The Monday Inbox asks where are the parents in Persona 5, as one reader pays tribute to Edge magazine’s Jason Brookes.
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PLEASE NOTE: As usual, GameCentral will only have a minimal service over Christmas and the New Year, although we will be running various end of the year (and decade) features and a preview of 2020. We always like to include Reader’s Features as well though, so if you’ve been meaning to write one but haven’t now would be a great time to send one in for us to use this month.
I’ve read with interest that Alien Isolation on Switch is a very good port, which is not something I would’ve expected but good on them. I don’t have a Switch, so it’s irrelevant to me in that sense, but I did read GC’s review with interest and while I could accept most of their points I still love the game.
I agree the story was weak, but I have no problem with the length of the game as I thought it kept the tension up brilliantly and there were a lot of good twists towards the end, especially the bit around the fusion reactor. It’s such an amazing looking game, not just from a technical perspective but because it looks so like the movie, including, as GC points out, the lighting and even the style of lens flare.
I would love to see the same team create a sequel, or at least work on something similar, but I think a lot of them have moved on now, either within the company or elsewhere. It’s such a shame. I’m sure lots of people have those special games that they think are badly underrated and nobody else seems to love and that for me is Alien Isolation. If there was an announcement of a sequel on PlayStation 5 I would take up religion on the spot. But somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Just seen the sad news about Jason Brookes, the editor of Edge magazine in the ‘90s passing away, very sad news. I bought Edge during the ‘90s and have been a subscriber since 2002, and just got the latest Edge mag
in the past week.
Here is the article where I learned about his passing. Rest in peace.
No end in sight
Half-Life: Alyx is all very well but as many have already pointed out, if you don’t have a VR headset and a beefy PC it might as well not exist. Which means it doesn’t exist for me. I also see nothing to suggest that Valve will ever go back to making normal video games in general or Half-Life 3 specifically. This, and the other unannounced games, all seem to be to promote their new VR headset and nothing more. I’m pretty sure that if it didn’t exist they wouldn’t have made another Half-Life at all.
My question is whether they will try to provide any kind of closure with Alyx or if it will just be a side story that doesn’t really change anything. My reading of what’s been revealed so far is that it’s going to involve time travel and Alyx will attempt to change the ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two. I doubt that will bring an end to whole storyline but my guess would be that it would remove the cliffhanger and then if they want to make a Half-Life 3 they can do it without so much baggage.
I bet they don’t though. It’ll be Half-Life: Barney or something if they do any more and, like Shenmue, we’ll never see the end of the story.
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Fourth time round
There’s been a lot of talk about disappointment with Shenmue 3 since it came out, with a fair number of fans saying they’re fine with it and a significant number saying they’re not. I’ve no idea what the actual breakdown is between satisfied and unsatisfied but at the end of the day the only question that matters is would you back Shenmue 4 on Kickstarter?
I assume most fans would still buy Shenmue 4 if it somehow got completed and came out, but that would’ve never happened last time without all the backing so will you do the same again? It’s especially important this time because I’d assume there’d be less outside investors given they now know it’s never going to be a big seller.
For me I’d have to say… I don’t think I would. I paid for above the price of a new game for the first campaign and still haven’t got my physical bonuses for that. Plus, while the game is pretty much what was promised I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought it would. I’d play the fourth one but at this point I think it’s mostly out of wanting a sense of completion rather than genuine anticipation. Be careful what you wish for and all that…
Are you planning, per chance, a review of the Japanese role-playing game Romancing SaGa 3? As far as I am aware it has just recently been released in the West for the first time. After the release of Seiken Densetsu 3 in the form of Collection Of Mana, I am hoping more Square Enix classics will come to the Switch platform.
Personally, I am hoping for games like Star Ocean, Treasure Hunter G, Bahamut Lagoon, and Treasure Of The Rudras to get translated and released.
GC: It came out a month ago now, but we have no plans to review it. Star Ocean First Departure R was released on PlayStation 4 and Switch last week though.
Partially interactive entertainment
RE: Julian’s letter about Life Is Strange 2 and narrative-based games. Whilst reading his letter, a particular game sprung to mind that seems likely to fit his preference: Erica on PlayStation 4. I can’t recall if GC reviewed this one or not.
Erica is filmed entirely with real actors, with you making choices (either dialogue or actions) to determine the narrative. It’s akin to the Choose Your Own Adventure books of yesteryear that I loved as a child, and very much like Bandersnatch. I have played through several times now, with scenes playing out very differently (or even not at all!) depending on your actions. Although the choices are timed, this is mostly generous – Julian’s comments on having the controller on his lap for the majority definitely fit with this.
The story itself is part murder mystery/part sci-fi but I won’t share any more to avoid spoilers. It only cost me around a tenner on the PlayStation store, and I have easily gotten the same value as you would from any movie.
I truly believe Julian and his wife would enjoy Erica and I hope they have as much fun ‘playing’ as I have.
PS: Currently playing through The Outer Worlds and absolutely loving it!
RE: Game bargains. I suppose you could say Xbox Game Pass for a quid for seven years, or whatever the current offer is, is a bit of a bargain. But I think Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which I got for £39.85, was quite bargain-licious. But then I sold it off to CeX when I was done with it for £32!
So eight quid for a highly praised Switch game. Not bad my precious, not bad.
big boy bent
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Where are the parents?
I was watching YouTube the other day and came across one about Persona 5. And it made me think again about something I had always taken for granted: the parents of the protagonist. Now, his canonical name is Ren so I’ll be referring to him as such from now on.
Of course, I’ve been playing this series since the smash hit third instalment and parents have always been absent – more so than even Charlie Brown/Peanuts cartoons. Any parental figures are surrogates like Uncle Dojima, Sojiro, or Miss Kawakami – and yes, you are disgusting if you date her! Freud called, he needs to discuss your Oedipus complex with you!
Yet, Ren is no orphan. He gets in trouble for hitting Japanese Dominic Cummings, his parents presumably don’t believe him, wash their hands of him and send him to live with – not even a relative, but a ‘friend of the family’. Who Ren has never met before. Huh.
Now, okay – we just need them out of the picture for the sake of the story. But, as far as we know they never make any effort to check up on him throughout the entire year of his probation! No phone calls, texts not even so much as the occasional, ‘Waah, waah! Waah, waah, waah, waah!’
And then at the end of the game we’re supposed to just go back to these… well, total a-holes? Ren, buddy, you should tell them where they can go. Sojiro, Futaba, your teacher along with all the rest have been more of a family. Sojiro would obviously allow him to stay, Ren has proven reliable enough to help around at the coffee shop – so he wouldn’t even be a burden.
The video I watched concluded by saying that he hoped this would be addressed in the upcoming Persona 5 Royal. Because, at the moment, that Ren’s parents have no involvement is saying far too much about them. And all of it is bad. Either we get the odd text from them, more explanation as to why they just packed him off, why they haven’t stuck up for him if not and if they have, we need to see how they have. Otherwise, you should get the option to tell those jerks to go to hell.
This is actually quite a close-to-home issue for me, so I am a bit worked up over it.
The biggest bargain we had came too late for the Hot Topic. The Mrs cleaned up this year at her workplace Christmas Party this weekend, which featured a raffle. She won a Nintendo Switch Lite with a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! A Nintendo Switch for $0.00; bargain!
Quick heads up for PlayStation 4 players who fancy a new theme, there’s a fantastic Tetris Effect dynamic one free on the store now. Visually very similar to the excellent Rez Singularity one, all neon colours and sparkliness with a full trancey/chilled out song from the game. Easily one of the better ones I’ve seen on offer, especially for nowt.
This week’s Hot Topic
With the PlayStation 1 celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, the subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks you about your fondest memories of Sony’s first console.
Did you own a PS1 when it first came out and why did you choose it over the alternatives? What was the first game you played on it and what did you think of it? Do you remember the marketing and general buzz over the new console and how did that affect your view of it?
What do you think of the PS1 looking back on it now? Which are you favourite games for it and how well do you think they stand up today?
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