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Games Inbox: The best Assassin’s Creed game, Nintendo Direct predictions, and Astral Chain flaws

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – is it still the best one?
The Wednesday Inbox learns the best way to catch fish in Zelda: Breath Of The WIld, as a reader looks forward to Rajang in Iceborne.
To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]
 



Best of both worlds
I’m not sure why Ubisoft would be bringing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag to the Switch (is it meant to be a reference to it being on the Wii U?) but it does raise the question of whether it is still the best in the series. For me the three main contenders are Assassin’s Creed II, IV, and Odyssey.
I think if you go back and play it now the second one comes across as very basic. The characters are still probably the best, and they’ve never managed to better Ezio, but the gameplay is I found pretty dull when I played the remaster.
Odyssey is a good game but my problem with it is the amount of bloat and level grinding. It’s a game that could easily have been a quarter of the length and probably would’ve been a lot better for it. Black Flag, I admit, I haven’t played for a long time but I’m hoping it’s going to sit somewhere between the two and still emerge as the best.
I do still remember it having a lot of padding, but that just seems to be something all the games are keen on, but I do remember liking the characters, the ship-sailing, and the freedom you were given. Whether this Switch annoucement is true or not it’s enough to make me get the PlayStation 4 release and give it another go…
Hanzo



 



Something to talk about
Always worth getting excited about a new Nintendo Direct. Either it’ll come with some juicy new secrets and unexpected news or it’ll be a complete letdown and we can all talk and complain about that instead.
If it’s as long as the E3 one though I can’t imagine it’ll just be Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Pokémon though. But then I also can believe the fourth Smash character is from SNK and yet the evidence seemed pretty convincing. I think this one of the underrated benefits of Nintendo being so independent, you never know what to expect from them and could believe virtually everything.
I guess there’ll probably be more on The Witcher 3 too, which is probably the weirdest annoucement so far. I would’ve bet a lot that rumour was phony and yet here we are. Hope we get something just as unbelievable this time.
Gort



 



Fishy business
Don’t know if anyone saw this doing the rounds but apparently there’s a secret way to catch fish easily in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. You whistle at them and drive them towards the shore where you can just pick them up! I’m not sure if it’s a bug or a feature but it’s amazing that people are still find secrets in this game so long after it came out.
It doesn’t make much difference, other than making the Zora armour easier to upgrade, but for some reason (I think it was seeing how good the graphics are again) it was enough to get me to boot up the game and have a potter round again.
It’s still amazing and I absolutely stand by anyone that says it’s the best game ever.
Trepsils




 
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
 



It’s the taking part
You’ve had several of these already, but I too am showing a lot of love for Wreckfest. The first racing game where winning doesn’t matter, just making it to the end of race is what matters and a win is bonus. Every racing game ever played online, whether it classes itself as an arcade or sim title, you’ll always get people trying to pit-manoeuvre you or smash you into a wall, etc.
Well, this is the game for those people as it’s quite acceptable and a laugh when everyone is doing the same thing. This works particularly well for balancing gameplay, if you think you’ll easily win because your car is a higher class than the rest of the players then think again. Sure, it might give you a small advantage, but it won’t always prevent you being caught in a corner pile-up or being T-boned at a crossroads on the last lap.
I haven’t even started on about demolition derby, challenges, customisation, dev support, DLC… Just goes to show that to make a great racing game you don’t need an extensive car list or even licensed cars, just has to be fun. Easily my game of the year.
Danny (GreaseMonkeyGB – gamertag)



 



In the know
Here comes a new challenger!
Hot on the heels of your Iceborne interview Capcom have dropped the bombshell that the first free DLC monster for it is none other than the legendary Rajang. I don’t have words for how hyped I am for this now. Rajang, for those not in the know, is notorious for being one of the strongest ‘normal’ monsters ever. He’s essentially a nod to the giant monkey form of Goku and other Saiyans from the Dragon Ball manga, having his own Super Saiyan form, complete with yellow hair.
There will be pain and I for one cannot wait.
astartespete
GC: It sounds like you know your stuff.



 



Full schedule
Just a general reminder to all and I also wondered if you will have time to review Catherine: Full Body, which is out this week.
It’s a remaster of the 2011 PlayStation 3 Atlus classic, with extra characters and story elements. I remember the original being one of my favourite PlayStation 3 games way back when, so will definitely be picking this one up…
Keep up the great work, folks.
Country Mike
GC: We’re hoping to fit it in, but we can’t promise.



 



Underrated opinion
In response to Bobwallet, I think acknowledging games, or anything really, as overrated or underrated are important.
A lot of times I have found a great game, or movie or album because a person or article has told me that it’s an underrated work in the genre. I love when a passionate person brings my attention to it as overlooked or underrated. For example, XCOM 2 is the greatest video game ever made in my opinion, but it will never be on any industry Top 10 or even Top 50 list. It is critically acclaimed but somehow still underrated. At least I feel that way, if enough people felt that way it would cease to be underrated, and I could stop complaining that it is.
Overrated is also important. Friends is one of the most overrated TV shows ever. I’m not diminishing its pop culture impact, or even saying it’s a bad show. It’s just not a top tier sitcom. It really doesn’t deserve the reverence it receives. It’s deeply average and it’s touted as one of greatest television projects ever.
Deceitfularcher (gamertag/PSN ID)
PS: Tupac is overrated as a rapper.



 



Time delay
Does anyone know when Batman: Arkham Knight and Darksiders III are free to download on PS Plus?
I’ve tried adding them to my library on Tuesday morning but they are not free to download and the PS Store tried to charge me for both despite them showing as ‘add to Library’ on my PS Plus membership page.
mitchell
GC: The PS Store can take quite a long while to update properly, sometimes not till the next day. It seems to have updated those games now though.



 
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
 



Flaws and niggles
Have to admit, I’m not the biggest anime fan but enjoying Astral Chain… it’s taken a little while to get used to. I went in trying to play it like Bayonetta and kept getting my arse kicked, not to mention playing it like that makes it feel like a brainless button masher given the fewer attack options. But once I got used to i’s quirks I was well on board. It’s a much slower more measured experience for sure, without the over the top ballet.
The world is really compelling, just hanging out at the police station between missions is a joy in the little details and sublime soundtrack. It does annoy me a little the way Platinum switch up the controls though, moving attack from a face button to a shoulder button and having weapon select on the D-Pad left me pawing the controller a few times… I find it nowhere near as intuitive as Bayonetta.
We’ve standardised first and third person shooter controls for years, and even with beat ’em-ups to some extent, so surely with this and Devil May Cry 5 doing well we’re due to do the same for the ‘side-scrolling brawler’ (agree with GC these are the true evolution of the Streets Of Rage formula)?
It’s not perfect however, the camera is pretty terrible (though some extensive options in the settings can help) and while the art style is terrific the tech does look dated, more PlayStation 3 than 4 with a lot of ‘jaggies’ in handheld mode. The whole thing does feel slightly less responsive than Bayonetta too (especially the second game, which might possibly be the lower frame rate?) and the main character just doesn’t react as fast as I’d like. Ut might be a deliberate attempt at a slower style but last second dodging in particular can feel sluggish. There’s a little lack of polish in some areas, like lip syncing and animation during story segments and characters/Legions getting stuck on the scenery.
I’ve probably made those sound like bigger gripes than they are though, overall it’s easily the best Switch game and best ‘exclusive’ on any console this year to date. It’ll probably end up as best Switch game too. Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Zelda: Link’s Awakening look fun but fairly low key and. like a previous reader, I’m loathe to pay out for Zelda unless there’s a significant content increase over what we’ve seen so far.
The original game with new graphics and a dudgeon editor doesn’t cut it for me. Pokémon looks like a HD 3DS game, similar to Fire Emblem, and Daemon X Machina isn’t previewing too well… but we’ll see.
Marc
GC: We’d go along with most of that – the camera is certainly the game’s biggest weak point. We don’t like the idea of anything being standardised though. That’s acceptable in something like a shooter, where you’re always just shooting a gun in first person, but anything that encourages games to be more similar to each other has got to be a bad thing.



 



Inbox also-rans
Gears 5 price is fluctuating on ShopTo , currently it is £33.80 but earlier today it was just under £35. Amazon are still £49.99.
Andrew J.
GC: That’s surprisingly low either way.
A very powerful exclusive by Nathalie Lawhead, GC. It has definitely opened up my eyes behind the dark seedy scenes of the gaming industry.
JAH



 



This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Korbie, who asks what features immediately put you off a new video game?
It can be anything from what genre the game is to a relatively trivial element like the user interface or a mute main character but what puts you off a game instantly, no matter what the rest of it is like?
Are there specific settings, like sci-fi or zombies, that you always avoid or perhaps features like loot boxes or always-online play? What’s the most minor reason you’ve avoided a game and what’s the quickest you’ve ever given up on one?
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.
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