Games Inbox: Do you want to work in the video games industry?

The morning Inbox thinks there should be a Forza Horizon 4 battle royale, as one reader wishes he bought shares in Nintendo.

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No dream

So yet more developers are being outed for having a crunch culture, with Epic Games and NetherRealm Studios both seeming to have exactly the same problem: forcing people to work overtime for months on end and the people in charge all leaving at 5pm on the dot.

Clearly this is a very common thing, at least at big companies, and they seem to prey on freelancers and graduates who don’t have a choice or don’t know better. Disgusting really and probably nothing will change unless they get unionised or there’s some kind of outcry from the public.

I used to imagine making video games would be some kind of dream job but everything I ever hear about it, it seems to be a nightmare. I mean, I’m sure it’s great for the guys in charge, just like it is for them at any kind of company, but for the people that do the actual work it just seems like they’re being exploited.


Time is money

This guy on Reddit has calculated that it would cost $6,440 (£4,990) to buy every single skin in Mortal Kombat 11. So yeah, I think you can say that Warner Bros. has learnt nothing from the Star Wars: Battlefront II and the whole loot box controversy. Now admittedly skins are just cosmetic items but I don’t think that really matters when your kids steals your credit card to splash five grand on some skins that look almost exactly the same (not that my kid has, he’s too young for a start).

It’s actually worse than it sounds because the skins aren’t the only unlockables and you have to keep checking the store every six to eight hours because the ones you can buy keep changing. I’m hoping someone will also work out how many hours you have to grind to unlock the same thing. I’m going to guess that it must be months, i.e. nobody is going to do it without either giving up or spending money.

It’s disgusting as far as I’m concerned and I won’t be supporting the game or anything like it. Why isn’t it enough for these people to just make a good game and let it sell on its own merits?


Yo-yo journey

The thing that made me laugh about that Nintendo business report is that they think Nintendo has a better line-up this year than last. They haven’t so far, so they seem to be betting purely on what they’ve said will come out in the second half of the year. You’re right… they really don’t understand the games industry at all.

I actually think Nintendo are in a more precarious position than it seems and if they do miss their targets, even only by a little bit, they’re going to lose a lot of support from shareholders, which is dodgy when their boss is still new in the job. They’ve had nothing significant out all year and they haven’t been specific about anything that’s out later, but have recently cancelled and restarted a major game from scratch.

That said, Nintendo must be the most profitable company to invest in because they’re up and down so much, but always bounce back eventually, that all you have to do is wait a few years for a low point buy a ton of shares and sell them when they have a year like 2017. In theory anyway, I can’t say I’ve ever done but I constantly think I should when they start on their usual yo-yo journey through success and failure.


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Found in translation

In response to Matt (He who runs away) I would highly recommend watching Tim Rogers’ YouTube series about the mistranslation of much of Final Fantasy VII’s dialogue. The series finally came to an end a few days ago and is worth a watch for any Final Fantasy VII fans.

The series is called Let’s Mosey.


Forget realism

Seeing the Forzathon blimp in Forza Horizon 4 reminded me of Fortnite and gave me an idea. What if we had vehicles dropping into the map battle royale style? The blimp could be slowly traveling up and down a steep hill, so if you fall to the bottom of the hill you get damaged more but there will be more repair shops and more weapons. All vehicles will be equipped with front and rear battering rams for destruction derby style carnage, so if you start at the top and drive down the hill you will be traveling faster and do more damage to cars driving up.

Also, forget realism. Let the vehicles be slightly steerable when you fall from the blimp, so you can land directly onto the roof of someone unsuspecting below. As well as battle royale I’d prefer a mode when the map doesn’t shrink and you just respawn and in-between when you only get three respawns after the map has shrunk to a certain size.

It would be great if this could be adapted into the new Burnout (in all but name) game, which hopefully I’m getting for my birthday tomorrow along with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
Johnny Alpha SD
Currently playing: Star Wars: Battlefront II Starfighter Assault (Xbox Hotas support Inbox magic, pretty please) and Elite Dangerous


20 years and counting

If Sony do ever decide to do a Classic Mini PlayStation 4 the one game they must include is God Of War, as I’m pretty confident that would by far make it on the included list. It has so many layers to it that it would be disappointing for Sony to not include this. Other games that they most definitely should include, to offer the best value for money and to make the best impression on people, are my following choices: Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption II, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fortnite with its controversy that alone warrants it to appear on a classic PlayStation 4 mini; as well as Grand Theft Auto V, What Remains Of Edith Finch, and finally Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Of course, we might not actually see all of these games appear, however I’m sure a lot of PlayStation 4 games are well worth of appearing in the far future on a PlayStation 4 Classic mini. Hopefully they will at least allow it to go online so others can download additional c games that can be added in the far future. We are a long way from this ever being made as the PlayStation 4 only launched in November 2013, so I can’t see a PlayStation 4 Classic Mini being even made until 2039 at the latest, which is very far off.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)


Off the wagon

Regarding Days Gone, usually I’m eager to jump on the bandwagon and buy a game day one. But with Days Gone I’m holding off for a sale.

Not releasing a review early as they’ve done with other exclusives has me worried, and also having a reasonably large day one patch too.
StuRobbo1984 (PSN ID)


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Tension relief

I have to agree with the sentiment that video games should strive to be funnier than they are, although it’s still clear that most, particularly most big budget games, are still primarily aimed at the angry teenage boy in all of us and so jokes are not considered to be the mature enough. The other problem, of course, is that jokes are hard and most game scripts have trouble enough as they are without trying to be funny as well.

But while thinking about the issue I realised that one of the few games that does have that movie style of magic of one-liners and amusing quips is Resident Evil. One of the letters about jokes said that games never have quotable dialogue or memorable comedy moments but Resi has had it from the very beginning. Almost none of it has been intentional but I don’t think that matters at all as it serves exactly the same purpose.

Most horror movies, certainly the ones Resident Evil is trying to channel have plenty of funny moments and all the old lines like ‘Master of unlocking’ and ‘Jill sandwich’ work perfectly to relieve tension before ratcheting it up again. Most of the Resi characters are pretty bland in theory but the bad dialogue, and in Resident Evil 2 remake’s case the facial animation, gives them a playful personality that is unlike most other video game characters outside of something like Uncharted.

It’s important that you like your characters and that you feel more than just one emotion when playing a game, and I think developers should certainly look to Hollywood for example of how to create a more textured storytelling atmosphere. That and hire a few comedy writers for once. When all you can think of as positive examples are Portal and Lego City Undercover you know there’s a lot more effort to be made.


Inbox also-rans

Agreed that Joker is great fun in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate but he seems a bit overpowered to me. Great for fighting the computer but not so great for multiplayer. I sense a nerf patch coming…

Just a note for Sega fans but Virtua Racing is coming to Switch as part of the Sega Ages range. That should mean M2 doing the conversation, so it’ll be truly arcade perfect.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what old game has aged the worst?

Going back to a much-loved video game can often be a traumatising experience, as something you remember as being amazing is revealed to have aged less than gracefully, but what’s your worst experience with an old title?

Was the problem the old-fashioned graphics, the controls, or gameplay that seems too simplistic or unfair nowadays? What still works about the game and is there a modern equivalent that does the same sort of things but better?

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