Games Inbox: Is Stadia still a good idea?

The Monday Inbox hopes that Sega hasn’t forgotten about Shining Force, as another reader gives up on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Exuding scepticism
I’ve got to hand it to Google, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to make as big a mess as they have with Stadia. There is a lot of unease, justifiably in my opinion, about Microsoft throwing their wallet about at the moment but Google are one of the few other companies that can compete with them in terms of money and yet they’ve managed to make themselves look like a complete amateur hour.

The weirdest thing for me is how quickly they seemed to give up, with all their developers shut down and most of their staff leaving. I know Google has a reputation for killing off projects early, but I figured they’d just let Stadia limp along for a few years, gaining experience and games, and waiting for broadband to improve.

I guess that last bit might still be the plan but if there’s an opposite to exuding confidence then Stadia has it. Maybe Google aren’t shutting it down exactly but sort of going into hibernation until they can try it again? I doubt we’ve heard the last of Stadia, but I’d be curious to know if there’s anyone here that uses it.
Dobby

Fight the fear
I hate playing Resident Evil or any horror game. I hate feeling dread or being scared. The only thing that can help is if I’m playing with friends or family and taking it in turns. I’ve been with my brother since Monday and held off playing the new Resident Evil Village until he arrived but he refused to play it!

He did watch me though and I managed to finish the game last night. Absolutely loved It! I felt the story was easy enough to follow, as ridiculous as it was, and enjoyed the whole cinematic experience thoroughly. I may even find the courage to go back and finish Resi 2 by myself now…
TommyFatFingers (Oculus Quest 2)

GC: We’re glad you enjoyed it, but that does underline the fact that it’s not really very scary.

Solid experience
Just completed Resident Evil Village and overall I thought it was a solid if unspectacular entry in the series. The graphics are excellent, even running on my humble Xbox One S. The weapon-free house (those who know, know) was slightly terrifying but there were very few frights otherwise and the bosses were far too easy, but it is well worth purchasing for those who haven’t yet.

Oh well, off to CeX now to collect my £40 cash for it as I shan’t be bothering again with Mercenaries mode, due to the fast pace of it giving me motion sickness for some reason!
adams6legend
PS: Alex Kidd DX (25th June release) is just £21 at the seemingly reputable Zatu Games, it’s £30 everywhere else for the Switch version.

GC: Apart from enjoying Mercenaries that was exactly how we felt about it.

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Don’t get it
For the first time in 10+ years of gaming I’ve sold a game: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. I’ve played all of them and that on is mind-blowingly boring. The whole point of Assassin’s Creed for me was you blend in, you climb buildings, and from a great hight you drop on an enemy and take them out with them not even knowing what day it is. But with Valhalla it’s nothing like that. Because of the time it’s set in there is no building, all you’re doing is running around and killing a few people every so often.

Ubisoft has said the next Assassin’s Creed is the same, so I won’t be buying that at all. It’s like they’re running out of ideas to put in a game. It’s a shame, because at one point I was outside GAME at midnight, waiting for my copy. Now it’s like, who cares when I get it?
David

A true and accurate letter
Having (sadly) completed Returnal and seen the third act ending I decided to spend a few hours replaying some of Housemarque’s back catalogue. Super Stardust and Resogun are still endlessly playable and highly regarded but man oh man Nex Machina…

I don’t really like the debate about what’s the best ever game in its respective genre, as it’s purely subjective, but I’ll make an exception for Nex Machina. It’s perfect. Balanced, hard but fair, a visual delight, addictive, and much like older games it pays homage to, totally empowering when you clear a level.

It’s such a shame that it was overlooked. I couldn’t recommend it enough to anyone who wants to remind themselves how older genres still have the power to impress you (and challenge your ageing hand eye co-ordination).
Andee

GC: No lies detected there.

A good year
I think we could actually end up having quite a good E3 in the end. Sony and Microsoft both seem to have a bunch of games in the works and both have a lot to prove. Microsoft has never been very good at E3 so I think this time, sensing that they’ve finally got a killer app with Game Pass, they will go all out.

I hope they don’t focus too much on Halo Infinite though. I know it’s maybe all they’ll have for Christmas, and it used to be big for them, but it just seems so old hat now. I’m interested in just about every other new Xbox before it an would much rather see something on them, even if it’s just a tease.

I am interested in seeing more on Horizon Forbidden West but I’m kind of suspicious that we haven’t yet, given it’s supposed to be out this Christmas and is presumably Sony’s biggest game for then. Again, I’d rather see new games than sequels to okay games but we’ll see.

Maybe even Nintendo will have a good E3. They’re part of the main online event, instead of just doing a Nintendo Direct at the same time, so that sounds like they’re keen. And we have no idea what they’re going to be showing either, noting at all actually except maybe this new Donkey Kong game and the Switch Pro. It all sounds pretty exciting to me, and that’s before you even count in all the third party publishers.
Banshee

Short list
I hope I’m not the only person in the world to be bitterly disappointed that Shining Force wasn’t included in the list of dormant Sega IPs.

I’d love it if, at least, they’d translate 3 and release it on the Switch (rather than only the first disc on the Saturn, which was an odd decision even at the time).
Joseph Dowland

GC: We suspect it was a fairly random list. It just seemed to be examples of older franchises that they could bring back, not necessarily ones they’re actively developing. Shining Force was included on the Mega Drive Mini and one of the Game Gear Micros, so it’s not something Sega has completely forgotten about.

Everyone knows
You have a nice new game, you excitedly load it up, oh it wants to do a day one patch. You wait for it to install and then begin playing, something doesn’t seem right, surely it should run better than this? A quick check of the relevant developers Twitter and sure enough they are aware of the issues and are working on a patch.

Great, now the waiting begins. Sure enough, sometime later a patch is implemented only to find it hasn’t solved all the problems, guess another patch is needed.

So it continues until finally some six months later it’s playable.

Why are gamers being treated this way? The money spent purchasing the game could have been put to better use but thanks to the hype of the game the consumer has spent the hard earnt money on it and placed their trust in the developer to give them a working product, yet what the gamer gets is usually anything but.

This practice wouldn’t be acceptable in any other line of business, you wouldn’t pay to see a movie that was incomplete, or buy a music CD with the drums missing, or buy a car with no steering wheel, so why are we buying games that aren’t complete?

The reason is you don’t know it’s incomplete when you buy it, they don’t inform you that you’re buying something that’s going to need six months of patching before it’s properly playable because publisher deadlines have forced them into releasing unfinished stuff; they just let you buy it confident in the fact that as you want to play it you will willingly but grudgingly join them on the patch ride.

Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, No Man’s Sky, just to name a few, have all been released unfinished and needing patches. Cyberpunk being a disaster and No Man’s Sky taking years. Yet we go along with it because we want to play it, we spent so long drinking up all the hype we just can’t let it go. And that’s what the developers and publishers are banking on.

We need to have a higher standard as gamers, if they want our money they should release working products.
Anon

GC: As the Reader’s Feature at the weekend pointed out, it happens because gamers buy the games regardless. If they didn’t, publishers would change their ways. It’s becoming disingenuous to suggest that people don’t know a game doesn’t work before purchasing it. Even if you don’t read a review, the odds are no game will work properly until several weeks, or even months, after release.

Inbox also-rans
I wonder if you’d be kind enough to share this link. My brother has turned his hand to talking about Great Moments in Gaming. This one’s spoilerific but does discuss a great scene in Resident Evil Village. I’d love to help him get off the ground and get him some exposure and think the GC crew would appreciate the style.
PugMartin

GC: We can’t share a link to that video specifically, because it is a huge spoiler, but here’s one to the channel itself.

John Atkinson from Friday’s Inbox may be interested to know that back in 2005 a Taxi Driver game was being made. It was going to be a GTA style game following on from the events of the movie, but it was never released.
Jaded_Libertine (PSN ID)

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?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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