Games Inbox: Gran Turismo 7 re-review, favourite Amiga 500 games, and Lego Star Wars gameplay footage

The Tuesday letters page wishes the Mario Kart 8 DLC had been something different, as a reader hopes for more space combat simulators.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Under review
Since your review of Gran Turismo 7 came out you’ve published a few articles criticising the cost of microtransactions, cars becoming harder to get, and the online requirement of the game. The last having the headline Gran Turismo 7 has Sony’s lowest ever Metacritic user score and it deserves it.

So I wondered do you still rate the game 9/10 or has it dropped in your opinion?

Traditionally I don’t think price has been much of an influence in a games score. Partially because they all used to cost about the same. But in a world where prices can now range from £15-70 and then have microtransactions on top it seems justified that while a game shouldn’t review well just because it’s cheap, a good game should be penalised if it represents bad value for money.

GC: We’ll have to see how the situation progresses. Previously, we’ve marked games down for microtransactions and then re-reviewed them after they’ve been removed – Star Wars: Battlefront 2 being the classic example. It’d be disappointing to have to lower a score after launch, but we hope and suspect that a Sony U-turn is imminent.

Sensible request
RE: the Amiga mini-console. Speedball 2 is one of my favourite games ever. A definite top 5 contender. The replayability was endless. They did try a reboot for the PS1 (Speedball 2100) but it had lost the magic. A new update could be fantastic.

It would have to focus heavily on the player purchasing, as this was one of the best parts. Like a Premier League Manager level management system, stadium, sponsor, etc. with a good match day game that you play.
I would have liked to see Mega-Lo-Mania on the list, but perhaps it’s too strategy for the line-up. Perhaps a PC game at its core?

I would very much like to see a Mega-Lo-Mania reboot. Inbox magic both the above.

GC: Mega-Lo-Mania is a Sensible Software game and alas a deal couldn’t be reached for any of their titles on the mini-console.

Indie to the rescue
I was browsing the eShop Indie Spotlight sale the other day when I noticed that Streets Of Rage 4 was in it. I must say it took me aback quite a bit. I knew this sequel had very little to do with Sega, but to me it felt like if I was playing Call Of Duty 55 in 30 years and it was now an indie game.

If indies can bring back my favourite genres of the past like this, can they please do space combat flight sims for me? I don’t like the modern attempts very much, and Star Citizen seems like some kind of Ponzi scheme.

GC: Have you tried Star Wars: Squadrons? That turned out a lot better than we expected. But yes, we agree – we love space combat simulators.

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It is your destiny
So has anybody else seen the leaked 44 minutes footage of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga gameplay demo that was unofficially released on YouTube two days ago? If you were ever sat on the fence getting this game in the first place then I think after watching it you will be very impressed with the gameplay mechanics, the tiny comical details/Easter eggs and just overall design of the content from TT Games.

I just loved how they incorporated the end of Rogue One and smoothly continued the storyline straight into the beginning of A New Hope. Now I see why there’s been a 2.5 year delay for this game.

GC: We didn’t see the leak but it was almost certainly from the press event last week.

Legend of the Land Between
I’m loving Elden Ring and agree with GC’s evaluation. It’s a phenomenal game. The world is fantastic, the bosses are great. I hear a lot about the ways Elden Ring has been influenced by Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, but I actually hope Nintendo draws inspiration from Elden Ring for the next Zelda. Stormveil Castle is a great example of how to do a proper dungeon within an overworld. Absolutely astonishing level, the first moment my jaw hit the floor.

The build variety seems ridiculous. I wouldn’t know, as I’ve been using my Uchigatana exclusively since I found it a few hours in, but the amount of weapons and spells I’ve found is insane. I’ve collected about 30 different types of ashes, and only even tried three or four. There are so many items I’ve never used, armour untouched, talismans unworn. I haven’t tried the online component at all – never summoned or been invaded. There is so much of this game I haven’t experienced, despite putting over 100 hours in.

After spending a long time exploring, there are some imperfections that prevent it being a 10/10 for me. If ideas are going to be repeated, they should be enjoyable enough to merit it. I hate the dungeons with those one-shotting chariots, my heart sinks every time I come across one. I don’t like the giant, thrashing, tree spirit bosses that I’ve fought about five times now. I realize this is subjective, and I’m avoiding YouTube until I finish the game, but surely everyone must hate the chariot areas?

GC: They’re cool the first time you see them… As for Breath Of The Wild 2, It’s probably a bit late for there to be any substantial influence if the game’s still coming out this year.

Brutal delight
I’ve just downloaded Elden Ring and been playing over the past weekend. As with other FromSoftware games I’ve died many, many, many times.

The game is very well made and has the potential to be a fantastic game. My only criticism is I only have a limited amount of time to play it and I have a full time job that involves shift work. So staring at a You Have Died screen continuously is not a way I want to invest my precious time.

I guess the difficulty level option is not something FromSoftware would put forward in an update, so unfortunately that’s a game I will learn my lesson from and not invest again in FromSoftware’s brutal delight in making you suffer as enjoyment.

The Elevator renaissance
With all this talk about Impossible Mission recently on the Inbox I thought I’d go check it out online to see if I’d ever seen it before. I didn’t recognise the actual game after I checked it but there was enough there that I’d seen in a similar looking game that I remember playing as a kid.

Sure enough I found the one I’d played and it was called Mission Elevator. Using elevators to go up a building with lots of doors to open and clues to uncover while avoiding enemies. I remember enjoying that game a lot but never really got anywhere on it.

With all the moans and groans about the difficulty on Souls games I wonder how that stacks up as being a modern day equivalent of the difficulty of games I grew up on. The average difficulty on 80s games was sky high compared to games these days
Nick The Greek

GC: We’ve never heard of Mission Elevator before, but it looks like it, like Impossible Mission, was influenced by Elevator Action, which is on the Taito Egret II mini-console.

Physical run
There are a few physical Limited Run Games listed to pre-order at the moment if any readers are interested. They have got the original Worms reproduced and re-released on Game Boy, SNES, and Mega Drive on a pink cartridge! I think the Worms games are region free but not sure. I originally played the first Worms game on the Amiga 600, which had only 1MB of ram at the time, and you needed 2MB RAM to allow you to hear the Worms speak!

Also available is Shadow Man Remastered, a game I briefly played on the Dreamcast. I think I heard recently it’s a very good game and wished I had played more of. It is available to pre-order for Switch and PlayStation 4, region free.

Finally, Demon Turf which GameCentral rated quite highly in a review in the past year or so, which is a 3D platformer like Super Mario 64. It is available on Switch and PlayStation 5 to pre-order. That is region free too. Demon Turf is currently on sale on the PSN Store at the moment and I was going to pick it up but now that I know I can get a physical version I will pre-order that instead as I am a big fan of 3D platformers like Super Mario 64.

These pre-orders are only available for a limited time so don’t miss out.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: The Last Stop (PS5)

Quality before quantity
Very happy to see new content for Mario Kart 8. These must be the first new Mario Kart 8 tracks in… I don’t know how many years! A decade since the DLC?

However, to be predictably in line with many others, I really dislike the new art style. When you go back and play the original Mario Kart 8 tracks it’s very noticeable just how plain it is. The environments feel sort of stale and shiny and textureless – it’s like the tracks are a dodgy third party knock-off of genuine Mario Kart 8 tracks. I also think that this extends to the design of the tracks too. The original tracks are like self-contained adventures full of twists and spectacle and flourishes – the new ones are kind of boring in comparison. Even Ninja Hideaway, which is the standout course, quickly becomes quite shallow.

I just don’t get it? You can blame the fact that they are all remasters of tracks from other games, but the remasters in the base game were absolutely amazing and were all made to feel like they could have been original Mario Kart 8 tracks. And while I acknowledge some changes have been made, these feel like GameCube era tracks with a lick of resolution and naff all else. I appreciate that they are doubling the size of the base game with the planned expansion, but I would have rather that they had promised to deliver many fewer tracks but at greater quality. I also don’t resent the studio wanting to experiment with doing something a bit different with Mario Kart, but sadly I think that this is a step backwards. I hope we don’t see the mobile iterations driving (pun intended) the franchise as a whole.

On a more positive note, I have been really enjoying the Reader’s Features recently. Sometimes I disagree with the writer, although even then I usually find the article surprisingly persuasive and even-handed, and other times I find that someone else harbours the same unpopular opinion about a game that I have, which makes me feel very seen! Mostly though, I appreciate the respectful and unpartisan tone that tends to characterise the discourse on here.

Keep up the great work everyone!

GC: Well said. As for Mario Kart, we don’t disagree. The only excuse we’d suggest is that Nintendo would have been doing all this during the pandemic, which they, more than most, found very difficult to deal with. For the record, the second of the two DLC packs for the Wii U version were released in April 2015.

Inbox also-rans
Before Cyberpunk 2077 I would’ve been over the moon about hearing about a new Witcher game. Now, I struggle to even care. They do say you’re only as good as your last game….

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but Ghostwire: Tokyo looked bad the moment it was announced. And a 12-rated ghost story? Yeah, no thanks.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader 84Colbat, who asks what’s the last game you played?

In order to make sure the answers are interesting, please also include the last game you played that wasn’t released this year – to ensure everyone doesn’t just say Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West.

What do you think of the game and is there any particular reason why you’re playing it right now? Have you played it before and if not why did you pick it? is the game part of a backlog and have you already decided what you’re going to play after it?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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.

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