Today’s inbox assesses whether Nintendo delivered the goods at E3, while one reader ponders the future of consoles.
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Tera flop talk
I’m liking the focus of the next gen console talk being about performance rather than graphics and tera flops. Don’t get me wrong I’m looking forward to the boost in graphics next gen but more looking forward to jumps in frame rate, load times, more complex AI and physics as well as more densely packed, detailed worlds.
I was going to wait until next gen to play Cyberpunk 2077 as I want to play at the best possible settings. Luckily though I don’t need to as I have a good gaming PC that can essentially deliver next gen console performance.
The reasonably powerful GTX 1070 should hopefully be enough to play at high, possibly ultra graphics settings at 1080p. But also the SSD will provide fast load times and the i7 7700k 4.2 GHz processor will give me the 60 FPS.
I bought the PC for frame rates, the load times with the SSD was a revelation though. To have both in next gen consoles along other prospects like Ray Tracing and improved VR make them exciting prospects.
SC: We were just musing over if we’re excited for next gen at all. The improved performance is welcome, but we’re in no rush to fork out an arm and a skeletal leg to get rid of loading elevators.
Breath Of The Future
I can’t decide if I was happy with Nintendo’s latest Direct or disappointed. The Breath Of The Wild 2 reveal was the highlight and looks fantastic, but apart from that there were barely any reveals for new Nintendo games. We already knew about Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion and Link’s Awakening, as well as the new Pokemon titles, so I’m automatically left wondering what’s due out post November this year. BotW 2 is due late 2020 at the very earliest, and it would have been nice to see some future titles teased.
On the other hand, I do like that Nintendo don’t tend to reveal a game until around 9 months before it’s released. So I probably shouldn’t be complaining.
SC: Fair criticism, but Animal Crossing will be their first big hitter next year in March at least. They’ve also got Bayonetta 3 in their pocket somewhere which will likely release next year too, if you need some 2020 comfort.
Has anybody else taken a punt on the Dreams Early Access?
The work people have achieved already is astonishing but it’s not the easiest thing to get your head around. I got it purely for the opportunity to create music, but it seems even that is needlessly tricky.
Switch on The Witcher
Some interesting bits in the Nintendo Direct yesterday. Though it’s nice to see that even they aren’t adverse to release schedule overload, why put everything out in September?! Looking forward Astral Chain and Daemon x Machine, Platinum ever disappoint and DxM has potential… plus after recently overdosing on indie and old Playstation 2 remasters on the Switch it’ll be nice to have some cutting edge original games to try out.
Witcher 3 though… very interested how this turns out. I’m not a fan of the way the current generation ports on Switch are done, I picked up Doom and while a technical achievement the low resolution and anti alaising combination they favour (and games like Hellblade and Wolfenstein 2 which I haven’t tried) leaves the games looking blurry and lacking polish. Close to the point of being unplayable I think and laughable compared to PS4/Xbox One versions. Previous generation games that hold their resolution (usually 720/1080p) like Bayonetta, Dark Souls and Skyrim look vastly superior, but more games is more games and given the Witcher is a slower paced RPG not a precision shooter, might be up for it after a patch or two.
p.s I’m still baffled by the return of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and even more so the hype around it… everyone seems to have forgotten (with the cinematic universe’s success) that this series was an instantly forgettable (and that’s putting it kindly) RPG brawler that nobody played 15 years ago. A fun co-op button masher with the kids is about the best it can hope for.
Up until recently I wasn’t particularly bothered about PSVR. I wasn’t convinced it was anything other than an expensive gimmick. However I recently decided to see what all the fuss was about after hearing good things. The recent ‘Days of Play’ also helped. It might still prove to be a gimmick but I’m convinced it was worth the money.
I got the Mega Pack with five downloadable games including the much acclaimed ‘Astro Bot: Rescue Mission’ and also ‘Blood and Truth’ for £210 (its an early birthday/xmas present from my wife). The price of these games alone would have been between £80-100 or more at least. If your lucky GAME are doing the same deal but with ‘Resident Evil 7’ and two months of NOW TV also included though these bundles are in short supply. That means you get potentially up to £130 or more of games and other extras included with the headset.
So far I have really enjoyed my time with VR. The first game I played was the ‘Ocean Descent’ game on ‘VR Worlds’. Its a bit tame but is a good introduction to the hardware. Maybe I’m a bit naïve or stupid but I only thought VR allowed the user to look left and right not a full 360 degree field of vision. I was literally gobsmacked looking all around me, up, down, left, right, behind me at the ocean and fish. It was such a weird experience when the cage I was in started moving towards the sea floor I really felt like I was moving too. I can’t imagine how immersive games will be when the headsets become more sophisticated. I am playing on the PS4 Slim rather than the Pro and for the most part haven’t encountered any problems though ‘VR luge’ did seem slightly blurry though I do accept the graphics aren’t as advanced as regular PS4 games.
I did feel slightly nauseated on my first session but on the my second playthrough this was less of an issue I’m not sure if this was anything to do with standing rather than sitting. Might give ‘Wipeout’ a miss for a while though that really did make me feel ill after just a few minutes. I’ve only played for a while and yet to try out ‘Doom VFR’ or ‘Skyrim VR’ (Not a massive Skyrim fan but have tracked down move controllers and the idea of wielding a sword seems too good to resist). Also have yet to try some of the ‘VR Worlds’ games and if I can put my crippling fear to one side ‘Resident Evil 7’. Also would like to give ‘Everybody’s Golf VR’ a go at some point.
By far though the best experience I have had so far is the excellent ‘Astro Bot’ which is a great game in its own right. Its up there with the best platformers. I think it would be a great game even without the VR element. The fact it is a VR game just adds an extra dimension and makes it even better. The way you have to look round corners to get a better view or nod your head forward to smash through obstacles. I’ve only just completed the first few levels but I’ve heard it gets even better as the game progresses.
So to anyone sitting on the fence I say take the plunge. Just hurry up and take advantage of the offers whilst you can.
SC: We’ve almost been convinced to invest in VR by this heartwarming tale. Our bank balance and backlog disagree, but we’ve silenced them once, and we’ll silence them again.
I discovered this deal via a Facebook group, so I’d like to share with the GC readers.
Right now, Microsoft are offering a discount for your first month of Game Pass Ultimate (Game Pass plus Live) for only £1 (HK$10 for me).
But the crazy thing is, it stacks onto the end of any subscriptions you already have, and they are upgraded for free! The example, which is on the website, says if you have three months of Live and three months of Game Pass, you get a total of 7 months(!) of Game Pass Ultimate before they charge you again (which you can turn off anyway).
My Live membership runs out next month, so I just bought a new yearly one (which came with a free month). After I upgraded, I’ve basically paid about £42 for a year of Game Pass Ultimate!
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Thinking about giving value for money with the Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake, perhaps they might do something similar to A Link Between Worlds and include an alternate version of the game that uses the same map but has different puzzles and dungeons.
Enter the Gungeon is free on PC on Epic Store from today (Thursday 13th June).
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