Games Inbox: The Last Of Us remake on PS5, GTA: San Andreas Stories, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake hate


The Monday Inbox has some new suggestions of which games companies Xbox should buy next, as one reader admits to preferring Red Faction to Half-Life.

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

Better things to do
I’m probably a bit of a hypocrite, since I’ll end up buying it at some point, but honestly, what are Sony and Naughty Dog thinking remaking The Last Of Us? I played the game recently and even though it’s a few years old now the remaster still holds up and still looks impressive and the gameplay in the sequel hasn’t changed much from the original.

Honestly, I think it’s a daft move both from an artistic viewpoint and as a business decision. I can’t see what benefit updating the graphics or bringing some superficial gameplay tweaks will make. It’s not like it’s a game that now looks dated. The game is already popular and available for PlayStation 3, 4, 5. I don’t see how another remaster will significantly increase the player base.

A remake rather than remaster could also be an error. Some players, even if it was the minority, were unhappy with the direction Naughty Dog took with Part 2. Making significant changes to the gameplay or story could further alienate fans of the original game and sequel and put at risk any plans for a The Last Of Us Part 3.

From both a personal perspective, and from a logical point of view, I feel Naughty Dog and Sony should concentrate on both new IPs and sequels, and any remasters should be from smaller studios. In my view older games such as Metal Gear Solid, Soul Reaver, Dino Crisis, and Ico could benefit from modernisation, as well as appealing to a new generation of fans, and would be the more sensible option when it comes to remasters.

GC: It does seem a huge waste of time for anyone, let alone Naughty Dog. But the only one of the games you mention that belongs to Sony is Ico.

Track record
I see Microsoft are rumoured to be buying more game studios and I am not sure this is a good thing. Their track record with studios is patchy. Rare went from being one of my favourite developers to not really being a force anymore/Bungie produced some excellent Halo games but left, Bethesda produce some decent games but they tend to be games I pick up on the cheap six months after they come out.

I am not sure why this is, are Microsoft meddling with the direction of the studios? I hope they leave the developers to do what they do best producing good games.

GC: Big companies buying medium-sized ones almost never works out. You only have to look at EA’s track record to see how badly it can turn out. Smaller developers usually have a better chance, because they tend to be more flexible.

Alternative purchases
I was thinking the of the studios Microsoft should have bought, that would have bolstered their exclusive games. The first is Crytek, who are known to make graphically impressive games (Ryse: Son Of Rome, Crysis, etc.) and would have been a good counter to Sony’s Guerrilla Games. As a side note I think a Ryse sequel would have a lot of potential if it had better combat, something similar to Dark Souls.

The other studio that comes to mind is Remedy; they too have made Xbox exclusives, but really seem to have hit their critical stride with their multiformat game Control. I bet Microsoft are kicking themselves not to have this as an exclusive.

Both studios have made exclusive games for Xbox over the years, so why didn’t Microsoft acquire them years ago? It seems they have let both studios slip through their fingers… for now anyway.

Dare I say PlatinumGames too, as they were working on that odd futuristic dragon game, Scale something [Scalebound – GC], before Microsoft pulled the plug on it. That would give them a formidable and critically acclaimed Japanese studio.
TrevorMcFurr (gamertag/PSN ID)
PS: I’d like to second the Microsoft Rewards scheme. You can acquire points just by searching using Bing too! I was able to convert my points to £10 in vouchers that I spent on… Starlink: Battle For Atlas (it was an 80% off sale!).

GC: We are surprised they never bought Remedy, given their previously close relationship and the fact Phil Spencer is a fan. Maybe Remedy just didn’t want to be bought.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Who cares how it plays
In reply to your reader’s letter about Pit-Fighter, those days were very bizarre indeed. It was surprising that such a mediocre arcade game such as Pit-Fighter would have not only received suspect high scores but also being converted to almost every home computer and console under the sun.

I believe that even the 8-bit computers at the time, which were on their way to retirement – the Amstrad, C64, and Spectrum – all received ports of the arcade version.

How such a game (accurately referred to at the time by a variation of its name with the ‘P’ replaced with a ‘Sh’) could receive so much attention when being produced on so many formats remains a mystery to this day.

My theory is that there was so much hype – rolling in on the back of Street Fighter 2, it meant that publishers thought a steaming pile of excrement would sell extremely well.

Thank goodness things have changed today, and hype and graphics don’t guarantee sales (cough *Cyberpunk* cough).

Netflix fodder
I am the only person who finds the whole Netflix experience a let-down? There is some great content on Netflix but there is so much dross on there that when it came to renewing I didn’t feel the need. The same can be said of the other services as well, Amazon has a lot of poor content and the good stuff is advertised on their site as their own when it’s actually another service like Starz.

Is this what will happen to the gaming Netflix model, where we will be flooded with half decent games released to meet the demands of subscribers just so one service has more content than another?
Alek Kazam
PS: A big shout out to Wheelman73 in the Underbox for his suggestion. And you are correct GC, always buy official stuff, saves you money in the longer term.

Retreat to retro
Just finished the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, many months after starting.

I found the whole thing a tedious slog. The original is a classic which I have played through many times. The side quests verged on ridiculous/incredulous and I gave up on them about two-thirds into the game (and completed it easily, without needing the rewards potentially unlocked through boring processes like running back and forth to Chadley).

The music was ruined too… the original was perfect and classic. The jazz tinged remake of one certain tune (combined with mindless wandering in a dark town trying to locate an objective) nearly drove me to insanity.

One benefit was that when I moved on to complete The Last Of Us Part 2 (also cast to one side as a result of time required) it made me appreciate this game even more and the extended running time here was not a problem (well, maybe until Santa Barbara).

Made me realise why I got into gaming in the first place and spurred me on to some extended retro time on OutRun, Bubble Bobble, Bomb Jack, Mr. Do!, and I, Robot in order to recover (they never ask you to turn down obvious dead ends to find object chests or search every kitchen or bathroom drawer for a pair of scissors).
Paul Barnett

2 for 1
I think all this discourse about Game Pass is fine, except a lot of the games are just padding. I just wish Sony would do a deal where you get PS Plus and PS Now in one lump. I’ve just started a seven day trial of it and am playing Deadly Premonition. It offers so many more Japanese role-playing games than Xbox does, and other outlier games.

Don’t get me wrong, I also play on Xbox, I don’t know why we are all going on the teacups as we all leave at the same exit.
Zombiekicker (gamertag/PSN ID)

A trilogy of two
It seems that despite Rockstar Games’ success with GTA 5 and other GTA titles they will always have this one blemish, which is that the GTA Stories series remains unfinished and incomplete. The reason I am calling this a blemish is because of the fact that Rockstar Games has only produced GTA: Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories but never a GTA San Andreas Stories.

The three cities in GTA are Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas, yet sadly Rockstar missed out a San Andreas Stories. While GTA 5 is set in a different universe, and the GTA 3 universe is different, Rockstar could do a San Andreas Stories and work on filling in some plot holes from the previous games and let people know what Tommy Vercetti did after the events of Vice City or see when Rosenburg started getting into drugs and why he eventually went to San Andreas.

The main character could be Ceazar Vialpando, as he did appear in GTA: San Andreas and it could be set in 1990, exactly two years before the events of GTA: San Andreas. You could also meet new characters and work for some past characters, The Truth and even Zero. The radio stations would be full of early ‘90s music and Lazlow could appear on a talk radio station once more. Sadly, I can’t see Rockstar ever doing this.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

Inbox also-rans
I’m one of the small minority of people who actually preferred the original Red Faction to the original Half-Life.

Even if Sony does create it’s own ‘response’ to Game Pass why has it taken so long? Game Pass is four years old now and they knew Microsoft was going to make a big deal of it for Xbox Series X. It just feels like they wanted to be bit on the ass before doing anything about it.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grant, who asks what is the last physical copy of a video game you bought?

Was the game brand new or second-hand and why did you buy it physically instead of a digital version? How often do you still buy physical copies as opposed to digital and how much of that is out of preference compared to necessity?

Are you okay with physical copies becoming an increasingly niche concern and will you miss them when they’re completely gone? What determines whether you’ll buy a physical or digital copy if both are available, and do you ever buy limited or collector’s editions?

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.

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Your favourite FPS

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Your favourite FPS

MORE : Games Inbox: PS5 spokesperson problem, Monster Hunter Rise love, and Microsoft buying Kojima

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