Games Inbox: When is the next proper Nintendo Direct?
The Tuesday Inbox is surprised that Microsoft is discontinuing the Xbox One X so soon, as one reader gets very excited about Crusader Kings 3.
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Wow, that really was a mini Nintendo Direct. When your headline news is a Shin Megami Tensei 3 remaster you know you’re not exactly going to be breaking the internet with you reveals. That said, a remaster of Lucifer’s Call is not something I ever expected to see and assuming there are no technical problems it’s an instabuy for me.
But really, I’m not sure why Nintendo even bothered with that. They must’ve known that people were going to be disappointed with it, and they’d only get them riled up for now reason. But, they never seem to care about that sort of thing and just went ahead anyway.
The worst thing is that it makes the rumours of the next proper Nintendo Direct not being until August all too believable. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was later than that now. I hope Nintendo are having fun on their gap year but I really wish they’d come back soon.
Fable isn’t going to be at the Xbox reveal this week? Why do I find that so believable? And why do I get the feeling that Halo Infinite and, maybe, Forza are going to be the only first part games that are shown? I try to stay positive about Xbox, I really do, but like a lot of readers I really don’t get what they’re doing right now.
I mean, Halo was great 20 years ago but I really can’t summon up any real excitement about it now and nothing we’ve seen so far has come anywhere close to changing that. That doesn’t mean it can’t be great but it’s the same developer behind Halo 4 and 5, so are we really expecting it to be the much better?
I think it’s going to end up like Gears 5: decent but despite all the attempts to spruce it up proof that the franchise has just past its sell-by date. I really hope that Microsoft has some secrets up its sleeve but I’m going to predict that they don’t and their big surprise is going to be the reveal of Call Of Duty 2020 or something similarly unimaginative.
Widening the gap
I do find this whole situation with the ceased production of the Xbox One X/One S All-Digital Version a bit confusing.
Well, it makes sense for the digital version, as it was a daft idea in the first place, but the Xbox One X? Seems early to be stopping that.
But I think it’s maybe because the power gap between it and the Xbox Series X is not as big right now as it will be once developers get use to the new architecture.
The Xbox One X is very capable at 4K 30fps, even 4K 60fps in some games, so people may well buy the cheaper Xbox One X as there are no exclusives for two years.
So taking it off the market diverts you straight to the Series X.
I missed the Hot Topic because I am a flawed individual, but I wanted to give a shout out to Crusader Kings 3 as my most anticipated game of 2020. I go to sleep dreaming of this game! Crusader Kings 2 is the most complex and surprising sandbox I have ever discovered such varied, entertaining narrative in!
The prospect of a refined and improved version in Crusader Kings 3 has me salivating. No-pre orders of course, but the developers blogs have been very reassuring so far. Crusader Kings 2 is free to play on Steam if anyone fancies marrying off their daughter in order to claim a prime duchy in Bulgaria before their uncle besieges their capital with 10,00 troops!
King of the Kongs
I have played a lot of retro games repeatedly over the years but for some reason I’ve ignored Donkey Kong Country for a long time.
Having played through it with my nephew earlier today I was impressed at how well it has held up. It looks good, the soundtrack is superb, and it plays like a dream. The two-player mode is just a great idea and so much better than how it was done in the Super Mario Bros games.
I also now identify with Cranky Kong.
Great game and Rare were absolutely on fire during their partnership with Nintendo.
GC: It’s never been one of our favourites but if you like it then the modern incarnations are worthy follow-ups and Tropical Freeze is on Switch.
RE: StevenskiChan. It’s rare for audio to lag behind video, it’s usually the other way around and as a result I often us the Audio Delay setting on both TVs and amps, so check both and reduce or zero out the settings accordingly.
If there isn’t, then another option is an inline HDMI to Toslink audio extractor, such as this. It’s a last resort option, but works.
Like StevenskiChan, I was having a similar problem getting my Switch to connect to my amp as all my HDMI inputs were used and I did not want to keep unplugging one to plug the Switch in. And I found that no matter what sound setting I used on my TV the optical sound was just stereo, not 5.1.
So I bought an HDMI audio extractor, which lets you split the HDMI signal into sound and vision and send the sound via optical to whatever you want the sound to come out of. And as it’s not going in, then out of the TV there is no lag. Hope this helps.
I wouldn’t say that I’m really eager to the point of buying anything day one for the rest of this year, but there are a few games I’m excited to see how they do. One such game that I really hope turns out to be good is the new Crash Bandicoot game, It’s About Time.
There’s definitely room for a new really good 3D platformer and I just hope that this can be another stellar entry in the genre. I’m not expecting the same level of quality as a Mario 3D platformer but as long as it’s a good old time that’s all I want.
Now playing: The Last Of Us Part 2 (PS4 Pro) and Twin Breaker (PS Vita)
GC: Looking at the trailer we’re not sure it really is a 3D platformer, or at least not any more than any of the originals.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
The future is hard
Over the weekend I had a sudden craving for a blast of speed, so I reached for my copy of WipEout Omega Collection and spent a good couple of hours reminding myself that I really… suck at it.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the franchise, mostly due to my love of the Designers Republic graphical style, but even before that, futuristic, anti-gravity racing was something I was mad keen on. F-Zero started it for me. From the moment I saw it in action I thought it was great. GX was so cool. I also now have Fast RMX on my Switch.
The thing is, I’ve really sucked at all of them too. I can’t even claim it’s age dulling my reflexes, I’ve just never been much good at any games in the genre. I also always end up finding them so frustrating I have to give up or face the very real prospect of Hulk-smashing my entire gaming set up. Yet, for some reason, I keep buying this type of game.
My possible Hot Topic question is, does anyone else have a particular franchise or genre of game that they just can’t master, but that they still regularly buy and keep trying with, even though it’s clearly not going to prove successful for them? What is it about them that they enjoy and what is it that they find so insurmountable? Have they ever given up, only to find themselves lured back in by a new entry or genre franchise? Or has anyone ever managed to power through and get the hang of it?
GC: To be fair, most entries for both F-Zero and WipEout are well above average in terms of difficulty.
Cadence Of Hyrule – a game I have literally never heard of, despite being a Zelda tie-in, is getting new DLC?! Stop the press, better have a Nintendo Direct Mini about this! Said nobody ever.
Have been playing Ghost Of Tsushima all day and can confirm two things: it’s really pretty and it’s a lot like Assassin’s Creed. So, no surprise, I guess?
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Blitz, who asks what’s your least favourite aspect of modern gaming?
What gets you most upset about video games today and why? Is it unfinished games? The lack of variety and innovation in big budget titles? Maybe it’s performance issues like low frame rates or long load times? Or perhaps microtransactions, subscriptions, loot boxes, and other modern money-making schemes?
How serious do you consider these problems to be and have they ever put you off from buying a particular game or piece of hardware? And do you expect anything to change about them in the next generation?
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.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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