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Games Inbox: Video game level grinding, Street Fighter V DLC prices, and Mario Kart custom tracks

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – do you enjoy the daily grind?
The Evening Inbox ponders whether there was any way to make Dragon Quest Builders 2 a hit, as one reader wonders if Thom Yorke is a gamer.
To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Loving the grind
I was watching YouTube videos berating a lot of modern day single-player games for having mechanics that pad out their games but I realised just how much I personally enjoy them. Games like Far Cry: New Dawn, God Of War, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, etc. have a ridiculous amount of perks and upgrades to unlock, along with crafting, the ability to unlock/buy clothing and armour with often times minor benefits usually requiring grinding.
In the case of the Ubisoft titles (specifically Assassin’s Creed) it is pretty obvious that they are there just to extend the game’s life and to encourage the use of microtransactions but I cannot get enough. It’s the same with Japanese role-playing games. One of the highlights of my favourite, Final Fantasy XII, was the fact that you could only ever level up three of your six party members at a time, essentially doubling the grind factor, which I loved.
I’m curious what controversial – or downright hated – game mechanics readers and GC don’t mind, or even really enjoy.


Who cares?
I was quite excited to hear about the new Street Fighter characters this morning so, having never played Street Fighter V, I looked into how much it would cost to get into it. The game is on a free trial right now and is next to nothing usually anyway and even the deluxe edition, which contains the last couples of season of fighters is pretty cheap and seems good value.
What gets me though is the cost of the costumes, they’re out of control! £11.99, on average, for just one character and there are a lot of characters. It must add up to several hundred pounds worth to get everything. I’m not exactly complaining as I can do without them, I think you can earn them in-game, and the rest of it seems good value but… why is it always the most trivial DLC that’s the most expensive?
Whenever you hear about a free-to-play game relying on whales to make its money and having all these microtransactions it always turns out they’re buying these really weird and inconsequential cosmetic extras. On one hand that’s good because you’re not missing out on anything important, but on the other it makes it feel even more like they’re taking advantage of the easily addicted and those with compulsive personalities. All I can say is I’m glad I don’t care about this stuff.


Unofficial tracks
Don’t know if anyone still plays the Wii Mario Kart but I have recently come across custom tracks. In order to do it, you will have to soft mod the console to get the mod working but you do need an original disc to actually play it. I had a quick go and it works fine.
I didn’t play all the new tracks but there seemed to be quite a lot to go through. Google ‘custom Mario Kart tracks’ to see the information. Soft modding is comprehensively covered on YouTube and it is pretty simple nowadays. I’ve even got my Wii games (the few that I still go back to) on a hard drive now to save the DVD drive (which has failed before and had to be replaced).

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Lucky promotion
That Mario Tennis Aces deal was a bit out of the blue, wasn’t it? Between things like that and their surprisingly enthusiastic support of demos Nintendo are actually quite a bit better than Microsoft or Sony when it comes to allowing you a way to try before you buy.
I don’t know why they picked the tennis game to start with, considering it seems to have only got above average reviews, but I hope they do it with things like Splatoon 2 and the upcoming Astral Chain. The Switch has been pretty good at promoting all its games but there are some that I think get dismissed too easily by some people but are actually really good.
Saying that they had a demo for Dragon Quest Builders 2, which is one of my favourite games of the year and that seems to have been an instant flop. I guess there’s no helping some games if people just don’t like the look of it. Although I’ll be a bit peeved is Dragon Quest XI is a big hit and/or gets a big marketing push because I think that’s a bit unfair.
Maybe they should’ve waited and released Builders after Dragon Quest XI and the Smash Bros. addition raised the profile of the series a bit? Or maybe there’s just nothing that can be done. Marketing is an odd business and I don’t know how much of it is science and how much luck.


Future preservation
As someone who grew up on a PlayStation 1 I came to love Metal Gear Solid. I followed the franchise as close as I could and I think they need to remake them all.
Not just for us but for the coming generations to enjoy. They are just some of the best games. They have had their ups and downs, like the rest. Where would Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher would be without Snake?


Catch up FM
Just responding to Bad Edit’s Thursday morning inbox letter and GC’s response, it does sound very much like Classic FM. At the moment they’re running a series called High Score and hosted by Eímear Noone, whose composed for games such as Starcraft, Overwatch, and World Of Warcraft.
I think it’s nearing its end but it’s broadcast on a Saturday evening at 9pm or you can catch up at anytime within a week of broadcast if you have the Classic FM app.
Sven Kirby
GC: We interviewed Eímear just before she started the current season, she’s very good.


Skool Prankz
LTRFTW. I fully agree with James RE: Bully 2 and its potential to be an all-time great. However, I think the game he was actually referring to was the sequel to Skool Daze – It was the (far superior) Back To Skool where you had to use the bike to jump over the gates to the girl’s school, kiss Hayley who would then take 1,000 lines off you.
The best was jumping out of the top floor window of the school and then snuffing it. Then Mr Wacker would walk past to say, ‘You’re not a bird Eric’ before expelling you (despite your untimely death.) Ah, a quality game right there!

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Rabbit in your Headlights
Don’t know if anyone else is a Radiohead fan on here but I’ve been listening to the amazing new Thom Yorke album Anima and couldn’t help notice one of the songs sounds just like Bit.Trip Beat.
I wonder if Thom Yorke plays video games? What an amazing game that was, one of my favourites on the Wii. It’s a shame that Runner3 didn’t turn out so well, maybe Choice Provisions should go back to Beat again. I’d be interested to see a new take on it now. Get Thom Yorke to do the soundtrack and I’m sold!
Ryan O’D


Inbox also-rans
RE: Jonathan Brannick, why is your PSN ID OakTreeInn and not your own name or some variation of your name?! It just seems a bit hypocritical.
Smokin_Monkey (PSN ID)
(Missus coined the name and it stuck and, yes, I think it’s cool, so shoot me)
GC: But he’s not an esports star?
As a 50-year-old gamer I completely agree with Jonathon Brannick’s comments on esport names. However, my teenage kids (who are more the target audiences age) would probably roll their eyes at me if I said it.


This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what’s your favourite fictional universe in video games?
Regardless of the quality of the games themselves what setting is your favourite and why? Is it a version of the real-world or something completely fantastical? Why do you think it works so well and how consistent is the universe between different games?
How much do you care about background lore in video games and what’s your preferred way of getting that sort of information across?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. 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.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter . always shares this Contents with License.

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