Games Inbox: Overwatch 2 flop fears, Bayonetta 3 game of the year, and Italian Super Mario

Overwatch 2 artwork
Overwatch 2 – was it a mistake? (pic: Blizzard)

The Tuesday letters page asks why The Last Of Us actors haven’t played the game, as one reader suggests Jeff Minter play Hyper Demon.

Stemming the tide
Other people may have different experiences, but I’ve also noticed that absolutely none of my friends or acquaintances are talking about Overwatch 2, despite it being free-to-play. I looked up the player numbers, which is difficult to do because it’s not on Steam, but it does seem to be doing okay, if behind things like Apex Legends and Team Fortress 2 – which I would’ve thought were relatively easy to beat in its honeymoon period.

So it hasn’t been a flop but it’s also not breaking any records. I do wonder what the future of the series will be as it seems to be one of those games that is just blundering from one mistake to another and is probably already on a downward trajectory. It’s not Battlefield 2042 but considering how much the game seems to get talked about online I still don’t know anyone that actually plays it.

I still think it was a mistake not to include a story mode, as a lot of that online talk is about the characters and lore, and I have no idea where people get that stuff from. The whole sequel concept seems poorly thought out and kind of a kneejerk reaction to the original losing players. If Overwatch 2 is meant to stop that I don’t think it’s going to work for long.

Never played it
I’ve read that neither of the two stars of The Last Of Us have played the game and have in fact been told not to by the show makers. I’m struggling to understand why this might be and, to be honest, seems to once again show a snobbish attitude towards games even, and especially, when they’re the source material. Would they have said the same thing if it was an adaptation of a book, TV show, or comic book? I think not.

I mean, is that how Hollywood – or whatever you want to call HBO – thinks of us? Below comic books in the pecking order of storytelling medium? The only legitimate reason I can think of is if the game is so close to the show that they don’t want them imitating it, but even if that’s a good idea why make a show that is literally just the game without the gameplay?

I just have a bad feeling about the whole thing. Especially as the basic story of The Last Of Us is just another zombie apocalypse. The novelty of the game was how cinematic it was, but when you’re making a show or movie that doesn’t make a difference anymore.

No change
Much as it pains me to say, nothing is going to change about Pokémon until the games start to sell less than they did. As far as Nintendo is concerned the last few games, and the upcoming new ones, are big step forwards, including in terms of technology. Just not as big as most fans would like.

I completely agree that Game Freak are overworked and understaffed but again, if that is bringing in the money than the profits are going to be much higher with things the way they are now compared to hiring a few thousand extra people.

There is truth in saying that throwing people at a problem (the Microsoft solution to most things) is rarely a good idea but going to the other extreme is just as bad. I actually think that can account for a lot of Sony’s success: their games are big budget and high-tech but never over the top, so they actually get finished on time and have some creative control, instead of being too big to take a risk with.

One game later…
I think it’s pretty clear now that Link’s robot arm is replacing the Sheikah Slate and is the source of his magic abilities. Apart from saying goodbye to the last visual nod to the Wii U what interests me is how quickly and effectively Nintendo has been able to change the look of Link.

His green outfit and silly hate used to be absolutely iconic and yet all it took was one good game to completely change his design and for, almost, nobody to complain. This new statue thing, and everything else we’ve seen of the Tears Of The Kingdom so far has no sign of the green suit and I imagine that means that it’ll once again just bee an Easter egg and that’s it.

I have no great preference one way or the other, I just think it’s interesting how easily something you would’ve argued was central to the game’s appeal is just done away with in one swoop. Makes you wonder how much of other games could be removed, in the spirit of doing something different, and they’d be absolutely fine.

Single flaw
I instantly knew my answer for last week’s Hot Topic: the cape flying in Super Mario World on the SNES. I was never able to execute flying successfully on a consistent basis. The flying in Super Mario Bros. 3m with the racoon tail was so easy – just run then repeatedly tap ‘B’ to fly. Why did they have to complicate it in the next game?! From what I recall you couldn’t just fly, you had to swoop first, and then press up… or something. And if you mistimed it, you’d just glide to the ground. Which I did, regularly.

This is why I always rated Super Mario Bros. 3 above World, this one mechanic for me really spoiled what was otherwise another classic game.
SteJFin (NN ID)

Witch award
What we don’t hear much of on these pages is those willing to back Bayonetta 3 as being a contender for game of the year. Don’t get me wrong: God Of War Ragnarök also has a very good chance, especially as it certainly looks like it’s had more money spent on it.

But… God Of Four (as I like to call it) was only just a 9 out of 10, wasn’t it? It was really elevated by that final boss. Much of it could be, well, a slog. Just as the Sony formula is a bit of a slog. I wish I could put my finger on exactly why that is, but I can’t.

I just got round to Bayonetta 2 and even the first chapter is just so refreshing and vibrant and exciting. Right from the very start. Unlike Devil May Cry 5 it actually has level design! And unlike Platinum’s own Astral Chain it has levels that are a lot of fun to explore and play around in! Not just… okay. It’s almost unfair just how far ahead the Umbran Queen is of her rivals.

And as such, Bayonetta 3 probably has a better shot at game of the year than Ragnarök. At least, in my view. of course, it’s fair to say that Elden Ring has already won at The Video Game Awards. There’s nothing that any other game can do now. Not that their selection is as interesting as GC’s, Edge’s, or your favourite handful of YouTubers.

Voci d’Italia
I can believe that having Charles Martinet as Mario for a whole movie might be a bit much but just having Chris Pratt doing his normal voice is too much. I’m sure there must be plenty of Italian-American actors they could’ve got that would’ve been a much better compromise.

I know they want a big star but apart from Jack Black, who’s not exactly that big, I haven’t heard of any of the others so either it’s not a problem or just do a stunt cast for Toad or someone. Mario being Italian is so intrinsic to his character it just seems pointless not having it.

Forced sale
So I recently decided to purchase the FIFA 23 Ultimate Edition for my Xbox Series S, as my friends all play it. I also decided to purchase around £50 worth of FIFA Points, just to give me a slight boost to my squad. I am clearly the luckiest person on the planet as on that first day I packed Mbappé and Cristiano Ronaldo, and I was buzzing, thinking to myself that when I’ve sold them I’ll be able to build a really good team.

Everything was hunky dory through Saturday. I was experimenting with new players, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I was playing on Sunday until maybe 9 or 9:30pm and decided that was enough for that night, thinking nothing of it having just won a close game. My fiancé and I are sat watching TV and I decide to have a little look on the companion app and to my surprise my entire team, except my untradeable items, have disappeared, I look on my transfer market and a bunch of players are up for sale.

Now at this point I’m confused, I know for a fact that I didn’t sell them as I didn’t have the coins to show for it so, the only conclusion I could come to was that I had been hacked. I have contacted EA by both web chat (where two of the agents just left the chat without saying anything) and phone call to be told that there has been no suspicious activity on my account so they can’t do anything. Now I am out of pocket.

While, yes, I have the game I have not benefitted from the FIFA Points I got with the Ultimate Edition or the FIFA Points that I purchased. EA has some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced. Whilst I understand that they can’t entirely take my word for what has happened I have no reason to lie about it.

I have checked and I am not the only person that is having this issue. So, the way I see it is they need to do something about it. I have bought every FIFA since FIFA 2003, at least, and I believe it is unacceptable that they are not willing to even try and help.

Inbox also-rans
Can someone send Jeff Minter a copy of Hyper Demon please. I’ve a sneaking suspicion he’ll enjoy this cracker (a game of the year contender in my humble opinion).
Will Sargent

What does Blizzard mean, they can’t give refunds for DLC? Just give those affected free in-game currency. Bingo, you’re done. These companies really are outrageous in how willing they are to treat their customers like scum.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Chevy Malibu (PSN ID) and asks what is your most replayed video game?

You can count multiplayer games if you want but ideally we want to know what game you come back to every few years to play through again. What is it about the game that you enjoy revisiting so often and how much of it is due to nostalgia and other external factors?

What makes a game replayable and do you consider it an important feature? Are there any games you don’t have the time or skill to replay again or perhaps there’s some for which once was enough, even though you enjoyed it the first time.

Original Article

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