Games Inbox: What do you think of Marvel’s Avengers?

The Evening Inbox still can’t believe how few superhero games there are, as one reader calls for a single-player Quake reboot.

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Revealing problems

So that Marvel’s Avengers leaked footage looks… okay? A bit more reassuring than the original reveal trailer but still not exactly mind-blowing. The graphics look mediocre, I don’t like some of the voices – especially Thor – and the action looks very mindless and easy. I know it’s the prologue but you rightly criticised Marvel Ultimate Alliance for being a button masher and I’m not sure this one looks much difference. It certainly doesn’t look something I’d look at and think, ‘I bet the guy that did God Of War’s combat did that!’

I’m interested because they seem to have big plans and I’m a sucker for good co-op but is it me or are publishers getting worse at unveiling games now, not better? Avengers was a bit of a damp squib, with the best footage still technically a secret; Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a disaster, despite being apparently a decent game; the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer reveal was so bad the developer had to do a video themselves…

These are big name games that will probably go on to be good but have made almost the worst first impression possible. I mean, if your game is good it doesn’t seem like rocket science: let journos see and play your game and release gameplay footage at the same time (that is representative of the game). That’s all there is to it so why does it keep going wrong?


A narrow field

So I see Marvel’s Spider-Man has been named the best-selling superhero game of all-time. I love how that is said as some sort achievement. It beat the eight-year-old Batman: Arkham City and then what were the other contenders? The other Batman: Arkham games I guess and then… nothing.

It’s so bizarre to me that companies are going to so much effort not to make superhero games, given that most video game characters, at least in action games, are superheroes even by default. Marvel and DC making only a tiny number of games is one thing but where are the indie comics or just indie developers inventing their own superheroes and making games for them?

How much more popular do you want superheroes to be until you think they might be a good idea for a game. Ignoring the fact that they’re a good idea anyway because they fit the concept so well. I’m not even that big a fan it just weirds me out that no-one’s doing these things.


The more you know

Funny how Stadia seems to get less and less appealing the more we hear about it. Who asked for a replacement for Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus and why do we need it? The streaming idea is cool enough but I have severe doubts about how it’ll work in practice and none of the benefits seem worth putting up with the inevitably poor performance.

I’ll happily try out the free trial when that starts but I don’t think it’s going to be what everyone was expecting and the predictions about It just pushing the technology before it’s ready, and putting everyone off it ahead of time will probably come true. It’s happened so many times before with games and they never seem to learn.


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One last reboot

I was sad to hear of Tim Willits leaving id Software too. Not that I knew him, of course, but I recognise his name and it’s sad to know that none of the original crew work there anymore. I agree that a new IP from id would be good but I still think they have unfinished business in terms of their old franchises. We still haven’t had a new single-player Quake game yet and I think that’s a shame. It’s something I certainly would’ve been more interested in than Rage 2.

I remember GC talking to Tim about it once, and how it would be a Lovecraftian horror type of thing and he seemed really into it (much better than going back to the aliens of Quake II). Bloodborne meets Doom seems like a pretty great idea for a game to me and I hope id give it a go one day.


Regional differences

The Division 2 might (or might not, who can tell?) be the best-selling game overall this year but according to the charts the number one seller in Japan so far has been Kingdom Hearts III. Which to be honest I think I probably prefer The Division 2.

Number two was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and three was Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, with the expected Nintendo domination in most of the top end of the chart. Japan’s taste in games has always been very different but I’m glad of it, just to ensure there’s a need to keep things different.

Like, the top-rated Western-made game is Days Gone at number 15 and then Anthem, of all things, at 20. (I think I heard that Japan is actually quite keen on Destiny.) I have nothing against these games but while Western gamers are often characterised as liking nothing but Call Of Duty and FIFA it’s good to see there’s some balance to that. Even if the alternatives aren’t much better (and probably worse).


Free-ish to play

Thanks to a tip off on the comments sections of Nintendo Life (under their review of Blazing Chrome nonetheless) it was mentioned that it’s just joined Game Pass. much to my surprise.

I have to say the game is excellent and a real blast from the past (and looks great). Although it’s difficult even on easy I’ve mostly been inching my way forward but to the detriment of the controls.

My issue is with (on Xbox One) X being the fire button and ‘A’ being jump. It just feels so wrong to me this way round and has cost me much needed lives. Is there any chance an update will allow the fire/jump buttons to be the other way around, at least as a choice?
Chaosphere616 (gamertag)
PS: I’m now interested in the Contra Anniversary Collection but to my surprise I can’t find a review of it from GC, did you review it? As a Google search it just leads to a review of Blazing Chrome.

GC: It came out just before we left for E3 so we never had a chance.


Lost to the past

I was wondering why The Adventures Of Alundra has never been re-released? It was a fantastic Zelda: A Link To The Past clone released for the PlayStation some 20 years ago.

Who owns the rights to it now? It deserves to be preserved as it was one of the greatest 2D games ever made.
LoRd SiNn

GC: The original Japanese publisher was Sony, but it’s possible developer Matrix Software retained the rights. We assume not though as they’ve done nothing with it since the sequel.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Worth a ‘Watch

For anyone that hasn’t been around Overwatch for a while, there have been a few really good additions added and coming soon.

Firstly, the Workshop was released, which is a more in-depth version of the Custom Game mode, allowing you to tinker with many more settings and create your own rules giving you a lot more control and freedom. It’s almost like an Overwatch version of Super Mario Maker but you cannot make your own characters or maps. Two standout creations that people have made are the Smash Bros. style fighting game (code: VZ4YG) and D.Va Racing (code: BD9WP).

Next was the Overwatch League Viewer which allows you to watch any Stage 3 Overwatch League match in spectator mode. This is handy for, among other things, using the first person view to learn from the pros how to play heroes you’re interested in.

This viewer was rolled out to the ordinary game too so you can now watch your own matches the same way. The last 10 of your games are available to view from any angle and from any perspective of any of the players in the match. I’m sure during a game we’ve all had a, ‘What on earth happened there?!’ moment. Now you can go back and find out.

Last and not least, coming on 13 August is a major change. Role queue and a forced 2-2-2 (2 tanks, 2 damage, and 2 support heroes) composition will be introduced. You’ll now be able to choose which role you want before going into a match for Quick Play and Competitive mode. In Competitive, your rank/SR will be split between the three roles so rather than having just one rank of say Platinum, you now might be a gold-ranked tank, platinum-ranked damage, and diamond-ranked support player.


Inbox also-rans

Apparently Gears 5 is going to have the longest campaign the series has ever seen. Is it just me or did the one in 4 seem too long as it was?
Punky Brewster

Yea, I would buy a Sega Saturn Mini.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what video game franchise have you been playing the longest?

What series do you have the longest history with an what was the first and most recent entry you’ve played? Do you consider yourself a long-time fan of the series or is it simply that most of the games are high quality?

How many entries have you played and do you own any related merchandise? Do you consider yourself to be loyal to the franchise and do you always plan to buy new games, even when they’re spin-offs, if they’re part of the series?

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The small print
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