Games Inbox: PlayStation’s multiformat future –


The Thursday letters page is surprised Final Fantasy 7 Remake wasn’t a bigger hit, as one reader is unimpressed by Super Mario Sunshine.
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Joining the party
The controversy over releasing games on PC was bad enough but I’m very surprised to hear Sony talking about wanting to be more ‘multiplatform’ with its games. It’s their business, but am I the only one that thinks that’s incredibly weird? The Xbox Series X is the most powerful console so why would I want to get a PlayStation 5 if it has all, or even just some, of the same games?
Shouldn’t Sony be trying to make more exclusives, not less? I mean, the logical end result of all this is that Sony just goes third party and releases all its games on Xbox at the same time. Perhaps they give up making consoles entirely.
At the end of the day, it’s only the games that matter but it doesn’t even feel like Sony are trying to go down with a fight. Are they already convinced that Xbox is unbeatable and they’re getting ready to join ‘em rather than beat ‘em? It sure feels like that.

Relative success
As excited as I am to hear more about Final Fantasy 7 Remake I’m still surprised that the first chapter, or whatever they’re going to call it, only sold around 5 million copies. I know that’s a lot but it’s really not compared to other big games. It did about half that of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, which I thought nobody liked and much less than the other reboot games.
So why did Square Enix get rid of Tomb Raider but not stop anything about Final Fantasy 7 Remake? I know Tomb Raider was expensive to make but I can’t believe the remake was cheap either, if anything I’d guess it was more expensive.
Publishers are always hard to understand though and in the end it all comes down to money, so I guess that must be it. Luckily I prefer Final Fantasy to Tomb Raider, I just hope Square Enix don’t give up on it as well, before they finish the story.

Build it and they will come
RE: Chevy Mabu. I’m in the same position as you – nearly at the end of my first playthrough at about 200 hours and purposefully laying off it a bit, as it’s like coming to the end of the greatest gaming experience of my life.
Like you, I am amazed at the value of the game: £50 for a complete, glitch free, no DLC, epic gaming experience. Maybe it’s because so many other publishers are terrible, but after this experience and the consistency of From games in the past, I’d happily pay more for a game like this just because it’s so good and I’ve had so much enjoyment from it.
It’s amazingly simple on paper: create a great game and people will gladly buy it and tell others about it.
There have been so many amazing parts of this game, I am struggling to think of the best 10. It’s been hard at times but never impossible. I’d love to know what the favourite bit of the game has been for other readers?

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Nothing personal
I think the point with Nintendo wanting to find a new idea for any potential new F-Zero game isn’t that they’re in love with innovation or anything, but that none of the other games were big sellers. So they figure that there’s no point doing another until they can figure out something new for it to do.
That’s my interpretation but I think it applies to other dormant franchises like Wave Race and, dare I say it, Advance Wars. If all you’re going to do is the same thing but with better graphics then it’s not going to sell more than it did before. People forget that Nintendo are just a business like any other, they’re not going to make a new game to please fans but to please their accountants.

Wait and see
Wow, that David Jaffe guy is all about burning bridges, eh? There are definitely some concerns about how Microsoft is managing its developers, something that’s only get harder the more they buy, but I doubt Phil Spencer has anything to do with specific games. I can imagine him getting final say on whether a game is delayed, and other big decisions like that, but I don’t see how he’s got the time to be interfering with how a game is made. Especially as I don’t think he’s ever pretended to be a developer.
Whether there’s a serious problem or not I think it’s pointless to get too worried until we see what Microsoft has to show of at their E3 style show. Yes, it’ll probably be all CGI trailers, and I doubt they’ve got much in store for this year, but I doubt Sony or Nintendo have either.
All three publishers could do better but as an Xbox Series S owner I have no major complaints, not knowing how difficult the pandemic has been for everyone.
GC: Some studio managers are notorious for micromanaging but, like you say, it’s hard to imagine Phil Spencer would ever have the time.

Platinum concerns
There was a comment from a reader several days ago now (forgive me, I am a master level procrastinator) about how they were worried that the next Zelda game might be too much for the poor, old Switch to handle. A fair concern, seeing as Breath Of The Wild was made for the Wii U at first. Probably not too much to worry about as this will be an in-house game.
What may push the little Switch too hard is Bayonetta 3. Now, I looked again at the last trailer we got some seven months ago, and there could certainly be some potential hiccups. I refuse to spell hiccups the other way, I’m sorry. I’m sure last time I watched, when she was surfing along the sides of tumbling skyscrapers (what a sentence to be able to write), I thought I saw the footage jump a little. Didn’t this time, unless I missed it. But if anything has issues with its performance, it will be this.
I remember watching the review for Astral Chain by Yahtzee Croshaw on the Escapist, and he said that it felt like Platinum have been pulling their punches ever since NieR:Automata. I just put that down to Yahtzee being his typical, grumpy self. But since I played Astral Chain and couldn’t quite fall in love with it and now the most recent disaster with Babylon’s Fall – I hate to say that I agree with him. Which is annoying.
It doesn’t help that what we’ve seen of the new Bayonetta is so grey-looking and dreary, even! Bayonetta! Visually dreary! What’s happening?!
GC: Are you sure you couldn’t make that criticism of Astral Chain even vaguer?

Surprise gift
As said last week, there is a mystery game free on Epic Games Store from 4pm on Thursday.
I am wondering with it being summer now that there might be a mystery game each week and the list of games might be leaked, like they have done before at Christmas and other times.
Andrew J.
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The worst one
Over Christmas I decided to play Super Mario Sunshine on the Switch, as it was the only game in the All-Stars Collection that I hadn’t played before.
I remember when it originally came out it was quite divisive and I can see exactly why.
It feels like they took Super Mario 64, then removed some of the innovations and replaced them with some admittedly interesting level design.
One level particularly sticks in the memory, which requires using Yoshi. To summon them you had to give their egg a durian. This was made particularly difficult due to the fact you had to hop across a machine to push a button (switching to the opposite side each time) which then dispensed a random fruit.
Why make it random? There is no sensible explanation I can think of. It’s frankly idiotic.
Yet, once you summon the Yoshi, the level is quite brilliant. You need to spit the juice at fish to create platforms. At one point, you can continue with the durian juice, or jump to a platform at the side to collect a different fruit, which then changes what type of platforms you create, making the remainder of the puzzle easier.
One fantastic bit of Super Mario 64’s design was that you needed a certain number of stars to progress, but it didn’t matter what order you got them in. A particular level giving you trouble? You can skip it!
Not so in Sunshine. You need to complete the first 7 levels of each section to reach the final boss. This encompasses the hardest levels in the games, the optional levels being easier. Personally, I think this is terrible, and definitely a step backwards.
Overall, it was frustrating, and I can see why so many people disliked it. I certainly am not fond of it.
Joseph Dowland
GC: It’s certainly no classic, but you started off by saying one of the levels was brilliant?

Inbox also-rans
Here’s an idea. Why don’t Konami get FromSoftware to make a Castlevania game? It seems the perfect fit.
GC: It does, but so much so that it’s hard to see what would be different from what already exists, beyond the soundtrack and a few specific enemies.
I’m not sure Activision really understands what people are upset about with Warzone. It’s not that the game itself is bad it’s that it’s full of bugs and cheaters. Nobody wants Blackout back, especially as I bet it’ll have exactly the same problem.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tony T., who asks what’s the longest you’ve waited for a video game to be released?
With the news of Starfield’s delay – which is unlikely to be the last such announcement this year – what’s the most disappointed you’ve been with a game delay and how long did you keep following it until it was out? If it even did come out.
Do you generally follow a game all the way from its announcement to its release or do you tend to only pay attention closer to launch? What game has most rewarded your loyalty and which one do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time on?
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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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature 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.
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