Games Inbox: The Witcher 10th anniversary, Call Of Duty: WWII doubts, and Secret Of Mana remake

Games Inbox: The Witcher 10th anniversary celebration

The Witcher 3 – happy birthday Geralt!

The morning Inbox is already looking forward to a new generation of more powerful consoles, as one reader blames gamers for loot crates.

I feel slightly hypocritical for bringing this up, because I’d never heard of the series until The Witcher 3, but apparently it’s the series’ 10th anniversary this month. I think the books have been going longer, and I’m sure many are like me and only started with the first console version but I would just like to register my love for the game and how impressed I am by how CD Projekt RED have treated the game and its fans.

I’d never heard of them until recently either, but they almost instantly became one of my favourite developers ever. Whatever they do next is pretty much an instabuy from me and I’m sure many others will share the same sentiment.

It’s a shame other companies don’t realise their one simple trick: make a great game, don’t try to con people with DLC, and don’t rush out a sequel. Simples! Happy birthday Geralt!
Babbage

Game changers

Not that I don’t enjoy when GC rips into a developer but I do have to agree that complaining to random devs about microtransactions is pretty pointless. Even ignoring that it would have been some marketing guy’s idea, this is all gamers’ fault. Just like DLC itself, if people hadn’t bought horse armour when it first came out none of this would’ve been an issue. And if people didn’t buy loot crates, even in single-player games, then companies wouldn’t include them.

These are businesses. They don’t care what a game has in it, they only care if it makes them money and if it doesn’t, or they think it’s putting people off buying something, they’ll take it out instantly.

So it’s no point trying to complain to developers about loot crates or whatever, complain to your fellow gamers. That’s who publishers listen to, in terms of their wallets at least. Try and change your friends’ attitudes to DLC and microtransactions, and if you can’t then just imagine how difficult it is for developers to say no when someone tells them to add loot crates.
Gifford
PS: I tried with my mates, I don’t think I changed anyone’s mind.

 

Beggars can’t be choosers

I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth but the remake of Secret Of Mana is looking awfully… cheap. I appreciate them not turning it into some grimdark serious game that doesn’t look anything like the original (hello Final Fantasy VII remake!) but it looks like some half-finished fan game. More specifically it looks worryingly like a smartphone game, what with the lack of proper lighting and low detail characters.

Obviously they do have to mirror the original art style, so maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I wouldn’t say I was overly whelmed at what I’ve seen. The sad truth is the whole series has been badly handled and Square Enix should’ve done something to right the ship decades ago, not waiting until now and a cheap-looking remake. I’ll still buy it, obviously, but I’m not confident it’ll lead to anything bigger or better.
Cornbeef

GC: It does all looks suspiciously similar to the smartphone remake of Mystic Quest, aka Final Fantasy Adventure, aka Sword of Mana. So we also wonder whether that’s what it started off as.

 

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

 

Feline enemy

I am hoping a reader can help me remember the name of a game I used to play way back in the late 80s. It was on the Atari 800XL I played it, but it may have been available on other formats to. The best description I can give is it was a vertical scrolling shooter where you had to avoid laser barriers by shooting little blocks to move them into the line of the lasers which would allow you to pass through them. The final boss of the game was a cat-like alien in his control room.

It was a kind of puzzle game as well, as if you shot the wrong blocks you could trap yourself. Sorry I can’t give any more detailed info but I’m sure that’s enough for some of the gaming experts to go on. I will recognise the name as soon as I hear it and will reward the first correct answer with a prize. Thanks for your help.
MRHBK

GC: That’s a tricky one, it doesn’t ring any bells with us.

 

Replay pride

In answer to Gincy, hoping it’s not just him who has played Skyrim for a ridiculous amount of hours, I say no.

Don’t worry, I have sunk over 750 hours into Oblivion and am currently sitting around the 500 mark on Skyrim. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I’m tempted by PlayStation VR myself (along with Fallout 4 and Doom). And I too am also thinking of getting the Switch version (I don’t even play the thing in handheld mode, so I have no idea why).

When you find a game or series of games you click with then why not continue playing them? You’re doing no harm to anyone and you’re keeping yourself out of mischief, so good all round I feel.

I just wish Bethesda would hurry up with Elder Scrolls VI, please. Even if they say they’re not working on it, they must be, as The Elder Scrolls is their biggest carrot.
Phil Spearpoint

 

Theoretical upgrade

With the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X upon us does anyone feel that it’s time we actually started seeing a lot more games in 4K, as well as current games being upscalable to 4K?

Ideally, I would have preferred to see the 4K gaming as standard to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s successor as a selling point, but it looks like we might be seeing 8K in future games consoles now. Granted 4K is standard, yet as of the present time. But as the years go by most gaming PCs will be at 8K gaming, and unless most games output at a minimum 4K 60 frames per second on the successors to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One I don’t think anyone will be too impressed.

There is also the fact that we have yet to see the majority of games output at true 4K on consoles and considering most games are running at 1080p, since many of them have come out for consoles, we could be waiting quite a long time to see the next gen Xbox or PlayStation.

Adding to this is the issue of how many developers past and present would even consider working on new games for the next Xbox or PlayStation, and when and if they will ever do so receive the development kits.

So in a few years from now will anyone be ready for the next generation of games consoles or will you be holding off until more impressive games are announced.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
PS: Will anyone be getting the next Xbox One X or PS4 Pro?

GC: The next Xbox One X?!

 

Duty fulfilled

After playing the Call Of Duty: WWII beta this weekend I’m considering giving it a miss for the first time in ten years. Thanks to the Xbox backwards compatibility I have Black Ops I and II, Call Of Duty 2 and 3, also every Call Of Duty game this gen. So between all these, and after playing the beta, I think all my bases are covered for my Call Of Duty needs.

It’s not fatigue on the franchise, as I play it daily, I just think that with all I have there is nothing new here for me.
DAN jmk (gamertag)

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

 

Difficult sums

I agree with Simundo Jones in yesterday morning’s Inbox, that the CPUs in this generation of consoles is the weakest link, that is likely holding back technical advancement in games.

However, to simply give the comparative affordability of a PC CPU and GPU, which can run Destiny 2 at 60fps, is a bit misleading and hasn’t taken into account the cost of all the other components required in a PC. So to flesh out the comparison further here are the other components you would need and their approximate cost:

CPU: £65 (as stated)
GPU: £120 (as stated)
Motherboard: £60
8GB RAM: £80
PC case: £50
Mouse: £10
Keyboard: £10
Controller: £40 (admittedly optional, but would restrict genres of games that can be played without one)
Copy of Windows: £80 (yes, you could opt for a free Linux OS but the trade-off would be access to a drastically reduced games library)

Total: £515 (+ £40 if you want a Blu-ray drive)

Not so cheap after all then and, perhaps more crucially, you would need to make some informed buying decisions to ensure the components play nice together and don’t introduce unacceptable bottlenecks which hamper performance. Thereafter, there is also the consideration that while such a setup may work well for Destiny 2 there is no guarantee that all current and future games are as well optimised for that particular setup.

I don’t intend for this to come across as PC bashing but rather to exemplify that there is more to the specs (and cost) of a gaming machine than CPU and GPU alone and it’s likely a fine balancing act which Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo have to consider when developing their consoles with an eye on the mass market.

Take the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X as examples. Priced at £350 and £450 respectively, even Sony and Microsoft have gone on record stating they are not intended or targeted at the mass market but rather to gamers with a higher disposable income and a nice shiny 4K TV to show off.

Nevertheless, I do believe it is the comparatively weak CPUs which are holding back real advancements in games and rather than the largely cosmetic improvements seen in this generation of games I would much prefer to see improvements in a games artificial intelligence and changeable/destructible scenery (shooting a rocket launcher at a wooden door to no effect is just silly) but I understand this is taxing on the CPU.

However, I do appreciate we console gamer’s need to be realistic. Consoles are developed to a particular budget/price point which is seen as acceptable to the masses they are targeting, and unfortunately the technology which goes into them just isn’t cheap enough to do everything. That being said, if you do have have money to spare then with a PC the sky’s the limit.
Heinz57

 

Inbox also-rans

I never realised how many exclusives Sony has had at number one this year until you mentioned it. No wonder they’re killing it over Xbox.
Agro

Here is a code for Gotham season three, if you want to pass on to anyone interested
Ghostjizz (PSN ID)

GC: Thanks very much, as usual we’ll do so in exchange for a useable Inbox letter.

[“Source-metro”]

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