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Price Gougers Are Charging Over $450 For A Switch On Amazon

Nintendo Switch prices on Amazon have sky-rocketed since it started to become clear people were going to have to stay at home for the foreseeable future.

As most people around the world have become forced to spend almost all of their time at home, more people than normal have turned to video games. Nintendo will have benefited greatly from that as chances are most casual/non-gamers will have turned to the Switch. However, news that the outbreak has affected shipments of the console from Asia has had an unwanted effect.

It has resulted in price gougers charging exorbitant amounts for the console, and desperate Switch-less gamers coughing up the money. Numbers provided by Thinknum revealed Amazon’s Switch prices started to rise around March 13, 2020. Since then, things have gotten out of hand as the average price has risen from the regular retail price of $299 to a staggering $452. That’s a 52% price-hike.

Amazon claims to be one step ahead of price gougers in most instances but in this case, that doesn’t appear to be true. In fairness, it is probably busy tackling the face masks and hand sanitizer being sold on its site. Both products have also seen their fair share of price gouging for obvious reasons. The bad news? Anyone who wants a Switch right now is going to have to pay handsomely for the privilege.

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eSports

We Are Nations: Adapting to the new normal

Note: This is a guest piece from Patrick Mahoney, CEO of We Are Nations

Today is the start of our third week of working from home. I’ve developed what I think is a pretty good routine – it’s important to do so – and I’m sticking to it.

Every morning starts at 8:00 am with a massive pot of coffee. 8:30 am to 1:00 pm are back-to-back phonecalls, which – to be honest – isn’t all the different from normal. But as I mentioned last week, I am making sure to speak to new contacts both outside my normal circle and also outside of We Are Nation’s normal business focus. These calls especially have been really enjoyable and I hope they ultimately turn in to opportunity we normally wouldn’t come across.

After the calls, I head outside (alone, of course) for a run or a bike ride. Keeping active is just as important as keeping up a routine. I’ve been an endurance athlete for years so putting in the hours isn’t new to me, but now more than ever I use this time to find clarity. One of the ironies I’ve discovered resulting from social distancing is that the reality of the new communication is even more dependent on multiple concurrent conversations by email, text, Zoom, WhatsApp, GroupMe, and every other app out there. I’ve also noticed that people are (gasp!) even using the phone more. So no matter what, you still have to find ways to “step away” for a break to keep fresh and stay centred.

By late afternoon, I’m back at home to finish up the day. However, my days are not as intense at the moment. For the first week, I felt guilty about this. But then I decided that feeling guilty didn’t make any sense because the fact of the matter is that when this crisis ends, our normal lives will come roaring back. Some of us will eat out every day for a month. Some of us will go see every band or every movie that is playing. And at the same time, the “live side” business of esports will come back – the tournaments, the consumer shows and the conferences. Our businesses will be back up and firing on all cylinders and our travel schedules will be just as crazy as they were a month or two ago.

But for now, we just have to keep going with the flow and take each day as they come. Use the time wisely. Rediscover yourself. Remember CDs? I’m listening to some albums I’ve not listened to in 10 years, all while watching a recap of the 1998 Tour de France, which I found on DVD in the same box as the lava lamp.

The COVID-19 crisis is far from over and, by now, many of us have been personally impacted by the illness in some way or another. Unfortunately, we are not even close to a place where we can begin to measure what the human tragedy and toll of this ordeal will be. Add to this that the media and social networks can be equal parts helpful and unhelpful when trying to keep up with what’s happening around the world, and it’s very easy for these days to become confusing and scary. But I am starting to see some news reports and other data cutting through the white noise that maybe, just maybe, are pointing the way to the end of the tunnel.

So let’s keep going, everyone. And I hope you, your families, friends, and coworkers are safe. No matter what, we still have each other.

Read The Esports Journal

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News

Games Inbox: Are you getting Final Fantasy 7 Remake next week?

The Tuesday Inbox is very suspicious about the number of Activision leaks, as one reader thinks Capcom should’ve skipped Resident Evil 3.

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

Early risk
Considering how funny Square Enix can be about such things I was pleasantly surprised to find they are shipping out copies of Final Fantasy 7 Remake early in some countries, so they don’t end up getting it late because of the coronavirus. I’m hoping I’ll be amongst the lucky ones, although I must admit that after the less than spectacular reviews for Resident Evil 3 I’m now a bit worried that the month’s other ‘dead cert’ quality remake might disappoint.

I mean, it’s almost guaranteed to disappoint because fans have been looking forward to this for more than two decades and yet looking at the trailers and playing the demo it really does seem perfect. Well, maybe not perfect. The boss battle in the demo does go on for a bit and the one thing I’m worried about with the full game is padding.

We all know that keeping the first chapter based in Midgar is a bit weird, seeing as that was only a relatively small part of the original game, and yet as far as I understand this is a 30 to 60 hour game. So either there is a lot of padding or they have somehow found a way to slip almost an extra game’s worth of content in there. I’m betting it’s the first option. I’m still getting it though, risking not seeing the reviews first, and I’m curious as to who’s doing the same?
Arbor

Lovely answer
Those Super Mario remaster rumours almost sound too good to be true but has anyone noticed they still don’t explain any of the secrecy? There was only one new game mentioned in the new rumours, and that was Paper Mario which I don’t think anyone would regard as major release. Maybe a mid-level one like Luigi’s Mansion 3, if it’s really good, but the problem is that there hasn’t been a good Paper Mario game now for over a decade.

So what is Nintendo working on that’s actually a big, new project? I realise that’s the question of the Hot Topic this week, and I will give my opinion there, but even the leaks are being secretive as to what’s going on!

I think something must’ve got cancelled or restarted like Metroid Prime 4 again, I just don’t see any other answer. There’s no reason not to tell us what they’re working on even if it’s not out for ages unless the answer is they’re… not working on anything? Maybe they got back it in the love hotel business instead?
Bosco

Bad source
I’m not sure what I really expected from the Resident Evil 3 review but it sounds even worse than I assumed, and like they were almost embarrassed of the original game and just did Resident Evil 2.5. I know the original Resident Evil 3 wasn’t great, but so did Capcom going in – so if they knew it wasn’t worth updating then why bother? Just skip it.

All you need to know from the story, in terms of how it impacts the later games, is that Jill didn’t die and that’s it. I don’t think any of the other characters in the game ever came back or were referenced again. Unless I’m forgetting something.

I agree with the other reader who said wait for the next gen for a new remake of Resident Evil 1 and just do Resident Evil 0 and Code: Veronica in the meantime. Both have their problems but could be improved with the right work. I don’t know how you improve Resident Evil 3 without making it an almost totally different game. I’d be fine with that, but I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that’s going to be turned around in a year like this one was.
Panadol

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Accidentally on purpose
I can’t wait for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered to come out, not because I’m going to buy it but because I’m sick of the ‘leaks’. I put them in inverted commas because I’m increasingly convinced Activision is leaking this news on purpose, something I believe they’ve been accused of doing before.

Think about it, rumours come and go with other games, sometimes they’re true and sometimes they’re not, but with Call Of Duty everything seems to be 100% accurate all the time, and with tons of detail and even artwork leaks. If it comes out on Tuesday that will be a bit weird as there’s been no advance hype, except there has been because everyone know about it because of the ‘leaks’.

I don’t know why Activision wants to do it this way, maybe it’s cheaper, but I’m very suspicious about all of this. Can’t wait for details of Call Of Duty 2020 to leak out next. Who needs a reveal event when you can just tell some guy on Twitter all about it and let him do the leg work!
Zebra

Any port in a storm
I’m definitely in the minority here, but actually was fairly pleased with the Nintendo Direct last week. I know it was all old ports that had been heavily rumoured, and the lack of Nintendo games is strange now (even if developments have been hit by Covid they could still announce them) but actually quite like having old ports on the go… playing BioShock in bed or XCOM 2 at the coffee shop (when it reopens) is really great, though I imagine Catherine on the bus might get some Bayonetta style weird looks.

The quality of recent Switch ports like The Witcher 3, Metro Exodus, GRID, and Alien Isolation has me confident they’ll be good versions of the games too… well maybe not XCOM 2 given the state it’s in on PlayStation 4 and Xbox, but it should still be better than the PS Vita version of the first XCOM right?

Anyway, talking of strategy on the go, I have been playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses, since it’s the kind of leisurely time sink that suits the current climate quite well. I’ve found the game strangely compelling thanks to its addictive battles, moreish gameplay reward loop, and weird ‘Game of Thrones but anime visual novel’ story (definitely one for odd looks on the bus).

Though it did get me thinking that, like Pokémon I don’t know why Nintendo don’t just chuck Zelda or Mario resources at the development of these games, they’re selling millions of copies and the backbone of the Switch’s line up, so why are they so far behind it’s other premier titles technologically?

If Fire Emblem was powered by the tech behind Zelda: Breath Of The Wild it would do wonders to elevate the game. The last Japanese role-playing game I completed on Switch before this was the Final Fantasy 12 rerelease and when a 15-year-old PlayStation 2 game looks more advanced than one of your new premier releases maybe it’s time to rethink the set-up.
Marc

GC: We agree entirely, Three Houses looks like a mid-budget indie game, which is inexcusable given how good some other Switch games look – and how rich Nintendo is.

Seconds chances on the cheap
The last four to five months I’ve been on a quest to wring out every bit of enjoyment from the Xbox 360 I can (I got a tiny tax rebate so got an Elite for 29 quid) and am making my way through games I was meh on at the time of release, with some I thought I’d never play in a million years.

This has been incredibly successful with titles like Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning completely blowing my wig back with how great they are. One of the most recent gems I picked up (for £1.50!) was Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. It’s by no means perfect, with the gameplay becoming a tad stale in the last few hours, but I thoroughly enjoyed my 10-or-so hours with it and highly recommend it. Hell, I highly recommend picking up an older console and trying out games that are way out of your comfort zone, as you may be surprised by what you find!
Uncle Blalpert
PS: I got Vanquish for a couple of quid and despite it not appealing to me in the slightest, I’ll absolutely be giving it a bash anyway and was wondering what GC thought/thinks of it?

GC: It’s one of the best third person shooters ever made.

Hot game
Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve had a Switch game that I would play for hours on end, but it seems like Animal Crossing: New Horizons makes the Switch very hot in docked mode.

I can’t think of any recent games I’ve played that did this, not Luigi’s Mansion 3. So perhaps under the cutesy exterior Animal Crossing is really making the Switch hardware work hard…
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Batman: The Telltale Series

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

The difficulties of creative freedom
Why are we so insistent that some games should be difficult?

If I see a TV series I want to watch, I can watch the trailer, I might check Rotten Tomatoes to see general review/consensus. But this is usually enough for me to watch it and know enough to get a pretty good idea if I’d enjoy it. I don’t delve further as I want to go in as blind as possible sometimes. And of, course, there’s many people out there who don’t really check reviews. They see a cool trailer and boom, they watch the show.

In gaming, this isn’t possible for a fair chunk of games. You can’t just try a game to see if it’s something you would enjoy. You need to read about the difficulty level. Otherwise you will be walking into something that may have everything else going for it, except this one feature which is often the difference between a game being fun or not. In gaming you can’t just watch a trailer and play the game. Not if you don’t know much about it, like many indie games or games in a genre you don’t really know about. Or heck, if you’re not a core gamer and you’re just browsing trailers. I think this system is holding gaming back for a pretty large audience out there.

If a dev is that insistent on making the game difficult, heck, just allow someone to play on an easy mode that doesn’t get you any achievements.
Jez

GC: Why are you so insistent that developers shouldn’t make games however they want?

Inbox also-rans
Just thought I’d say. I’m really enjoying Ori And The Will Of The Wisps. I’d have to reluctantly give it 8/10 as the game slows down and freezes so many times and even crashed once. It lets the game down. Apart from that it is an excellent game.
woz 007 (gamertag)

Here’s a code for a digital copy of Aquaman, for anyone who wants it. Maybe it will help pass some lockdown time.
silverfox-75

GC: That’s good of you, as you usual we’ll pass it on to whoever wants it in exchange for a useable Inbox letter.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what do you think, and hope, Nintendo’s next games will be for the Switch?

It’s now six months since they had a general topic Nintendo Direct and there are currently no major new Switch games scheduled for the whole year, so what do you think is going on? Although the coronavirus is exacerbating the situation Nintendo’s secrecy started last year, so why do you think that is?

What new games do you expect to see come out next and what surprises are you hoping for once they are finally announced? What do you think the secrecy is in aid of and what do you think Nintendo should do in order to try and counter the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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News

These 3 Free Games Are Available Now On Epic, Including World War Z

Epic has been giving away free PC games on a weekly basis since December 2018, but the distraction feels needed more than ever these days. The latest batch of free games are available now, and while only two were advertised last week, Epic has added a surprise third freebie to the mix. In addition to Figment and Tormenter x Punisher, you can also claim World War Z for free. All three games are free now until April 2 at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET, when they’ll be replaced by next week’s freebies. To claim any Epic free games, you just need a free account, and afterward, they’ll be yours to keep.

World War Z is a co-op third-person shooter where you’ll face off against hordes of zombies in cities like New York, Moscow, Tokyo, and more. For your character, you can choose from six different classes with different abilities, like the Gunslinger, Hellraiser, or Slasher. Up to 1,000 zombies can appear on the screen at the same time, swarming and even crawling over each other to reach you if you’re on a higher level. The game also features various multiplayer modes, like King of the Hill, Swarm Deathmatch, and Player vs. Player vs. Zombie.

Critic Alessandro Barbosa was a bit lukewarm about the game in GameSpot’s World War Z review, although it’s certainly worth grabbing while free. “World War Z has many rough edges that are easy to spot, exacerbated by limited content that makes repeated playthroughs less interesting with each run,” he wrote. “But it’s also a cooperative shooter that has the space for those dynamic and ridiculous player stories to emerge in. The rush of taking down a swarm with friends is core to what makes World War Z’s action work so well, and it rewards you well for the time spent on the classes and weapons you like. It could benefit from having more to go around, but if there’s a future for World War Z and its chaotic cooperative action, this is a good foundation to build it on.”

The next free game is Figment, a gorgeous action-adventure game with hand-drawn environments and a fantastic soundtrack. It takes you on a trip through the human mind, which is illustrated with trippy, colorful visuals reminiscent of M.C. Escher and Dalí. You’ll take control of a mopey drunk named Dusty, who must navigate this strange world fighting nightmarish enemies who aim to spread fear and overcome mental obstacles, growing into a heroic guardian by the end. The game earned a 7/10 in GameSpot’s Figment review.

“Figment is at once lighthearted and deep. It reminds us that dark things may lurk underneath otherwise pleasant surfaces, that grumpy egos may populate the shuttered houses of an otherwise beautiful mind,” wrote critic Leif Johnson. “Sometimes Figment seems a little too silly for its ambitions, but that frivolity never manages to fully drown out its overarching message–that if we persevere and have a little faith in our abilities, things will likely turn out well in the long run. Or, at least, we’ll learn how to live with the pain.”

You’ll also be able to snag Tormenter x Punisher, which is great if you like to let out stress by playing a chaotic, fast-paced video game. Tormenter x Punisher is a top-down action game where all enemies can be killed in one hit–including bosses and yourself. You’ll have to survive the onslaught of enemies, which adapt to your play style, and get new upgrades by killing demons in creative ways. We haven’t reviewed this one, but it currently has a Very Positive 9/10 rating on Steam, so it’s worth grabbing while it’s free next week.

Epic’s current freebies are just a few of the free games you can claim right now–many publishers and developers are offering their games at no cost for a limited time as a stress reliever for people stuck inside. Plus, check out our full guide to all the best movies, TV, and games to enjoy while social distancing.

Best Deals This Week

  • Amazon Just Launched An Awesome Sale On Switch, PS4, And Xbox One Games
  • Xbox One Games With Gold For March 2020 Revealed
  • PS4's Free PS Plus Games For March 2020 Now Available
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Best Switch Accessories, Amiibo, Plushies, And More
  • New Baby Yoda Merch Revealed–See Everything Here

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How Technologies Are Changing Learning Methods – 2020 Guide?

There is a huge impact of technology on education, and while countless older people see it only as a distraction, the younger generations developed many ways to use the technology in smart ways. However, the people who didn`t grow up with the same technology, are now interested in implementing new models of educations that will use modern ways of communication and massive use of the internet as it is today. Today, you can find almost everything online, and students are using this advantage to improve their skills. Also, it is easier for them to find any information and to gather any knowledge they are interested in. Furthermore, it is available for anyone to find some topic on the web, and improve his knowledge or some skills. For example, there are many online courses in many subjects that could help students to successfully pass their grades.

Nevertheless, many online services can help students to write their essays or articles in various subjects, or about various topics. You can check writepaperfor.me if you are interested in such a service that can help you in essays, assignments, and many other projects that students need. The new technologies also helped people to improve their skills in a much easier way. For example, you can find many data online, or attend some online courses, and learn some new skills that they don`t teach you in college. Courses like business skills, technical writing, web development, and languages are the most popular ones. Technology is rapidly changing the methods of learning, and here are some of the best examples of that.

Easier Access to Knowledge

As we already said, you can find a lot of data about almost any topic online. This is a great advantage for students because now they could not just learn the subject for a degree, or write the essay, but they could also expand their knowledge about the subject and learn it in a much more comfortable way. On the other side, since this is the era of communication, students can easily share their experience, and together manage to be more successful in any project in school.

Students are More Interested to Learn

With the development of new technologies, students can organize group meetings online with video calls or group chats, and exchange their opinions about any topic. This interactive ability is motivating them to be more interested in the subject, and there are proven progress and higher scores of people who are using online services while they are studying. The professors also have many advantages from new technologies, and one of the best is that they could share many materials online, or organize online lectures.

Higher Possibilities

When a teacher can use the internet while he is holding a lecture, it is much easier for him to explain anything, since he can show many examples during his lecture. For example, if he is teaching geography, all he needs is a projector and a PC, and he can show the examples of that day subject on Google Maps, or gather much data about that topic. Students will also be more interested to learn any subject with this method.

Better Self-Improvement

Besides the traditional ways of learning in school, many students are also using the internet to find what they are interested in. There are many skills that you can improve with YouTube, many online courses or by gathering a lot of data about that subject. Also, we can see today that many people don`t work in the same sphere for which they got their degrees. Many new jobs and positions were opened in recent years, and many of them don`t even exist as subjects in school.

For example, a social media manager is someone who knows a lot about marketing, but he also needs knowledge about how social media works, together with its analytics and conditions that would improve the reach and popularity of some profiles. On the other side, many people who already have degrees, but they are now interested in something new can easily learn some new skills within a few months. There are many developers, graphic designers, web designers, analysts’ writers, and many others who developed their skills only by using the internet and online lectures.

The Impact of Technology on Education System

While there are still many colleges and schools that are trying to keep their methods in traditional frames, we can notice that most of the Universities are implementing new technologies to improve their ability and successfully educate students. Many kinds of research prove that one of the best methods for lecturing is by a combination of traditional and new methods, where there is still a professor who is holding a class, but he also has new accessories, video lectures, ability to share many materials online, and communicate with students through email or other services.

Some people are just distracted by their smartphones in classes, and they are using new technologies only for entertainment, but the internet is helping the educational system to get on some higher level. Today, it is much easier for both the teacher and the students to get over some lesson, or to get back to something if that is needed. Teachers now have greater possibilities to reach more students and occupy them with some topic. On the other side, students are much more interested, since they could find anything they missed during the class on their phone, or PC when they come home.

Conclusion

New technologies gave everyone the same possibilities to learn and improve their knowledge. The Universities, High Schools, and Elementary Schools are all implementing new technologies, smart boards, computers, and other modern accessories that will improve the teaching methods, and make students more involved in any subject. Working on group projects is much more interesting, and we can see a great improvement when it comes to grades and overall scores of people who are using the technology as help during their education.

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Games Inbox: Are you still planning to get a next gen console this year?

The Thursday Inbox is very much enjoying its time with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but one reader doesn’t like Doom Eternal’s platforming.

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

The perils of Mr Microsoft
Very interesting comments from the Microsoft boss about Xbox Series X and how they don’t seem worried about it coming out this year. But what he was saying about demand isn’t a small problem. Do they or Sony really want their consoles sitting on shelves this Christmas, because that is not going to be a good look. I guess they could limit stock, artificially or otherwise, to try and pretend there’s more demand than there is but he’s right: the last thing anyone’s going to want to do once the lockdown is over is turn back round, close the curtains, and start playing more video games.

There must be a danger we’ll all be sick of video games by the time all this is over! I don’t know what the answer is though and I doubt Mr Microsoft does either. Do you delay and risk Sony having everything to their self? If you do when is the right time? The coronavirus probably won’t be properly over until at least this time next year. Do you wait till then or wait even longer, so people get the whole ‘going outside’ thing out of their system?

I think they’ll just plough ahead. There’s too many questions with delaying it and no obvious ‘right time’. But I have to say I don’t know I’ll be buying them this year anymore. I was playing to get one or the other but money is suddenly tight and I don’t know how things are going to play out. The demand is there but I’m not sure the cash is.
Art3mis

True evil
I’ve been slowly working my way through the Resident Evil games over the years and the only one I haven’t played (aside from the bad spin-offs and Resident Evil 3, which I’m going to correct with the remake) is Resident Evil 6.

Is it that bad? It’s on the Switch now for £20. Shall I play for completion sake? Or is it one to totally avoid?
John

GC: Well, we wouldn’t pay £20 for it. Although you should be able to find it for virtually nothing on other formats, if that’s an option for you. It’s easily the worst mainline entry: an incoherent mess that is exhausting in all the many ways it finds to be incompetent. By the way, don’t forget Code: Veronica. It hasn’t aged very well but it’s the real Resident Evil 3 in all but name and we hope it’s not skipped over for a remake.

Well hidden
GTA, finished. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, finished. Far Cry (all of them), finished. The Witcher 3, finished. Luigi’s Mansion 3, finished.

So on being sent home with the current climate I was at a loss for an open world game to pass the time…

Then at the back of the cupboard, having been played once and discarded as stealthy and boring, I find Horizon Zero Dawn, all I can say is glad I didn’t trade it!

Hope everyone else has found a hidden gem to pass the time and distract them from these strange times and more importantly, stay safe and take care.
Jowbullman (PSN ID)
PS: Thanks Mrs Bullman for being so patient with me at home. Don’t forget if you have no backlog there is always ‘clocking’!

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Control of your funny bone
Let’s try to lighten the mood. When Psychonauts 2 eventually comes out (hopefully still this year), it strikes me that there’s a good chance that the Psychonauts HQ that we see in the first gameplay trailer will serve as the primary hub for most of the game from where you will enter the many minds that need moulding.

Which would mean that Psychonauts 2 would be like Control but played for laughs. Haven’t played Control yet. Reviews weren’t quite great enough for me to go rush out and buy it close to full price. I’ll pick it up when I can, though, now that it’s probably nearer to the £20-25 mark.

Please be good, Psychonauts 2. I can’t bear another Shenmue 3 scale disappointment…
DMR

Tombgal
The hell priests and their demonic hordes clearly decided that the best way to stop Doomguy wasn’t to throw endless armies of demons at him. But instead to create nonsensical and daft sections of platforming and climbing that would drive him so mad he would quit and fly away in his ship forever.

Lara Croft would have been better suited to this game rather than Doomguy. It’s annoying, as it breaks up
the gameplay; in fact, it’s horrendous. What were they thinking designing these levels? Why not elevators, fancy portals, etc. I hate the old video game cliché of moving platforms, it’s horrible especially in first person shooter mode. If you are going to do it then keep it to third person games.

That said, once you are in the thick of combat, being attacked on all sides and messing around with various upgrades, then the game is truly great.
icelticghost

Force yourself
So, I’ve finally finished Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, or rather forced myself to finish it. I should also thank the TV advert for ruining the finale of the game! But, overall, I have to say this game left a really sour taste in my mouth. I used to love Star Wars and have had to accept that I’m clearly not the target audience anymore, since the new films leave me bewildered and frustrated in equal measure, but this game received near unanimous praise so I was expecting to at least enjoy aspects of it.

My main issue was that I’d done every single thing the game asks of you in other games before, and those games had done it all better. The pilfering from other franchises is just astounding, and at times, baffling. Why did they copy Dark Souls’ resurrecting-enemies-when-you-save system? It isn’t even explained why this happens! (I think you highlighted as such in your review.)

Then, you have the most dull and boring protagonist coupled with an equally mundane story and unskippable cut scenes. I’ve re-read some reviews and a lot seem to just appreciate the fact that it’s a competent, single-player Star Wars game, and I’ll admit that the graphics are very good on the whole.

I also accept that throughout video game history developers have copied aspects of other games, but I felt that in this instance there really was zero creativity, and I really hope its success doesn’t encourage other developers to follow suit. I’m mainly just ranting because I’m surprised I ended up feeling this way about a game I really expected to enjoy. Did anyone else feel a similar way?
Matt

GC: We wouldn’t describe our review as unanimous praise. Also, watch The Mandalorian.

Even better than the real thing
Pinball FX2 is astonishing, talk about wow! Even better than having your own table at home (which I did have).

For £11.99 you get three tables and they are all amazing. Wait for a sale to buy add-on tables, which are all just as good. I just wish they would do free demo for people to try. You will never go back to 2D pinball once you have played this.
Goldenlay

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Love of life simulators
With the coronavirus and lockdown real-life has been doom and gloom but what a time for games! Both Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal are excellent!

New Horizons is the first Animal Crossing game I’ve played and I’m loving it. I’d go so far to say it’s the best, well I’m not quite sure what the genre is, farming type game? I’d put it up against Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, No Man’s Sky, and Minecraft. And of those I’d say it’s the best. The graphics are splendid, the music is so relaxing, the gameplay is so addictive. I love fishing in games, as this feature will testify, and Animal Crossing’s is fantastic!

Love catching bugs, collecting fruit, wood and rocks. Love the crafting and planting trees and flowers then tending to them. It’s all so very wholesome and satisfying. Making my home the way I want it to be. I love good checklists to complete and Nintendo nailed what this game is here. The museum deserves its own letter, it is the cherry on top of a wonderful cake! Love having my friends over and visiting them with great voice, text, and emotes to communicate. The game is a marvel. Also, special note: Tom Nook’s news announcements in the morning are especially welcome in these dark times, with much more positive news!

Doom Eternal I’m only a few missions in, mostly because Animal Crossing demands all of my free time, but so far I’m loving it too. The combat is excellent. Fantastic graphics and music. I enjoy the jumping puzzles, they kind of remind me of old Tomb Raider type puzzles and Doom Eternal’s are great. Good exploration and collectible hunting too. I’ll write more once I’ve played a bit more.

So there you have it, two excellent games to see us through the outbreak. My thanks and hats off to Nintendo and Id Software/Bethesda!
Big Angry Dad82 (gamertag)/BigAngryDad82/SW-0935-4027-5314 (NN ID)

GC: Games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing are usually described as life simulations.

Inbox also-rans
It’s been a while since State Of Decay 2 launched. Is it still a buggy mess?
Jez

GC: We haven’t played it since we reviewed it. In fact, this is the first time we remember anyone even mentioning it since then.

Figment and Tormentor x Punisher are free on PC on Epic Games Store from today for the next week.
Andrew J.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks if how you play video games has, or is likely to, change during the coronavirus outbreak?

Have you been playing more or less games in the last few weeks and if you’re planning to self-isolate, or just spend more time at home in general, do you have any specific plans in terms of what games you’re going to play? Are you going to be working through your backlog, for example, or playing something specifically to cheer yourself up?

Will you be playing more online games in order to keep in touch with and speak to friend and family, and will you be encouraging them to play games where normally they wouldn’t?

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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News

Gemini, Libra, and Aries are The Hardest to Endure Isolation and Loneliness

It is certainly not easy for anyone due to the state of emergency and isolation measures that are introduced, but the one born in these star signs are already planning their journeys after quarantine.

People born in these zodiac signs are pretty affected by the new situation, mainly because they have to be in the same spot for longer than several days.

Self-isolation is the hardest thing for Gemini, Libra, and Aries.

Gemini

Geminis already had enough, and they are craving for a party. It is unimaginable for them to spend every evening reading or watching series. They are simply very open-minded and, ultimately, social people who are not used to be alone.

Libra

Libras are dependent on other people when it comes to socializing and entertainment. Although they don’t go crazy like Gemini, Libras truly misses fun and association; therefore, they already plan what they are going to do in the coming months, where to travel, and whom to visit.

Aries

Aries missed adventures. They are real adventurers whose day is not complete if they didn’t find out or discover something new, did something spontaneous, or totally crazy. Although some Aries seem quite closed, once you get to know them, you will realize that it is far away from the truth. However, the most significant difference between them and Gemini is the fact that they know how to enjoy themselves.

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Nintendo

What Island Name Are You Choosing For Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is officially here, and it’s a welcome reprieve from some of the doom and gloom of our current social distancing times. It’s the sort of relaxing game that couldn’t come at a better time. But just a few minutes into the game, you’ll be faced with a potentially difficult decision, and one you can’t change without abandoning your save file entirely: What do you name your island?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent recent days agonizing over what to squeeze in that 10-character limit. Do I just go with the name of something I love, like Twin Peaks? Do I just see what kind of nonsense word comes out of my mouth and go with it? Reference an obscure joke from a Netflix comedy that very few people will understand? (Winner!)

Everyone has their own approach to naming their island, and so we’ve rounded up many of those we here at GameSpot have decided to use along with explanations for some of them. Be sure to let us know what you used–or are considering–in the comments below.

Kallie Plagge: Midori

It means green in Japanese and it’s what I named my town in New Leaf. I picked it mostly because the town is green… with trees and stuff.

Jacob Dekker: Rivia

Because I have to keep the brand strong.

Kurt Indovina: JackieChan

(Named after the singer)

Evan Langer: Outset

From Wind Waker

Ben Janca: Sotenberry

From Yakuza

Ashley Oh: Twin Bells

Inspired by Twin Peaks

Jean-Luc Seipke: Yasogami

The school in Persona 4

Max Blumenthal: Kokiri

From Zelda

Tamoor Hussain: Tamsterdam

I have a very versatile name, which comes in handy when you need to 1) Make dumb jokes on Twitter 2) Name a virtual island.

Juliana Russell: Buttchug

Will Potter: Mata Nui

Of Lego Bionicle fame

Lucy James: THRILLHO

Animal Crossing is great, and all I’ve done is enter my Island’s name… Thrillhouse.

Steve Watts: Wooblyland

I used the nonsense word “Woobleyville” for my first village in the first Animal Crossing and I’ve stuck with it in some form ever since.

Randolph Ramsay: IsleOfFlan

Dave Jewitt: Caliban

Named after the home planet of the Dark Angels chapter from Warhammer 40,000. (Which was blown up…)

Chris Pereira: Q-Zone

Inspired by my current favorite sketch from I Think You Should Leave, the greatest comedy show of all time.

Mat Elfring: CONNquest

The name of Connor4Real’s second solo album from Popstar.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons News And Guides

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons — How To Get A Shovel
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons — What To Do On Your First Day
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review In Progress
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bug Guide
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fish Guide

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News

Valve, Microsoft, And HP Are Working Together On A VR Headset

A new “next-gen” headset is in the works, and while nothing concrete has been announced about what it’ll be able to do, it’s coming from some heavy hitters. The headset–literally just called “Next Gen HP VR Headset” on its own Steam page–is being worked on by Valve, Microsoft, and HP.

The device’s page on HP’s website gives some more information with its description. “Developed in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft, the next gen HP VR headset delivers a more immersive, comfortable, and compatible experience than the previous generation,” it reads. “It’s the new standard in VR.”

Here’s a little look at the headset, which will prominently display the “HP” logo.

Potential buyers can sign up to be notified when there’s more news from HP’s site.

Valve is obviously invested in VR, having just released Half-Life: Alyx and giving it away for free to owners of the Valve Index (although it works on a variety of devices). The game received a 9/10 in the GameSpot review.

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Nintendo

People are recreating scenes from The Lighthouse in Animal Crossing

The camera mode available on your NookPhone in Animal Crossing: New Horizons makes it easy to capture memories. Some — including, admittedly, myself — have used it, and Gulliver’s early arrival, as a way of paying homage to Robert Eggers’ black and white horror film The Lighthouse.

The film, which focuses on two lighthouse keepers stranded at their remote post by a raging storm and their descent into madness, is as far as possible in tone from Animal Crossing, but the camera mode’s ability to switch into black-and-white make it less remote.

One of the key moments, in which Willem Dafoe’s character warns Robert Pattinson’s that it’s “bad luck to kill a seabird” has become a player favorite, as the early days of the game find a seagull character named Gulliver washing up prone on the players’ beaches. Though talking to him enough will eventually wake him up, it’s hard to pass up the chance the photo opportunity.

Some players have taken things a step further, using the black and white camera mode (and inviting other players over) to try recreating other scenes.

On a less obvious note, recreations of scenes from Portrait of a Lady on Fire have also taken off, which begs the question: What movie is next?

Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch consoles are often sold out, but you can still pick up the handheld-only Switch Lite, which is perfect for portable gaming.

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