The Evening Inbox considers a list of some of the worst games of the generation, as one reader learns to fall in love with Contra.
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Drifting towards a purchase
I feel kind of vindicated now, for not buying a Switch when it first came out. I was really waiting for a Switch Pro but this new extra battery life version is enough for me to bite the bullet. It is a difficult thing to know what to do though, for customers and companies: do you upgrade hardware when you know you can or do you just leave it for fear of upsetting existing owners?
I don’t really know anyway round the problem except for doing some kind of subscription or contract service like they do with phones, where you could get the new model whenever it comes out. Although no one ever seems to have gone for that, I guess because new versions never come out that often – and it’s probably irrelevant not with streaming soon to become a thing.
Although even when you’re streaming you’ll still need to play it on something, and that something could always do with a better battery or improved controls. Speaking of which has anyone had trouble with Joy-Con drift? As far as I can gather the problem’s only popped up recently, which seems odd, but it’s kind of making me worried that it might not be fixed for the new model.
History has shown being the most powerful console doesn’t have much bearing in shifting more units than your rivals. But it is good point scoring and does make some people, myself included, sit up and say hello, that’s beefy.
I’m not sure what vaguely technical but rather meaningless unit they are going to use next gen when comparing each other’s tackle.
Bits went out with the ark. I remember enthralling heated debates about how the Atari Jaguar wasn’t proper 64-bit as it had two 32-bit processors, the charlatan. But even with that raw bit-age under the hood the 3D still looked worse than Star Fox on the SNES. The Alien game was alright though.
Teraflops have been used more recently. But the most recent graphics cards have made that term a poor indicator of performance as lower teraflopped cards have out-performed higher flopped cards by using some kind of magic I believe. According to Digital Foundry anyways. Shame as Top of the Flops would be been a good title for a graphics card top ten.
Wonder what it will be. Probs something along the lines of how many traced rays it can compute per nano second.
PS: Thanks to Magicsquirrel for some gaming soundtrack pointers.
In response to a few recent letters, I’d say that yes, the power of the base launch console matters a great deal. It prompted a group of us to change to the PlayStation 4 this gen. Secondly, I’m still playing and enjoying Destiny 2 a great deal. The initial launch was a little bare bones, but after the expansions it’s an incremental improvement across the board from the first Destiny. My main issue is finding time to play other games at the same time.
Speaking of which, I recently bought a Switch with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, being a massive fan of open world RPGs. I’m two divine beasts down and loving the graphical style and the interactivity and attention to detail of the world. Where I feel its fallen short is that the quests are almost all fetch quests, the dialogue and voice-acting is pretty awful, and the combat is fairly poor, being somewhat hamstrung by the frequently breaking weapons.
You are normally making the best of what you have rather than mastering a style or making tactical decisions. Getting a legendary weapon is also fairly meaningless when you know it’ll break in a few minutes, and the cost of repairs won’t be worthwhile. Still, in spite of all that – it’s a great game, but not the GOAT – for me at least.
Matt Woolley (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)
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Never too late
It’s funny you should start your Blazing Chrome review by saying how Contra has been in the news. It’s a series I’d never played but your coverage led me to an unintended purchase and, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been binging my way through the anniversary collection. Before that I was actually trying to track down a Turrican clone and by coincidence someone wrote in about Gunlord X but I don’t own a Switch, so it seemed a good alternative.
Now Blazing Chrome has come out at a perfect time, as I only have a few Trophies left to chase for Contra: Hard Corps (there is one for each of the five endings) and it means I can spread these out. I’ve become quite addicted and hungry for more and your review‘s given me the, ‘I’ve got to play this now’ vibe, which I haven’t had for a while. Normally I’d wait for something like this to be in a sale.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the experience compares, especially the difficulty, as I have manged to complete every game in the Contra collection but some took a lot patience and an over-reliance on free-saving. I don’t think your review said either way, but does Blazing Chrome have the top-down sections from Contra III? To be honest I hope not as for me these got in the way of the proper action and for that reason I put Contra: Hard Corps as my overall favourite.
GC: There are some perspective switches, but no dedicated top-down sections. That’s great you learned to love Contra this late in the day though.
RE: PsillyPseudonym and game objectives. I remember writing in about the same subject a few years ago, the main other example I can think of is Space Marine, where the objective for the entire game was to try to get to the opposite end of the map.
It seemed like a popular design choice at the time, but I too feel that objectives need to change over time to make you feel like you’re actually achieving something.
The Legend of Lyons
Here is a lovely bit of Zelda fan art that is sure to hit everybody in the feels. I saw it on Pinterest and originates from the artist Lethalityrush on DeviantArt.
I come bearing gifts as I have a question that will need to access a large hive mind that is not really game related. But hey, we all get the munchies, am I right?
Back in the late 80s through to the mid 90s, Lyons Cakes still existed and they did a very nice chocolate cake. They were small, came in packs of about five or six and were light chocolate sponge and buttercream in a chocolate coating. They were sort of pentagonal when viewed from the bottom and rose up to a point, vaguely like a crown. I loved them but have no idea what they were called.
I dimly recall an advert for them from my childhood in black and white that featured a black lagoon. Or something. Can anybody help me out here or is it all so much senile gibberish?
Tom Clancy and Assassin’s Creed completionists can rejoice: Uplay+ has 35 titles in those two series alone.
Factor in the 10 Might & Magics, seven The Settlers, five Prince Of Persias, and all Ubisoft are really short is a something in a pear tree to have the advertising jingle sorted.
The Light Knight
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Worst of the generation
I wouldn’t normally complain about the quality of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games but with this list I’m sure people will make an exception.
Some prime examples of these are Wander, Basement Crawl, Fluster Cluck, Umbrella Corps (honestly expected better from a Resident Evil based game, one which managed to offer terrible artificial intelligence and non-existent plot). Godzilla was another example: outdated graphics and poor level design. All of these sadly didn’t do the PlayStation 4 any justice.
The Xbox One had its misfortune of poor games too: Fighter Within, Crimson Dragon, Toro, The Deer God, Ben Hur – all examples of poor quality of games on the Xbox One that never did it justice or even helped it in anyway, in my view.
I just hope that developers have learned from this and won’t allow this to happen when they release games on the newest Xbox and PlayStation 5 systems as we have had enough bad games to easily last us a few generations at least.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
GC: We haven’t heard of half of those. Which judging by the quality of the ones we have played is probably a good thing.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is my most anticipated game of the year and I don’t care who knows it.
I thought all the new Contra games was because it was an anniversary? Why is the collection called the Contra Anniversary Collection?
GC: It’s Konami’s 50th anniversary, but there’s no significant anniversaries for any of the major Contra games this year.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what video game franchise have you been playing the longest?
What series do you have the longest history with an what was the first and most recent entry you’ve played? Do you consider yourself a long-time fan of the series or is it simply that most of the games are high quality?
How many entries have you played and do you own any related merchandise? Do you consider yourself to be loyal to the franchise and do you always plan to buy new games, even when they’re spin-offs, if they’re part of the series?
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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.
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