The Tuesday letters page discusses the importance of music in video games, as one reader hopes BioWare makes a new one Star Wars game.
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Maybe next time
Fantastic review of Sonic Frontiers, GC. I completely agree with Owen on Monday, praising your reviews, which I have found particularly interesting recently, with Bayonetta 3, God Of War Ragnarök, and now Sonic Frontiers. I certainly didn’t expect you to give that high score to the game or for it to be anything more than just another deeply flawed crash grab – especially after the movies.
So kudos to Sega for sticking with it and finally coming up with gold. I’ll definitely be getting the game and now I know what to expect, including the flaws, I’m really looking forward to it.
I do agree with the suggestion that there’s never been a good 3D Sonic until now. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 were okay but they weren’t great even by the standards of the time and they seem a lot worse now. So the question for me now, before I’ve played it, is whether Sonic Frontiers is the best Sonic game ever?
I’ve played the originals so many times it’s hard to have an unbiased opinion about them nowadays, but I’d like to think they’ll be beaten one day. Maybe Sonic Fronters 2, eh?
GC: Thank you.
I can see easily seeing boardroom execs thinking John Wick is a no-brainer for a video game but I’m not sure. John Wick Hex was great because it was a good game and an original idea, that would have been interesting even without the license.
But if it was just a straight third person shooter, which is what I assume it will be, then how is it going to be any different to all the ones that already exist? Except that Keanu Reeves will be doing the voiceover (maybe, I assume so). Even though it was The Matrix it was ripping off, Max Payne was already pretty much John Wick and as much as I did enjoy it at the time it was a pretty one-dimensional and repetitive game, that seems a lot worse when you play it nowadays.
Nothing against it getting made or people that would enjoy it, but I liked it a lot better when the film company was encouraging developers to make new unexpected games, not just easy money.
Thanks for the review on Star Ocean: The Divine Force. 5/10 is a yikes score, 8 or 9 out of 10 and I would have bought it straight away but will wait for it to go on a mega discount or better yet go on PlayStation Plus. If similar to Tales Of Arise it shouldn’t be too long, that is already on offer for under £20 only a year after release.
It seems that it’s been a while since we’ve had a really great role-playing, but maybe that’s just recency bias. However, I am really hoping that the next installment of RPGs – Final Fantasy 16, Dragon Age 4, and Mass Effect 4 – really delivers. Although at £70 each, I’ll be waiting to read reviews before diving in!
GC: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was pretty great.
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As much as I’d like to believe that microtransactions are just going to magically go away sometime soon I think that Dragon Age guy is just saying what he hopes to be true, not what has any reasonable chance of happening.
What we’ve already seen is single-player games stopping from using them, but that’s something very different that was really just publishers realizing which way the wind was blowing and not making things worse for themselves.
When games like FIFA and NBA 2K make more money from microtransactions than they do game sales that’s all the proof you need that they’re not going anywhere. And besides, his main example seemed to be mobile games, which are a very different beast. Does anyone really think that Fortnite or Apex Legends is on its last legs, or that people are soon going to stop buying their cosmetics?
The full set
Really enjoyed reading the Hot Topic on retro games console. I still own my original SNES, Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, and Dreamcast, plus an original NES. I also own PlayStation 1, 2, 3, 4, a Wii, and an original Xbox.
I like hooking them up to a CRT and playing on-rails shooters like House Of The Dead and Time Crisis. It would be great to know what console you own. I did own a GameCube but sold it. I also own a Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. I play when I can due to work. Take care and have a brilliant day.
More of everything
I do wish they’d get a move on and show something substantial for Mass Effect 4. This audio thing is all well and good but I very much doubt it’s going to be anything major, once fans have worked out what it’s saying. But I also doubt we’ll hear much more about the game until after the new Dragon Age is out.
I have no interest in Dragon Age but I hope it does well, just to prove that BioWare still got it and that they deserve the support from EA. To be fair to EA, which is not something I usually am, they do seem to be being quite supportive, since they realized that single-player games still sell, so I’m hoping it works out for everyone.
And then, maybe they can start thinking about that Star Wars game that I still can’t believe they haven’t even started working on yet. Forget a remake, I want a new Knights Of The Old Republic, a reboot or maybe something based on the High Republic era, since I believe they’re doing a TV show based on that now.
Just more BioWare in general is what I’m saying, but I’ve waited this long, I can wait a bit longer still.
GC: It’s already been decoded swear, yes, it didn’t reveal much.
The story so far
RE: Denton and the God Of War story, PushSquare have done a quite extensive recap of the series so far including the last PlayStation 4 game, you can read it here.
I also have a code for The Winters’ Expansion for Resident Evil Village on PlayStation 5 that I don’t need, if anyone would like it.
GC: That’s very kind of you. As usual we’ll give it to the first person to ask, that sends us a usable Inbox letter.
In reply to Matt Riddle’s post about video game music.
For me personally, music in games is as important as any other feature. Be it gameplay, art design, graphics, story, world, and level design, etc.
Take your Mario games, your Zelda games, your Soulsborne games, your Final Fantasy games, if these were played with the music off these would be much lesser experiences. Big bombastic pieces alongside epic set pieces or calming melodies against serene moments add massively to a gaming experience.
On the other hand, games with bland, generic soundtracks I find much harder to sit through.
I firmly believe the talents behind groundbreaking soundtracks should be recognized and reflected in a review of a game.
Many of my playlists feature musical scores and I always take notice when GC points out the soundtrack.
My next purchase will be Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and I’m probably most excited for the music, as Pokémon music always slaps.
For Matt Riddle specifically, but it may be of interest to more, BBC Radio 3 has a show called The Sound of Gaming, which is available on both BBC Sounds and as a (shortened) podcast. The latest edition has a section on God Of War Ragnarök and an interview with the composer.
GC: We will say Bear McCreary is great in general. His soundtrack for Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is infinitely better than the actual film.
I’ve just beaten Elden Ring for the second time and I’m now seriously contemplating it for a third. Game of the year for me and no question. Probably the best of the decade/generation too.
Just a reminder that we’re coming up to the one year anniversary of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp being ‘delayed’. I seriously doubt that game is ever going to see the light of day now.
This week’s Hot Topic
With Sonic Frontiers out this week the subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks what’s your favorite platform game?
Platformers are one of the oldest genres in gaming, but which do you like best and why? Do you have a favorite 2D and 3D game and which style do you generally prefer? How much difference does the main character make and which is your favorite?
What do you think of the general state of platformers at the moment and what new ones are you looking forward to? What direction could developers take them in the future and what do you hope new technology will allow?
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The small print
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