The Thursday Inbox thinks Naughty Dog is too obsessed with its past successes, as one reader is unimpressed by The One Show’s game coverage.
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Friends with benefits
Oh, I would love to know what Microsoft and Nintendo have been discussing! Like GC implied, it probably involved Microsoft asking for the world and Nintendo saying no to everything, but I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall nonetheless.
Interesting also, the comparisons between Sony and Nintendo nowadays, and both being focused on exclusives and being weird and uncommunicative. I’d still rather have that than Microsoft’s very American style of doing things though, which always seems so desperate for approval you don’t quite believe anything they say.
Even so, I can much more easily imagine a team-up between them and Nintendo than with Sony. They’ve always seemed to get on relatively well, maybe because they see themselves as two ends of the gaming spectrum, and while I wouldn’t want Microsoft to buy Nintendo, because then I think they’d just Americanise them, I wouldn’t mind seeing some kind of long-term partnership.
I’m still vastly more interested in most of Nintendo’s offerings than anything Microsoft is even hinting about, but I have to admit I’d really like to see a new Zelda with Xbox quality graphics…
Didn’t Naughty Dog once say that 30fps was preferably for their games because it was more cinematic (films run at 24fps)? I’m really not sure this obsession with constantly touching up games that already look better than 99% of others is really a good use of Naughty Dog’s time. They’re already at risk of disappearing up their own rear end and this self-adulation is only making things worse.
I really hope whatever they do next is a new game and one that focus on gameplay at least half as much as the story, because, while I wouldn’t call it terrible, I do sympathise a lot with the recent Reader’s Feature about The Last Of Us Part 2, which said it was barely interactive. It might be a good interactive movie but I’d still rather they make a decent game instead.
It’s worrying when so many of the biggest games just aren’t particularly good when it comes to gameplay. GTA 5, as was mentioned the other day, and Fortnite are mediocre at best and that’s not the reason they’re popular. Some people might scoff at it but at least Call Of Duty has really solid gunplay.
People’s problems with the ending of Mass Effect 3 stem from being told that their choices would matter over the long term, that how they played would matter. Then it ended with an A, B or C choice and it didn’t matter how you played.
The endings wouldn’t really be a problem if, for example, one ending was restricted to paragon players, one for renegade players. and one for a balanced player; therefore showing that how you play matters. But they went with the generic A, B or C ending. That is why everyone was so dissatisfied with the ending. Not because of the gameplay but because it makes every choice you made over the course of three games have less or no impact.
GC: We think the previous reader was complaining more about the nature of the story itself and the motivation of the Reapers – which we agree doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
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RE: Tronic. I suspect the reason many game writers intentionally avoid using anything from fan theories (and if I remember correctly, sometimes if a theory does match what they are writing it, they change it) is due to legal, financial and professional reasons – if they use someone else’s writing:
1) They look less competent at their job than some random person on the internet.
2) They may need to acknowledge that person’s input.
3) They may need to then pay that person.
4) If they don’t, then they may end up in court and have to change things.
Number four is why the credits in the Terminator include the line ‘Acknowledgment to the Works of Harlan Ellison’.
Then again, some writers are very good at writing on the fly and dealing with sudden changes (see Amy Hennig, especially in regards to the Legacy of Kain games).
GC: Although you’re probably right, surely the way around all these problems is to work out what you’re doing beforehand (and therefore have proof that you thought of it first).
In response to Trace’s letter, Rambo is in all these games coz he’s proper hard! Not sure that the author of the original story would have envisioned the character in a gory video game though.
I’ve never been a huge Mortal Kombat fan, I was always more a Street Fighter guy, but I did buy Mortal Kombat 11, as I could get it for a reasonable price including the Terminator, Joker, and Robocop DLC and it’s actually very good. I did go on to spend £15 (or something like that) on Rambo. In case you hadn’t guessed I was raised in the eighties!
Huw’s letter about Resident Evil Village made me burst into laughter, which was most unfortunate as my mouth was full of hot tea. Tremendous.
While I’m here, I saw a report on gaming addiction on the One Show last night. (I can’t stand the show but my ears pricked).
The subject of the report was a young man who spent £2,000 on costumes and upgrades. I have no idea which game it was, but the failure to define whether there was a gambling addiction as well as a gaming addiction seemed like poor reporting to me.
As ever, gaming itself came under fire without the additional, essential contextual information except that it was during lockdown.
Two good reasons
I’m willing to bet Nintendo doesn’t change anything major about Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. For a start, they’re cheapskates so that’s ruled out on that side but also it’d take a major amount of work to make any real difference and that just isn’t their style (also, they’re still cheapskates).
Personally I would’ve let everyone forget about the game and if you need to fill up the schedule remake another of the 2D games, maybe even the original, using the same graphics as Link’s Awakening. I bet much more people would be interested in that.
The madness of publishers
It’s probably not the first thing on most gamers minds but whatever happened to the new Sonic the Hedgehog game? It’s his 30th anniversary this year and Sega has barely mentioned it. I know the pandemic is slowing everyone down but surely you can announce the game and show a trailer? Nobody minded that Resident Evil Village missed the 25th anniversary so unless the game is two years away I’m not sure I understand.
Or is it just a legal part of Hollywood contracts that publishers aren’t allowed to take advantage of a new film in anyway, because they never do. Like, there’s a new Tomb Raider film on the way but we’re a long way out from a new game. Plus, the film will presumably still be based on the reboot trilogy, whereas we’re now getting a new reboot that may be nothing like it.
You could go mad trying to work out games companies sometimes. I’m just glad that when they do finally put something out the standard has been really good lately. I’m loving Returnal and Resident Evil Village at the moment and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Maybe being crazy and illogical is just part of what’s needed to make the magic?
I understand the frustration over WB Games as I was thinking the same thing, but one reason there hasn’t been a new Shadow Of Mordor game is probably that a lot of staff have left to set up their own studio. The head guy is with a new EA studio now.
I’m going to be honest and say I’d never even heard of Deathloop until. I know the pandemic and everything but is it really wise to be so quiet about a brand new IP. And couldn’t they have sent you a beta copy or something to play? Seems a bit minimum effort on Bethesda’s part.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Clambake, who asks what’s the most annoyed you’ve ever got with a video game?
Do you feel your anger was justified and what exactly happened? Was it because the game was very difficult, had a stupid plot twist, or was there some kind of bug that ruined the experience? Or what about playing online, including against cheaters?
How often do you get angry playing games and have you ever broken a controller, or anything else, when getting upset? How have you learned to cope better and is there anything you now purposefully avoid?
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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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