The Thursday Inbox is concerned about the Knights Of The Old Republic remake, as one reader worries the age of superhero games is over.
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With everyone convinced the Switch Pro is coming out this year I still have trouble believing it’s real, given how powerful it seems, which is a real change of pace for Nintendo. It really doesn’t sound like them at all and it got me wondering whether they might be getting help from an outside source. Perhaps… Microsoft?
Fanciful, I know, but imagine if Microsoft approached them with a deal where they designed the hardware for the new Switch, maybe promising to help with the marketing, and in return Nintendo put Game Pass on it? We all know Microsoft is desperate to get Game Pass and xCloud on other consoles and the Switch is perfect for that. Considering how rich Microsoft is they’d potentially be able to offer an awful lot in terms of incentives.
Nintendo famously don’t like working with others but would they really say no to any amount? I’m willing to bet Microsoft has offered some kind of deal in the last few years, even if it’s probably not to do with hardware, and I’m also willing to bet Nintendo said no to them. If Microsoft could get them onside though that really would be enough to sideline Sony for good.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this
Aspyr are remaking Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic? I mean, how? I don’t see anything on their website to suggest they’re anything but a small-time developer, specialising in porting PC games to Mac and remasters of old games nobody else can be bothered to do. Where did they suddenly get the 100+ sized team that would be needed to do justice to a game as big and complicated as Knights Of The Old Republic?
I know that Bloomberg guy is supposed to be a good source but this is one rumour I cannot believe. More importantly, I don’t want to believe it as it suggests to me we’ll be looking at something very low budget and scrappy.
If they don’t at least keep the pause option for the combat then it will be a complete disaster, as I felt sure they’d get rid of that but figured that at least it would be a big budget remake. Now we’re probably getting the worst of both worlds. I already questioned if Lucasfilm knew what they were doing with giving their licence to Ubisoft and now I’m even more worried.
Since I just got an Xbox Series X I thought I’d look at the Microsoft Rewards thing. You get points for completing searches in Bing and completing Game Pass quests, which can be redeemed for a variety of vouchers and a few other things.
I’ve been doing it daily and to my surprise I’ve racked up over 9,000 points in no time. A £5 Xbox voucher to spend on games is 5,850 points. I’m not far off £10. I checked too and they can be stacked, so each £5 voucher redeemed just adds to your total balance. At this pace in seven odd months I’ll pretty much have enough for a full price game. For not much effort at all.
I’m going to stick with it and see how long it does actually take to have enough for a new release. Unless there’s something I’m missing it does seem like a decent reward scheme.
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New age of heroes
Maybe I missed something here but if Gotham Knights is delayed until next year and Suicide Squad is out whenever then does that mean there’s still no sign of any game that has either Batman or any regular DC hero in it? How can Warner Bros. be this slow?!
I do wonder if Square Enix’s Avengers game is going to slow interest in making new superhero games. Especially as I think they’ve got the Guardians Of The Galaxy licence too and if that’s a flop as well then the whole idea is going to seem jinxed and we’ll be back to nothing but Spider-Man again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Spidey as much as the next man but could we not have someone else for a change as well? I wouldn’t mind but it’s not even a licensing thing at Warner since they own the characters anyway.
GC: There’ve been multiple rumours of other Batman games, but they all seem to have been cancelled somewhere along the way. There may be another one in development at the moment, but if it is then it’s a complete mystery.
The BioWare way
So it seems BioWare definitely aren’t working on Knights Of The Old Republic and so probably not any new Star Wars games. Which means their focused purely on Dragon Age and Mass Effect. I’m glad of that, to be honest. I feel they need to knock the next two out of the park to regain their reputation and prove they’re still a contender.
The Witcher 3 came out a year after Dragon Age: Inquisition and made it look old-fashioned in just about every way, especially as a lot of it was copying Skyrim anyway. BioWare need to push their own way of doing things again, ideally by going back to the original and while they probably won’t put the combat back to how it used to be they should emphasise the interactions with your party even more, which is still something only BioWare really does well.
Mass Effect, is the same really. They’ve just got to stop themselves from turning it into a straight action game and focus on the role-playing as well. The action is great, no doubt, but it can’t be the only thing.
F-Zero: Battle Royale
I find it odd that in the era of battle royale games that F-Zero is still in hibernation as it is probably the ideal racer to be converted into a battle royale game, particularly F-Zero X as it had a lot of opportunities to eliminate other racers by knocking them off the course.
Sure, Elimination races have existed previously but they seem to always be the last place person is eliminated at the end of a lap and not you have a set time to complete three laps and if you fall off you are out. F-Zero would be ideal for this alternative set-up.
I envision increasing the roster from 30 to 100 racers and keeping the tracks relatively simple in terms of background aesthetics. Essentially the F-Zero X mentality of maximising racers and performance over visual flare whilst still having bizarre circuit designs.
In keeping with the bounty hunter status of Captain Falcon, and the old rival system in the earlier games, I think you should be assigned a target at the start of the race. If you eliminate that person then you are granted immunity from being pushed off the edge for one lap.
Similar to Fall Guys, I think the tracks should be structured such that there are a set of tracks optimised for 100 racers for round 1, another set at 60 for round 2, 35 for round 3. and 20 for round 4. The final will be a procedurally generated track, like the final F-Zero X one, and the winner will be the first to reach the finish line or the longest survivor if it is particularly fiendish.
Unlike Fall Guys I do not think the number of participants should be arbitrarily limited, if all 100 racers survive the first race in the time limit then all should progress to race two. It will be complete carnage cramming that many racers onto a track that is too small for them and I find that idea appealing.
PS: Yes I preferred X to GX. And I do know I am weird.
PlayStation Plus Video Pass already sounds like a waste of time before it’s been announced. Sony’s answer to the industry-changing Game Pass is… the chances to watch Venom for free, but only for a month. I mean, stop me if don’t pre-order that PlayStation 5 straight away.
I thought the criticism of Sony was overblown at first but I really think they’ve lost the plot. At the very least they’re thinking way too small to be able to beat Microsoft at the moment.
Behind the scenes
I have given a lot of thought to the Microsoft Game Pass issue lately. The public perception is that Microsoft are, or starting to become, a much better value option. I have always thought that video games have been too expensive since Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive. £40 for a game that could be beaten that very day? Okay, it’s unlikely to swoop up all the Chaos Emeralds, but still.
In all the other entertainment media, there are multiple options for buying what you want – the most ancient of which is hardback and paperback in books. And now, because Phil Spencer has somehow persuaded Microsoft to just keep shovelling the money in, we have a way of slashing extortionate prices. No game should really be more than £40, at a maximum.
Then there’s how Microsoft views its Xbox brand. It’s a brand. Cuphead appearing on the Switch indicates that Microsoft don’t really care much about platform exclusivity. They’re a software company, they want you to buy their software and services.
To cut a long story short, I believe before too long, Microsoft Game Pass will be available on the PlayStation 5. And eventually even Nintendo hardware. Of course, there will be the matter of who gets how much of a cut of this, what games will remain platform exclusive and when and what will appear on the Game Pass service – but I think it will happen. I would bet the farm, my life, your lives, and the fate of the universe on it. Well, Spencer will certainly have thought of it and he will or is behind the scenes, even now, broaching the subject to his Sony and Nintendo counterparts…
But of course, I’m quite mad.
PS: Surprised to not see Disgaea RPG mentioned in the mobile games round-up. Are you going to cover it? I do appreciate that it is a Disgaea and therefore not exactly short…
GC: This month’s round-up was a bit late so we’ll try and get it in next month’s.
The petition for a sequel to Days Gone has hit over 50,000 signatures and at least three of them said they would buy it at full price.
If there’s one thing I don’t want to see in this world it’s a Star Wars movie by James Gunn, least of a Knights Of The Old Republic adaptation. Although I suppose it couldn’t be worse than the last film.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader 84Colbat, who asks what single-player game have you spent the most time on?
Whether it’s because of replaying the same game multiple times, rebuying it when it’s re-released on new formats, or simply playing the same save for a long while, what primarily single-player game have you spent the most time on over the years?
Is it unusual for you to spend so long with a single game and what do you feel is the minimum amount of time a full price single-player game should last to be value for money?
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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, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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