Games Inbox: Are you still interested in Google Stadia?

The Morning Inbox wants to know whether Gamescom 2019 is worth visiting, as one reader bets against seeing Elden Ring anytime soon.

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Back from the backlash

You know, I genuinely forgot all about Stadia until they said they were going to be at that Gamescom thing. For an amazing breakthough technology that’s going to be out this year they’ve been awful quiet. Or rather, they’ve been awful quite about what any of the games are going to be.

I know there was that backlash once people realised it wasn’t the Netflix of gaming after all but I’m still interested in it given all the other stuff. If it works, and I realise that is a big if, then basically I’m getting to use a top-end PC for a fraction of the cost on any device I chose (well, it’s a bit limited at launch but not so much that it ruins it).

Just buying games for normal prices seems strangely old school but I’m sure things will get more Netflix-y as it goes on. I’ll definitely be giving the free trial a go at least but I have to admit I think Microsoft will probably end up doing it all better. Especially because they have got the games already via Game Pass. After a terrible gen (I really don’t know why people try to defend them) I think they could well end up dominating after this. I know they said they’re not giving up consoles but I don’t think that’s where their future is now.



My rule of thumb with things like E3 and Gamescom is that if there’s no prior evidence then it definitely won’t be there. So many times things have been called a ‘no-brainer’ or ‘obvious’ and they never happen (which incidentally is when I think many more unhinged gamers get most upset, as their little theories are torn to shreds). I’m sure there’s a few exceptions, and obviously Elden Ring might be at Gamescom, but if I was betting I’d bet against it.

There’s zero sign that it’s going to be there, that Russian news story (surely that’s red flag!) was a fake, and it all seems much too early. Not to mention it’s so much better to be pleasantly surprised than angrily let down if there is a surprise annoucement.

The Gamescom live event sounds pretty fun though so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy some new looks at existing games, and if there’s anything else on top of that it’ll just be a bonus.


Didn’t hurt me

Glad to see President Trump and other politicians trying to address the problem of violence in video games, if some kind of censorship had been taken years back then maybe I would not have got into so much trouble for anti-social behaviour. Back then I was much younger and impressionable. It first started playing Doom, which lead to me being a social outcast amongst my friends. They would no longer invite me around their houses as I would punch walls, looking for secret doors/entrances where I could get armour and weapons.

I would probably not have got banned from my local Asda store after playing Mario and then going shopping and unable to stop myself from jumping on all the mushrooms in the fruit and veg section. Finally, I would not be up on an anti-terrorism charge, when the police were called as I tried to use an exploding sheep in my garden to get rid of all the worms.

At last, maybe we can bring a bit of sanity back to video games and ease off on the violence.
captainbloodsnot (PSN ID)

GC: To play devil’s advocate, Mario and Worms are not the sort of games anyone’s worrying about.


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Pity the poor controllers

Not to sound too flippant regarding violence relating to video games but as anyone in our line of hobbying will attest to, the only things that should fear violence are controllers, walls, and maybe a TV. After a microsecond’s outburst most of us are done and we go back to what made us angry in the first place to see if we can get past the trigger level/boss/section. What several million of us don’t do is walk into a packed area and casually murder dozens of people.

Politicians need to check their facts and keep their out of date and baseless opinions to themselves. So sick of hearing what causes senseless violence when no one can agree, even the scientific community.


Mash for money

I don’t like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There I said and it feels good. I never got into the Smash games, feels like button mashing to me anyway. There is some skill to the game for people out there but not me.

I like the idea of a celebration of gaming but not the game itself. Any other readers have games that they don’t like but should like?
Alek Kazam

GC: There’s no reason you should like any game. But if you think it’s just button-mashing why not enter Evo 2019 or another tournament? There’s a lot of prize money to be won.


Wrestling for everyone

I don’t get the impression there are many wrestling fans on here, but if there are there’s big news in terms of WWE games. 2K has said it’s cutting ties with Japanese developer Yuke’s, who have been working on the franchise for literally decades. Instead Visual Concepts, who are American and have been co-developing the last few games will take over fully.

I see this as a good thing as the games have been stuck in a rut for years now, definitely this whole generation, and while there’s been some signs of life recently (hopefully the influence of Visual Concepts) it really needs to be all torn down and started again from scratch, which is hopefully what will happen for the next gen at least.

Whatever you think of the real thing I’ve always felt wrestling is one of those things that seems perfect made for video games and if the game is done well it can be enjoyed by anyone, whatever their background. It hasn’t been like that since the N64 era though, PlayStation 2 tops.


Everything dies

Since news of all the Switch problems I’ve become obsessed recently over potential failures of my existing hardware, having lived through red and yellow lights of death.

I came across an article highlighting how quickly solid state drives fail when having lots of repeated information written to them. The general consensus was about a max of five years or maybe sooner! Of course this is the type of drive the next Xbox and PlayStation will be using, so does this mean us gamers are doomed before we begin?

Yours, a panicked gamer!


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


E3 of Europe

I don’t think I’ve left it too late (although maybe next year would be a better idea with the next gen) but would GC recommend going to Gamescom as an ordinary member of the public? As far as I understand it is primarily a public event with the press stuff bolted on, rather than E3 which is the other way round. So I’m thinking it might be more fun to go down and see that and cross off going to E3 from my bucket list.

I’ve watch all the videos and there seems to be surprisingly little cosplay going on, so I think I’d be fine walking round with my girlfriend. I even speak a little bit of German, although I imagine they all speak English anyway.

I’ve been to EGX before but it all seemed a little cheap-looking and basic, so I’d like to go to a big games event and play all the news stuff and maybe meet a few developers and that sort of thing. I worry I’d just be standing in queues all day but it’s got to be worth one try at least, right?

GC: We spend almost all our time in the press-only area, but from what we’ve seen of the public halls it is incredibly busy and the queues are very long. It is considerably cheaper and closer than E3, so that’s very much in its favour, but maybe there’s a reader that’s been and could comment on the just the public side of things.


Inbox also-rans

Am I right to be worried that we’ve seen virtually nothing about Astral Chain and it’s out in a couple of weeks? I know it was probably always going to be a niche release but it’s by PlatinumGames, it can’t be that bad. Right? Have you played it GC?

GC: It wasn’t playable at E3, but we assume it will be at Gamescom. Although we may already have our review copy by then because it’s out the week after.

I won’t pretend it doesn’t look kind of interest but this new indie game Decay Of Logos is such a blatant clone of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild it’s almost funny. Well, actually, some of the animation is straight up laughable.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks who’s your favourite video game villain?

No matter what game they’re from what bad guy do you love to hate the most? It can be anything from the main villain of the story to a cannon fodder grunt, but we want to know which one you have the strongest feelings about – whether it’s an enemy that makes an impression through the storyline or purely the gameplay.

What makes a memorable video game enemy and do they need a complex backstory or is it enough for them to just be a dangerous in-game foe?

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