The Wednesday letters page asks for a definition of what is and isn’t retro, as one reader admits to enjoying unpopular games.
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Out of sync
There’s no way CD Projekt are going to get me to buy Cyberpunk 2077 DLC. That game has been nothing but a disappointment and I don’t need reminding of it, especially if I have to pay for the privilege. However, I can’t pretend that I wouldn’t be interested in The Witcher 4 when it comes around.
Of course, I’d have to see more of it and what they try and do but it’s so long since the first one that I have to admit I’d jump at the chance to return to the world. The TV show helps feed that, but it also seems a long time since we’ve had that kind of epic role-playing game.
Elden Ring was great, but the storytelling was completely different to The Witcher 3, which was one of its best features. Despite how many fantasy shows are around at the moment it seems a long time since we’ve had a great Tolkien-esque open world role-player and that’s strange to me.
Funny how games and movies/TV always seem so out of step with each other. The Witcher 4 clearly isn’t going to be out for years so it wouldn’t surprise me if it came out just as fantasy fell out of fashion on TV.
Keanu Reeves seems like a good dude so I really can’t imagine him wanting to come back to Cyberpunk 2077 for anything other than contractual reasons. I’m sure he’ll still give it 100%, he always does, but he can’t be happy about being associated with one of the most famous disasters of recent video game history.
Not to say that Cyberpunk 2077 hasn’t scrubbed up into something halfway decent now but its reputation is forever ruined and to be honest I’m surprised they’re even doing paid-for DLC, instead of just putting the whole mess behind them and moving on to The Witcher 4 or whatever.
Beyond that I’m just surprised that they consider DLC that profitable. I know microtransactions and cosmetics are but I thought that big story-based expansions were no longer. They certain went out of fashion towards the end of the Xbox 360 era and I’m not sure what’s brought them back.
I’m not completely against them, because who doesn’t want more of their favorite game, but too often I find them to be an unengaging afterthought that feels much more like a cash grab than most sequels. We’ll see whether Cyberpunk 2077 breaks that mould…
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Each to their own
RE: the letter about liking unpopular games, I am somewhat of an expert in this field. I have rolled about 600 hours into Fallout 76 so far.
I am well over 450 hours into Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr. It’s an action role-playing game akin to Diablo and the like and did not review very well at first, but was studiously updated and cared for by NeocoreGames to become the hidden gem it now is.
I also enjoyed Mass Effect: Andromeda, a lot. I could go on for another two pages at least.
Did anyone else watch that new video for God Of War Ragnarök and just completely lose interest in the game? It looks exactly the same as the original. If you’d told me that was DLC and not a sequel I would’ve believed you, assuming it was a low effort expansion where they just copy and pasted what they already had and changed the backdrops a bit.
I did enjoy the God Of War reboot but that’s because it was something interesting and different at the time. If the sequel is just going to be the same thing again and I’m not I’m really that interested, especially as an ax with ice powers and the Blades of Chaos with fire is just about as uninspired as you can get.
And now that GC mentions it, where are all the people in the game? Was that ever explained? If we’re visiting the realm of the dwarves then where are they all? Why are there no humans about? I assume there was a reason for it, but I certainly can’t remember it.
The last copy
I got Games Pass for some reason, even though I’ve never paid for it; I only use Xbox Live Gold for the online multiplayer when I need it. Anyway, I got Wasteland 3 and am enjoying it, but my Gold runs out at the end of September and I’d like to keep playing it. Problem is there aren’t any used copies in Northern Ireland.
I know your review said it didn’t sell well but none? CeX and GAME have none and they’re the only game shops I know of that exist here these days. I know Cash Converters sell games, but you can’t check their stock online.
I’m still going to order it, but I can’t believe those results.
And yes, I know my buying a used copy doesn’t help but I have vouchers for CeX so that’s where I have to get it.
GC: As a low profile release they probably just didn’t print many discs. Is eBay not an option for you?
Out of time
I’d be curious to hear what GC and readers think about my recent interactions with EA and Valve.
I purchased F1 22 for the Steam Deck on 9th August and managed around two hours of play with it before patch 1.09 broke the game on the Steam Deck. I contacted EA support, who made some noises initially about looking into the issue but have gone silent for a week (following a small fix for other PC users).
After posting on Reddit, the EA support forum, and the Steam community forum since the patch went live, I gave up and requested a refund from Valve, as things don’t look hopeful. I noticed today, when I submitted my request, that the game has been reduced in price from £49.99 to £32.49 but is still marked as Steam Deck Verified.
I received an email about half an hour later to say that my request for a refund has been declined, as the date of purchase exceeds two weeks. There is, as far as I can see, no way to appeal this decision or actually contact Valve to discuss the situation.
GC: Were they right about it being in two weeks? They do stick very firmly to that rule.
How are you defining ‘retro’ for this week’s Hot Topic? Can you give us a ‘has to be X amount of years old’ or ‘has to be no later than this console generation’?
Or is it just left up to the readers to decide and there will still be people complaining four weeks after the article is published with ‘that game isn’t retro’?
GC: There’s no official definition, but we always take it to mean anything two generations old or more. So, the Xbox 360 era backwards, at this point.
I don’t know who Microsoft thinks they’re fooling when they say Call Of Duty will be multiformat for ‘several years’. That can only mean that after that time is over it won’t be. I would also be interested to know what their definition of ‘several’ is. According to the dictionary it means ‘more than two’, which is not the sort of long-term commitment what I think most people will be assuming from that comment.
It’s obvious Microsoft are going to make it an exclusive as soon as they possibly can, with what they’ve said so far and once they know these government investigations are over. I can’t blame them, in a sense, it’s just business to them but it is going to unbalance the games industry and probably make Xbox dominant for the long term.
Does anyone really want that? Any Xbox fans? Previous to this generation anyone could be on top. Sometimes it’s Sony, sometimes it’s Nintendo, and well… it’s never been Xbox but they did come close with the Xbox 360. The point is that dominating a generation used to be achievable for everyone and now Microsoft is pricing everyone out of the market. Well, everyone except Amazon and Apple and whoever, and you know how well that went when Google tried to break into the games industry…
Inbox also rans
I must extend thanks to Masayasu Ito for designing some great kit, especially the PSP. Many, many happy hours of games, film, music, and podcasts on that wonderful machine. Happy retirement.
I would love if Sonic Frontiers turns out to be a great game despite all the bad vibes. I admit I’m part of the problem, but I’ll probably get it regardless of what the reviews are. And I already admit there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll regret it.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Dennis, who asks what retro video game has aged the best?
Retro gaming is big business nowadays but so are remasters and remakes, that aim to make older games more palatable to modern audiences, but which game do you feel holds up the best and is still as playable now as it always was?
How well do the graphics hold up and why do you think they have lasted better than other contemporaries? Do you still play the game in its original form and if there was a remaster or remake what would you change?
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