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Games Inbox: Xbox leak damage control, and Star Citizen vs. Starfield, and xCloud love

Games Inbox: Xbox leak damage control, and Star Citizen vs. Starfield, and xCloud love
How worried should they be? (Picture: AP Images for Xbox)

The Thursday letters page worries that video games are getting just too expensive as a hobby, as another reader enjoys Resident Evil 4.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Only a flesh wound It’s very comical to see Phil Spencer try to play down these leaks as ‘old news’ and ‘not our real future plans’.

I wonder if that was relayed to the unlucky individual who got called into the office after dropping the ball?

It reminds me a bit of that Monty Python sketch with the Black Knight, ‘Tis but a scratch!’ The way he’s pretending it’s really nothing, when we all know this is the worst possible scenario they could ever find themselves in – particularly as far as future endeavours go.

I’d say that was 1-0 to Sony already as far as the next generation of consoles is concerned and they must be rubbing their hands while going through all of Microsoft’s plans.

It’s certainly been an interesting week for us gaming fans. freeway 77

Portable gaming That really sucks the news about xCloud.

I actually have come to love it. When my one-year-old is asleep I can carry on my games where I left off in quiet, without a massive big TV light waking her. On my phone with earbuds in and my Xbox controller Bluetooth-ed it’s a really good gaming experience.

Also, I use it on night shifts when it’s super dead after 2am and I want to stay awake without coffee. The touch controls are great too, for certain games like the super fun Vampire Hunters.

Since using I’ve wondered how this would survive a future profitability purge. I hope it can, as it really has made Game Pass hugely worth it for me. Anon

Emerging pattern For me console gaming is getting ridiculous!

For starters, £40+ for yet another reskin of Dark Souls (Lies Of P looking at you) or another Call Of Duty or Season 3,248 of Fortnite… you know what I’m getting at.

It’s like developers have simply got accustomed to selling an unfinished product or a reskinned existing game at the highest possible premium price, then hiding the rest of the game behind microtransactions! It’s financial gain over all else.

Secondly, cough Starfield cough having Bethesda say, ‘Oh spend 100 hours and you’ll get into it’… No! I want to finish work, sit down at home, and enjoy a game! Lazy development, lazy storytelling.

Thirdly, and I don’t know if it’s just me but – where is the creativity for new games?!

Lies Of P is Disney’s Dark Souls, Starfield is Skyrim in Space, Battlefield, Call Of Duty, Fortnite, etc. Arena shooter, arena shooter, arena shooter. Where are the new games?! Anon

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

12 years and waiting With all this Starfield and No Man’s Sky talk recently, I want to ask, what happened to Star Citizen?

It seems to me that it was always talked about as the next big thing until Starfield starting the hype train a year or so ago.

I know it’s still in development/early access but is this the answer to everyone’s opinions on the game not being what they wished it to be?

Just seems to be no one talks about it anymore and it’s dropped off people’s radar. Changingtheories

GC: It’s been in development for over a decade and its budget is $500 million worth of crowdfunded cash, and yet it’s still nowhere close to an official launch. At least Starfield is out.

Review in progress The Disgaea 7 demo has just come out for all the formats it’s on, so I have been getting some early grind in. The presentation seems better, it doesn’t hurt my eyes to look at. The story and characters seem fun – at this early stage at least. There is yet another sexual predator among the cast – though he at least seems to go after women his own age. I mean, yikes, Nippon Ichi. Ivar the Terrible doesn’t even begin to describe him!

Could be at least a Disgaea 7… out of 10. What are your thoughts, GC? Looking forward to another big, console Disgaea? Doesn’t feel that long ago since the last one came out though, hey? DMR

GC: We’re reviewing it at the moment so cannot say anything at this stage.

Nostalgia blinkers With the messages from Rickandrolla and Angry Kurt this week about games like Resident Evil 4. where playing the original proved too annoying because of how outdated they are, but playing the remakes got them really into the games, this has got me thinking of a possible Hot Topic question I’d love to hear other people’s perspectives on: are you unable to go back to old games?

I feel like for most people nostalgia allows us to overlook many of the technical limitations of past games, but nostalgia requires some kind of attachment. If there’s no attachment, but you want to play an older game, do you often find yourself unable to get into it because of those technical limits? Sunny

GC: We can try something like that, good idea.

The news today A fascinating time to be a gamer right now.

I’m enjoying all the chatter back and forth, with talk of Starfield’s highs and lows to footballers not appreciating their football stats.

I’ve got to admit that I’m baffled by both the Xbox verbosity (leak everything you have) against PlayStation’s hermit like silence.

And, of course, I can’t wait to see whether Nintendo’s next system is a marvel of technology or some kind of Heath Robinson contraption.

However, above all that, I’m very excited that a new Monster Hunter might be unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show on the 21st, for the game’s 20th anniversary next year.

It seems a long time since Monster Hunter Rise came out, the challenge of clobbering Diablos again seems just a switch axe’s width away; Lord, let it be a real thing and not just my fancy! Shambling Reg

Nothing but new I loved the original Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 on PlayStation 3 and GameCube. I’ve really wanted to play the remakes, but the pull isn’t great enough as I’ve already played and completed them!

Final Fantasy 7 Remake, on the other hand, was basically a different game and so I had no trouble allowing myself to buy that game.

I’m a voracious gamer and I need new experiences. Yes, I may play lots of Call Of Duty but I don’t play the same map on repeat. TommyFatFingers

More: Trending Games Inbox: Can Microsoft really buy Nintendo? Starfield proves there is something very wrong with video game reviews - Reader’s Feature Activision says Nintendo Switch 2 is less powerful than PS4

Pure Evil I’ve just finished my second run on Resident Evil 4 remake, on hardcore mode, and I have to congratulate Capcom on the tremendous work they’ve done reimagining this cast iron classic. Rendering the knife a more intrinsic and defensive part of Leon’s repertoire was a smart decision that makes the combat feel even more dynamic and exciting. And some of the new set pieces and revamped scenarios from the original are inspired and do a great job at replicating the original’s breathless, near perfect pacing and impeccable variety in the level design, in my opinion.

The third person shooting mechanics, for me, still remain the best in class in 2023, the precision and punchiness of the original’s combat is accentuated with the remake with some truly stellar audio-visual feedback and reassuringly tight and responsive controls.

I’m also so glad that the cheese, although not as pungent as in the original, is still cheesy enough here, with some quality quips and one-liners from Leon surviving what some of us feared would be a far more po-faced transition to modernity. And I liked the quirkier theme in the shooting gallery, it’s a lot arrrrr fun!

Graphically, the game is a beast, with some phenomenal lighting, grand geometrical detail in your surroundings, beautiful texture work, and arguably the finest fire particle effects I’ve seen this gen courtesy of the Salazar statute/mechanised terror. The detail in the character models of the enemies, bosses, and especially the main cast is also exquisite. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I’d suspend my activities to go into the photo mode and snap some shots.

You know you’re really, really enjoying a game when your only reasonable gripes are that you slightly prefer the original’s more tension-inducing control scheme and that the remake omits quite a significant amount of terrific set pieces and a memorable boss encounter from the original. Oh, and that Salazar’s unrecognisable overhaul is inferior to the original design. Much like with the masterful Metroid Prime Remastered I’m definitely leaning towards a high nine, possibly a 10 with these two juggernauts from the 128-bit generation.

On the subject of cut content, these moments were certainly conspicuous by their absence: the gondola/cable car ride just before the fight with Chief Mendez. The lava area in the castle with those manned fire-breathing dragon statues. The bit where Ashley is driving a truck and you’re in the trunk shooting the nasties in the island region. That tense trap set piece in the castle where the ceiling with spikes starts dropping down on you. The room with the lasers where Leon executes some fancy, Matrix-like acrobatics to avoid being sliced into stud salami. And of course, that thrilling encounter with the U3 boss.

Pretty sure I’ve missed out some but I’m quite confident Capcom will reinstate some of these memorable moments in the upcoming Separate Ways DLC. Galvanized Gamer

Inbox also-rans I also read that this comment by Phil Spencer about Baldur’s Gate 3 being second run refers to the fact that its first run was on a different platform. And that for Xbox release it will be a second run, meaning second release. Not second run meaning second rate. Anon

GC: It wasn’t Phil Spencer that said it, but the phrase was clearly derogatory (it never ran on Stadia at all, because it had shut down by then). Microsoft had an unreasonable hatred/fear of Stadia and their sudden disinterest in cloud gaming is likely, in part, because they no longer need it to act as a counter against Google.

I had no idea Lies Of P was based on Pinocchio. They must’ve known that sounded lame and purposefully tried to hide it with the name, so… why make it like that in the first place? Focus

This week’s Hot Topic The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Goulash, who asks whether video games are getting too long and if you have trouble fitting them into your life?

This year has already seen multiple high quality games that can easily swallow 100+ hours of your time but is that asking too much of people? Should most games be shorter than they are and are open world titles becoming too prevalent?

Have you found yourself playing less games as a result or are you happy with the status quo? In terms of value for money, what’s the minimum length of time you expect a full price game to last and are you ever prepared to put up with less?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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 via email or our Submit Stuff page , 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 .



MORE : Games Inbox: What if Microsoft bought Nintendo, next gen Xbox console, and Final Fantasy on Switch 2





MORE : Games Inbox: The Elder Scrolls 6 on PS5, Switch 2 power, and Final Fantasy 16 failure





MORE : Games Inbox: The best thing about Starfield, Remnant 2 vs. Starfield, and F-Zero on Switch 2



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