Games Inbox: What is the most overrated video game?

GTA 5 key art

Is it overrated? (pic: Rockstar Games)

The Tuesday letters page is once again worrying about Sony’s lack of communication, as one reader makes their own Switch 2 prediction.

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Sacred cows
There’s been some talk recently of The Last Of Us being overrated and while I can see the arguments, and would probably agree, I think we can all agree that it’s by no means the most overrated game. Perhaps this could be a Hot Topic in the future but it got me thinking what the top contenders might be and for me it’s Sonic The Hedgehog, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto.

I’ve never understood the appeal of Sonic – you can’t see where you’re going and Sonic himself is no fun to control, when you’re not just pressing right and nothing else. Halo is good in theory, because of the gunplay, but the whole world is so generic and the story campaign is horribly repetitive in almost all the games.

For me though it’s Grand Theft Auto that takes the ‘prize’. I’ll say I have nothing against GTA 3 and its two follow-ups, as they were pretty groundbreaking, but the first two were nearly unplayable even at the time and the more recent two are such edgelord nonsense I just can’t get into them. The open worlds are impressive but the driving and shooting are just flat out bad. The story is weird too: there’s some funny bits but it goes on too much and there’s not really an overall arc, it just kind of ends all of a sudden.

Those are some of my ‘favourites’, curious to know about everyone else’s choices would be.

Second-hand advice
RE: Jay Johnson. I totally agree with you regarding Hogwarts Legacy. I’ve always disliked JK Rowling from her donations to the Tories and the No Campaign, right through to her showing her true colors of being homo/transphobic.

I was also in two minds about buying the game but I decided, you know what, I will buy it but. I will be buying it pre-owned. This way I can still support my local video game store and I get the self satisfaction I get to immerse myself in the Harry Potter world without giving a single penny to JK

Saying nothing
We’ve all said it a hundred times by now, but what is going on with Sony and their refusal to talk to anyone? This business with the secret The Last Of Us demo, why on earth would you keep that a secret? I’m beginning to think they’ve accidentally hired someone with social anxiety as their head of marketing, this is just beyond a joke.

It just doesn’t feel like Sony even exists as an entity anymore. I can’t remember the last time I saw Jim Ryan on anything or heard from anyone other than some stupid blog post. I don’t even know who made God Of War Ragnarök or remember hearing from them.

This must all be part of the plan, this isn’t happening by accident, but I just don’t get it? The only thing I can imagine is that that’s it’s some variation on the old saying about ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt’ but Sony hasn’t got a reputation for saying stupid things so what’s all about this?

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Jump scare
I’ve just seen on Twitter that The Callisto Protocol was supposed to make $5 million but it hasn’t even got to $2 million yet, so the publisher is really upset and its share price is tanking. Also it cost $162 million to make. We don’t see a lot of game prices, so there’s not a lot to compare it to, but that seems an awful lot. Especially when the average Resident Evil is lucky to do $5 million on a good year.

And this was for a brand new franchise with no particular draw, that I could see, other than it’s from one of the guys that did Dead Space. The reviews weren’t very good, I never saw much advertising, and the whole thing just seemed to be an easy pass. So where did the $5 million prediction come from? Do these people not know how badly survival horror usually sells?

It makes me wonder what Konami is going to do when its first couple of Silent Hill games start to flop, because Silent Hill is no Resident Evil. Are they all going to get canned or will they try and sell the franchise on to someone else? Whatever happens I can’t wait for them to treat it like a complete surprise.

SD gaming
I wonder if the GC community can offer some advice on playing GameCube/Wii games on an HDTV. There were some letters about this for Dreamcast about a year ago.

I’ve recently started replaying my old GameCube games (via the Wii for convenience) and although Burnout and Rocky look OK, Super Mario Sunshine seems particularly poor.

I know there are intrinsic problems with playing old consoles on modern TVs, but I wondered what the optimal solution is. I’m currently just using the standard Wii composite cable into a 10-year-old (at least) 32 inch Sony TV HDTV.

I know the GameCube component cable is available but it’s too rare/expensive for me. What I’m confused about is 1) if the far cheaper Wii component cable is worth it or 2) if the Wii2HDMI adapter is a better option and finally 3) do either of these options help run GameCube games when using the WIi? Internet forums seem full of contradictions about this.

In sequence
I can’t remember being on a better run of game selections than over the last 18 months or so. There’s been a sprinkling of failed diversions in between, mostly games where I can clearly see their qualities but they just haven’t clicked at that moment in time (Guardians Of The Galaxy being the main one, and I will come back to it).

Needless to say, I heartily recommend all of the following on either PlayStation 4 or 5, and this sequence worked for me in terms of either offering something vaguely similar or as a palate cleanser (or just being really, really good):

  • NieR: Automata
  • Returnal
  • Elden Ring
  • Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night
  • Inscription
  • Cyberpunk 2077

I kind of hate myself for giving into Cyberpunk 2077, but in my defense I was given a £20 PSN voucher for Christmas and it was on sale for a penny under, so I didn’t use MY money on it exactly.

Plus, I was probably tipsy on sherry.

It’s an incredible game world on the PlayStation 5 though – genuinely jaw dropping and finally giving me next (current) gen thrills. Still, sorry!
Andrew Wright
PS: It’d be interesting to hear what other gaming sequences have worked for people…

Third time’s the charm
I was going to say that maybe Sony is going to unveil this new PlayStation 5 Slim model then I saw the rumored September release date and thought twice. Then I thought a third time and started sweating, because surely it’s guaranteed they’d have one before that? Right?

One this for month or next, because the PlayStation VR2 is coming out in February has got to be a definite, surely? It seems crazy to me that that’s a question, but it is.

GC: It seems inconceivable they wouldn’t have a State of Play for the PlayStation VR2 but given how uncommunicative they’ve been lately we suppose you shouldn’t bet on it.

You never know
The Nintendo Switch 2 rumors are certainly gathering pace and common sense suggests that Nintendo would look to launch a new console within the next 18 months. I suspect they were aiming to launch it this year, but due to the cost-of-living crisis, they decided to push it back, which makes sense.

I have a feeling they’ll aim for a spring 2024 release window, aping the original Switch launch window. We are usually treated to a Nintendo Direct in February, so if the 2023 iteration is light on Nintendo games, then I think it’s confirmation that the Switch is being put out to pasture.

I know we all say it’s ridiculous to try to predict Nintendo, and that’s true, but I really have no idea what direction they’ll go in with regards to a new console. The Switch is a huge success and Nintendo have merged their handheld and home console development teams, so it seems natural to assume we would get a similar console with improved innards, a dock that upscales to 4k, and better controllers. The big question, to me anyway, is whether games and accessories will be backwards/forwards compatible.

Nintendo have (another) eShop but this time they’ve set up Nintendo Online accounts, which I just can’t see them ditching; the backlash would be huge. Saying that, whilst an improved Switch with a similar online setup makes sense, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they revealed a true AR-type headset console, with all new accessories and a new online store that requires new accounts.

Who knows!

Inbox also-rans
Thanks Liam, for remembering The Suffering. I will say it was my favorite PlayStation 2 game. it had an engaging story, funny characters, lean and mean action, and it was quite a long game which was worth for
money. Don’t know if a remake would be possible now, though.

Wow, that was some first episode of The Last Of Us show, loved it. Watch both games creep back into the charts now.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what video game protagonist would you like to swap games with?

Pick any two games you like, regardless of whether they’re in similar genres or not, and swap the lead character. What would happen and do you think it would be fun?

Is this something you’ve thought of before and how important do you think the lead character is to a game? Are there any you’ve been put off from purely because of the protagonist and whose abilities you most wish you had in another game?

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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 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.

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