Games Inbox: Are you playing more video games since the coronavirus outbreak?

The Monday Inbox hears more PlayStation 2 20th anniversary memories, as one reader is okay with no more Prince Of Persia games.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Home entertainment
So… these are pretty grim days for everyone. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has been going out less lately, even though I’m not in a vulnerable group. And of course the obvious thing to do when you’re stuck in home is play video games. Not new ones, of course, because they’re aren’t any (although I may take a chance on Nioh 2) but I have going back to God Of War to try and 100% it and I’ve started playing Destiny 2 again for the first time in ages.

I can’t imagine I’m going to be the only in this situation, even though I find my mind keeps wandering while playing. Now that the inexplicable games drought is ending some really interesting stuff is coming out too and I will be saving the money I don’t spend from going out to get Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake earlier than I probably would have.

Hopefully they will be good enough to take my mind off everything and the time will go quicker than I expected, but yeah… my thoughts go out to anyone that’s suffering with them or a relative actually having the virus. Suddenly makes all our bickering about video games, as if that really matters, seem very trivial.

Cometh the hour, cometh the game
Nice article on holiday-themed video games at the weekend. I’ve got a feeling video games are going to become very important over the coming months, as they’re one of the only things people don’t need to go out for and also allow you to keep in contact with family and friends. It’s ironic then that we’ve had such a long games drought but it’s coming to an end at just the right time and Animal Crossing: New Horizons in particular looks like the perfect game to lighten everyone’s spirits.

It’s a game literally anyone can play it – my gran has enjoyed previous ones – and there’s absolutely no violence or unpleasantness in it. There is medicine but only for if you get stung by wasps (or anything that’s new in the new game!)

I’m certainly looking forward to it and will be using it to check in daily with my sister as we play together. She’s always liked it too and I’m hoping the voice chat won’t be too awkward that we can use it all the time. Suddenly I’m less interesting in pretending to shoot people online and would rather just catch some fish with them.

Starting a conversation
I knew Naughty Dog was one of the worst developers for relying on crunch so I’m not surprised to find out that it’s being used for The Last Of Us Part 2 and that once it got delayed they just extended the crunch instead of not having to do it. I’m also not surprised at that lack of empathy from some people, who seem to prefer to call people ‘weak’ and laugh at them then offer a shred of compassion.

For myself, I have decided no to get the game, as I do not want to reward Naughty Dog for their actions and be complicit in having people hospitalised and quitting their jobs just because of a video game. I’m not suggesting everyone should do this, you must do what your own conscience demands, but I urge those that are uncomfortable with the situation to also consider boycotting.

That’s the only way these companies will change, as clearly the developers themselves have no power over anything. I’m sure there won’t be nearly enough people that skip the game for Sony to even notice, but I hope we can cause enough noise that it at least starts a conversation at these companies.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Time loop
If Hideo Kojima ends up working on Silent Hills again, even if it’s via Sony, will that count as the biggest waste of time ever for a video game? He left Konami in 2015 and assuming he hasn’t started yet it’s going to be 2022 tops before Silent Hills is ready for release again, when it presumably would’ve originally come out in 2017 or thereabouts.

Maybe Konami are now thinking that actually, getting rid of the world’s most famous game developer wasn’t such a good idea. I’m just shocked that they’re getting a second chance with all this, because they don’t deserve it.

I’m also surprised that so much fuss is being made over Silent Hill, a series which to my knowledge has never been especially successful and is in a genre that’s less popular than ever. Personally, I’d rather he did something original, but there’s no denying that the P.T. demo wasn’t very promising.

As seen on TV
On Click on the BBC iPlayer the latest episode this weekend just gone has a 10-minute article about Half-Life: Alyx, if you are interested in it and like me won’t be getting it because it is so expensive. Unless of course, in a few years’, time they decide to release it on PlayStation VR2.
Andrew J.
PS: Also, Shantae Half-Genie Hero is now free on Xbox Gold at the moment, it was on my wishlist but now it has been given away free on Gold I have got it. Although I bought one of the previous games on 3DS, it’s an
excellent Metroidvania game.

Lesser exclusives
A bit late to the PlayStation 2 20th year lovefest but I was interested to see what others were going to list as their favourite games on that console. What slightly surprised me was stuff that was missing more than anything.

I can’t argue with the Ratchet & Clank/Jak & Daxter series, Ico, Shadow Of The Colossus, all great games I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Same applies to many of the others people mentioned which I’ve played too.

But did anyone include the Onimusha series, Ace Combat series, Maximo (1 and 2), the under-appreciated PlayStation 2 Tenchu games and closely related Shinobido?

With the PlayStation 2 the thing which made it stand out for me were the games that gave it depth in quality across a wide range of genres. There were the PC ports like Deus Ex, Half-Life, and The Operative: Nobody Lives Forever and Giants: Citizen Kabuto. But it was that delight in the discovery of those ‘lesser’, usually exclusive, games which turned out to be well worth playing, even if sometimes flawed, which I remember the PlayStation 2 for as much as the highly regarded ones.

In that category I’d cite Haunting Ground, Mark Of Kri and its NTSC-only sequel Rise Of The Kasai, Thunderhawk: Operation Phoenix, Gungriffon Blaze, Naval Ops series, Drakan: The Ancient Gates, Dropship UPF, Kagero 2: Dark Illusion (Trapt) and plenty of others too.

Happy birthday PlayStation 2 and thanks for the many hours of entertainment we’ve had from you.
Malcolm Lawn

Hourly occupation
The PlayStation 2 to me will always have a fond place in my gaming heart, because it was my first foray into a ‘modern’ game console.

Before this I had only played Game Boy and Master System platform games, but after seeing the graphics and the sheer range of games available I became a PlayStation convert.

The quality of the games, the graphics, and the stories was mind-blowing and kept me gaming for hours. You could be involved in a war at breakfast, playing in the NBA at dinner time and boxing for a world title at tea time!

My all-time favourite PlayStation 2 game was Fight Night 2 it was truly awesome and kept me entertained for months!
Owen Hollifield

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Perfectly timed
I’m eagerly awaiting your review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, GC.

It’s obvious at this point that it’s going to be good, probably the best it’s ever been and looking at the hype on the Internet and social media it’s going to be a massive success.

I’m excited to know exactly how much more they’ve added to it as it’s been pretty much the same for years but New Horizons seems like it’s going up a notch and then some!

A friend asked me why it’s being anticipated so much and I asked myself the same question, why am I looking forward to it so much?

Well, the world isn’t a nice place, especially with all the doom and gloom at the moment and Animal Crossing is a nice place to be; it’s cute, it’s charming, it’s lovely, it’s relaxing, it’s a world I’d like to live in.

Also, working and having to look after my child who has severe autism means at the end of the day, in the evening I’m exhausted. I sometimes have about two hours after my son has gone to sleep but recently I’m finding I’m too exhausted to play games such as Dark Souls or The Witcher 3, or Dragon Ball FighterZ, or Astral Chain and Cuphead. They’re just too demanding.

Animal Crossing, however, is different, I won’t have to worry about my HP, my weapons, what level I’m at, what quest I need to do, what input commands I need to learn. With Animal Crossing I can relax and unwind.

I think that’s why I’m looking forward to it so much… I really cannot wait!

GC: You won’t have to for the review, as the embargo is this afternoon.

Inbox also-rans
Agree on the consensus about Call Of Duty: Warzone, it’s very good. As others have said, I’m not sure about the lastability but I’m definitely enjoying it at the moment.

I’m not sure I even want Ubisoft to bring back Prince Of Persia. They’ve messed it up so many times, it was only the Sands Of Time that was any good. I don’t want another grimdark misery game.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gifford, who asks you to imagine your ideal next gen sequel.

Take any game or franchise that already exists and imagine it for the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. How would it differ from current versions and how would it take advantage of the superior graphics and faster load times? What other features do you hope it will have and what would’ve been impossible in the current gen?

How likely do you think what you’ve suggested is? What are you most excited about in the next gen: sequels or brand new titles that haven’t been announced yet?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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.

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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