The Tuesday letter page has an unusual tip for saving money on Xbox and PS Plus, as a reader is disappointed by the new presenters of Splatoon 3.
To join the discussions please email [email protected]
exception to the rule
To reply to TommyFatFingers. I pretty much never buy games on launch day. I think the last time I did it was whatever Call Of Duty was a decade ago (Black Ops 2 maybe?) because shops were always doing crazy deals to get people in so I probably bought it for £25 with my Tesco store or something. I usually just wait until things drop in price or go on sale, relying on my absurd delay to bail me out during quiet periods. But there’s one game you might have to make an exception for: Return To Monkey Island.
I mentioned it here before, it’s a game I’ve been waiting for almost 25 years, ever since I played the original two for the first time and found out Curse Of Monkey Island wasn’t the third game Ron had planned. Gilbert. I’ve long since accepted the fact that it was never going to happen, so unless the reviews are absolutely horrendous, that’s going to be my first release day, full-price purchase in as many years.
sparky the yak
In response to TommyFatFingers letter. There are some games that I plan to buy at full price.
Splatoon 3. I love Splatoon 2 and now I’m in Asia. So I plan on playing a lot more Splatoon now that I hope to be in a better populated area for this game. I already signed up on the day of the Splatoon 3 tournament launch.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I skipped Call Of Duty last year due to the WWII setting and didn’t enjoy the beta much. But if the beta is good and the DMZ mode has a good hook, I’ll buy the new one on day one. I also play Warzone with my friends, so Call Of Duty benefits me a lot.
Mario + Rabbids sparks of hope. The first game was brilliant and they have enough prestige with me that they would have to do something incredibly bad with the game for me not to buy it.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. It’s Zelda, it’s Nintendo. I have faith.
You may ask why I plan to pay full price for these games. Planning doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll do it. I will still read reviews and check pictures before handing over my cash. Same as TommyFatFingers. I plan it to be able to budget. I sit back and think, ‘These are games I probably want to play on day one’ and then put aside the £60-70 each.
Law of diminishing hosts
I can’t wait for Splatoon 3, but the global Splatfest has left me a bit disappointed because the hosts of Splatoon 3 are absolutely horrible.
In 1, we had the Squid Sisters Callie and Marie, who joked around as they announced the stages. You could see their reactions to each other’s jokes.
In 2 we had Pearl and Marina, almost as cool but less of a joker.
In 3 we have Shiver, Frye and Big Man. Horrible generic names. I mean, big man? When the stages are shown, it’s only on the TV Big Man is holding, you don’t see Shiver and Frye’s chat and reactions.
The worst part is Frye’s design, it’s like they created a character using strictly basic geometric shapes. Horrible.
CG: Callie and Marie was also a much better pun.
Email your feedback to: [email protected]
I recently played Rage 2. I found the combat/gunplay to be absolutely excellent, it never got old. Really fun, the rest of the game was horrible of course. To be honest, it was annoying to have such a great gun set with everything else around it shoddy.
A letter in GC today mentioned Mad Max, a game that had never been on my radar, so I googled your review.
Please explain to me how the same developer made these two games?
One is excellent on foot and really horrible in vehicles. The other is superb in vehicles and quite horrible on foot.
If you took elements of the gameplay from these two games and put them together, sprinkle in a little of Obsidian’s writing and imagination and you have great potential…
Strangely, Bethesda is connected to all three.
CG: Rage 2 was co-developed with id Software, so they handled the first person combat and Avalanche did the open world. Mad Max was also probably a different in-house team, not to mention the budget differences between the two games.
I know this may be a gray area for some, but does anyone use foreign stores to buy games or subscriptions? For example, I got three years of Game Pass Ultimate for £48 by buying Brazilian Xbox Live and then using the £1 upgrade to switch to Game Pass. I also use sites like Gamivo and Eneba to buy Xbox games sometimes for half the retail price. For example, I got the Elden Ring at launch for £24.
There are also sites where people in certain countries will send you the game for free, then you change your region via VPN or the console, then redeem the code. Using the same method on PSN via Turkey I got two years of top tier PS Plus (they don’t do the streaming tier) for £44 and can play and access games and all PS Plus benefits by setting my console to home one.
I’ve been doing this, especially on Xbox (since it’s easier), for about four or five years now and while I’m sharing the game with a friend, everything gets cut in half. I was wondering how many people, if any others, also do the same thing.
AreOhBe85 (Player ID/PSN)
Kicking while they’re down
It’s pretty clear that PlayStation 5 hasn’t changed in price in the US because it’s the biggest region for PlayStation and Xbox is very competitive domestically. Some gamers have suggested that Xbox should lower the prices of its consoles to give Sony a bloody nose, but I don’t see that as very realistic given that they’re now cheaper in every region besides the US. However, if Xbox has a discless Xbox Series X in the works, now would be the time to release it.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we hear news of a cheaper (all digital) Xbox Series X very soon…
Very saddened by the news of Oliver Frey’s death, the creators of the Bedroom to Billions documentaries made a tribute video to him as he did many illustrations for their documentaries.
PS: The free games on the Epic Games Store currently are Destiny 2, Ring Of Pain, and DLC for Knockout City. You have until Thursday at 16:00 to claim the free games and content.
Just a quick heads up that you might want to give Islets a try if you have a bit of room in your review schedule. Yes, it’s another standalone Metroidvania, but it takes the standard template and pulls it off, so we’ll do it, and with an absolute minimum of friction.
It’s not an absolute world beater, but it does everything exactly the way you’d want from this type of game. He is my first true hidden gem of the year.
CG: We’ll see if we can include it, but we’d appreciate a reader feature if you have the time.
I have to go fast
Warning: possible spoilers for Sonic Frontiers, a game most of us won’t play, but instead point and laugh.
So today, most developers only come up with a build of a game that they have ready to go and then restrict the amount of time it can be played. It makes a lot of sense as it saves resources as no one has to demo and everyone can focus solely on making the game the best it can be. Also, while we all enjoyed demo discs from our youth, they’re pretty unnecessary right now with the popularity of cloud gaming and Steam’s two-hour return policy on game time, essentially allowing us to everyone the opportunity to “try before you buy”.
Hilariously, a player at Gamescom managed to get to the point where Knuckles appears in Sonic Frontiers, supposedly three stages later. All players on the ‘demo’ had 15 minutes to play before being cut, but this player went pretty far. . Honestly, how Sega didn’t realize this could happen given that Sonic games have always appealed to speed racers is pretty puzzling, but it does present an interesting look at the problems that come from not making proper demos for a game.
Maybe the time limit should only be an option for demos downloaded from digital stores, and developers should make real demos for game shows/conventions to avoid issues like this.
CG: We’re starting to think that every time Sega makes a Sonic game, they immediately erase it from their memory when it’s over. That would explain a lot.
Inbox also ran
I know many countries are looking into the Activision Blizzard acquisition to see if it’s fair, but does every country have to agree and say it’s okay to go ahead? Or is it that if one country says no, then the deal can’t go ahead?
CG: No, but they may limit the operation of Activision Blizzard in your country. Though if it’s a major market, especially the US, the whole deal is likely to be called off.
I’m glad to hear that Sony is spending their money buying mobile developers and will instantly put them to work creating live service games. If there’s one thing I think of when I hear the word PlayStation, it’s live service mobile games that attract money and are designed solely for the 1% of people who spend money on them.
This week’s hot topic
This weekend’s inbox topic was suggested by reader Pinky, who asks what do you do when you’re stuck in a video game?
As technology has changed, so has the way people approach difficult games, whether it’s because they’re stuck on a puzzle, don’t know where to go, or simply because it’s just too hard. So what do you usually do? Looking for text-based help online, watching a video, asking a friend, or something else?
Do you still buy physical guides and if so is it mainly to help you play the game or more as a collector’s item?
Email your feedback to: [email protected]
the fine print
New inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special hot topic inboxes on the weekends. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.
You can also submit your own 500-600 word Reader Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which, if used, will be displayed in the next available weekend slot.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter.
MORE: Gaming Inbox: Saints Row and the worst game of 2022, Dead Island 2 surprise and GTA 6 unofficial chat
MORE: Hot Topic of the Weekend: Your Favorite Open World Game
MORE: Gaming Inbox: PS5 Price Hike Anger, GoldenEye 007 25th Anniversary & RIP Oli Frey
To send inbox letters and reader features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Send Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check out our games page.