Games Inbox: GTA: Vice City anniversary celebration

The Tuesday Inbox delves into the mind of a Fallout 1st whale, as one reader is amazed by The Witcher 3 on Nintendo Switch.

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80s nostalgia
Today is the 17th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto: City (in America at least, apparently it was a couple of weeks later in the UK). I know that’s not a very round number in terms of anniversaries but I want to say that a) that seems like a lifetime ago, and I suppose it was for some people, and b) I wish they’d do a remake or a sequel.

Given how Rockstar is nowadays with new GTA content I can’t see it happening, although I do hold out hope that maybe when it gets to the 20th anniversary that maybe they’ll reconsider. For the mixture of 80s tunes and attitude is the ultimate way to experience GTA. I know that doesn’t make much sense, given the first game was in 1997 but there’s just something about it that feels like the manifestation of every fantasy from an 80s action film.

I’m fine with most of the games being set in the present day but I wish there was always one that was current that was a period piece. Maybe at least have an 80s time travel zone or something in GTA Online? I mean, they’ve got flying motorbikes so it would hardly be the strangest thing they’ve done.


Nostalgia cycle
Nice review of Luigi’s Mansion 3 but a bit disappointed to find it’s trying to be more like Luigi’s Mansion. In my opinion that’s always been a pretty worthless game and I’m not really sure what anyone else sees in it. Is it just nostalgia? Especially as it was around at the start of the GameCube? In my mind there’s no question that Luigi’s Mansion 2 is 100% the better game but I guess enough people disagree that Nintendo did it this way.

I’m not that upset, because it still seems to be a good game, but it just goes to show you what a hell of a drug nostalgia can be. It’s not just a problem in games of course, almost everything is trying to remind you of some other thing you used to like or hoping you won’t notice it’s terrible just because it reminds you of something better you used to enjoy (Terminator: Dark Fate, anyone?).

One of the many problems is where do they go after that? Does Luigi’s Mansion 4 try to evolve back into something closer to the second game? So by the time we’re on Luigi’s Mansion 5 we’ll finally get something brand new? Who am I kidding? But the time it gets to 5 it’ll be time to remind you of the first one again, that’s the cycle of nostalgia!


Pay to not play
Over the weekend I had a conversation with one of Fallout 1st’s ‘whales’ in a Reddit thread.

The most interesting thing to me was that this person did not even play the game anymore. They were paying the subscription in the hope that Bethesda would use their money to improve the game. Myself and others tried to point out that this person’s actions were more likely to do the opposite, that they had in fact shown Bethesda that there were people out there willing to pay good money on rubbish which incentivised Bethesda not to improve their offering.

The person then went on to reveal that they had been buying the microtransactions regularly anyway, so they saw no difference in this subscription. When asked why they bought the microtransactions they said that they liked the previous Fallout games but found Fallout 76’s approach too grindy for their available time and felt they had to spend money to keep up with others and make the experience more like the older games.

When asked why they did not buy The Outer Worlds instead they said that they had a Game Pass subscription and did have the game but due to time constraints would not play it either. They seemed to know that The Outer Worlds was a more traditional Fallout type experience but might not have known it was developed by the people who made Fallout: New Vegas. Essentially, instead of playing The Outer Worlds on a subscription service they already had they were prepared to give Bethesda money in the hope that Bethesda would turn Fallout 76 into a more traditional Fallout game.

The person also revealed that they subscribe to all of the major entertainment subscriptions like Netflix and Amazon Prime, even if they did not use those much either. They saw this as just the way things were now and didn’t think Bethesda were doing anything wrong as all major gaming publishers offered subscriptions, microtransactions, and loot boxes.
PS: I found it very difficult to write this letter without going off on a Jim Sterling style rant about Triple-A monitory practices and how they prey on naive people.

GC: They sound they like have some serious issues, that we suspect they’re not seeking help for.


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Madness of crowds
I’ve got a feeling BlizzCon this weekend is going to be a blood bath for Blizzard. Their blood is in the water and it’s cool to hate them at the moment, so I don’t think all these sequels announcements are going to do anything. We’ll see I guess but I think there is some truth to the idea that a lot of fans enjoy complaining about games more than they do actually playing them.

Or to put it another way the pack mentality is something they enjoy, getting themselves hyped or pumping themselves up into a fury is something that makes you feel connected and powerful in a way a game can’t. I’m not saying I’m above it, definitely the hype part where you immediately set yourself up for a fall, but from a distance it can seem quite scary.


Why not both?
I haven’t played it yet but reading your review of the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare campaign it would appear as though Infinity Ward are not only going for shock value but trying to make a semi-point about war as well.

It’s hard to talk about Call Of Duty campaigns and not mention the No Russian level from the 2009 game, which I played much later than release. Because I had heard so much about it beforehand, when I reached that point I guess I had already been desensitised so didn’t find it as shocking as the developers probably wanted me to. However, out of all the Call Of Duty campaigns I’ve played, one part that did shock me, and in fact I think is the most shocking moment I’ve experienced in gaming, was at the end of the first mission of the Black Ops 3 campaign.

You’re trying to escape a complex and reach a part where you’re overwhelmed fighting military robots. One floors you then proceeds to tear off your arms, breaks your leg then punches you to near death. Watching this in first person was quite horrific. Particularly the way the robot was so merciless and cold, without conscience and didn’t stopping at simply killing the character you played in a more humane way.

Maybe Treyarch were trying to make a point about robot soldiers in the future might not be such a good thing because of the lack of humanity… or maybe they were just doing it for the gore!


Sad agreement
I have to agree with your review of WWE 2K20 (and I’m a staunch apologist every year) but between the awful remapping of the buttons, hard crashes, bugs, and glitches I can’t believe they didn’t delay it for some polish.

Been playing The Outer Worlds this weekend but only about an hour a session because that first person view just makes me feel beyond nauseous. This, I feel, is why I haven’t made the dip into VR this gen.

I’ve certainly been smashing everyone’s brains in at every opportunity (and probably making it a lot harder for myself in the process!) because I always took the high road in Fallout and I thought it’d be fun to be the bad guy – anyone else taking approach or am I just deliciously evil right now?

On a side note, does anyone know if you can make the menu bigger on Xbox One as I find the text is tiny and I’m struggling to read anything/make use of the item system properly.

One of my biggest bugbears so far is its waypoint system, it tells me 200m forward, for example, but you can’t go 200m forward because there are buildings/invisible walls, etc. in the way and I’m a person who takes directions literally so you can imagine how infuriating I am finding it.
TheSpectre N8 (gamertag)
PS: RE: the weekend Hot Topic about non-violent games. Surely there is only one answer for this, the Rock Band/Guitar Hero series of games. I’m really surprised nobody picked these and it teaches me, as per usual, to send it in because unexpectedly nobody else did.


More before you start
I realise it’s only just come out and I’ve not even got around to picking it up yet, but I was wondering if you knew if there were any plans for any Fallout style expansion DLC for The Outer Worlds?

I’m interested in it either way and, despite my nearly 30 game backlog, I’d have probably bought it already if it wasn’t for my recent PlayStation VR outlay, but I was just curious.

GC: To our knowledge they haven’t said anything about DLC one way or the other.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Small screen entertainment
I was sceptical about The Witcher 3 on the Nintendo Switch even after reading your review. I played it on original release a few years ago but never got to finish it.

With the clocks going back and the cold long nights drawing in I thought it’d be a perfect game to play in handheld whilst nice and cosy in bed.

I got my copy for £46 from Argos (game were charging £52) on Saturday afternoon, got home and thought, ‘No, I’m going to take it back, it’s going to have too many compromises, it’s going to ruin my memories of a true classic’.

Then I read your review again and quickly took the wrapping off and inserted the cartridge before I could change my mind again.

I was gob-smacked…. mind blown. A few years ago I was playing this on the original Xbox One, a huge ugly brick of a console and now I’m playing it on a portable. On the small Switch screen it more or less looks and plays exactly how I remember it, only it’s better because I can take it with me and soon I’ll be able to play it whilst watching the new Netflix adaptation.

On another note, I really cannot wait for Luigi’s Mansion 3, I’ve got it on pre-order with ShopTo and I also got Astral Chain two days early from them, so here’s hoping!


Inbox also-rans
I’m not sure I really see the point of that Xbox upgrade system. The amount you’d pay in interest and all the messing around… I think I’ll just sell my old console on eBay, the old fashioned way.

Nice review of Luigi’s Mansion 3. I already bought the game a while ago along with Zelda: Link’s Awakening via download on Nintendo eShop. But at the of your review there wasn’t a score, nor pros and cons.
woz_007 (NN ID)

GC: That’s odd, it’s definitely there now.


This week’s Hot Topic

It’s Halloween this week so the subject for this weekend’s Inbox is a simple one: what’s the most scared you’ve ever been when playing a video game?

It doesn’t have to have been while playing a horror game, it could just be an unexpectedly scary moment in a normal game or maybe even something that the developer didn’t seem to intend to be frightening. Do you enjoy scary video games and do you think they’re more or less effective than movies and TV?

Please remember that normal house rules apply for the Halloween Hot Topic: nobody’s allowed to mention the dogs jumping through the window bit in Resident Evil 1.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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