The Friday Inbox tries to work out the story of Mass Effect past and present, as one reader claims to have got a platinum trophy for Psychonauts 2.
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Two out of three
So Black Friday is almost here and the deals are… actually pretty good now. I can’t say I’m particularly flush at the moment though, so I have limited funds with which to buy anything and nothing is super cheap. Except maybe that The Last Of Us Part 2 deal. But if not that, what is the best Black Friday bargain this year?
I think the things I’m most tempted by are Returnal, Guardians Of The Galaxy, and Deathloop. Three games that I’m interested in but because they’re not my usual thing/I’m not entirely sold on them I’ve resisted them up till now. Which seems like the perfect thing for a price cut to solve.
I suspect GC is going to name Returnal as their game of the year, while Deathloop seems likely to win The Game Awards, but I think my two priorities are Returnal and Guardians Of The Galaxy as they look the most fun. I’ll get the other if nothing else has tempted me during the day. We do need a new Hoover, after all…
In my opinion a lot of fans are overexaggerating Battlefield 2042’s problems. If I can generalise I would say they’re mostly PC fans, which is ironic because their cheating is the biggest problem with the game as far as I’m concerned.
Sure, there are some performance issues, and the maps are a bit too big, but 90% of the time I’m having a lot of fun, which for an online shooter at launch is pretty good going. The game is entertaining, unusual, and doesn’t just feel like more of the same thing, which I feel is quite an accomplishment. Especially as I’ve barely touched Portal and I’m just hoping others will make that good. (I hope not everyone thinks that.)
I haven’t bought Call Of Duty: Vanguard and I don’t have an Xbox, so I have no way of comparing it with its rivals but I can say that I’m very happy with my purchase and it’s clearly only going to get better. Sometimes I think a certain strain of gamer enjoys complaining more than they like playing games.
I’m going to be very interested to see what Capcom do with Street Fighter 6 because I really can’t see anyway to move things forward, not for Street Fighter or fighting games in general. It’s two people punching each other on a 2D plane, what more can you do?
They could try and make it 3D, I suppose, but that’s been attempted before and never really worked out for Street Fighter. I think I heard the sequel might be focusing more on co-op and tag team, but again that’s all been done a hundred times before by other games.
The only other thing I can think of is a completely new roster of characters, because at least that would be something new. Maybe with this new Luke guy, that’s a hint of them doing exactly that?
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Everything at once
Just wondered if any Xbox Series X owners could help with an issue I’m having with my new machine? I’ve been trying to launch Call Of Duty: Warzone with 4K set as my display resolution (I have an LG B9 OLED) and at 120Hz with HDR enabled, but every time the game boots up I lose the video signal?
I actually took the machine back thinking it was faulty, and was lucky enough to get another one, but the same problem persists and my research has come to little success, other than the fact that some people seem to claim the Xbox can only do 120Hz or HDR, not both? To me that doesn’t seem right as in the menus I have a green tick against every available video option, so I’m wondering if it’s a HDMI handshake issue or some other conflict I’m missing?
Halo multiplayer performance option is also greyed out, so I’m assuming there’s some obvious menu selections I’m overlooking? I’ve tried 1440p/120Hz which seems to work (without HDR) but somethings amiss and it doesn’t feel as smooth as the likes of your Call Of Duties, etc.
Everything’s fully updated, but any help would be greatly appreciated as its driving me nuts at the moment, my PlayStation 5 seem to handle all this effortlessly.
End of the story
Since a lot of people have been saying nice things about Fortnite recently I thought I’d add to the chorus and even suggest that the game has a surprisingly good storyline. It’s silly and goofy, as you’d expect, but is there if you look for it.
You have to look for most of it, and some of it is in comic books, but I’m really looking forward to ‘The End’ to see what happens and what comes afterwards. I’ll be honest, most of this comes from following the game with my kind, but it’s fun to be able to talk about something he cares about and it really is all more ingenious than I think many people realise.
Late to the party
I’ve been able to come home from work early so I’ve been idly reading stuff online and while I realise this is way, way late – no really – I’ve just stumbled across the ‘indoctrination’ theory for Shepard from Mass Effect.
It’s pretty complicated, with a lot of thought seeming to have gone into proving it, and it’s interesting. Even though BioWare have said it’s not true there does seem to be some evidence that it was meant to be canon but scrapped for whatever reason.
I’ve just finished watching some YouTube videos explaining why this ending makes sense and I obviously remember the controversy and nastiness from some fans when Mass Effect 3 released and no one liked the ending, but I don’t have much of an opinion on it one way or another, I was never all that invested in the series.
I only ever played Mass Effect 2, on PlayStation 3 years ago. And I don’t remember the story all that well because I got tired of it before getting an ending, but I’m thinking of giving the Mass Effect Legendary Edition a go to see the whole story for myself sort of thing.
One thing what I’ve read has made me curious about though is the new game that’s currently being worked on. Is that a continuation of Shepard’s story with the Reapers or is it a new story entirely? I know what BioWare have said about the next game isn’t much but it’s going to be interesting to see where they go with the story for that one.
GC: It’s long been suggested that the motivation of the Reapers, as intended at the start of the series, was completely changed for Mass Effect 3. BioWare hasn’t said anything about the new game, but it does seem to feature the Geth and at least some returning characters – as well as perhaps elements from Andromeda.
To answer your reader Lizardpudlian, on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. There was a patch released at the start of the year that improved frame rate and resolution. Then there was a proper update in June for a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S version.
The update is free if you own the PlayStation 4 version, but it will probably mean redownloading as the PlayStation 5 version, as messy as that gets with the PlayStation console. Hope this helps.
I have now not only beaten Psychonauts 2 but I have achieved a platinum trophy on it as well! It speaks to the game’s quality that I actually wanted to 100% it. I don’t always. In fact, it was quite hard to put it down. I do really love that whenever it happens: a game you can’t wait to get back to the next day. It was most refreshing.
Better than the original? Hmmm. It’s not as funny, the controls are still janky, but… the level design is superior. There are no bad levels. In my view. Nothing as awful as the escort section of the Meat Circus or anything as bland as Raz’s Forest. Boss design was very slightly better here, but the first game really did that well with the likes of the Theatre Critic and the Think Tank. And Maligula is one of the greatest boss fights of all time. So stirring and satisfying.
It certainly packs a more emotional punch this time round. Mostly because this isn’t really about Raz this time, it’s about Ford. Taking a tour through the broken minds of the original heroes, now so traumatised and diminished by a battle that they only technically won but in reality lost everything is so sad and affecting.
Then going into that final level, that funny yet also disturbing song – it was a little scary even.
But what about Otto? It felt like the game forgot about him. How come he fared so much better than his allies? Why was he so happy to open the Motherlobe when nobody else was? Was there something… sinister going on there? The game never says and there are only the vaguest of hints to go on.
I do agree that the game seemed a bit long – you started to feel it in the still excellent Bob’s Bottles stage – but I would have no idea what to cut. At first, I thought Lucretia’s Laments could be cut down or jettisoned completely, but I like that idea less as time goes by.
What I would love, and we did get some quality-of-life enhancements, is some DLC levels. Is that a crazy thing to hope for? It seems somehow plausible? Maybe? That said, the camera filter that lets you see any undiscovered collectibles was not the instant win tool you would fist imagine it to be. You end up looking for a tiny spot of colour in a monochrome sea. And even worse, some things can be hidden by level transitions!
What was that term for point ‘n’ click adventures where you would sometimes have to click on every part of the screen in order to progress? I forgot what it was. Window wiping? Window cleaning? I feel that windows were involved. Either way, I feel Double Fine were nostalgic for that sort of thing…
GC: Window washing. And it’s an Xbox game, there is no platinum trophy.
When I think of video game cheaters I imagine 14-year-old boys sniggering at their own supposed cleverness. What worries me is that I suspect I’m probably out on the age by about 30 years…
I agree with that BioWare writer, a Mass Effect TV show is a dumb idea. Unless they make Shepard someone you barely ever see I don’t see what the point is. Shepard wasn’t the start of the game I was, the player!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Focus, who asks what’s the most successful video game franchise you don’t like?
From Pokémon to GTA, Fortnite to League Of Legends, what big name video games do you have no interest in and why? Have you played the games yourself and have you ever gone back to try a new entry, or update, despite not liking one of the previous ones?
What game’s success do you struggle to understand the most and is there anything it could do to change, to get you interested in it?
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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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