The Evening Inbox suggests the best Metal Gear game to play for newcomers, as one reader is upset at the quality of the Doom ports.
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I have to agree with the other readers, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare is looking pretty impressive. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when Activision were deciding what to do about this year’s versions, as it’s clear it’s a pivotal one. Especially as there’s apparently been trouble at their developers and next year’s is looking like it might be a disaster or even postponed.
I think we definitely got the best deal as gamers though as with all the new features and modes I’m now really looking forward to the game and may even pre-order. My only concern is that the story is going to go too edgelord serious with its violence. Games can have realistic portrayals of war but that’s not something Call Of Duty has ever done. What it has done though is exploitative violence that isn’t in anyway realistic and I really hope that’s what this doesn’t end up being.
But assuming they doing go too OTT in that area I’m really looking forward to the big battles, which I hope will be commonplace for all first person shooters in the next gen. As others have said Call Of Duty is really eating Battlefield’s breakfast with this one and I can hope it encourages DICE to try even harder themselves.
Here’s a bit of news I bet nobody expected to here: Sony are bringing back Forbidden Siren. It’s not clear how or why (even if you read Japanese) but the obvious guesses are either a remaster/remake or a new sequel. Any of which would be fine by me.
It’s a series that often gets forgotten when talking about classic era survival horror and while it did have its faults most of those were technical and could easily be fixed with even just a remaster. The atmosphere and setting fell just about straight between Silent Hill and Project Zero and I thought it handled the whole multiple characters things very well.
It’s a shame more games don’t take that approach actually, whether horror games or not, as seeing the same story from distant people’s perspectives is always interesting. Here’s hoping whatever the annoucement is it does eventually led to a brand new game.
Metal Gear Solid V is actually a great place to start. It’s very accessible and modern, doesn’t bog itself down in convoluted plot (and being a Metal Gear fan I love the crazy plots, but it can be a bit much for a newcomer) has brilliant action, and excellent base building/role-playing character upgrade system, and is, of course, easy to play on modern consoles. It’s quite unlike other entries in some ways, but it’s huge and there’s a lot to get your teeth into. Its plot was hobbled slightly by Konami forcing it to be released before it was ready, but again it’s not hugely obvious to a newcomer.
In terms of the best, most playable and the most Metal Gear-like Metal Gear Solid games, many fans would probably tell you it’s Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It has a cool sixties spy vibe, has interesting tech without being ridiculous, and has some great moments that match up with historical events. The gameplay is pretty much perfect and the camo index and stamina systems work really well without being too intrusive.
But a brilliant combination of the two above is Peace Walker. It immediately precedes Metal Gear Solid 3 in the overall narrative and is a very ambitious game for the PSP. Metal Gear Solid V is in many ways just a high-def version, just scaled up for a full home console release, and Peace Walker does all the same stuff just as well.
Both Metal Gear Solid 3 and Peace Walker will be tricky to play on modern consoles. Is the HD collection on PS Now? If not you’ll need a PlayStation 3, PS Vita, or PSP, none of which should be too tricky to get your hands on.
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RE: Microtransactions. Reviewers should automatically dock points from a game if it has microtransactions. A warning should also feature immediately below the headline in bold writing, stating the game includes microtransactions. If, in this case of Crash Team Racing, microtransactions are added after glowing reviews, the game should be re-reviewed with docked points. If someone is still deciding to buy the game, an updated review with a low mark can be ‘purely optional and not mandatory’ when making their decision.
If reviewing a game developed/published by companies with a track record of including microtransactions (can’t be too hard with the likes of Activision) a warning should also be included that the game’s status could be subject to change and microtransactions may be added at a later date.
It may not change much but unfortunately we can’t rely on members of the public to wise up. There is a thicko generation of gamers out there, mainly brought up on online-only games, who fuel the existence of lootboxes. Thanks to them they are ruining the industry for everyone else.
GC: We dislike microtransactions as much as you, and always highlight them if they’re particularly manipulative, but the truth is most people don’t care – or even actively like them. The success of the GTA Online casino is the latest proof of that.
Keeping it real
RE: Smokin_Monkey and esports names. That’s a fair question, it was a long time ago when I set up my PSN ID on the PlayStation 3 and we were advised to not use our real names online.
But if you are now going to be on the TV and everywhere else then there’s no hiding behind a nickname.
PS: Sony have allowed real name requests for a while and if somebody rejects a real name request then I don’t accept them.
PPS: There should be no reason for PS in the email copy and paste age. Long live GameCentral.
Personally, I loved the Han Solo movie. To me It was more enjoyable than the prequels and The Last Jedi.
So far no one has edited it yet and released a fan made version (remember, you need to own the original before you see fan made films. Very grey area). But who could complain when Jar Jar Binks is removed and The Hobbit trilogy is shortened to just over four hours?
The fan edit of the shortened Last Jedi is also an improvement and none of these films I mention have been banned.
GC: Maybe there’s no fan edit because people just don’t care enough about it?
Trying in Metroid-vain-a
Unfortunately, I decided to stop playing Axiom Verge. I was enjoying it to begin with but too many of the deaths are feeling unfair and it gets too frustrating. It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to play through loads of the level to get where you died.
Plus, the map is the worst I’ve ever experienced in a game.
Angry_Kurt (PSN ID)
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Respect your elders
Interesting Doom ports that have just dropped on current generation. Picked up Doom 3 on the Switch and it’s remarkably good. True, the original isn’t a great game in its own right but the high quality port and the fact it’s only £8 for the game and all the expansions is something of a steal, especially by Switch’s usual pricing scheme.
Playing a game that brought many a PC to its knees back in the day on a handheld console feels great. In fact, the high resolution and frame rate make the game look and play significantly better than the Doom 2016 port, which even patched is a blurry, jerky mess. The Digital Foundry vid on them is worth a watch too, running through the many issues with Doom and Doom II.
While you can argue these minor issues don’t matter, how gaming treats its old classics kind of shows up the ‘will this do?’ attitude in the industry. I mean, can you imagine an anniversary re-release of Citizen Kane with a botched aspect ratio, poor sound mixing, and a film print that changes the lighting in some scenes? It just wouldn’t happen. If you’re putting out an old classic today they should be definitive editions showed the upmost respect.
Talking of old games I’ve spent the barren first six months of the year on Switch reliving gaming’s ‘glory years’ and have been loving it… from Ōkami, Katamari Damacy, Final Fantasy XII, and Resident Evil 4 (sale buys of course, I’m not crazy) to slowly working through Dark Souls and replaying Bayonetta in preparation for Astral Chain.
These games have aged remarkably well, especially the PlayStation 2 generation ports which I didn’t expect to hold up at all. Seriously, Resident Evil 4 is still as good as any action game released today, once you get used to the early era 3D controller jank.
I’m not really feeling this Hogwarts setting for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I’d rather just get on with the battles. The idea is fine but there are too many characters and yet very few of them are memorable.
Never mind Super Mario 3D World, I wish Nintendo would give Xenoblade Chronicles X a port to Switch. I was really disappointed by Xenoblade Chronicles 2 but the one before it was great.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what’s your favourite fictional universe in video games?
Regardless of the quality of the games themselves what setting is your favourite and why? Is it a version of the real-world or something completely fantastical? Why do you think it works so well and how consistent is the universe between different games?
How much do you care about background lore in video games and what’s your preferred way of getting that sort of information across?
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The small print
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