The Friday Inbox discusses the arcane art of reviewing video games, as one reader wishes for a Peggle 3.
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So, thanks to GC’s news story I was finally able to pick up a PlayStation 5 and it should be with me very soon. For obvious reasons I wasn’t counting on it though, so I don’t know exactly what games to get, even though in theory there’s only a limited number. I’m thinking only exclusives at the moment (I might try and pick up Guardians Of The Galaxy on Black Friday) so which should it be? Assuming I can afford two right now.
Returnal and Demon’s Souls seem to be GC’s favourites but they’re kind of similar games, in terms of being ultra hard third person action games with a lot of exploration. So I’m thinking just one and to go with Returnal, since it’s brand new? Except I don’t think the graphics are meant to be particularly amazing, so that seems a shame.
I already have Spider-Man: Miles Morales, so I can just upgrade that, but I’m not really feeling Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I never particularly liked any of the previous games and while I’d like to see the graphics in the flesh it doesn’t seem particularly long or challenging so I think that’s a miss.
Which, to me, leaves Final Fantasy 7 Remake as the obvious challenge. I’m not a mega fan of the original but I did enjoy it back in the day and the reviews for the remake all seem very positive. Technically it’s just a PlayStation 4 game but I never got round to buying it and I think it would be a nice long challenge and it has the new DLC.
Interested to know what others think are the best games though, is there anything obvious I’m missing from my deliberations?
Wishing for unicorns
I have recently gotten into Peggle and have really enjoyed both games on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Once you get into Peggle it becomes amazing fun to progress and unlock more challenges and special abilities. There are many levels to progress with in Peggle and I feel it deserves a third game.
All 15 special abilities from Peggle 1 and 2 should be included, as well as brand new levels for each of the Peggle masters with each having 10 stages and trials so that this can be a true Peggle sequel along with some great multiplayer fun.
Of course, no official news or plans have been confirmed, however Peggle 3 is a game I feel people will want to see happen and be done even better than its previous titles.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
Play game > write about game
I found the letter from Mitchell and your response very interesting on Thursday. I don’t recall you having done this before, but would it be possible to put together an article explaining the process that happens when you review a game. Is there a hallowed guide locked in a safe somewhere to ensure consistency? Has this changed over the years as different people take on the reviews? How do you get past biases to certain genres of games?
I won’t list hundreds of questions I’m sure you get the gist. I won’t be offended if you don’t it’s just the Asperger’s coming out.
Have a great day.
PS: I have a Reader’s Feature on the way, about the my trials and tribulations with Dark Souls 3 after the gauntlet was thrown down to me. It’s not going well!
GC: It’s not a very complicated process from our perspective, so we’re not really sure what to tell you. Feel free to ask any questions you like. But the answer to the bias question is… don’t be bias? And if you can’t help it get a freelancer in to do that review, which is what we do for things like sports games and serious racers.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
A quarter of a year
I thought I’d take a quick moment to inform everyone that if you sign up to the anime streaming service Crunchyroll (i.e. for a free two week trial) you get sent a code for a three month trial of Xbox Game Pass.
For some reason, when signing up to the latter I had to make up an American address. Hopefully this means that if I forget to cancel they will have trouble getting any money from me. The offer runs out on 31st October.
Now I have a three-month timeframe to complete Psychonauts 2 and AI: The Somnium Files (or whatever it’s called).
Now playing: Psychonauts 2 (PC), Resident Evil 6 (PC), and Castlevania 3 (Switch)
GC: We don’t know of any subscription service you can’t cancel/turn off auto-renewal for immediately and then just ride it out until it ends.
For anybody who would like a physical version of Death’s Door on Switch or PlayStation 5 on 23rd November Special Reserve Games (not the UK mail order company who went bust) are releasing a physical copy.
You can’t pre-order yet, but the game will be available for a limited time between November 23rd 2021 and January 7th 2022.
Currently playing: Shadow Of The Colossus (PS4 version on PS5)
RE: wasting money on games I give up on. I made it sound like I was buying games left, right, and centre and not bothering with them if I don’t like them, but that’s not the case.
I’ve been using GC as a resource for reviews since the Teletext days, so it’s really not all that often I buy a game that I end up not liking.
I don’t just go by the reviews either, if a game gets a good review but there is something in that type of game I don’t like I won’t buy it just off the strength of its review. Deathloop and Far Cry 6 both got good reviews, but I wasn’t interested in buying either of them for slightly different reasons.
I work hard for my money so I would never waste it on a game if I thought there was a chance, I wouldn’t like it and if it does happen I try to sell it on as quickly as I can to recoup as much of my loss as possible.
People have got the knives out for Call Of Duty: Vanguard at the moment and I do understand why but I think they’re deluding themselves if they think it’s going to be anything other than a massive hit and still bigger than Battlefield. Call Of Duty has had its ups and downs before but Battlefield has still never come close to beating it.
Call Of Duty is just fundamentally more appealing to the mainstream: you round around and shoot people in the face, that’s it. With Battlefield you’ve got to content with giant levels, vehicles, and the possibility of not seeing anyone else in the game for long minutes. That never happens in Call Of Duty, not because it’s better but because it’s different.
I don’t think the main issue some have expressed is simply that Halo Infinite has gone open world. I think it’s that it has gone open world and it looks like you spend a lot of time running around causing chaos by taking out enemy camps and following highlighted map icons.
There was even a bit where you used a sort of detective vision to scan a structure in one camp so its fuel tanks glow orange. As someone who’s nearly finished with Horizon Zero Dawn and has been tired of that sort of gameplay since before I even started, that made me wince a bit.
I think games can be open world without relying heavily on over-used tropes (open world or otherwise) so hopefully it does more than that. I’m thinking the same about Forbidden West, and if it turns out the majority of gameplay from two of the most important new PlayStation and Xbox exclusives is held up against Far Cry (whether 2012’s Far Cry 3 or the latest one that’s been churned out) I’ll find that a bit depressing.
Onibee mentioned Rocket: Robot On Wheels and Space Station Silicon Valley yesterday. I have spoken fondly of both of these games on these very pages many times. For their time they were well ahead of the game and fun to play, even though both had a few glitches. Nothing remakes couldn’t iron out?
Just a quick note for anyone with Amazon Prime…. Prime Gaming have Star Wars Squadrons for free at the moment and Rise of the Tomb Raider from Monday, both on PC. Have fun y’all.
The Dude Abides
This week’s Hot Topic
Since it’s Halloween this weekend the question for the next Hot Topic is what’s the most scared you’ve ever been by a video game?
It doesn’t have to be from a horror game but what’s the most frightened you’ve ever been? How does that compare to how scared you’ve been by a movie or TV show and what do you think games do better or worse compared to other media, when it comes to horror?
What game has the creepiest atmosphere, even if it’s not outright scary, and was it ever bad enough that you had to stop playing? (To avoid everyone mentioning it, the dogs jumping through the window bit in Resident Evil is banned from this Hot Topic.)
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.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
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