Games Inbox: What do you think of the FIFA 20 demo?
The Wednesday Inbox asks if you’d still play video games if you won the lottery, as a reader asks for a Deadly Premonition Origins review.
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Badge of honour
Been playing the FIFA 20 demo on Xbox One. The game plays like every other FIFA game to be honest, but I’m happy that my beloved Liverpool are wearing the badges of distinction on the sleeves of their shirts when playing Champions League football; six times and the other arm 2019 winners badge that only the champions wear.
When EA released the box a few months ago I noticed big Virgil on the cover of the Champions Edition of the game is wearing the standard Champions League badge. That’s not right EA, we are the champions and it should show that. Liverpool FC are the preferred club instead of Juventus on FIFA 20, so get it right. I was in Madrid on that night of the final and I’ll never forget it, I got a ticket in UEFA’s ballot.
woz 007 (gamertag)
GC: It always fascinates us, as non-football fans, that it’s details like this that people always talk about in FIFA rather than how it plays.
Left 4 Resident
That new Resident Evil trailer is vague, but I think I have an idea of what it is.
In the Left 4 Dead games, the computer is referred to as a ‘director’, deciding what monsters to throw at the players during the scenario.
To me, that Project Resistance trailer implies a similar setup except that a player takes the place of the director, deciding what obstacles to present the players with, but also taking direct control of the ‘last boss’ of the level (Mr X in the trailer).
I would presume that the dungeon master (to borrow a Dungeons & Dragons term) would have some kind of restrictions on resources to present constant griefing of the players.
Still, I’m not super excited for it.
GC: That all seems reasonable, including your initial verdict. It was a rather underwhelming trailer and didn’t imply anything but a straight action game.
Blazing Chrome is an exemplary run ‘n’ gun shooter. I’ve spent around 10 hours on this throwback treat, so far, and it has lived up to all the hopes and commendation, and then some. It’s a pure joy to play.
Everything from its pixel art, music, and sound effects, to its controls, challenge, weapon systems, enemy and boss design/variety, and level design is exquisite and near perfectly judged as far as I’m concerned. The reverence for the game’s inspirations is almost palpable at times – there’s a precision and faithfulness in Blazing Chrome’s classical execution that I find rather majestic.
If you have a fondness for the Contras, Metal Slugs, Gunstar Heroes, Alien Soldier, even the Mega Man and Space Harrier series, or just great retro experiences in general, then JoyMasher’s masterful effort is an essential purchase.
Additionally, I admire the little details that increase the game’s replay value, like the unlockable characters and difficulty, mirror and boss rush modes, online scoreboard, and the much appreciated CRT filters for that extra retro visual authenticity.
What’s more, the fact that Blazing Chrome was the work of mainly just two people is a prodigious feat. I think it may also be the first Brazilian developed game I’d ever played.
Random: I like to imagine the video game industry would be a much more culturally enriched/interesting field with more developers outside of Europe, North America, Canada, South Korea, and Japan making games.
PS: Really enjoyed watching these JoyMasher developer diaries. Such a modest and passionate team.
GC: We definitely agree with that last point. We still have a Gamescom interview with Chilean developer ACE Team to write up that we found very interesting.
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Thick with options
With the Switch release of Divinity: Original Sin II I have finally taken the plunge.
I was worried, as the game is a bit of a departure from anything else I have played. The narrator quickly put me at easy though because the writing in particular is excellent.
I found the gameplay very confusing and it has taken me six hours to get anywhere close to competent with the combat. The inventory management and character building are still confusing, but it has done a decent job of giving me relevant information without overwhelming me.
It is a very dense game. And by that, I mean I have discovered a lot in a relatively small area. So far it has been particularly good at letting me discover hidden quests. Including one from a dog and another from playing with a child.
All in all I am really enjoying it. Thanks for championing the game.
GC: We’re glad you gave it a go. Dense is a very good way to describe it, but it’ll all start making sense soon enough.
The long game
RE: WoDMaN and Divinity: Original Sin II, despite not being as busy as some it still took me from about December to July to finish the game on the ‘hard’ difficulty setting (can’t remember what it was called).
I think I was up to about 170 hours when I last checked, shortly before I finished it. You basically need to see most of the content to finish it on that difficulty (for levelling up purposes). I wouldn’t worry about playing it through more quickly on the normal difficulty setting though, there’s no hidden true ending or anything like that.
There is some entertaining enough dialogue but the overall narrative is pretty weak, but also very unobtrusive, so I wouldn’t worry about forgetting what’s going on if you end up having long gaps between plays. It is really worth experiencing.
PS: RE: Ryan O’D and NieR:Automata, that letter really resonated with me and I pretty much agree with all of it. Overall it was just a frustrating experience because so many of the elements were close to being great, but it all just fell apart as the game went on and made you wade through more and more recycled content. With the budget to tighten up some of the gameplay elements and not have to rely so much on repetition it could have been an all-time classic, so there’s hope for the sequel as I’d imagine they’ll be given more money due to the first game’s success.
GC: You would assume so, although we’re surprised there’s not even been a hint of it so far.
More than a fiver
I thought it would be fun to think about what we’d all do, gaming wise, if we won the lottery. Not just a fiver on a scratch card but the never have to work again unless you choose to kind of win.
Where would games fit in post win? Would people have a well-fitted out gaming room, would it remain just a console under the lounge TV or PC on a desk somewhere or would it become something of its own?
Maybe with the ability to do so many other things gaming would drop out of people’s lives, or with the time to spare it would take over.
I imagine I’d still work, but I’d drop my hours rather than quit work. I’m not sure I’d game more, as I’d still likely be handheld on the Switch in the lounge with the family most evenings and I’d be unlikely to hide away from them in another room.
I’d definitely build a games room though, making custom units and decals for games, maybe even make the tabletop unit I’ve been planning to make for the past decade.
GC: That’s a pretty good idea, we’ll try and give it a go soon.
I mean, no one really thought it was X did they? Obviously they’re all shapes so ‘cross’ was probably the official name – it’s just that X has always been easier to say and it stuck. I remember not being particularly sure when I first picked up a PlayStation 1 pad.
You have to say the face button shapes, as brand identity and marketing ‘slogan’, were genius. I like how the triangle represents a head, the X (sorry cross) is usually ‘wrong’ or ‘no’ in Japanese while the circle is ‘yes’. Square is a piece of paper or document to represent a menu. And that’s why it’s pink (I had to look that one up).
Certainly beats ABC, XYZ. I don’t know why other console manufacturers haven’t tried to come up with button name/shapes at least a little bit more original than letters.
GC: When the NES started there were only two buttons, so anything more complicated than A and B wouldn’t have made sense. We don’t know why Xbox didn’t go its own way, especially as it inverted the position of the letters – which is horribly annoying when you’re moving from one console to another.
Where’s the any key?
Who cares what Sony officially says (despite the logic), it’s always an ‘X’ to me… what I’m more concerned about is when developers lie on start-up screens that say ‘Press any button to start’.
Obviously, I don’t expect that to include the power button(!), but quite often, it seems they forget the sticks have buttons too…
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Gears 5
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
The SNES probably is still the current top Nintendo machine because of the sheer number of third and first party exclusive classics (by the end of its life, mind) but I don’t fully agree about the Switch merely complementing a rival main platform.
In terms of consoles that supplemented my gaming diet the Wii and Wii U certainly fit that bill, but the Switch gets as much a look in from me as the PlayStation 4; just like the Mega Drive wasn’t just a supplement to the SNES. The Switch clearly isn’t the main gaming platform for a lot of gamers but nor was the SNES, necessarily, for those who had an Amiga or a PC, etc.
It definitely wasn’t just Sega you’d be missing out on if you only owned a SNES and there was still a degree of looking over the fence just as you would at PlayStation 4 exclusives and multiformat games it couldn’t run. As I said last time, we could go on all day about the various influencing factors and a lot of that might involve listing all the non-Sega games you couldn’t play on the SNES.
There’s no denying the SNES still had the best support of any Nintendo platform and that’s a key factor in ensuring it can be a main gaming platform but there are also more very highly-rated first and third party/indie Switch titles than I’ll have time to play even if I bought nothing else in the next 12 months, and we’re only two and a half years in.
Not to mention the one thing that’s going to help me get through them all is I don’t need access to a TV to do so. I had to do a lot of shifting about if I wanted to play the SNES in bed.
EA is going to have its own streaming service? Just why? What’s the point? Why can’t they make just as much money from streaming it on Stadia, or whatever? Especially since they wouldn’t have to spend all the money to set it up. Looking forward to having a subscription for every publisher. By which I mean over my dead body.
Are you going to review Deadly Premonition Origins, GC? I realise it was a surprise release but I’d like to know if this version is worth getting, before the sequel.
GC: We want to but the port is so bad it’s pointless to do it until it’s patched. Our advice at the moment is not to buy the Switch version under any circumstances and to wait and see if it’s fixed.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox is based on the fact that this week is the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast launch in America, so we want to know your memories of Sega’s last home console.
Did you own or play a Dreamcast back in the day and what are your fondest memories of it? Do you think it was a good console and what did you like about it most? What were your favourite games for it and why? Have you played any of them recently and how do you think they stand up now?
Did you use the online features of the Dreamcast and what did you think of them? How upset were you when Sega left the hardware business and do you still play the Dreamcast or its games today?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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