The Wednesday letters page is worried Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is being overlooked, as one reader wonders why everyone hates Warzone 2.
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So Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom is a massive critical hit and, really, who didn’t see that coming? I find it interesting that while Breath Of The Wild did have a few negative-ish reviews Tears Of The Kingdom only has one (that seems completely stupid to me; if you read it, all it does is talk about what the reviewer wishes the game was, not what it actually is).
It seems no-one has any serious complaints and it’s really just how much the fact that it’s the same overworld bothers you. Given what I’ve read about everything else I’m perfectly fine with it and intend to spend a very happy weekend playing it. And probably several other weekends by the sound of it.
Before I even get that far though I’m going to assume that it is a dead cert for game of the year. Unless there’s something amazing hiding in the background, I don’t see what could possibly beat it. Final Fantasy 16 is the only possible contender that’s not out yet and I think that franchise is far too divisive for it to ever be considered the best of the year. Especially as there’s a big question over its new direction.
So well done Nintendo, you’ve done it again. I’m not sure why anyone doubted your or why they will end up doubting you again the next time you have a big game out. But I look forward to that OpenCritic top five being all Nitnendo games before too long.
One weird trick
Great review of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, GC. I appreciate the depth you went into and loved your examples of how you used the Ultrahand. I’m definitely going to try and repeat some of those myself. I’m shocked at how big it seems though. I had no idea about the underground as well and that’s actually bigger than the sky islands?! If that’s what you get for reusing the same map as the last game I am absolutely all for it.
I was most interested though, in why you thought the dungeons and bosses still didn’t quite hit the mark. I can imagine though if the bosses are old school ones, where you’ve got to learn the one trick that defeats them, that doesn’t really match up with the freedom you have elsewhere.
Are the dungeons the same problem? Are they just ordinary puzzles or are you using Ultrahand/Fuse with them as well? It seems to me it would’ve probably been better to have these dungeons in Breath Of The Wild and the Divine Beast in Tears, but never mind – it doesn’t seem as if it spoils the overall experience.
GC: Some dungeon puzzles do require the use of Ultrahand and the other abilities but it’s mostly elements intrinsic to the dungeon.
Last minute review
I love to see the universal praise for Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom. I expect it but, as another reader said recently, I was expecting some sites to be contrarians. Maybe they’ll be the sort that has their review go up later but every source that I took notice of seemed to love the game, including GC.
It makes me wonder why the embargo was so relatively late though, you would’ve thought that if Nintendo was confident about the game they wouldn’t have done it so late. Did they expect reviewers to be more negative? I wonder what they thought might not go down so well? The reused map maybe? It doesn’t seem as if there were really many performance issues, Digital Foundry’s report was a lot more positive than I was expecting.
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My interpretation of what’s going on with Nintendo is that the Switch 2 is probably going to be fairly early on next year, maybe around May, and that the only reason they’re not announcing it now is they don’t want to put anyone off buying the current Switch at Christmas. I know that’s not what happened last time but last time they were coming off the Wii U and nobody was buying that anyway, so it didn’t make any difference.
The lack of games is harder to explain but I think they’ll probably just rely on remasters, maybe a couple of minor games, and just Zelda all the way to Christmas. You’ve got to remember, normal people don’t run out and buy a new game as soon as it’s out. It’s very easy to imagine people not really hearing about Zelda for a few months and then deciding to get it and/or the console for Christmas.
It’s not ideal for anyone I think it’s pretty easy for Nintendo to limp next year and the launch of the new console. Especially as there’s only one exclusive for PlayStation 5 and none for Xbox Series X.
I’m not sure why a Mortal Kombat reboot is really necessary given they can just make the story whatever they want anyway but what if it’s to turn the game into a 3D fighter instead of just a 2D one? The series has kind of flirted with this before, but not really successful, but consider Soulcalibur and Virtua Fighter are basically dead it would be great if a big name fighting series tried 3D action again.
I know technically Tekken is 3D but it barely counts. I’d be fine if that’s all Mortal Kombat was but I’m imagining something with a bit more freedom of movement, almost like Power Stone. Oh, and I hope they tone the violence down a bit. I know that’s one of the selling points but there’s a point at which you can push things too far.
I’ve just finished Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and I have to say I’m thoroughly impressed. I get the feeling it’s going to be forgotten fairly quickly, now that Zelda’s out, and all people are going to remember it for is the technical problems. I’ve been playing it on Xbox though and I haven’t had a single issue.
It might not be super original but for me it’s a really solid third person… sword game? I was going to say shooter but there’s not much shooting in it really. Except the kind aimed at you. But it’s this really neat cross between Uncharted and Dark Souls, with a bit of open world exploration, and it all works together really well. The combat’s good, the graphics are great, and the puzzles aren’t a walkover.
I think the main characters are still a bit weak, and that’s probably the biggest failing, but overall I’d definitely recommend it and definitely to anyone that was curious and is waiting for it to go on cheap.
The day before
Got my copy of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom a day early. But shush… don’t tell my boss I slacked off a bit to play it.
So far, it is pure awesomeness. With so much to do.
Do like it is a bit more directed than Breath Of The Wild.
My first impression, game of the year.
We hear so much about fans being outraged about games and complaining and boycotting and hacking and whatever but why does this never seem to make a blind bit of difference to whether it’s still successful or not? Call Of Duty fans seem to live in a perpetual state of anger and absolutely hate all the recent games and yet… they’re still the biggest things ever.
What I don’t understand is whether the people that complain are just a vocal minority or if there’s such a churn of new players that it doesn’t really matter whether they’re unhappy with the game, there’ll be another player along to instantly replace them if they give up on them.
I’m not surprised so many other publishers try to make live service games because once you get a hit there doesn’t seem to be anything to stop them. Only problem is it’s like a 1 in 100 shot. I’m still curious though is the reason that Warzone gets so many complaints because it’s genuinely worse than Fortnite and Apex Legends or because its fans are that much more on edge?
RE: TheTruthSoul’s letter. I’d forgotten that I had Lords Of Midnight installed on my phone. I bought it on the back of GC’s review (10 years ago!) and had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder.
I didn’t know Nintendo announced the Switch two years before it came out, I don’t remember that at all. I’m not sure a shadow drop is a good idea for a console but who am I to tell Nintendo I know better.
GC: The announced they were working on a new console but they didn’t show what it was until five months before launch.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Kyrt, who asks what’s your favourite video game music track?
Rather than an entire soundtrack what individual piece of music is your favourite from a video game? How much is your enjoyment due to the music’s inherent quality and how much because of how it’s used in the game? Did you enjoy it from the first moment or did it take a while to grow on you?
If you don’t know its name, or it’s not just the theme tune, try to describe where it comes in the game. If you do know the name, does that mean you’ve bought the soundtrack or listened to it outside of the game?
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The small print
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