Games Inbox: How much will COD: WWII change online shooters?
Call Of Duty: WWII – how will it change future FPS games?

The morning Inbox asks for advice on a newbie-friendly Japanese role-player, as one reader asks what’s so great about Half-Life 2.

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Changing times

Very interesting review of LawBreakers, in particular the reasons why it might not have been a success. I don’t necessarily disagree with any of your points, but it’s funny to think that there are less big budget games being released today that at any previous time in the past and yet still something like the online shooter is becoming overcrowded.

The answer is, as you say, that although there might be fewer games they take up a lot more of people’s time. The reasons things like League Of Legends and Overwatch are so popular is that they become people’s entire gaming life. Not to the exclusion of all other but certainly to the exclusion of all other games – or at least that type of game. Which is the very steep hill that LawBreakers has to climb.

I have to also admit that I’m kind of glad that it’s boring character design hasn’t been rewarded. Although Sledgehammer do seem to have put a lot of work into it I really hope that Call Of Duty: WWII doesn’t start the return of the brown military shooter. I’m still surprised more companies don’t get the hint that people actually like the colourful designs of Overwatch and I worry that some devs are just desperate to go back to their old ways.

As good as a rest

Has anybody else had almost a complete change in the type of video games they generally play?

This has happened with me recently – usually I play survival horror, Pro Evolution Soccer, and driving games with the odd third person action adventure thrown in here and there. However, over the last few months I have been well and truly converted to turn-based strategy such as the XCOM series and SteamWorld Heist (thanks for that recommendation, by the way, GC!).

More weirdly however, I have been having a lot of fun with one-on-one fighting games. I was never really a fan when I was younger, I didn’t much care for Street Fighter II and got bored of Mortal Kombat once the novelty of the fatalities had worn off – however after attending my local pub games night I played Tekken 7 and Injustice 2 and surprised myself by not only being reasonable but really enjoying them too! I have now gone back to play the original Injustice and purchased the Mortal Kombat reboot for my PS Vita, which has had me hooked.

Not sure if I will still be enjoying fighters in a year’s time but they have certainly provided a welcome change of pace and strangely satisfying after a day at work!
Richard Hyde

Out of the comfort zone

I was looking for some advice. I wrote in recently asking for some DS game recommendations, which were greatly appreciated, but in the end I treated myself to a 3DS XL; as I knew there were lots of games on the 3DS I wanted to play, as well as the DS games that were recommended (plus I think my old DS Lite, which hadn’t been used in years, had died).

I have seen plenty of lists listing the best 3DS games to play and I can’t wait to get started on games like Super Mario 3D Land and Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, but I wanted to try something totally different and outside my comfort zone, as GC always recommends. So, what would your tips be for the best and most accessible Japanese role-playing games or strategy games

I think the most Japanese role-playing games game I have played are the Pokémon games, which I will pick up at some point. But I wanted to try another series like Bravely Default, Fire Emblem, etc., but I have no idea where is best to start for a newbie. I know they are long games, but preferably I don’t want to have to play it for hundreds of hours.
Trukkurt (Steam ID)/Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Something on the 3DS when I’ve decided what to play first!

GC: Chrono Trigger on DS might be a good place to start, but you’ve already mentioned the other most obvious choices. Fire Emblem Echoes is simpler than the other games, but we’d advise just getting stuck in with Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright. Although be advised that Fire Emblem is a strategy role-player, with an emphasis on the strategy.

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You had to be there

I have two questions:

1. I’ve seen a lot of recent positive comments and love for Half-Life 2. I played this on The Orange Box Collection about six to seven years ago (possibly longer ago) and thought it was OK at the time. Why do so many people see this as one of the greatest games ever? Also, I still have it on the Xbox 360 so if I played it today would I enjoy it?

2. A lot of people think the Wii U failed due to the name itself, and most not realising it was not some sort of expensive tablet accessory for the Wii. I do agree with this, along with several other reasons – bad to non-existent marketing, hard to easily explain the unique selling points, not enough games (although some that were released for it were the most incredible Nintendo have ever produced), and also a few other reasons. My question then is, relating back to the console name – why are the Xbox consoles doing this exact same thing (putting a letter after the same console name)?

GC: The Xbox One X isn’t a new console format, it’s just an upgrade. Which is exactly what people, mistakenly, thought the Wii U was. Half-Life 2 is 13 years old at this point, so it’s impact is harder to appreciate today. Although there’s still no first person shooter from that era that still stands up as well, or has the same level of invention in their mix of shooting, puzzling, and exploration. The Xbox 360 never ran very well though, so we’d only recommend it on PC.

End of the beginning

For anyone that might be interested I’ve been working on my game Rogue Machine and have released an alpha version.

It’s available for Windows and Android. The alpha has five levels, with increasing difficulty, and there’s a separate tutorial level. The idea with alpha is to test out the basic core gameplay, controls, and difficulty and I would very much appreciate some constructive criticism.
James, aka 29 Games 29_games

No show

I think you’ve already hinted that there won’t be much in the way of new announcements at Gamescom, presumably not least because Sony and Nintendo never do anything for it anymore, but what do we think about Tokyo Game Show this September? There’s been a lot of talk about the Japanese games industry having a bit of a comeback this year, so will this be reflected in the show do you think?

I’m personally hoping that From Software will announce their new game, and their Switch game as well if that’s something different. Capcom are also supposed to have something secret in the works (Devil May Cry 5, maybe?) and I like to think I’m not completely stupid to hope for Konami to make a comeback or Platinum to announce a new game. So what are the chances, do you think?

GC: It’s always best not to assume too much when it comes to game events, but particularly the Tokyo Games Show. We’d love to see it regain its former glories, but with the Japanese games industry still dominated by mobile we suspect it’ll be a few years yet before the show reflects any kind of turnaround. Although we hope we’re wrong.

Separate worlds

Popped into GAME on Friday afternoon to buy Uncharted 4 pre-owned, as the website said it was £17.99 and had it in stock. Asked for it and they said it is £22. I said online it says it is £17.99. He told me it is an online price only and I could get it posted with free P&P.

Just bought it via their website. I even had the option to have it delivered to the store. No wonder GAME have such a poor reputation.
Superiordom1980 (PSN ID)

GC: To be fair, that’s always been their policy when it comes to pricing.

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Out of your mind

I’ve just booted up the very first Disgaea again – because I obviously have no life. But, also, I wanted to role-play as some of my characters from my novels. I would’ve liked to do this on a newer Disgaea, I’ve always wanted to play 3 and 4, but alas, no sign of them come to PlayStation Now as of yet. Which would make the service worth getting.

I am tempted by 5 of course. But you say the lead is dull and the story is the weakest yet? Is that right? Though you did still give it an 8 out of 10, so it can’t hurt the game that much. I would like to play whatever Disgaea has the most variety in classes, which one had the angels come back? Because I missed that class when she was cut from Disgaea 2.

Finally, when it comes to role-playing as a telepath (and a really over-powered telepath, at that) what class or abilities do you choose? Healer? Mage? Their abilities are rarely represented in games – I can only think of a few examples like Psi-Ops and Divinity II. I think there are only a small handful of (quite useless) mind control abilities in the Elder Scrolls games, but that’s it.

How would other players create an approximation of a telepath?

GC: Telepath means speaking to someone else with your mind, it sounds like you’re talking about just mind control. In which case Dishonored and XCOM are the first ones that come to mind, as it were.

Inbox also-rans

My ranking on Splatoon 2 is rubbish purely because I just keep playing Salmon Run. I’m almost beginning to think it should be the main game. At the very least it deserves to be a spin-off or greatly expanded.

Anyone else disappointed that Sly Racoon has been part of Sony’s resent spate of remakes? I always thought it was the best 3D platformer they had.

This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Platty, who asks what’s your least favourite game in a franchise you otherwise really enjoy?

With so many video games series being filled with not just sequels but spin-offs and crossovers, it’s almost impossible to enjoy everything in a franchise no matter how well regarded it is in general. But which game do you dislike the most, and what makes it so bad?

How much are you willing to put up with bad or mediocre games because you like the franchise or the characters involved? And do you try to play all or most of the games in a franchise, even if it’s very different to what you originally liked about the series?

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