The Friday letters page is still working through the fallout from the Activision Blizzard announcement, as another reader recommends Dredge.
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The big question
I’m going to ask a question that I realise no one can answer and yet I’m certain I’m not the only one asking it… I didn’t really like Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and yet I’m getting hyped up for Tears Of The Kingdom and am still tempted to get it. But I really don’t know if that’s a good idea?
My issues with the previous game aren’t unusual: I didn’t like the weapons breaking and found the whole game world too big and I was often lost and confused as to where to go. It was all too much, and I missed the proper dungeons and bosses. Although I think I enjoyed the shrines more than most dissenters.
So the question remains: do I give the new game a go? I’m not sure any of the issues I have with the original have been changed and yet all the fuse abilities sound incredibly clever and interesting. It doesn’t help that the game is not cheap, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to resist for long…
I’ve been delaying pre-ordering the new Zelda game as I really struggled with Breath Of The Wild, particularly with the weapons having a limited life. I think it is because I am just not as good at games as I used to be!
What I wondered is if you are able to share, from your brief preview, whether this works in the same way in the new game? Or does the new abilities make it much less of an issue?
Appreciate that you may not be able to comment, but there’s no harm in asking!
GC: Ordinary weapons work in the same way but if you fuse them then they last longer, or at least that’s what we were told – we didn’t really have enough time to test the theory one way or another.
I’ve no idea whether me emailing you about it this morning had any influence or not, but checking in this afternoon to see if any fresh gaming news has broken, I find the hideously invasive frame adverts have gone!
To cap it all, I got to celebrate by having an uninterrupted read of a great opinion piece about the ongoing Microsoft/Activision Blizzard acquisition shambles and how it’s made everyone involved, including Sony, look like arrogant, entitled, greedy, petty, little children.
Many thanks! As always, keep up the good work GC.
GC: Thanks. They changed it before we could ask them to, though. Sometimes it’s not clear an advert is going to send things haywire until it’s actually live.
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I’m not sure why things like the CMA report interest me, but they do offer great insight into information these companies would otherwise like to keep private.
I was surprised when I read in the summary that xCloud is the streaming leader by such a margin, but then even more surprised that from the full report that in 2021 it was actually Sony before their share halved in 2022, which seems completely backwards to everything else that happened between the two that year. Particularly when we keep hearing Game Pass slowed!
As far as revenue and active users on consoles go for the period of 2013-2021. i.e. the Xbox One generation, despite being last in sales, their users seem to spend and play more. Ahead of Nintendo but still behind Sony, and there is the Wii U to factor in. Annoyingly the current figures are all redacted.
None of it really means anything of importance, as I don’t have shares in any of them, but it is interesting. I think my favourite bit of the report is where it states the figures from both Sony and Microsoft for something were wildly exaggerated. No fooling them.
GC: The CMA do seem pretty on the ball. As for cloud streaming, Sony had that market share because of PS Now, which doesn’t exist anymore, except as a part of PS Plus Premium.
I have an Xbox Series X and absolutely love the hardware. It’s great for all my entertainment needs; I can quickly flip between streaming films, music, and back into a game seamlessly. I listen using a good set of headphones and it really is a great experience.
I am also a Game Pass Premium subscriber. On paper it’s fantastic but having had it for two years now, I have honestly downloaded about 30 to 40 games but properly played only a couple. The main games I’ve been playing are Elden Ring and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, neither of which are on there.
There is something to be said about quality over quantity I guess… I’d rather they had fewer games but more AAA ones. There are a lot of average games, supplemented by a lot of older ones.
Plus, of the few games I’ve got really into, such as Hades, it was then taken off the pass, which was also pretty frustrating.
Attack the block
Good article from GC on the Activision Blizzard shenanigans. It’s hard to argue against the points raised, especially the relationships between the companies involved. Not to mention some of the companies promised Call Of Duty on the back of the deal. Sony are going to be off everyone’s Xmas card list.
In fairness to Microsoft, you can see why they initially made the attempt to purchase Activision Blizzard. With all the controversy surrounding the working conditions and a drop in Activision Blizzard’s stock value, it presented an opportunity. The rumour at the time was Microsoft was sniffing around Warner Bros. gaming division, so they were clearly on the hunt for a big publisher.
To put everyone out of their misery, the EU could block the deal also. I don’t think they will though. And if that is the case, Microsoft will be pressuring the FTC, who have been attracting unwanted attention themselves. Lina Khan (FTC) got a right roasting from a judge recently.
My worst fear is the UK may end up being the only country blocking the deal. After the farce of Brexit, it’s not a good look – whether you feel the deal should be approved or not. It’s all a bit cringe, which is the best way I can sum up the situation.
At the end of your reviews, when you list platforms prices, etc. wouldn’t it be helpful to point out if it’s free on PS Plus or Game Pass? I find this does make a huge difference to the review score above.
I understand you may allude to this during the actual review but for us TL;DR folk seeing a 6/10 game for £49.99 instantly puts me off reading the whole review. Knowing it’s free on Game Pass a 6/10 game is no longer a no go.
GC: You’re right, we should do that.
Asking too much
This is obviously total absolute wishful thinking, but what about this… Nintendo Switch 2 announced at Gamescom with an October or November release (as per Apple products – couple of months to get excited then buy away) with a commitment from Nintendo that everything that works on your current Switch will work on Switch 2.
A couple of new games announced, Mario Super Odyssey 2 and perhaps F-Zero GX 2 (definitely wishful thinking) and announcements that all current Switch owners will be able to upscale to 4K either if they have a Switch Online account or for say £5/£10 per game once they have the new console – I’m not sure this will monetise in the way Ninty like to do. Nintendo are then likely to limit support for the Switch, but perhaps optional HD and 4K for some games, perhaps for the first 12 months?
Then announcements of six Nintendo games out before summer 2024, including, I would imagine, Mario Kart 9, Donkey Kong TBC, remasters of Metroid Prime 2 and 3, then Metroid Prime 4 for November….and perhaps three smaller franchises, with Animal Crossing for Xmas 2024 release (not my wish, but you could see that working). I would suggest that Elden Ring/EA FC 25 and more would also be capable of running on the machine and would be announced. As a final announcement, GameCube games to come to Switch 2.
This would be a slightly new way of doing things, a console ‘drop’ but with as little impact on the current userbase as possible, but more than enough to get them to want to switch up (there you go Nintendo, free tag line for your adverts). I do genuinely wonder if there is complete compatibility, whether they will drop the hardware really quickly – it works for Nike/Apple, etc.
Anyway, I think I’m using up 40 years of Inbox magic, so I’d better shush!
Currently playing: Advance Wars 1+2, Metroid Dread, and Bayonetta 3 – still, Gran Turismo 7 and Mini Motorways.
GC: Some kind of announcement at Gamescom is not outside the realms of possibility but we really wouldn’t hope for much in the way of details – or for Nintendo to be generous in the pricing for any upgrades, if they exist. Also, Animal Crossing is in no way a smaller franchise, it’s the second best-selling game on the Switch, after Mario Kart.
RE: Microsoft Activision Blizzard deal. Have they tried turning the deal off and then on again?
Sootie607 (PSN ID)
I’m sure I’ll like the Resident Evil 4 remake, but Dredge is serving as a nice little starter before that main course. Never mind the banquet of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom lurking just around the corner.
Chevy Malibu (PSN ID)
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader TheTruthSoul (PSN ID), who asks how often you play a video game to completion?
What is it that inspires you to finish some games and not others? Are there common elements which influence your decision, or does it depend purely on the quality of the game and external factors?
Do you usually aim to complete a game, and do you have any examples of times when you unexpectedly changed your mind, one way or the other? What do you consider completing a game to mean, and how often do you try to 100% one?
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MORE : Games Inbox: Activision Blizzard and Xbox acquisition questions, dream Star Wars game, and Switch 2
MORE : Games Inbox: Keeping the faith with PS5 and Sony, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor spoilers, and Dredge love
MORE : Games Inbox: Zelda: Breath Of The Wild still the best game ever, CGI trailers, and Advance Wars love
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