Thursday’s card page welcomes indie games filling in the gaps between major releases, as one reader enjoys Steelrising despite its flaws.
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So we’re finally limping towards the release of God Of War Ragnarök, after a summer game drought that seems to have lasted forever. I feel like I can dust off my PlayStation 5 and hope that 2022 is just a short break in what has been a great run for the console so far.
I don’t mean this is some ‘all other consoles suck’ kind of fanboy, I just think the PlayStation 5 has had a really good first couple of years and if it wasn’t for the pandemic starting to bite this year it probably would have still been. better.
I would go further and say that no other console, or at least none in the 3D era, has had such a good first two years. Really. It had a good launch and then a series of really good games at least every two or three months, until the slowdown around April of this year.
The only rival I can think of is Switch, but while its first year was great, better than PlayStation 5, its second year was pretty poor and it’s only gotten worse since then. I don’t know if this will make PlayStation 5 the best console ever or something, but I think it already is in terms of other hardware at the same point in its life.
Considering some of the crap that Embracer has already committed to, I’m pretty sure there will be another row of saints. It could be another reboot, but I don’t think they’ll give up what used to be a pretty big franchise. However, I am surprised that the CEO says he didn’t make a lot of money, with the implication that he cost a lot of money to do so, because my lasting impression was that it was unbelievably cheap.
From the bad graphics to the nameless songs on the radio, it all looked like a BBC production compared to the big-budget Hollywood equivalent that is GTA. As the GC review said, if it was trying to do something different it wouldn’t matter, but it isn’t.
Maybe that’s the lesson they’ll learn if they do another one, but given how obvious a mistake it was, I’m not so sure.
I’m getting used to the idea that the Switch 2 is very close to being announced, probably sometime next year or early 2024. I might even agree with the fan theory that Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom is intended to be the bookend for the current Switch.
Someone mentioned that the Switch is still selling well, which is true, but it’s selling less than it used to, if only by a relatively small amount. That’s always the signal a publisher is looking for, in terms of pushing their next console. Now I’d be surprised if the Switch 2 doesn’t come out by at least Christmas 2024.
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Can I just say how much I am enjoying Steelrising? It didn’t get amazing reviews but I didn’t have anything else to play and I love Soulslikes so I took a chance and was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it’s not as polished as the From game and the level design isn’t as great, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
A big part of this is the weird environment and art design, which I think goes a long way toward getting you (or at least me!) invested in a game, despite any other flaws it might have. If this had been just a generic fantasy or whatever, it never would have caught my eye, but some weird French steampunk? I can forgive that enough.
Some people say that the story is important to them in a game, but to me it’s not the plot, it’s just the vibe and feel of a game that’s important, not exactly what’s going on.
king of pac man
‘King of Kong’ and controversial American arcade record holder Billy Mitchell was at Elephant and Castle last Friday night, where he validated one of his disputed records, achieving a perfect score on Pac-Man after 7.5 hours game without losing a life.
The five co-owners of the Four Quarters arcade at Elephant Park were in attendance. I recommend that you contact them. I was simply a gambler. Here is my write and my friend Toby posted these photos.
waiting for more
I hadn’t played the first two but after all the positive reviews I took a chance on Splatoon 3 and… is it ok? I really like the controls and the basic concept, but the game seems so tedious that I keep thinking there is something else I need to unlock.
Reading that the others were even more lacking in content, I’m surprised the series has made it this far. Although that explains why it has never been that big in the West. I don’t know why Japan likes it so much, but maybe they just don’t like serious/violent shooters, which is fair?
The fact that you have to play for so long to unlock something other than a mode is crazy to me, especially since when you get to the others, they’re all really good and at least suddenly I start having problems. Salmon Run is really good but again very limited. There isn’t much variation and even though there are different maps they still look the same.
I’ll wait to see what the DLC looks like, but this feels like a rough sketch game and someone forgets to color it.
portable not portable
Maybe it’s different in China, but I really don’t think we’re in a position where portable cloud streaming consoles still make a lot of sense. At home, sure my broadband is pretty stable, but away from home? No way. I can play my Switch on a boat, on top of a mountain, or on the beach (and I have!) but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get enough Wi-Fi to do it with this Logitech/Tencent device.
Also… couldn’t they at least try to do something different to the Switch? It looks even more like a knockoff brand than Steam Deck.
indie to the rescue
Indie games make up the bulk of my gaming diet these days. Shorter run times and more experimental and creative directions are important factors. The bar for quality is also very high these days.
All three console manufacturers have embraced indie games fervently at some point. Nintendo and Sony are also rounding out their early release schedules and now it’s Microsoft’s turn to round out Game Pass.
It has delivered an impressive lineup of indie games from day one for over a year now and has also meant that Xbox has seen plenty of quality indie exclusives like Tunic, Death’s Door, Unpacking and Rogue Legacy 2. Hollow Knight’s announcement: The fact that Silksong is a Game Pass release from day one sums up for me how good indie games are on Xbox right now. This month only, Game Pass has Metal: Hellsinger, Tinykins, Immortality, Beacon Pines, and Moonscars.
There was a letter in the inbox last week saying it must be a miserable time for Xbox owners due to a sterile release schedule. On the first party front, it was 100% accurate, but the only reason I can think of why Microsoft isn’t getting the level of criticism that Sony or Nintendo would if they had such a sterile first party year is because Microsoft is maintaining its Punters are very happy with Game Pass for now.
My Xbox Series X hasn’t been off all year and it’s been a fun and rich year of gaming. My Xbox Series X gets used a lot more than my PlayStation 5, which is now a Sony exclusive box.
However, Microsoft clearly has to work out its first-party exit. With the mess that is Halo Infinite, there’s still a big question mark as to whether they’ll ever reach Sony and Nintendo’s self-produced levels of consistent quality, never mind the question of whether they can match those two in their prime.
As much as I rate Microsoft’s offering right now, I’m not sure they have a God Of War or Zelda: Breath Of The Wild in them. However, they have bought some very talented studios so a consistent high quality bar should be the goal and Starfield, Redfall and Forza Motorsport all look very promising.
Inbox also ran
Is GTA already a disappointment? Not absolutely not. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed by what they’ve seen in the leak. It’s like judging a Marvel movie based on behind-the-scenes footage of the green screen.
CG: That happens all the time, often based on just a couple of paparazzi-style photos. People can be weird.
I’ve had my issues with FIFA over the years, but I have to give credit where it’s due and I like that EA is putting all their effort into this year’s game, even though it’s their last and you could have imagined them doing so. . bad on purpose to ruin the reputation of the name on its way out, as FIFA will reuse it for their games.
This week’s hot topic
After last weekend’s inbox on This Week’s Favorite Fantasy Video Games asks the related question: what’s your favorite sci-fi game?
It can be a licensed game if you want, but try to also include a game that got its start in video games. How much of a fan of science fiction are you in general, and how much of a distinction do you make between relatively grounded settings and space fantasy?
Do you feel like there are too many or too few sci-fi games at the moment and what kind of games would you like to see more of, including specific genres like space combat sims and sci-fi horror?
Email your feedback to: [email protected]
the fine print
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