Now that Microsoft’s had a big exclusive out this year, with the so-so sounding Quantum Break how well does everyone think Uncharted 4 is going to do? I was an Xbox 360 gamer last gen and after hearing so much about the series I was pretty underwhelmed by the Nathan Drake collection, despite really enjoying The Last Of Us.
Despite what Sony might like to imagine I don’t think the Uncharted name is particularly well known amongst ordinary people, so the idea of having a fourth one of a game they’ve never heard of might be a bit of a hard sell.
I’ll probably get it anyway but what interests me is if this isn’t big, will that be the point at which Sony finally gives up on first party exclusives? They clearly haven’t needed them up to this point, and if they keep not selling or getting bad reviews surely someone is going to point out that it’s probably all a big waste of time and money. Or will they just carry on making them out of pride?
Avoiding a collision
As we all sit here waiting for Rockstar to announce Red Dead Redemption 2 I wonder why video game companies are so obsessed by secrecy. Ignoring the fact that they’re rubbish at it, do Rockstar really think that if they announced a new Red Dead too early that everyone would rush out their own cowboy games early and they wouldn’t make any money? I mean, really? That’s something they think that could happen?
The only time I can remember this happening is with Gun, which was very similar to Red Dead Redemption. But that only came out because nobody had any idea what Rockstar were working on. I’m sure if Activision had known they would’ve scrapped the whole idea and went off and done something completely different.
Now, individual gameplay ideas I can imagine maybe companies might steal. But the way I see it a big company announcing a new game early is the best way to ensure nobody else even dreams of copying them.
I finally got around to purchasing and playing through both Bayonetta games, thanks to the handy two game bundle available on the Wii U.
After completing each, I can certainly see why fans of the genre put them both in such high regard due to their combat systems and style. I enjoyed them both but definitely enjoyed Bayonetta 2 a lot more. It felt more bombastic, streamlined, less frustrating and generally the better game. Some of the set pieces really set it apart from the first game.
The story and characters didn’t resonate with me at all though, I found it all to be irritating, confusing, and certainly wasn’t the reason I wanted to keep playing or finish it. Luka and the ilk were just odd and I didn’t really get a sense of why they acted as they did or what gave them such bizarre personalities. Bayonetta constantly uttering ‘Little One’ was also irksome.
Overall though, they were worth a bash and I certainly got hints of the Sin & Punishment games as I played, especially with the bizarre story, characters, and some imaginative bosses and set pieces.
GC: Storytelling has never been Platinum’s strong point.
Anyone for tennis?
I’ve always been a fan of tennis games, as they are the perfect pick up and play game. To me they’re extremely relaxing and I can just switch off when playing.
I find it surprising that there is no tennis games on PlayStation 4. I’m not even sure there are any on the Xbone. I know the Wii U has them but I prefer a realistic tennis game over a Mario Tennis game.
Does GC know if there’s anything in the pipeline for PlayStation 4?
Jack_the_Ripper9 (PSN ID)/mickylynch9 (NN ID)
GC: There’s none that we know of. We suspect it would take a new tennis player becoming a major mainstream star for any publisher to bother with again. If you have access to a Wii U though Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash isn’t bad, and relatively realistic if you turn off all the power-ups.
Lylat war stories
Sorry I haven’t written in a while but you’re never far from my thoughts!
Spotted Star Fox 64 going cheap over the weekend on the Virtual Console so downloaded it
without much expectation – I had never played any of the series but I have to say what
a gem it is! For a game made in 1997 it still holds up quite well, obviously it doesn’t look as shiny
as the games today but it has the essential ingredient of all good games – playability.
Luckily you can use restore points on the Wii U version, as I don’t think I could cope with restarting from the beginning each time!
The only negatives I have are the controls can be a little tricky as they were designed for the N64 controller, but otherwise good value for under a fiver.
Looking forward to the release of the new Star Fox Zero now!
GC: The 3DS remaster is very good too, although there’s probably no point in that now – unless you’ve become a real fan.
I played the Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo yesterday and was surprised by how poor it was. The child section did not prepare me for the boss at the end, which just came across as tedious version of a Dark Souls fight with unresponsive controls. I did watch a video afterwards which made it seem far more interesting but I have absolutely no idea how that player did half of the moves.
From that boss I get the impression the actual Final Fantasy XV game will play nothing like the child section of the demo. So why make a demo that is not remotely representative of the full game? I guess Square Enix were trying to convince Kingdom Hearts players to try Final Fantasy but in the process they may have lost a lot of potential players instead.
Just a quick thanks to the person that recommended Sky Force on iOS. Not only is it a great shooter but the chiptune style music is to die for. The visuals are superb and all the better for the rich and vibrant colour scheme. Shooting hot laser death is so much more fun when the receivers of the aforementioned hot laser are so brightly coloured.
The game is free to play but you wouldn’t know it. The developer is never in your face about buying stuff and actually, for a game of this quality, I was happy to pay for the removal of ads, etc. The star currency can mean quite a few replays of each level but I found the game so much fun that I didn’t care and frankly. Once the harder difficulties are unlocked on each level I wanted to replay it to best my enemy.
Does anyone else know any other good vertical shooters on iOS?
GC: Many of Cave’s best known games are on iOS, and they work surprisingly well. Start with Espgaluda II and work your way through the list.
Xbox One and Two-Thirds
I think Phil Spencer is simply implying a lot more powerful console, not necessarily Xbox Two. Sufficiently powerful to ensure compatibility with Oculus Rift is my guess.
I also think these VR headset manufacturers recognise consoles as the ideal platform to promote the technology. The reaction to PlayStation VR will not have gone unnoticed, so I expect Oculus to be further cosying up to Microsoft. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a hardware bundle already in the pipeline for Microsoft’s upgraded console.
If it helps drive down prices for VR, it can only be a good thing. I’m yet to read one example of someone who has come away disappointed after sampling VR. Not one! I can only imagine overexcited execs demanding they get behind the technology, and in a big way. Rumours of more powerful consoles mid-generation is no coincidence.
PLMWhy was that three-minute clip of a 19-year-old cartoon so much better than the entirety of Batman v Superman? I just don’t understand why the same guys aren’t in charge of the films!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks: how much attention do you pay to reviews?
When anticipating a new game do you wait for the reviews to come out first, or do you ignore them? Do you have particular sources you always trust or do you put more stock into aggregators such as Metacritic? How important do you think a score is and have you ever got embroiled in arguments over them?
What’s your routine for dealing with reviews? Do you avoid them before a game is released and come back to them later, or do you just read the highlights on Metacritic? What do you enjoy and not enjoy most about reviews and how would you like them to change in the future?