Games Inbox: What’s your favourite Pokémon?

The evening Inbox wants more small-scale Xbox games like Bleeding Edge, as a reader is tempted by Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s limited edition.

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Distinctly Pokémon

Enjoyed your chat with the Pokémon creators and in particular the big where you talked about designing pokémon and the number of humanoid ones there’s been lately. I’ll be honest I haven’t been impressed by any of the new designs and I’m worried that if these are the best ones, or at least the ones they want to show off first, then the rest could end up being pretty ropey.

I think the problem is that, as you implied, they’ve done all the obvious animals multiple times and all they can do is repeat them, base them on random objects (ice cream, anyone?) or make them look like weird alien things. I actually quite like the Ultra Beasts but I think that’s a bit of a dead end really.

Compare it all to the original design and I just don’t think there’s any contest. Which makes me wonder what are people’s favourite Pokémon of all time? I’d go with Blastoise, because I had Blue as my first game and I really like the design which is kind of animal-based, kind of sci-fi, but still distinctly Pokémon. I think that’s what the modern designs are missing, they just look a bit too bland.


Nuclear option

I’m not surprised that Minecraft is back on top in front of Fortnite. Fortnite was only ever going to be temporary thing but it wouldn’t surprise me if Minecraft was just as big as it is now in another 10 years. Not to diss Fortnite but thinking Minecraft will go away is like saying kids will stop playing with Lego or something.

I do wonder what Epic Games will do when the drop in Fortnite players becomes more noticeable. I assume the nuclear option is to create a new map, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they already had one ready made and will release it whenever things look like going downhill.

It never seemed to help PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, although as far as I understand that game owes much of its success now to China, so who knows. But kids of gotta play something and I don’t have a problem with either game.


Good enough

What I’m interested about with Project xCloud and Google Stadia is whether people will actually care if the performance is sub-par. I know plenty of people that put up with terrible video quality on Netflix and the like just because it’s convenient and fairly cheap, and I’m not sure it’s going to be much different with game streaming.

We’ll all say there’s latency and dropped connections and whatever but I suspect that most people will put up with it anyway for the sake of the low cost and lack of hassle.

If they’re happy I suppose that’s it but I certainly would be satisfied with that and I hope that these companies never stop making consoles. I don’t want to sit down to play a game and always have in the back of mind that I hope the Internet doesn’t go down.


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Side venture

Nice interview with the Bleeding Edge developer, GC. I love how you always seem to get on so well with the people you talk to. It was also surprising to see how a game that was given a lot of prominence at Microsoft’s conference was just the work of 25 people. When you hear Ubisoft talking about having a thousand people on their team it really does make you wonder what they’re all doing. Especially as Bleeding Edge isn’t some 2D indie game or something.

But it also underlines how relatively cheap making a game like that must be, and how weird it is that Microsoft didn’t have a dozen projects like that underway all through the Xbox One’s life. As long as it it’s a developer with a good track record I don’t see why they wouldn’t have done that. Especially as I don’t think they would’ve done Bleeding Edge either if Ninja Theory hadn’t already happened to be working on it when they got took over.

I understand Xbox fans getting frustrated with others complaining at Microsoft but the lack of effort they’ve put in this generation is hard not to get annoyed with. They made no attempt to come back from their terrible start and it’s becoming increasingly clear they’ve just given up with being a traditional platform holder in favour of licensing out their streaming tech to other companies – with their console business now more of a side venture.


Standalone experience

Loot boxes are not similar to Kinder Eggs at all.

I don’t play games with loot boxes at all. But I can realise: Kinder Eggs are standalone experiences. Loot boxes are inherently tied to progression in a larger ecosystem.

Maybe Panini stickers are a better analogy. But they encourage trade, not just mindless spending.
thewearehere (PSN ID)


The Star Wars feel

The Inbox always seems pretty enlightened about the quality of Star Wars: Battlefront II so I just wanted to point out that the Droideka, plus the Republic Fighter Tanks, have just been added to the game. It’s part of the prequel binge the game has been on for most of the year, but then given how few new ships there are in the sequel trilogy that’s totally understandable.

I really do think that Battlefront II is a very good game. There’s tons of modes, the graphics are fantastic, and the Star Wars feel and attention to detail is spot on. The only lingering problem is the gunplay, which I admit is not top draw but it’s by no means bad and I have been having fun with the game on and off for years.

I’m fine with not having a third game but I do hope they continue to support and update it for many years to come as it’s quietly one of the best examples of games as a service out there.


Spoiler warning

RE: Krampus. If Square Enix are going to change what happens to Aerith then so be it, just as long as they don’t include a screenshot of it on the box art this time!

That was like including the ‘I am your father’ scene in the trailer for The Empire Strikes Back.


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The power of gaming

In response to Eckard; ever since I was a child I’ve been fortunate enough to have at least a computer and a console at the same time. I had an Amstrad CPC 464 along with a Sega Master System growing up.

Now my hangout in the basement consists of a Sega Master System 2, NES, Game Boy, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Amiga 1200, Xbox 360 S, PlayStation 3, Xbox One S, PlayStation 4 Slim, and a gaming PC.

They don’t get much attention these days, as fatherhood has taken over. However, the retro consoles are very near and dear to me, as is gaming in general.

When I was going through a bad breakup and a bitter custody battle, something about firing up Alex Kidd In Miracle World, and hearing that theme song, made me feel that all would be well.

I met my current wife via gaming and have met many wonderful people in the world of gaming. Some I’ve come across, including family, just don’t get it and they ask when will I grow out of it. ‘Never!’ is usually my answer. If only they knew exactly what gaming has pulled me through.
Commodore Fan


Inbox also-rans

So was Persona Q2 the last major 3DS release? I’m actually quite impressed that it’s last game was kind of high profile and I may pick it up for a sense of closure.

GC: Let’s just say there’s nothing on the horizon that we have any plans to review, and there was nothing new at E3 that we’re aware of.

Have you seen the limited edition for Zelda: Link’s Awakening? That SteelBook alone is very tempting. First collector’s edition I’ve seen in a long time that I actually wanted!



This week’s Hot Topic

With E3 2019 having just finished the subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks what you thought was the best and worst announcements of the show.

What do you think was the best game or hardware (or service) reveal and why? And which was the worst? What gameplay footage impressed you the most and which games are you now looking forward to more – or less – than you were before E3?

Do you think E3 2019 was a vintage year and what were the best and worst aspects about it? Who do you think ‘won’ E3 and what was the best press conference? Please make sure to label your emails either for the weekday Inbox or Hot Topic, so we know which is which.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


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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