Games Inbox: What should the next Xbox console be known as?
The night Inbox thinks video games are too fast handy out 18 rankings, as one reader decides Onrush isn’t for them.
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Names are difficult
I’m here to ask the most important question about the next gen, that I’m surprised hasn’t come up more till now: what are they going to call the next Xbox?
You may laugh but I’m relatively serious because I don’t see what they’re going to do. The Xbox One was a terrible name. It doesn’t seem to refer to anything specific and it makes talking about the first one very difficult, plus there’s nowhere to go from there. Xbox Two is obviously not going to work but what else? Just some generic Xbox Next, Xbox Extreme, or Xbox Ultra?
If it’s not going to be that then it’d have to be something that reflects something the console does that’s unique. But maybe it’s too soon for Xbox Stream? Xbox Portable? Xbox Hybrid? Sony has got it so easy in this department because they were first to do a numbering system and they just get to stick with that.
23 year cycle
I have a terrible feeling the Sonic Mania is as good as Sonic is ever going to get in the modern age. As you point out, after that they immediately went back to their old ways with Sonic Forces. And while the new racing game might be good I think that’ll be in spite of Sonic and not because of him. I just have no faith in Sonic Team ever being able to make a good Sonic game on their own and I don’t know why they’ve been allowed to be in charge of it for so long.
I’m also disappointed to learn that Sonic Mania Plus adds so little. It’s basically just an excuse to release it in a boxed set, which they should’ve done the first time round but now seems kind of pointless. I don’t know or care anything about the new characters and would much rather have had some new (not remixed) courses.
Hopefully the same team can make a proper follow-up, and maybe that’s why there was nothing that new added to Plus. I hope so or it could be another 23 years before we get another good Sonic game.
Some good Reader’s Features again this weekend. I particularly liked the one about Fortnite and how the guy handled the situation with his son. I appreciate the way this whole subject has been handled on Metro actually, which is as sober and sensible as I have come to expect from GameCentral.
Every child is different but this means that we cannot take the stance that games never have an effect on children anymore than they always do. Sitting at a screen pretending to murder people for four hours a day is not something you can do without it having any influence on you, especially if you’re young and especially if they’re super violent (i.e. more so than Fortnite).
I just wish there was some proper research into the issue, rather than the usual terrible studies that end up having interviewed a handful of people with very poor methodology.
PS: I’ve noticed the evening Inbox being published very late some days, is there any particular reason for this?
GC: The evening Inbox’s lateness is an indication of how long we have to wait till we have enough letters to make it worthwhile. We’ve come very close to just cancelling it a few times, which is not unusual for this time of year but we do need people to make a special effort during the summer months. We’re also running out of Reader’s Features and currently have none ready for this weekend.
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I’m not surprised to hear of the ignorance of parents with regard to age ratings. Clearly there are games with a subject matter and portrayals that a sensible person wouldn’t want small kids to play, but beyond that it gets rather hazy for me.
It seems to be incredibly easy for a game to get a high age rating. Films these days have to do an awful lot to get an 18 rating, with 15 usually being the ceiling. With games, even mainstream not particularly violent games seem to find it very easy to get a 16 or 18 rating simply by virtue of most game characters becoming mass killers.
Uncharted series is 16, Star Wars: Battlefront II is 16. You wouldn’t get Disney allowing a 15-rated Star Wars film these days.
In most cases I simply don’t trust these ratings.
GC: Star Wars films have never been 15-rated.
I picked up Onrush thanks to the reduced price (I couldn’t pick it up before due to not having the necessary funds available before), and… well, I’m not sure how much playtime I’ll be getting out of it, to be honest.
When you mentioned the similarities to Overwatch, I had no idea that also included loot boxes that you had to grind for to unlock the (thankfully cosmetic-only) extras, and while I appreciate the more substantial single-player content I find the presentation so obnoxious it’s like the game’s doing its best to make me hate it.
I guess when I mentioned I was looking for a good arcade racer I meant something a bit more traditional. I’m glad I gave Onrush a chance, I think it’s got some great ideas and I hope it finds a strong community. I guess it’s just not my cup of tea.
GC: It didn’t find a strong community, which is likely to reduce the chances of new arcade racers even more – traditional or otherwise.
All or nothing
I too wondered what was going to happened with The Crew 2 after it bombed. I can see the comparisons with Rainbow Six Siege, but while a lot of reviews complained about a lack of content they all said the core game was solid. I don’t think that’s really the case with The Crew 2.
I think that’s the problem with modern big budget gaming: companies have to bet so much money on something that they’re petrified of dong anything too unusual or that might not appeal to the widest possible crowd. And then when they do fail they take hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people down with them.
At least when a movie flops those people have already been paid and they can move on. With games, obviously everyone is being paid up till release but after that their jobs are on the line. On movies people are just contracted for the film itself and are essentially all freelance, outside a few specific positions. Maybe games should be more like that than having a solid job for when one game’s being made and then it’s a flip of the coin after that.
Believe in your soul
RE: Clearcut’s Dark Souls letter. Anyone that’s had the misfortune to co-op the From games with me would say I’m average at best at games. However, I’ve managed to complete all five in the series, mainly offline it should be said – to avoid invasions (people who invade tend to be really good or really sneaky in my opinion).
Don’t let the reputation deter you I say, progress would be slow but if I can beat these games then anyone can.
Chevy_Malibu (PSN ID)
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Best to worst
Just wanted to agree on the Octopath Traveler praise, it’s been a real blast so far. And (as usual, I might add) GC’s review seems spot on so far. Which is to say the major problem seems to be the story. With eight characters I guess it’s already unlikely that they’re all going to be hits but I already can’t stand Ophilia who is such a wimpy anime heroine I kept assuming she’d been set-up specifically to subvert that trope, but no… she really is that much of a wuss.
Olberic is almost as bad with his angsty tough guy backdrop, which is also very anime cliche, and I can’t help thinking how much better the game would be if an effort was to make the script as modern as possible but keep the gameplay and graphics as it is. That would be my ultimate Japanese role-player.
Apart from maybe Ophilia I don’t hate any of the characters but they’re not leaving as much of an impression on me as I hoped. Alfyn is probably my favourite and H’aanit might have been the best overall if it wasn’t for that terrible olde timey dialogue they’ve tried to give her. I think that probably made more sense in the original Japanese, but then I get the feeling that’s true about a lot of role-playing scripts.
I don’t know if you guys have seen it already but this live action Uncharted short film was just uploaded to YouTube and it’s better than it has any right to be. Nathan Fillion may be getting on a bit now but he’s still a great fit for the role of Drake and it seems a lot closer an adaptation than the proposed version that was knocking about a few years ago.
EiichiHoba (PSN ID)
GC: Thanks, we have a story about it here.
People are getting ‘tricked’ into being racist on Rainbow Six Siege, eh? I bet when these people didn’t do their homework it was because their dog ate it.
This week’s Hot Topic
Since we’re now halfway through the year, the subject for this weekend’s Hot Topic is what do you think of the last six months in gaming and what has been your favourite game so far?
2017 was lauded as one of the best ever for video games, so how is 2018 doing in comparison? What new games, that were released for the first time this year, have you enjoyed the most and do you feel any of them are all-time classics?
You can see our top 10 of the year so far here, but how does it compare to yours? If you haven’t bought many new games this year what have you been playing and what are you intending to get in the second half of the year?
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