Games Inbox: PS5 six month appraisal, Nintendo Switch OLED Joy-Con drift, and Resident Evil 9 co-op
The Friday Inbox loves everything about Final Fantasy 7 Remake except Wedge, as one reader hopes for a Metroid: Samus Returns port on Switch.
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Good to excellent
The PlayStation 5 is now well over six months old and I still haven’t seen one in a shop or know anyone that owns one, thanks to the shortages – which I realise are not Sony’s fault. I probably could have got one already, but I lack the drive to get up at 2am in the morning for Argos or pay an extra £300 on eBay.
As more and more games are announced and released though I tried to take a step back and see if the whole thing has been worth it. Console launches are usually frustrating affairs, with no good exclusives and a wait of one or two years until one comes along. From everything I can see though the PlayStation 5 has done much better than usual on that account.
There may not be a Super Mario 64 or Halo style killer app but Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure all seem to have got good to excellent reviews. The pace of release seems to have been good too, especially given the pandemic, so… Sony did well?
I know they’re not very popular with some people because of the poor communication and typical arrogant attitude but as a long-time PlayStation owner I’ve definitely seen worse. It’s hard to say, not actually owning the console, but as far as I can tell it’s actually turned out well. Is that the majority opinion or have I just become unaccountably optimistic for some reason?
Feeling your age
I’ve been gaming since 1979 and seen all that gaming has to offer, I’ve also seen generations of consoles come and go. With that said, I really do not understand the big urgency in getting either a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X/S.
To me none of the next/this gen of consoles have any games on them that make me want to buy that console to play that game like it used to be. Am I missing something here or just getting old!?
GC: Well, you’re missing Returnal, Demon’s Souls, and Astro’s Playroom for starters.
I saw Joy-Con drift for the first time at the weekend and I was surprised by two things: how much it messed up the gameplay experience and my nephew’s willingness to play on regardless (because he didn’t want to be without his Switch for two weeks).
Now that I know I’ll try to get his mammy to send it away for repair, but it is annoying that Nintendo haven’t released a Joy-Con Works to go with the Switch OLED (which will be lovely I’m sure – the original PS Vita screen is still tremendous looking so a 7 inch OLED on Switch will make your eyes bleed, whether it’s lacking a couple of Ks or not). I guess it’s not worth their while to fix it.
PS: I’ve been playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus on my PS Vita. Classic.
GC: As we said before, if they do fix it with the OLED model, which there’s a reasonable chance they will, they’re very unlikely to advertise the fact, for both PR and legal reasons.
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Wait and see
Thanks to Matt for the suggestion of Woodface by Crowded House. I didn’t call the band run of the mill by the way, but middle of the road; meaning they aren’t too heavy but have enough catchy melodies to be popular. I’ve listened to the band for years, so I’m familiar with that album, among others. I hope you enjoyed their wee gaming Easter egg.
Anyway, on to gaming! As much as I think the Switch is one of, if not the best, games console I’m not sure I can justify upgrading to the Switch OLED, especially if Joy-Con drift continues to plague it. I think I’ll wait until it’s released to see if there are any reports of the hardware fault and if it looks to have been remedied then I might take the plunge and retire my launch mode and buy the Switch OLED one then.
Suffer, like G did
In response to LoRd SiNn’s question about HDTV compatible lightguns a few days ago. I contributed to The Sinden Lightgun project at the tail end of January.
By all accounts it’s the be all and end all in playing lightgun games on modern tellies, when compared against the few other options available, which seemingly all have some draw back or another.
However, it’s for Windows PCs and Linux only. They start at £80 and that the wait is… utterly… interminable! Apparently COVID has slowed down factory production considerably. But when it does eventually drop on my doormat I’m going to indulge my itchy trigger finger and penchant for cheesy voice acting like no-one’s business!
Everyone hates Wedge
I’m currently replaying the highly enjoyable Final Fantasy 7 Remake along with the DLC and I’m still shocked at how likeable the entire cast (minus Wedge) are. It was seen as a problem to just have the first game set in Midgar but it turned out beneficial as it gave time to flesh out the characters motivations and reasons for their actions.
There’s a few dud chapters but the obvious standout chapter is the Wall Market one, which was handled perfectly. It’s going to be interesting to see what major plot threads they include in part 2. No Rise of Skywalker muddled narrative with needless padding included would definitely be a positive.
Hopefully GC are on board for the main sub-plots to be included though. Like the one… err you know… when you need to obtain the whistle to coax the dolphin to propel Cloud 50ft high up onto the scaffold at Junon Harbour, where Tifa and Scarlet eventually engage in a slapping fight and more importantly… err… the one when they get Red XIII to hide his quadrupedal gait so it’ll be easier to pass as a human in a sailor’s outfit on the boat over to Costa del Sol.
I’d certainly love a full Chocobo breeding/racing side quest and a Las Vegas style Gold Saucer to spend all that hard earned Gil in.
GC: You mirror our feelings on it entirely.
Samus Returns again
With the announcement of Metroid Dread, how likely do you think it is that those rumours from a while back about a Switch port of Metroid: Samus Returns will turn out to be true? Or have you heard anything about it recently?
I would have thought it would be the ideal time to do it – a sudden release to help build excitement for when Dread is released.
Sparky the Yak
GC: To be honest, a compilation of Metroids 1 through 4 would’ve been useful, if Dread is going to be the end of that continuity. It wouldn’t take much effort considering they’re all 2D/portable games. It’s the series’ 35th anniversary on August 6, so maybe something will happen then – although we wouldn’t bet on it.
Glad to hear Resident Evil Village has done well. It’s not my favourite of the recent games but it’s still good and Capcom have always got my backing as long as they don’t start trying to turn the series into an action game again. I suppose you could say that was what was happening with Village, but I thought it was a good mix of different elements, from the old school castle to the parts where it was basically a straight first person shooter.
I’ll admit it though, knowing that Resident Evil 5 and 6 are the best-sellers is kind of annoying as every fan knows them as the worst. I am surprised though that Capcom hasn’t returned to that style in some way though, specifically the co-op. Obviously Resident Evil 6 went overboard with that, like it did with everything else, but I always thought it was fine in 5 and would be happy to see the option (emphasis on option) return in another game.
The problem with 5 is that it wasn’t scary and it just wasn’t as well made as Resident Evil 4. If a new game fixed those issues but still had co-op I’d be perfectly fine with that. There’s no real hint that Resident Evil 9 will go that route but I’d be happy to see it happen. Resident Evil has all these memorable characters but you so rarely get to fight alongside them.
Don’t own one and not buying one but does the new OLED screen on the Switch extend the battery life, as it is more power efficient and make it lighter or is it the opposite?
GC: No. Everything like that is exactly the same as before.
I can foresee a time where it’s completely pointless playing a public multiplayer game, only with friends, and I don’t think it’s far away. What people get out of cheating in a PvP game I will never understand but we’ve reached the tipping point where it’s just not worth bothering.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Grackle, who asks what one feature would you add to the next sequel in your favourite franchise.
It doesn’t matter whether the sequel has been announced already, or how likely it is, but we want to know what you’d do to improve your favourite game. It can be something small, like a change to the control system, or something like a change of perspective from third to first person. Or perhaps a change of art style, story, or combat system.
Is your choice something relatively trivial, that’s only meant as a bit of fine tuning, or something that will fundamentally change the nature of the franchise? How likely do you think it is that your idea will make it into a future game?
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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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