Games Inbox: Best PS Plus Premium game in the UK

The Thursday letters page is disappointed by Nintendo’s Xenoblade Direct, as one reader places a bet for Sega’s Hyenas.

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All that matters
I’ll put my hand up as another gamer looking forward to the new PS Plus. As someone who has bought one brand new console game in the last five years (Cyberpunk 2077, oops), it’s perfect for me. I don’t need to play on the day of release, so the wait for new games means nothing to me.

And as for the lack of promotion, it’s weird but ultimately all I needed to know was the list of games. I’ve already seen three games I want to play (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Days Gone, and Final Fantasy 9) so that’s probably the next month sorted. We’ll see what’s added after that.

There’s been some grumbling about the build-up, but ultimately does anything but the games matter? Not for me.

Balancing act
I have to say I’m surprised to hear that Final Fantasy 16 won’t be open world, but personally I support the idea. The last few games have just been playing copycat with other, more widely popular games, and I think it’s about time that Final Fantasy was its own thing again and started setting the standards for other games to copy.

I’d be happier if the setting wasn’t so generic and Western, with seemingly no hint at the developer’s Japanese origins, but I’m hoping that long time fans are thrown a few bones in the full thing, beyond just chocobos being in it.

I’m going to stay optimistic though and hope that they manage to find a good balance between old and new, East and West. Although my biggest wish is something another reader suggested a while back and that they do a more old school adventure. Not something that’s trying to look like a SNES game but just old style gameplay with modern presentation. It’s never been done and I think that would be the perfect thing to make hardcore fans happy.

Place your bets
So who wants to place a bet on how long before Sega’s Hyenas game becomes free-to-play? Six months? Or am I being ridiculously optimistic. I don’t like to diss a game that’s just been announced but I don’t see anything even remotely appealing about what looks like some knock-off Borderlands multiplayer game. Publishers are always saying that launching a new IP is hard but you’ve got to put more effort into it than this.

And of course I’m sure they’ve spent disgusting amounts of money on it, that could’ve gone on a game people would actually want, and they’ll act all surprised when it’s a flop and they have to go back to making bad Sonic games again for a living. I don’t know, maybe I’m being unfair but after a summer of horribly underwhelming reveals this was just the final straw for me.

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Not for the fans
Even as a Xenoblade fan I have to admit that Nintendo Direct was pretty underwhelming. Not that the game didn’t look good but we got virtually no new information. The only exception was the DLC, which is fine and everything but I don’t feel I really learnt anything new about the main game.

I guess it was just an extended advert really, all these things are, but surely they could have done something to sex it up a bit. And like the reader said the other day why not at least do a combo with Splatoon 3, since that’s coming up soon and we’ve heard nothing about it.

This whole fake E3 period this month has been an absolute non-event and now apparently Gamescom isn’t really Gamescom either, because hardly any big publishers are turning up. I guess we’ll have the Geoff Keighley thing beforehand, so there might be something interesting there, but it’s really not the same.

As good as it gets
You can pre-order a physical version of the classic Blade Runner PC game from the ‘90s on PlayStation 4 and Switch tomorrow from 3pm BST. It is the Enhanced Edition. I am going to buy a copy on PlayStation 4, as I enjoyed the game a lot back in the ‘90s on PC. I thought the graphics looked amazing at the time and I didn’t think graphics could get any better at the time! How wrong I was.
Andrew J.
PS: Chicory: A Colorful Tale and Road 96 are currently £11.19 each on PSN Store, usual price £15.99.
PPS: Game Of Thrones: The Board Game and Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 are free on Epic Games Store from 4pm today. They haven’t been given away free by Epic Games Store before.

Fighting fit
For Honor is the best fighting game in existence. Blocks, parries, feints and a load of special moves for each character.

I tend to download this game once a year and then proceed to play it non-stop while I learn all the new characters. It’s on year six now, so there are plenty of characters to choose from and you can earn them all for free by playing a few games a day.

The reason I stopped playing last year was because there didn’t seem to be many people playing… that’s been fixed with crossplay!

Only thing that’s broken is the conqueror character, who is unstoppable.

Give it a go.

Thank you letters
Just wanted to say a thank you to the person who informed us in the Inbox yesterday about the Monster Hunter amiibo being available. I was able to get the three pre-orders in and saw later in the day that two were sold out.

The inbox has informed me a few times of new/reissued amiibo, so thanks again.

I would just like the thank David Clixby for his response to my Sniper Elite 5 post recommending the DLC.

I shall definitely be purchasing once I have finished the main game, as I too like to explore every map and play as stealthily as possible, with the odd bit of fun along the way!

Gone but not forgotten
The news a while back, that Sega are exiting the arcade business for good was a sad day in gaming. I know the arcade scene has become more and more irrelevant as the years have passed by, particularly in the West, but I can’t help but feel wistful about a dying aspect of video game history that formed an intrinsic part of my love for this medium growing up.

Nostalgia infused anecdotal time: when Sega World first opened in the Trocadero in London, my late father had taken 12-year-old me and my siblings there and I had relished the moment. If my memory serves me correct, I think it was just a flat entry fee to enter the delightful domain, gaining you unlimited access to the games and rides, which I thought was unbelievably generous at the time.

Anyway, even back then I was a voracious gamer so the staggering selection of free-to-play games was dizzying, quite literally. I’d played so many games in quick succession without taking a break that I felt lightheaded as a result and my dad had to prise me from one of the cabinets. I think ever since that’s why I’ve subconsciously imposed a limit on my gaming time to one to three hours a day, the self control is especially applicable on my days off work.

This should go without saying but Sega was synonymous with the arcade gaming scene in the late 80s/90s, the house of Sonic was a cornucopia of videogaming delights. They developed so many dopamine-releasing, impactful arcade games that left an indelible mark on my gamer consciousness.

I recall being enthralled by the exhilarating game play and graphical splendour of OutRun, Space Harrier, Super Hang On, After Burner, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Daytona, Sega Rally, Virtua Cop, The House Of The Dead, Star Wars Arcade, Jurassic Park, Scud Race, Virtual-On, Virtual Strikers, et al. in the arcade’s halcyon days.

There was something almost ineffably magical about the atmosphere, spectacle, and camaraderie of arcade gaming, especially with friends and family. Memories I will cherish forever.
Galvanized Gamer

Inbox also-rans
When will Mortal Kombat 12 be out? Will it be for PlayStation 4?

GC: Nobody knows. There’s a good a chance it’s already in development but it wouldn’t be surprising if it was next gen only.

You mentioned in your review of the Capcom Fighting Collection that none of the console versions appear, so I’d just like to know if you can adjust difficulty settings for each individual game and remap button configurations? Can you clarify on this please.

GC: According to Scott: ‘Every game in the collection has a difficulty selection and fully customisable controls. You can even go as far as mapping specific moves to just one button (so if you want L1 to be specifically for Hadoukens, it’s an option).’

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gonch, who asks what’s the easiest video game you’ve ever played?

The debate over games that are unusually difficult will never end but what about the other end of the spectrum and games that are a lot easier than normal? What do you consider to be the easiest game you’ve ever come across and is it being easy a generally held belief or did you happen to be unusually good at it?

Do you enjoy easy games and what, if any, problems did its difficultly level create? Did you enjoy the game and do you think it would’ve been better or worse if it was harder?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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