The Tuesday Inbox pits Control against Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as one reader compares Alien Isolation to The Evil Within 2.
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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.
Crashing the party
I know this is going to be controversial, but with all the talk of a new Crash Bandicoot game I have to say that to me the original games were always better than Super Mario. Maybe I was the wrong age to get into Nintendo or something but memories of the Crash games and characters are much stronger than they ever are for Mario. I always thought his character looked boring and his games were too childish (yeah, I know I was an angsty teenager at the time) and fiddly.
But that’s how I felt at the time and I loved the Crash games, which aren’t exactly GTA themselves, and playing the remakes again they’re still great games. They’re a lot more focused than any of the recent Mario games too and I found myself having a lot more fun with them. And I definitely think Crash Team Racing is better than any Mario Kart.
Do I expect many people to agree with me? No, but the games deserve to be in the argument. Nintendo and Mario are not some unmatchable perfection that no-one else can touch. Not in my opinion.
PS: At the very least can we admit he’s better than Sonic?
Check those corners
Firstly, thanks to Gavin Donaldson for the recommendation of Erica – hadn’t heard of it before and it sounds like something we’ll enjoy! I’ll pick it up in the new year when we’ve got a bit more time on our hands.
Secondly, I’m with Shonuff on Alien Isolation – I loved that game, and it was something that was clearly an absolute labour of love from the developers. For me it didn’t outstay its welcome either – playing it in short, controlled bursts probably helped!
And on that note: with regard to a game in the same universe made with the same reverence for Aliens, or alternatively a survival horror style sequel closer in tone to Isolation, what I’d love to see is neither of these but just Aliens: The Game. Make it with the same skill and attitude as the Last Survivor DLC for Alien Isolation, i.e. just put you in the most iconic scenes of the movie.
Just six levels would be fine with me: a slow sweep of the base to build atmosphere and find Newt, the failed rescue of the colonists, Ripley and Newt vs. the facehuggers, the escape, Ripley vs. the hive, and Ripley vs. the Queen back on the Sulaco.
Inbox magic please…
I read you every day. Stay away from my bins.
GC: Before the Disney buyout 20th Century Fox were working on a new Alien game. What’s happening to that, or any of their other projects, is now up in the air, as the whole division is being sold off.
Very sad to hear about the passing of Jason Brookes.
I remember bunking off school to pop into the local newsagents and flicking through Super Play magazine (proper cheapskates we were). My mates and I loved the anime style covers and we were eager to read about the latest news from Japan about SNES games that would never be released in the UK or not be popular enough.
We didn’t get too far into the magazine however, as we were usually chased out by the angry shopkeeper.
I strongly believe that Mr. Brookes brought a significant cultural appreciation of Japan via his love of Nintendo games back in the early nineties, and gaming culture today is all the better for it.
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The Force is relatively strong with this one
Just finished playing Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, and I’m relieved to say I quite enjoyed it. I have to be honest, reading GC’s review just before I picked up my copy I was a bit apprehensive about how good it would actually be, particularly as my expectations (and I think the gaming world’s in general) were relatively high that EA and Respawn might finally have a worthy single-player Star Wars game.
When I first jumped into it, I was instantly impressed – the combat was really good to play and I think the story initially really drew me in. I will admit tho’, that the next sorta 40-50% of the game went a little bit flat, and I did have to remind myself what the story was, and figure out what I was supposed to be doing/where I was supposed to be going at times. Tweaking the difficulty once I had got to grips with the controls was enough to keep me invested, and after this flat period I think the campaign really did recover quite well towards the end.
There’s certainly plenty more they could have extracted from the setting, and different styles of worlds that could have been included (I won’t go into too much detail here to avoid inadvertently spoiling anything that is in the game), but if they decide to make a sequel (or multiple) at least there’s plenty more content they could include. But for this game; a decent effort that I think, in the end, was just about worthy of the hype.
GC: It certainly benefited from a good ending, but as you say it’s decent if not spectacular.
I am about three-quarters through Control and just wanted to convince any readers on the fence to dive right in. It’s brilliant.
I love, love, love the superpowers and how they develop through the game, Launch (the ability to pick almost anything in the world up and bung it at enemy’s with force) is so brilliantly satisfying I can’t get enough of it. Have a fork lift truck to the face, you telepathic scum (or something, I haven’t quite got to the bit in the story that explains what the enemies are but that’s a good description).
Add in all the other abilities, how they stack on top of each other and can be used concurrently, and I think it’s a combat system with surprising depth. And then add in the intriguing story, nice atmosphere and presentation… basically it’s great and if like me, you were wondering whether to pick it up at all with everything else coming out – go get it. It’s one of my favourite games of the year. I’ll platinum it just so I can squeeze out every last bit of fun before I move on.
GC: It definitely had better Force powers than Fallen Order.
Regarding Shonuff’s letter in the Monday Inbox, Alien Isolation is, hands down, one of my favourite games of this generation (yes, I realise it was actually a cross-gen title) but were a sequel to happen I wouldn’t want literally ‘more of the same’. I’d like to see a sequel ramp up the action quota – I know that’s not a popular opinion but taking that approach never hurt the movie sequel, which arguably became as iconic and successful, in its own right, as the original.
I’m by no means proposing that Alien Isolation be turned into a shooter; but in the right hands, I can certainly envisage an experience that stays as faithful, visually and sonically, to the Alien universe as the first game, just with more in the way of gunplay and the potential to actually take the fight to the xenomorph(s). And, as long as the incredible atmosphere was maintained, I believe this could be accomplished without necessarily sacrificing tension and horror. After the disaster that was Colonial Marines during the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 era, I think few would argue that such a game isn’t long, long overdue.
Yes, it does seem unlikely and yet still… The Evil Within – a game that launched almost alongside Alien Isolation back in 2014 and wasn’t anything like as critically well received – got a sequel three years later, much to the general consternation of the gaming press. So, although I don’t personally think Alien Isolation 2 is coming any time soon either, you can’t completely rule it out. One thing’s for sure: the xenomorph is just too iconic to expect to have seen the last of it in video game form, be it in Isolation 2 or not.
GC: The Metacritic average for The Evil Within 2 is only slightly lower than Alien Isolation, at 76 to 79. As much as we had issues with Alien Isolation some American reviewers seemed to really hate it. The 5.9 from IGN and 6/10 from GameSpot must’ve done terrible damage to its chances of success.
The next seven year
That certainly is very strange for Sony to be talking about the PlayStation 6 so early. I thought it would just be a vague implication based on the headline but although he doesn’t say the name PlayStation 6 (as if he would!) he blatantly is talking about the PlayStation 5’s replacement in six to seven years.
I wonder, was this just a tech guy getting ahead of itself or is meant to be some sort of statement from Sony about how they still believe in consoles? Funnily enough it makes me even more interested to see what their streaming plans are now!
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Firstly, thank you for printing my feature on Saturday, and for giving me the opportunity to share.
I no longer use Facebook so I couldn’t reply to the comments on Sunday, so if you’ll permit me I would like to do so via the Inbox.
To John Chapman, thank you for the kind words John. I’m glad to have your empathy. Whilst I would not wish this illness upon anyone, it is always a strange relief to know that I’m not the only one to feel this way. As for your recommendation, I am a huge fan of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. I took your advice though and bought Dark Souls 3 this weekend as it was a mere £8.99 on PSN. I haven’t played it before now, so thank you for reminding me of it. I hope that light penetrates the darkness for you, and you keep moving on the road to recovery.
To Paddy, I don’t have VR but I bet Thumper is unreal when played that way. It’s definitely on my list for when I finally take the plunge.
To Ryan McDonald, I do not purport to understand why your depression pervades but I’ve been reading about a therapy that may help. It’s called ACT. Accept and Commitment Therapy. Where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aims to challenge our thought processes ACT asks that we accept how we feel and try to work with it and even use it to feel better. It may be worth asking your GP about it. As for the Switch, I find it to be a beautiful console experience that supplies me with so many of the games I love to play. I highly recommend Cadence Of Hyrule and Untitled Goose Game. Both ooze charm. I hope you find a way to feel better more consistently.
To everyone else, thank you for reading my words and for your kind comments about my writing. I may just do another for Christmas… though I don’t know what subject I would tackle.
Best wishes to you all!
Only two comments on my feature so far and they were brutal. How do you guys do this for a living?
David from San Francisco
GC: We don’t read the comments. Also, your feature was very successful in terms of numbers of viewers, so we wouldn’t worry.
That Free Guy film does look funny and enjoyable, but there was one thing that irritated me a bit about your article about it – why didn’t you compare it to They Live? It’s such an obvious inspiration! Tut tut.
GC: Well, the bit with the glasses was. There didn’t seem to be any other similarities. Although if it has a fight that lasts as long as in that film we will be impressed.
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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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 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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