The Monday Inbox celebrates the 10th anniversary of Portal 2 and the 25th of Metal Slug, as one reader feels the need for some Star Wars: Rogue Leader.
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Spend the money Count me as another person that’s enjoying the back and forth on Xbox vs. PlayStation. I haven’t seen any bad faith arguments in any of the letters and, let’s face it, this is a pretty big issue that’s going to change the course of video games forever. Especially if it’s Microsoft’s way of doing things that’s proven to be the most effective.
Their obvious problem is exclusive games, which they’ve acknowledged by buying up all these other companies. But looking at the games they’ve announced so far the thing that gets me is just how far away they all seem to be. Apart from Halo Infinite there doesn’t seem to be anything else guaranteed for this year or with even a rough release date. Even things like Rare’s Everwild that was announced quite a while ago now.
The only games Bethesda have coming out soon are, amusingly, both timed PlayStation exclusives. Starfield might, possibly be out this year or next but The Elder Scrolls 6 still seems years away and they haven’t even mentioned Fallout 5. I’ve been trying to look to see if there’s an estimated release date for Elder Scrolls 6 and all there is is Bethesda saying it’ll be years before they can even show it, let alone release it!
So we’re talking a 2023 release probably, and even that’s optimistic? I have no idea why it’s taken this long but I hope that at the very least they’re able to use that time to take advantage of Microsoft’s money. Like a reader said recently, if after all that wait the games are still full of bugs and potato-faced people riot acts are going to be read. Garrack
Widening horizons I just thought I’d write in to respond to the guy who sent in his thoughts about being a first time Xbox owner and the merits of Game Pass. I’m in a similar position and agree with his main points generally but just wanted to add some more colour to what was written.
I think he missed a trick when talking about Game Pass and why it’s such great value. For me, the best part of it is being able to play games I never in a million years would have spent money on previously. Games like What Remains of Edith Finch and A Plague Tale: Innocence have genuinely moved me, while I’m now digging down into indie games like Celeste that I’ve heard good things about but would have passed over as not being for me.
There is real quality when you stop looking for the AAA stuff and personally I think my appreciation and expectations of what a great game should look like are changing rapidly. Chris
Inscrutable Valve What with all the other big anniversaries this year here’s another one to make you feel old: Portal 2 was 10 years old on Sunday. As far as I know Valve has made no reference to this, so I’m not even sure they realise, which says an awful lot about Valve I guess. (I found out about it because The Game Awards tweeted about it.)
The first game will be 14 years old in October, so yeah. These are officially retro games now. Valve’s attitude to games makes Nintendo look logical and predictable and I have just zero idea why they gave up making them. Apparently Half-Life: Alyx proves they’ve still got it, but I’ll never know because it’s a PC-only VR game.
I mean… what do the people at Valve who make games do all day, considering Portal 2 was basically their last normal game? Are they all laying in suspended animation somewhere in Valve HQ, waiting to be activated? Were they put back in after Alyx or are they secretly working on something else now? With Valve you literally cannot even guess. Klaw
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Sluggish response Didn’t realise this until a friend just pointed it out but it was the 25th anniversary of Metal Slug on Sunday. Crazy how many big anniversaries there are this year and all of them going virtually ignored because of COVID. There was nothing about it on SNK’s Twitter though and while they said they were going to announce a new game this year they didn’t use the anniversary to do it.
I’d even settle for a decent compilation for the existing games as they’re always incomplete or have bad emulation. Metal Slug is the absolute king of pixel art as far as I’m concerned, at least in terms of older games, and I’d love to see what could be done with modern tech, given the much greater resolutions. I don’t know who they’re going to get to make the games though given things have changed a bit in 25 years. Understatement, obviously. PhantomZ
Late to the party Totally agree with the reader that said Capcom are current on a roll. I’ve been playing Monster Hunter Rise pretty much non-stop since it came out and it’s just fantastic. Perfectly fine-tuned for the Switch and full of so much content it really does seem like something Nintendo would make themselves. It’s so good it makes me upset that’s it really Capcom’s first proper big budget game for the Switch. Makes it feel like there’s a lot of lost time for them.
I think their recent turnaround came with Resident Evil 7 and then Monster Hunter: World. Since then I don’t think they’ve really had a misstep. Maybe that new Ghosts ‘N Goblins game, but they’ve never seemed to know what to do with that and it was obviously low budget. Clearly the real answer should’ve been to make a new Maximo! Sharpy
Whatever-virus Really liking the look of Resident Evil 8 so far. Graphics look great, the cheese is back and it’s not trying to be super realistic or anything. I don’t know what’s going on with the grimdark Chris Redfield but given the rest of the game seems to be on point I’m sure it’ll be fine. I didn’t realise till now that it was werewolves vs. vampires either, that’ll be something new and cool for Resident Evil.
My guess for the story is that Umbrella has been putting something in the water in the village and that’s turned the people into one or the other. So they’re not supernatural exactly, but the usual whatever-virus that turns them all into BOWs.
Curious to see what the regular enemies are going to be as I’ve not seen any sign of zombies yet or anything similar to them. I haven’t got a PlayStation console at the moment so I can’t play the demo until later but definitely looking forwards to that. Ansel
Real songs I was just thinking about Spec Ops: The Line and the brilliant use of Kula Shaker’s song Hush, in the section where you are fighting your way through the hotel nightclub and it’s playing through the speakers in the environment, and wondered what people’s favourite use of an actual song that has been released in a game is? Zombiekicker (gamertag/PSN ID)
Sci-fi universe I love the fact that the reason Nintendo hasn’t made a new F-Zero in a while is because they can’t think of anything new to do with it. There’s no suggestion that if they put out F-Zero GX 2 (or even just a remaster) it wouldn’t sell, just that it wouldn’t be anything new. I think if other companies had a similar attitude we’d suddenly see the number of sequels drop drastically.
My idea for a new game is one I’ve seen a few people suggest over the years, which is to lean on Captain Falcon’s status as a bounty hunter and have an open world game where you’re racing around trying to catch perps but also taking part in races in your spare time (that is how the Cap. Is meant to work isn’t it?).
F-Zero always did seem to have a big 2000 AD influence, especially F-Zero X, so I’m thinking a big Mega-City One style cyberpunk city, like Cyberpunk 2077 but played more for laughs. To me that sounds like a great idea for a game, especially once the two sides of the game start to crossover and you inevitably start chasing crims while also competing in a race.
You could even have a Samus Aran and/or Star Fox cameo since I think it’s vaguely implied they’re in the same universe. Start a sort of Nintendo sci-fi universe for their slightly more serious games, where each one can advertise the other. I’d buy it! Dalglish
Inbox also-rans Just a quick message to say from today, Monday, April 19 you can get Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition free on PlayStation 4 and 5. Andrew J
I had a late night moment when I felt the need to play Star Wars: Rogue Leader, so I dragged the Wii and the GameCube controller out of the cupboard and I’m now slightly obsessed with Tiger Woods 2003! I’ve just beaten Vijay Singh, get in. John Atkinson
This week’s Hot Topic The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader 84Colbat, who asks what single-player game have you spent the most time on?
Whether it’s because of replaying the same game multiple times, rebuying it when it’s re-released on new formats, or simply playing the same save for a long while, what primarily single-player game have you spent the most time on over the years?
Is it unusual for you to spend so long with a single game and what do you feel is the minimum amount of time a full price single-player game should last to be value for money?
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