frustrating to see a game that I love being handled (or mishandled) the way that it is. Anyway, rant over… fix PUBG!
GC: We’ve never spoken to them, no. They’ve never made themselves available, not even available when PUBG was an Xbox exclusive and there was a lot of publicity.
Given all the speculation about Nintendo making a new portable or portable-only version of the Switch I wonder whether they’d bring the Game Boy name back? Perhaps it would be seen as non-inclusive nowadays but at least it’d get around the fact that you can’t call a portable-only Switch a Switch if it doesn’t… switch!
I won’t be to sad to see the end of the DS line though. I never understood why they called it just two random letters that never officially meant anything in particular (Dual Screen and Developers’ System are both retcons, they just basically liked the sound of it). Names are important, as Nintendo have learnt with the Wii U (terrible, confusing name) and Switch (simple, relevant name).
Just one more go
LTRFTW. I’ve been a long-time reader since I was a kid on Digitiser, I would read Turner the Worm and play Bamboozle quiz before school! Great work over the years, I have always valued the honest reviews and great interviews with developers.
I’ve decided to write in for the first time, having got back into gaming mostly due to the Switch and more free time. I lost interest after yearly sequels and DLC/pre-orders as I didn’t agree with the practice.
The Switch is a great little machine, I can play on my commute to work and whilst the better half is watching TV. I purchased Into The Breach on your recommendation, which isn’t my normal type of game, and the one more go factor keeps me up till late.
I’ve started playing Apex Legends, as I enjoyed Titanfall, and I have to say for a free game it’s fantastic; I do hope for Titanfall 3 still. I was looking forward to Anthem and enjoyed the demo due to the flight and being Iron Man but it just felt… samey after a while.
Anyways keep up the good work.
R McKenna (gamertag)
GC: Thanks, but Digitiser was before our time. Glad you like Into The Breach, we always like to hear that a recommendation has worked.
Count me as someone else that’s really impressed by Apex Legends. The word and characters are kind of bland but the gameplay is on point and much better than Fortnite.
Kingdom Hearts III sales were down 87% in their second week? Wow. I guess it really was just the fanboys buying it the first week. Still, that’s a lot of fans.
This week’s Hot Topic
Since It’s Valentine’s Day this week the subject for the weekend Inbox is what video game have you most enjoyed playing with your partner?
It can be any game from any time, and likewise any partner – whether you’re still with them or not – but which game have you enjoyed playing with them in co-op or multiplayer, or where one of you just watched the other playing?
Is that something you do a lot and how enthusiastic is your partner about video games? If they’re generally not interested what unexpected games have piqued their interest and are there any that they like but you don’t?
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