Games Inbox: Are you still getting Days Gone?

The evening Inbox wonders if multiformat Nintendo games would sell more, as one reader admits to still playing Anthem.

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Muddy waters

Not at all surprised at the Days Gone reviews today, I’m not sure why anyone thought they’d be anything else. At least from the reliable sites. But when you even have IGN giving it a 6.5 you know something’s up. It’s not like Nintendo, Platinum, or any of the other great developers don’t have the occasional dud so I’m not sure why it should be a surprise when Sony does as well.

For me the basic premise never appealed and it just seemed like Sony getting one of their B-teams to make something that was a bit like The Last Of Us and would fill in for it till the sequel was ready. I don’t know why they thought that was a good idea, since one of the appeals of Sony’s line-up is how diverse all the settings are, but there you go.

I do find the reports of technical problems curious though, because it implies the game is being rushed, except there’s nothing for it to rush for. It’s after Easter now, getting towards the summer games drought so why couldn’t it have been held back for a few weeks or months? Even if it is fixed in the end its name has already been dragged through the mud.


Unnecessary gamble

One practice in the games industry that I completely fail to understand is this pre-ordering business. Why bother when no game sells out at launch anymore? I presumed the only reason for pre-ordering was the prospect of not playing a specific game on release day. I have pre-ordered once and that was Zelda: Breath Of The Wild on Wii U, as it was rumoured to be quite scarce but why would anyone pre-order something like Days Gone when you can go to any store on day of release (and after checking some reviews) and purchase it? Or of course download it from the PSN store on day of release.

Some people really appear to have more money than sense. These whales who buy/pre-order any old rubbish really aren’t helping with quality control in the games industry and indeed probably help encourage developers to release games early or half finished. It absolutely baffles me why people would gamble 50 quid on something that might be utter tosh.


No connection

A Dynasty Warriors spin-off instead of Persona 5? No way! Count me as someone that’s disappointed and I’ve already played the game on PlayStation 4. I just don’t understand why Joker is in Smash Bros. if the majority of people playing it are going to have no idea who he is and no chance to play his main game. You could say it was the same problem with Cloud Strife last gen but he’s a much more iconic character in general and Final Fantasy VII is now on a Nintendo console.

It seems particularly weird to make Joker the first DLC character but the good thing about that is that it means the other choices might be even more left field. I’m still convinced that Bethesda are going to have someone, either Dovahkiin or Doomguy, and Microsoft has got to have at least one rep.

If Persona 5 is going to set the precedent for characters having absolutely nothing to do with Nintendo consoles then we could be getting absolutely anyone really. Here’s hoping for 2B and Arthur Morgan!


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Bad decisions

So I see that Mortal Kombat 11 is on course to be the fastest-selling of the series ever, so not much chance of Warner being punished for the microtransactions and grinding. I have to fundamentally disagree with the reader who wanted to blame publishers for all this, with seemingly no responsibility for the people buying.

Nobody’s forcing them to pay microtransactions. They may be tempting them but that’s not the same thing. And even if you get addicted your first decisions to buy them are still entirely your own and there are endless warnings telling you not to do it.

Of course it would be best if companies didn’t try to tempt people but as has been said they will do whatever they can to make as much money as possible, with barely any consideration for the legality and none at all for morality. But blaming them alone is just an attempt to escape responsibility for a person’s own bad decisions.


Six long years

I agree that working tin the games industry sounds horrible. Being an indie developer may be good, I don’t know, but I suspect it requires similar if not greater commitment. Although at least you wouldn’t be working hard and knowing that your boss is going home on time.

I know we have a few developers that read the Inbox so I’d be curious to know what they think of all these constant revelations about big studios relying on the crunch and treating their employees badly? Maybe it is no different from any other business but I don’t remember hearing about anything like this from movies, which are presumably the closest comparison.

The other thing that puts me off though is when you hear things like Days Gone took six years to make and then they turn out mediocre. Who wants to spend that length of time working on a game only for it to turn out meh? Especially when the final quality might isn’t down to you but the hundreds of other people working on the game.


Third party sales

Seeing those sales for Nintendo games I can’t help wondering how they’d fair if they were multiformat. I’m not for a second suggesting Nintendo should go third party – being independent is obviously what powers their mojo – but would these games do better or worse if they were on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4?

I don’t think they’d do much better, because when you buy a Nintendo console you buy into the whole infrastructure and when a new game comes out it’s probably the first major one for months, so you’re automatically interested in it and give it a chance where maybe you wouldn’t if it was just the third interesting game that week on the PlayStation 4.

Nintendo are actually very good at marketing nowadays so I don’t think they’d have much to gain by being under Microsoft or Sony’s wings. But I guess it’s a moot point as we’ll never find out at this rate. Not unless their next game is the Wii U 2 (starring Bono).


Crossing the streams

I hope Nintendo doesn’t get into trouble with investors because targets aside those sales figures are amazing. 23 million sellers from one company in one year? I would’ve thought that was impossible. They’re also gradually building up a proper release schedule now, so hopefully that is the end of the year two dip (although I better the first half of 2020 is still bad, they can’t help themselves).

I wonder though where this puts the Switch compared to the Xbox One in terms of sales, it must be close to catching up with it by now? Which is really embarrassing given the over three year head start that Microsoft had.

GC: Microsoft refuse to release sales figures, but the Xbox One is believed to be on around 42 million consoles sold. The Switch is on 34.75 million, so it’ll probably pass it next year. The PlayStation 4 is on around 95 million.


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Keeping faith

Shame about the road map delay for Anthem as new content is what keep these kinds of games going. But at the same time they have done a great job of patching out problems from its launch and adding features, such as a new Stronghold, armour sets, and quality of life improvements (no more going back to the fort after every mission and being able to swap gear in mission – finally). It took Destiny around a year to live up to what it promised and I hope BioWare, or more importantly EA, doesn’t lose faith as the potential for a great looter shooter is still there and, yes, I still play it.

If EA wanted to get into the looter shooter bussiness why didn’t they just make a Destiny type Star Wars game? Four factions to pick from – Rebel, Empire, Sith, and Jedi – with the former being shooting based classes and the latter being melee. They could use planets from the films, speeders to get around on and maybe even a Force time travel element so you could grab a mission from Luke or Obi-Wan? Surely it would be a big seller.

This may be a late entry to the weekend Hot Topic, and not using the idea from above or my dream of an open world Superman game, but I’d love to see NetherRealm make a Warner Bros. fighting game. Neo vs. Agent Smith, John Spartan vs. Simon Phoenix, Harry Potter vs. Voldermort, Riggs and Murtagh vs. the diplomatic immunity men, the list goes on. They could even make it a Sony exclusive and borrow the golden ticket idea from Last Action Hero to explain it all (which I think Sony own the rights to) or use characters from the Sony film library.
Hollinho (PSN ID)
PS: Regarding Onibee’s comments about Judgment a couple of weeks back. Sega have replaced the actor and it will still be released on time. Which is great news!


Inbox also-rans

Anyone else sick of having the Game Of Thrones browser game advertised at you? Just rams it home every time that we haven’t got a proper game to play instead.

I know the reviews are bad but I’m still getting Days Gone. What can I say? I’m a sucker for open world zombies!


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what old game has aged the worst?

Going back to a much-loved video game can often be a traumatising experience, as something you remember as being amazing is revealed to have aged less than gracefully, but what’s your worst experience with an old title?

Was the problem the old-fashioned graphics, the controls, or gameplay that seems too simplistic or unfair nowadays? What still works about the game and is there a modern equivalent that does the same sort of things but better?

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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.

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