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Games Inbox: Will God Of War Ragnarok release this year?

When will Kratos be back? (pic: Sony)

The Monday Inbox thinks the Japan Studio exodus will play straight into Microsoft’s hands, as one reader recommends Narita Boy.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Christmas showdown
So with the next God Of War confirmed for 2022 at the earliest what’s the money on Horizon: Forbidden West launching later this year?

I may be wrong, but didn’t Sony promise a majority of their games last gen for the holidays? They ended up launching them March-May to give them time to polish.

If Microsoft can get Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 4, and Starfield (all on Game Pass) ready for Christmas it will be interesting to see Sony’s counter move.
DarkerR (gamertag)

GC: Officially, God Of War is still on track for release this year. Although that’s probably subject to change.

Master plan
Thanks for the round up of people that have left Japan Studio and set up their own companies. I find the whole situation very sad and madness from Sony’s point of view. Not only are the gutting a highly experienced studio, that’s completely unlike anything Microsoft has, but they’re basically cutting it up into slices and serving it up to their main rivalry.

How long is anyone willing to bet it’ll be before we hear about Microsoft buying one or more of these new companies? One month? Two months? I imagine the only limit will be how easy it is to organise legally (not easy, as far as I understand – thanks to Japanese laws).

I have to agree with the recent thrust of discussion, which is saying that not only is Microsoft making important strides at the moment but they’re succeeding at the same time as Sony is making unforced benefit that directly benefit them. If there’s some sort of master plan behind what Sony is doing it better be good, because at the moment their long-term future seems very iffy to me.
Kent

Marvel vs. Marvel
I’m an old enough gamer to remember when having a licenced game was a guarantee of mega sales, regardless of its quality.

But the massive loss making of Marvel’s Avengers (Wikipedia says $63 million loss!) shows what can happen nowadays if you don’t have a decent game to back it up, especially if you splash out on such a huge licence.

Incidentally, I looked up Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (you know, that other scrolling beat ‘em-up with light role-playing elements) and latest figures show just over one million sold (again, Wikipedia). I actually own it and it seems to be basically the exact style of game as the one from Square Enix but just a different aesthetic.

How did two similar games end up with such drastically different outcomes?
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Dragon Quest 11 and Super Mario Sunshine

GC: The $63 million loss was Square Enix’s games business as a whole. And while Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has some vague similarities it’s more akin to an old scrolling beat ‘em-up than anything else. The core of Marvel’s Avengers is a good game, far better than low budget tat like Ultimate Alliance 3 – it’s the emphasis on games as a service features which ruins it.

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Metroidvania adjacent
Just finished Narita Boy, which I enjoyed very much but found a bit lightweight as I went into it expecting a Metroidvania, which it isn’t.

I’ve since seen it described as an action platformer with Metroidvania elements. I’d go with that as it’s pretty linear with minimal exploration.

It was a blast to play through though. The combat and platforming is not as tight as Metroidvania great Hollow Knight but still fun. The soundtrack and game world, the Digital Kingdom, are a joy though. Those elements, as well as the touching revelations as you progress and short run time, meant it never got boring or old. I think the short run time is wise as the gameplay isn’t quite strong enough to support a longer experience.

Fantastic game though.
Simundo

Virtually guaranteed
l keep hoping, although very unlikely… l would love to see a full PlayStation VR update for GT Sport on ps5, expanding the VR mode to the entire game, especially online races! There’s more than enough power in PlayStation 5 to handle it and it would definitely make my year!

l was also hoping for full VR support in Gran Turimo 7 (thought that was a no-brainer) but with the announcement that PlayStation VR is only compatible with PlayStation 4 games, that ruins that dream, along with Resident Evil Village!

My only hope is PlayStation VR2 is in actual fact not far off? Maybe a full reveal around E3 and full release end of the year? Yes, l know, extremely unlikely. But l shall still hope!
k

GC: You’re right that GT Sport is extremely unlikely, but that Gran Turismo 7 is all but certain. But where did you get that idea that PlayStation VR didn’t work with PlayStation 5? It certainly works with backwards compatible games on PlayStation 5 so, unless we’ve missed a memo, there’s no technical reason it wouldn’t work with native games.

Exotic machines
Interesting Reader’s Features on their choice to go for Xbox Series X/S in the next gen as they both boil down to failures on Sony’s part to capitalise on their advantages in the previous generation of machines.

The backwards compatibility one is of interest, purely because Sony have always tried to make exotic machines before, culminating in the PlayStation 3, and it was hard enough to emulate the PlayStation 2, never mind even thinking about the PlayStation 3.

Conversely, Microsoft pretty much made a custom PC into a console right from the outset, and backwards compatibility for them is easy by comparison. The fact they can pretty much just recompile the code and it works, and then they add extra features like frame rate improvements and HDR is just a cherry on the top.

Secondly, Game Pass and Microsoft’s deep pockets, followed by accusations of buying the market show, I believe, the fruition of a long-term plan that started when they hired Phil Spencer and overhauled the expectations of the gaming division. Microsoft’s gaming division had been haemorrhaging money for years and it’s not like they don’t have plenty of it, so why not double down?

It’s not like Sony have the money, the server farms or, it seems, the willpower to oppose them. Beyond that, the closure of their old system stores seems quite perverse and will only alienate them further.

However, it’s not all bad news for Sony. The one thing they do have is traction. I very rarely hear people talking about the Xbox Series X or S. It’s all about the PlayStation 5 and where can people buy one. When that changes, and, with the superior power of the Xbox and the value proposition, it may well do, Sony could find themselves on a back foot and unable to right themselves. As was observed by your readers, that will not be good for the market, but since when did any large corporations care if they achieved a monopoly?
ZiPPi

One of the coolest
I can’t say esports is the way I wanted it to happen but it makes me happy to just hear the name Virtua Fighter again. That little cameo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was scraps from the table but what I’d love to see is a proper numbered sequel with a story mode and all the trimmings.

A story mode is important, I feel, because the problem with Virtua Fighter is that all the characters are kind of boring and generic. The fighting is easily the best for any 3D fighter, in my opinion, but that wasn’t enough back in the day let alone. I’d love to get back to the glory days when Virtua Fighter 2 was one of the coolest games around.
Tam

Turn my head
Godzilla vs. Kong, Marvel vs. DC, etc., etc… we all have favourites. Mine is Nintendo, I’ll always invest on day one, I’ll tend to purchase pre-release first party games without reviews.

I will defend them and I love the fact they do things so differently. I’ve been an Apple user for 25 years and it’s interesting that they are now such a dominant force in hardware when they struggled so much through the 90s. I do however look at this current Microsoft v. PlayStation debate and see similarities in terms of Microsoft. They are the underdog but they are starting to vastly improve their hardware to make it both top rung in terms of power, to have a simple but effective design, and to be at a relevant price point.

More though, they are bringing services online utilising their own labels for a very effective and well-priced service. This is turning heads, it’s turned mine. I have a PS4 Pro essentially for Gran Turismo, F1, Wreckfest, and Ace Combat. I’d be lying to say I play anything else on there, I dedicate a lot of whatever time I have to the house of Mario. I look at this generation and firstly I find it weird that consoles are being sold without new amazing games (why would you buy a console without some fab game to show it off on?) but then Microsoft’s strategy takes hold.

As the Reader’s Feature said, they are offering 25 of gaming, they have AAA titles on Game Pass, they have a console that is the most powerful and they seem to be trying to invest most in gaming. Of course. it’s all marketing and strategy, but so is Netflix and Nintendo (who are clearly taking a leaf out of Disney’s book at the moment and good luck to them – though limited time games aren’t necessarily a great idea).

PlayStation 5 doesn’t appear to have a killer app, maybe the console is the great white elephant it actually looks like! Personally, I think Xbox All Access looks amazingly attractive and when Microsoft Flight Simulator comes out I might go with it and perhaps try out Forza… which will make me a bit sad. But saying that, by the time I’ve done my two years Gran Turismo might be out and the PlayStation 5 might be slimmer and cheaper. Bring on the cloud so I don’t need a console!
Catcave

Inbox also-rans
When you were deciding who from the Metro GC office would be going to Japan to review their new theme park ride, did you draw lots, and did it cause a fight afterwards?
r-s-w

GC: If only. Although we don’t think you could fly to Japan now anyway. We used a freelancer that lives there.

The original Lego Marvel Superheroes has the Batman theme tune playing. I know they are both Lego but playing music from one on another?
Liam

GC: Seems bizarre. Although Danny Elfman did work on Avengers: Age Of Ultron and, not to upset his fans, a lot of his stuff does sound very similar. Are you sure it wasn’t just that?

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Paulie, who asks what is your favourite first or third person shooter?

FPS games used to be the dominant genre up until recently but have begun to fall out of favour, especially with the rise of third person equivalents. Games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield are still very popular but what’s your favourite and why?

Which do you prefer out of first and third person views? And do you play the games primarily for their single-player content or their multiplayer? Which upcoming games are you most looking forward to and how do you see the future of the genre?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature 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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