The Tuesday Inbox agrees that Nintendo has already won Japan from Sony, as one reader thinks Ninja is showing his age.
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I have to agree with the Reader’s Feature about Mass Effect and its portrayal of women. They’re older games, and they were trying in a lot of ways though, so they’re not something I’d get too upset about. The one series I do think needs to move a long way forward though is Grand Theft Auto, which still hasn’t had a female main character in any of the major games and barely has any female characters of any kind really.
Red Dead Redemption is only slightly better and yet that one has a sort of an excuse in terms of it being a historical game. If GTA 6 has multiple protagonists again, like the last one, then it is going to be shameful if at not at least one is a woman. And ideally not an angry psycho ‘badass’ but someone with an actual proper personality and motivations like the male characters.
Most games are getting a lot better about this sort of thing, but it often feels like the really successful ones, like GTA, don’t feel they have to change and are still stuck in the 90s.
Heavy lies the crown
I have next to know interest in Ninja or what he does but couldn’t help to check out what this stream sniper business was. As I suspected it was him throwing his toys out of the pram for nothing but what struck me was how old he’s looking! Between him and Boris Johnson you can tell the jobs that take it out of your physically and mentally.
I know he’s a multi-millionaire and everything but the idea of sitting there day in and day out playing the same game for six hours a day, just to impress a bunch of teenagers sounds like a literal hell to me. I can only assume he’s planning to retire early but if he’s nearly 30 now I don’t know what state he’s going to be in within another five years or whatever.
Having his money sounds great and all but I think I’d rather be poorer but happier.
I still don’t understand why we’re having to hear about when the new stock of the PlayStation 5 is coming in from some anonymous Twitter tipster and not the shops themselves or, you know, Sony. Presumably this guy, whoever they are, works at Sony so why are Sony purposefully not tell us this information? Or any information at all? Have they even said or had any kind of communication this whole year yet?
Like many I’ve kind of resigned to not get a new console anytime soon and I’m not surprised to find out that PC use for games has greatly increased lately. Maybe that’s why Sony seems to have given up its plans to bring its consoles to PC? I mean we haven’t heard of anything else since Horizon Zero Dawn, so I guess that experiment failed?
I can’t help imagining what the average punter, especially parents buying presents, thinks of all this as I imagine there are still lots of kids that never got their asked for Christmas present. Just some kind of communication would be nice, you know? And maybe try and do something about the scalpers too.
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After the flood
An interesting week in the Japanese games market last week. It seemed obvious the Switch has had it sewn up for a while, every time I look at the GC sales chart everything in there is on it unless it’s the odd PlayStation 4 blockbuster release week. The change has already come through really, Capcom and Atlus having major third party Switch exclusives in the calendar for this year, with Monster Hunter Rise (surely a smash hit) and Shin Megami Tensai 5. The new NEO: The World Ends with You from Square Enix also looks like a Switch developed title even though it’s also coming to PlayStation 4.
However, I don’t think we’ll see the Switch flooded with new Japanese developed games when it comes to smaller and medium studios. Just browsing the Nintendo eShop’s Coming Soon section you can see a lot of these games are already on the platform. There’s usually half a dozen visual novels and Koei Tecmo Japanese role-players being released on a weekly basis (seriously, how many Atelier games are there?!) and Falcom’s Trails Of Cold Steel 4 and YS 9 have ports in the next few months, their predecessors are already on Switch. Just look on Amazon, a lot of them even get boxed releases in Europe (a copy of Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon or Labyrinth Of Refrain anyone? Thought not…).
I guess my point is that since these games are already on Switch there’s hardly a deep well of Japanese PlayStation-only games that will convert. Maybe moving to ‘Switch first’ development will mean the quality improves, which will be nice, as some I’ve played, like Ys 8, are pretty janky. The big tests are many years away, if Dragon Quest 12 and Persona 6 come to Switch… franchises that sell modestly in the West but are much bigger in Japan – and they’d be easy deals for Sony to sign up to find a way back into the market, à la Final Fantasy 16.
GC: You make a good point, although it is surprising how long it’s taken traditional Nintendo allies such as Capcom and Bandai Namco to really get on board with the Switch.
I’m not all right nooooowwww!
I was quietly looking forward to Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood last week, the werewolf genre is one of my favourite horror movie genres. There is so much scope for different abilities when transformed versus human that I thought it would be an interesting game. I’m so glad I was patient enough to wait for the GC review to pop up on Friday afternoon though. I wasn’t expecting AAA goodness from it because I’d never heard of the developer or publisher but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
That was until I read the GC review and saw the three out of 10 score at the bottom, there is no way I’m paying full price for a game that dire even if it does have werewolves. It’s such a wasted opportunity and it just goes to show that even the most interesting of premises can be botched by a developer. No one’s saying games are easy to make properly and wot not but it’s still disappointing.
Keep up the good work GC.
I see best game endings got mentioned and I thought about the ending of Flood on the Amiga. You spent the whole game going up through sewers, playing a frog type creature battling very odd creatures and psycho teddies.
You finally reach the end and you come out of a grid on a street and he looks so happy with himself as he as finished the game and then a car tyre runs over you and squashes you. I remember thinking, ‘Well, all that was for nothing’.
You never forget your first
Yesterday someone wrote in about the best game ending of all time. There are many really good ones, but for me the best is Super Mario Land on the Game Boy. The first game I ever completed, and that music… I can still hear it now.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic was good though.
I hope the success of Apex Legends can work as a way for Respawn to finally get an excuse to make a new Titanfall, because the second one is really one of my favourite games of the last generation. At the start there was some obscure links between the two games but now I don’t think anyone would be able to tell that Apex Legends and Titanfall had anything to do with each other.
But if they could slowly introduce titans into Apex Legends, starting with a new mode like is rumoured, that would be great. Add a big map where people can play the game more or less as normal, only with titans you can call down and I’d think that would work really well.
Then over time you could add more modes, more titan variants and customisation options, and then have a season where the storyline segued into Titanfall 3. Even if I wasn’t a fan I’d still find it interested to see a free game like Apex Legends be used to spin off paid-for ones. In my opinion Activision are doing things the wrong way round with Call Of Duty. It should be Warzone that introduces things the new game can riff on, not the other way round. Maybe EA and Respawn can prove my theory correct.
PlayStation 5 scalpers, don’t forget to thank the Sony decision makers. With the proposed Q2 launch in China, supply is going to remain rock bottom while demand is going to shoot ever higher. Regular gamers, don’t forget to thank your lucky stars if you manage to get a retail priced PlayStation 5 before 2022.
ttfp saylow (gamertag)/SW-5758-6539-2383
Lots of Xbox Series S in stock at my local Tesco today – was tempted to buy one but will wait for Series X to restock.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what is your favourite retro video game franchise?
There are a lot of major series celebrating their 25th, 30th or even 40th (in the case of Mario/Donkey Kong) this year so which one is your favourite and why? You can suggest any game as long as it’s at least 25 years old this year and there’s been a new game in the last 10 years (i.e. it’s not a dead franchise).
Why do you think the series has lasted so long and what is your favourite entry? Do you think the franchise has an overall good reputation and has it got better or worse with age? What do you hope will happen to the series in the future and what would you like the first next gen entry to be like?
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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.
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.
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