The Thursday Inbox compares Resident Evil Village’s price to Returnal, as one reader disputes the PS5 tagline ‘Play has no limits’.
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Surprised and impressed that Returnal has turned out so well. Although I admit that I didn’t know Housemarque were making it, so that’s more understandable that it turned out well. Sony are clearly on a roll though and Returnal puts more pressure on Microsoft to actually release a game, let alone a good one.
But as others have pointed out, you’re only as good as your last game and the second there’s some sign of weakness at Sony the detractors are going to pounce. Especially if they had their fun spoiled by Returnal. Next up is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which is not a series I think most hardcore gamers care much about.
This time though it’s the biggest technical showcase the PlayStation 5 has, not just in terms of how it uses a SSD but the graphics, which Insomniac has already called the best ever. Is that true though? What would we even be comparing it to? If you only look at current gen games you’ve only really got two contenders – Demon’s Souls and Returnal – since all the rest are cross-gen and don’t use the full power.
Rift Apart probably does look better than Demon’s Souls but would you say it was necessarily better than The Last Of Us Part 2? Which I would say is the best looking game of the last gen. You can’t tell for sure until it’s out, obviously, but clearly it’s a contender. Which is exciting whether you’re interested in the game or not.
Nice review of Resident Village, GC. Although obviously I’m a bit gutted it didn’t score better. Sounds like one to pick up in a couple of months when it’s a bit cheaper. Shame it’s not as good as initially hoped but I had a bad feeling about it as soon as this business about it being purposefully less scary came out. And because of customer complaints about Resident Evil 7 too! And people wonder why we don’t get more survival horror, given Resi 7 was pretty mild stuff really.
I will still get the game, but I wonder, GC, where it stands in comparison to the other games? How would you rank all the numbered games and where would Village come? I’m guessing from your review somewhere in the middle? But is it better than Resident Evil 5, for example?
GC: That’s a tricky one, especially as our top three could really be in any order. But it’d probably be something like this:
1. Resident Evil remake
2. Resident Evil 2 remake
3. Resident Evil 4
4. Resident Evil 7
5. Resident Evil Village
6. Resident Evil 3 (remake or otherwise)
7. Resident Evil 5
8. Resident Evil Code: Veronica
9. Resident Evil 0
10. Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 2077
I was a little disappointed to read your Resident Evil Village review, but I guess they can’t all be classics. I was originally going to wait to play the PlayStation 5 version (when I eventually get one) to have the full experience but now I’m thinking I’ll just get the PlayStation 4 one when it’s a bit cheaper.
You obviously reviewed the current gen version but do you know anything about the game’s last gen performance, in particular on a base PlayStation 4? If it’s another Cyberpunk 2077 situation with a major downgrade I’ll stay well clear.
GC: We only played it briefly but there were multiple demos on PlayStation 4, and we aren’t aware of any complaints about its performance.
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Fun per £
Once it became apparent that Returnal was excellent the discourse seemed to focus on the price and whether £70 was fair or justifiable, which I am sure lots of Sony exclusives, regardless of quality, will get beaten with this generation – particularly vs. the wonderful value that is a Game Pass subscription.
So I read with interest today your Resident Evil Village review, which came across as a perfectly enjoyable if rote Resi game, and charged at the very normal and agreeable price of £55.
There is almost no discussion on the price that I’ve seen, which is £55 for a ~10 hour experience. Returnal seems to be, by general consensus, a superior game, and double the playing time for most people.
Obviously I wish Sony hadn’t increased the price at all, in fact while we’re at it I wish they’d give games away for free and the moon on a stick too, but given the choice between a 7/10 experience for £55 or a 9/10 experience for £70? The most expensive of those two games is Resi 8 in my opinion. Yes, I am measuring value in fun, not pounds. (I am buying Resi 8 too regardless, it sounds good!)
Thank you and thanks for the great work you do too.
GC: We always feel a little awkward talking about price, since we don’t actually pay for the games, but if we did we’d agree with your position.
Thank you Marc and GameCentral for help on my Persona 3 question, I will have to have a think what I will do. Possibly might buy FES and Portable.
On another note, for any fans of the Suikoden games who missed the Kickstarter for the Suikoden spiritual successor game Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, you can now back the game and buy merchandise by visiting here.
Currently playing: We Were Here Together (Xbox Series X)
As you routinely state, UK game sales data is becoming more and more unreliable to gauge how big a success (or failure) a release actually is. But how does it all work?
Do you pay the organisations involved to get hold of the data, which can be reproduced on your website, etc.? Are there certain things you cannot divulge to the public? Are the sales stats based on a select number of retailers, as I imagine tracking every single sale would be impossible?
Whenever I see the Japanese sales charts, both hardware and software, they give precise numbers each week – so we get to see, for example, exactly how few Xbox consoles are sold over there(!).
In fact, I’ve always been curious how any sales charts are calculated, for any product.
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Dragon Quest 11 and Super Mario 3D All-Stars
GC: You’ve got it more or less right. A company called Gfk compiles all UK sales data and all you have to do is pay to see it, but it’s very expensive to do so (because they are very thorough) and you have to agree not to share it publicly. Japan’s primarily chart tracker did change to a similar system a year or so ago, but they still have another that releases all the data publicly each week.
The US has only ever had monthly charts, but it also used to be more forthcoming, with at least some sales figures released publicly. So, on a worldwide basis, the video games industry is getting more and more secretive about its sales, making it harder and harder to tell what’s doing well.
The announcement of Flashback 2 may just be the Best Sequel News Ever.
Loved the original, still have the Mega Drive version. The opening cinematic was jaw dropping, the animation groundbreaking, incidental music, and sound effects all spot on.
The way you could run, then roll into a crouching stance and fire was brilliant.
Highly playable even now I would argue. To anyone that would listen, which is a small audience admittedly.
Baby loot system
On October 20, 2009 Gearbox blessed us with a unique system for weapon loot drops, with endless variations of weapons. It proved quite groundbreaking for the structure of weapon drops in the years to come. Borderlands, for me, set the staple for the casual looter shooter with a generated weapon system.
Now I know this colour-coded weapon system has been used in many, many games before Borderlands but for the first person shooter genre I feel Borderlands was the mark for devs to adopt this system from then on.
I do personally feel that the system works very well for the melee based combat games but when it comes to guns, it just feels lacking. Every gun feels the same, every assault rifle feels the same, with the only variation I feel is a choice of fire mode.
The way developers now want you to rinse and repeat the same mission or boss to get a ‘good roll’ of stats for the same gun you’re using or looking to get is personally…. lazy development. Which is also why it just feels stale.
There’s one, just one, solid game that implements the right way to go about weapons in general. I’ve been playing this game for six years now and even when I pick it up after a little break there’s something new to get, a new gun to work for and new mods that make what you made before even better. That game is Warframe.
Now I’ve tried to get others to play and I completely understand why the general casual player, who just wants to pick a gun and shoot things, don’t overly enjoy the game. To be honest, it took a while for me to get fully invested but it makes sense to me now. Every gun is unique, but how to make that gun better takes time and the right mods of your choosing. That opens up a whole array of differences within the same weapon. What you choose to use to power up your weapon is your choice.
If games implemented this system instead of grinding the same boss for a better roll it would make games 10 times better. I just hope one day this boring old system gets looked at, but with games like Outriders it’s clear it’s not going anywhere soon. But to me, games implementing this baby loot system are just stale.
I see Ubisoft released some new DLC for Watch Dogs Legion this week and I rolled my eyes and though, ‘Who would care?’ Just another bland open world Ubisoft game but they keep pushing it. And yet the one that was actually good, Immortals Fenyx Rising, I don’t think I saw a single ad for.
Sat watching the Champions League I see this advert for PlayStation 5 ‘Play has no limits’ on the billboards. What exactly does this mean? Gaming on PlayStation is limited to their device. Xbox is pretty much open to all devices through xCloud. I’m working away this week and still play PUBG on my phone with my mate on his console. That’s no limit.
GC: It’s what those in the business call ‘meaningless marketing jargon’.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tolly, who asks what’s the most obscure game you’ve ever played?
What game have you played that nobody else ever seems to have heard of? Did you like the game and what was its critical consensus, if any? Was the game unusual in any way or was it simply something you’d never heard of before?
How did you find out about it and did the experience encourage you to search for other less well-known games? Do you often try to seek out more obscure games and how do you make your choice of which to play?
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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.
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