The Friday letters page reacts to Wednesday night’s Nintendo Direct, as another reader is keen to see a PS Vita 2.
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The Nintendo difference
So Nintendo did their thing and showed us what is coming in the first half of the year, and to be honest most of it looked really good. I was very happy to see more of Zelda and the Metroid Prime remaster, but all this begs the question, where does Nintendo go with the successor to the Switch?
As good as Zelda looks and plays, it must be hard work to get it running to an acceptable standard and for developers it must be blunting their ability to create new and expansive experiences on hardware that was out of date before the Switch was even released in 2017.
So what is next? Another hybrid? I would personally like to see Nintendo go back to doing a proper console like the Xbox Series X/S or PlayStation 5 and not be held back by the power constraints of having a sometimes portable console.
Nintendo never seem to do the same thing twice with home consoles besides, with the Wii/Wii U which didn’t work out for them.
It will be interesting to find out, what is your guess GC?
GC: They’ll never go back to making a traditional home console. The Switch has a chance of being the best-selling console of all-time, it makes no financial sense to go back to being just one of three similarly specced boxes under your TV. Nintendo’s modern success relies entirely on them being different to their competitors.
Whilst it wasn’t the best Nintendo Direct ever on Wednesday night, I found it very solid with good new info on existing games and a nice surprise with the tease of a new Professor Layton. Zelda looked predictably great and I am glad to see Advance Wars finally coming out.
Correct me if I am wrong, but now every already announced first party Nintendo game has a release date no later than July, except Metroid Prime 4. So will that be the big Christmas game? If not, I am short on ideas for what unannounced game or two Nintendo have to reveal. I would like a new F-Zero but that seems unlikely. Maybe Luigi’s Mansion 4?
Pigfish2 (PSN ID/NN ID)
GC: The rumour has been that they don’t have a major release for Christmas and after Zelda will just be coasting their way to the Switch 2 next year. It is only a rumour though, so Metroid Prime 4 remains a possibility.
What a great Nintendo Direct that was. Pikmin 4 looks delightful and it coming in July suggests Nintendo has stuff for the rest of the year.
It’s brilliant that Ghost Trick is coming, I’ve wanted a port of that for so long. I saw somewhere it’s going to be multiformat, so it’s great more people get to enjoy it.
I’m very happy for another Katamari reroll, a new Fantasy Life, the return of Professor Layton, and Advance Wars finally getting a release. The new Yoshi’s Island track for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe looks gorgeous. I’m intrigued by the new title from Don’t Nod, with Celeste’s composer – that’s a fine combination of talents.
On top of all that we got another look at The Legend Of Zelda: Nuts & Bolts, err… Tears Of The Kingdom. They seem to still be keeping details of the game, and even plot, purposely vague but it looks stuffed with new ideas.
The rumoured Game Boy/GBA games are now on Nintendo Switch Online and, most importantly, Kuru Kuru Kururin is one of them; if you have the Expansion Pack I urge you to play it. I’d say launching these means they don’t see the Switch bowing out until later next year, unless the next console is backwards compatible of course.
Finally, the most exciting part, Metroid Prime Remastered shadow dropping after the presentation and getting a physical release. I downloaded it as soon as I could and played the opening section before I had to get some sleep. It looks so good on the Switch OLED. I honestly didn’t expect the remaster to have had so much done to it and I envy those who get to play it for the first time.
The Direct was packed with a bunch of other news but these were my highlights, now excuse me, I need to get lost in Tallon IV.
GC: It’s a really nice remaster, almost a remake. We’ll have a review as soon as we can.
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I am pleasantly surprised about how nice the Game Boy Advance games look on Switch. It was a great little console, but I only ever owned the original version without a backlit screen and it’s a bit of a revelation to see the games looking vibrant and the graphics holding up very well for a 20+ year handheld.
I do love the first WarioWare, it’s perfect for a short burst of gaming.
GC: We really hope they release Drill Dozer, which is a great platform game by Game Freak that never got released in Europe.
I agree 100% with Mick and his letter from Thursday: Sony are missing a trick by not making a PS Vita 2. I know that they are putting all of their eggs into the mobile gaming basket, as it is easier releasing a few controller grips here and there, that connect to your smartphone. And yes, you can play most games via your phone.
But this is not the point. The PS Vita 2000 I bought recently via eBay for £65 (Xmas pressie to my 53 year old self!) is one of the best handhelds I have ever played. And the fact that I have Destruction Derby, Ridge Racer 4, Tekken for the price of a beer each from the PlayStation Store is a retro dream come true!
Basically, they could easily release a bigger version (think Steam Deck) make it backwards compatible with every PlayStation game ever released, as well as the ability to remotely access your games on PlayStation 4 and 5 (which it does already!) means that Sony could just sit back and cash in!
The alternative is do what I did: eBay, jailbreak it (as it is easy to do but not for me) and play literally every game you could possibly wish anywhere on the go from any console!
I may even buy a second Vita just to jailbreak! It’s so ahead of its time but my point is that a bigger version with full software support and a line-up of AAA titles would not fail to outsell the Switch.
GC: You think it’d be at least the third best selling console of all time?
Just catching up on last night’s Nintendo Direct and I thought it was a pretty eventful showing. Can’t wait to plant Pikmin 4’s new icy seedlings and cuddly canine companion in fun strategic ways. Hope it goes on to become an evergreen seller.
Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom had me wanting to learn more about the nuts and bolts of its new traversal mechanics. Felt a nostalgic twitch from the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games hitting the Switch. New Professor Layton already has the old grey matter sizzling, and Ghost Trick Switch was a pleasant surprise. Japanese role-playing fans were dealt a good hand with the Baten Kaitos news, Nintendo has finally turned and based their thinking on logic so Advance Wars 1+2 will finally deploy soon.
Bayonetta Origins looks more promising than originally thought, Yoshi’s Island course and Birdo in Mario Kart 8 DLC should make waves, and I hope Splatoon 3’s Side Order DLC is as artistically appetising as its title screen suggests – and equals the Octo Expansion’s voluminous virtues.
Metroid Prime Remastered’s shadow drop shadowboxed my senses. It looks so much more than just a lazy higher resolution update, borders on remake territory, it looks gorgeous. Some rumblings about the sequels not being included in the revival but I don’t think that’s reasonable nor fair on the big N, considering the sheer effort that has seemingly gone into the remaster.
That was undoubtedly one of the better Nintendo Directs in recent years, the Switch’s swansong year(s) should be a memorable one!
Blow don’t suck
I’ve been enjoying The Last Of Us TV show. Not much of a spoiler but in episode four Joel is siphoning petrol from an old car and clearly blows into the pipe rather than sucks. I don’t blame him but you won’t get the fuel out that way.
It got me thinking if the apocalypse happens after we’ve gone all electric we won’t be able to use any of the vehicles to get away from the mushroom zombies. Better keep a few bicycles stashed near your bunkers.
Johnny Alpha SD
Currently playing: Death’s Door and Battlefield 2042
Take back what I wrote the other day about being disappointed if Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom isn’t the best video game ever made. Well, I will obviously be disappointed having said that, but my expectations have certainly dialled down after watching the latest trailer.
While it still doesn’t reveal a great deal, there are some worrying signs if (triple underlined) this is representative of the full game.
First, from what can be gleaned, it looks as if they’re using more or less the same landscapes, with the addition of floating islands, some new tricks and monsters. But no real changes aesthetically, terraforming, floods, etc. that could’ve introduced additional variety to a very well-trodden path (at least for me).
There’s no indication that the game will have dungeons or make any significant aesthetic changes such as a broader colour palette. As beautiful as the landscapes, mood, and lighting effects are in Breath Of The Wild, the aesthetic of the shrines and divine beasts could’ve been more varied. No obvious graphical enhancements either, assuming anything more can be squeezed out of the ageing console.
The most worrying thing, and granted this is likely farmed out to a third party, is the awful voice acting. Hopefully you can switch to Japanese with subtitles as you can in Breath Of The Wild. But it could be a sign that they haven’t made minor tweaks like this to elements that many gamers would’ve welcomed and were justly critical of.
I have no doubt that the game will be great but at this rate I’ll be happy if it’s as good as Breath Of The Wild. The trouble there is that while Breath Of The Wild is arguably the greatest video game ever made, it is over five years old now and there are obvious tweaks that could easily be made to enhance the game.
But it’s changes that none of us would’ve imagined that makes Nintendo so magical and so far there’s nothing I’ve seen that makes me go ‘wow’ and be stunned by what they were able to come up with. I’m holding out hope, though, that there will be some big and wonderful surprises. After all, there is very little to go on from what they have revealed.
However, it is starting to look like we are getting more of the same with a few extras on top and minor novelty elements. Essentially a DLC Super Deluxe. Even taking Covid into account, it’s hard to see from the trailers so far why it would’ve taken so long to make.
Concluding with a quote from the German philosophers and cultural critics, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer:
‘The promissory note of pleasure issued by the plot and packaging
is indefinitely prolonged: the promise, which actually comprises
the entire show, disdainfully intimates that there is nothing more
to come, that the diner must be satisfied with reading the menu.’
I hope that the meal does, after all, prove more satisfying.
GC: There was barely a minute of proper gameplay footage and so virtually no information to go on for any of the things you’ve mentioned. The only thing we’d agree with is the awful voice acting – Zelda is still dreadful.
I am all for a DS renaissance, definitely one of my favourite consoles of all time and the one that got me back into gaming after an almost 10 year absence.
I didn’t understand that Splatoon 3 DLC reveal at all. Why spend all that time telling you that there’s zero new functionality or items? And then it turns out it costs £24.99?!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader DM58 and asks what video game would you most like to see turned into a TV show?
Video game movies have seen some improvement in the last few years but it’s TV show The Last Of Us, along with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and Arcane, that has been the critical breakthrough, so what other games and franchises would you like to see get a similar treatment?
What format what you like it to have in terms of being live action or animated? Are there any particular actors, directors, or writers you’d like to see involved and how many episodes and seasons should the show run for?
E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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