Games Inbox: Retro gaming overload, Sea Of Thieves beta, and Steam summer sale tips

Games Inbox: Is retro gaming getting out of control?

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – is nostalgia getting out of control?

The morning Inbox asks about GoldenEye 007 on a Mini N64, as one reader is happy to have been a guinea pig for PlayStation VR.

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

PLEASE NOTE: We are running very low on Reader’s Features and currently have none to publish this weekend. So if you’re interested in contributing your own articles to the site now would be a really good time. All they need to be is 500+ words on a games-related subject of your choice, emailed to the address above.


With the Internet going for crazy for the Mini NES and now remastered Crash Bandicoot that has to excuse the fact that the original games weren’t very good I have to wonder whether gaming is getting too obsessed with its past. Retro remakes and sequels seem to be announced every other day to ever more obscure games, and at the same time the number of new IP is dwindling at the same level.

There must be an event horizon coming up in the near future where absolutely everything is a remake or a sequel and everyone has had enough of both. And I don’t buy the idea that making new IP is ‘hard’. Ubisoft seem to do it all the time with no particular problem. Sony and Nintendo do it with their own first party stuff, it’s just everyone else is too cowardly to put in the effort.

Destiny didn’t have any problem, nor Watch Dogs or The Division or Dishonored. The only major failing I can think of is Evolve and Battleborn, and that was just because they weren’t very good games. Versus the others which weren’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I like retro games as much as the next person but enough is enough. It seems like the whole games industry is getting like that Inboxer that only ever writes in about asking for ever more obscure remakes. Enough is enough, let’s have something new. Otherwise there’ll never be anything to remake in the future!


Remastered nostalgia

As a childhood fan of the Crash Bandicoot series I’m glad to see a developer put the effort in and deliver on the remaster. I remember getting my PlayStation 1 with a copy of Tomb Raider II and Crash Bandicoot 2 and those two games lasted me the better part of a year.

As I got older I realised those games probably weren’t that good, but I still have really positive memories of them both. That’s the power of nostalgia and to this day my favourite genre is the platformer likely due to Crash Bandicoot.
John Ryan


Empty seas

I really like the sound of Sea Of Thieves but I’m worried about how little effort Microsoft is putting into promoting. I realise it’s not out until next year but basically we only ever hear about it at E3 and then it’s just radio silence for the rest of the year. I had no idea there were any alphas going on and frankly had forgotten it even existed.

I get that it’s a difficult game to demo, as the guy said, but this is basically the only interesting game in the Xbox exclusive line-up at the moment so I really hope they have an open beta ready for this Christmas or otherwise I can see it sinking without trace (pardon the sort of pun).

The big problem I think is that this just doesn’t seem like an Xbox game. I never understood why Microsoft bought Rare when they always seemed embarrassed of the games they made and never promoted them properly. I know that was before Phil Spencer’s time but like I say, it doesn’t seem much different now with Sea Of Thieves. If his was a Nintendo or Sony game I think it’d be a much easier sell.


E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


Family fun

Gawd bless the Steam sale.

I’ve been looking for some decent local multiplayer games to play with the kids (11 and 17) and the Steam sale has helped gaming get fun again.

Nidhogg, Speedrunners, Joe Danger 2, Overcooked, No Time To Explain, and Streets Of Fury EX (bad language turned off) and combined probably less than £20.

Streets Of Fury especially has had us laughing like loons with all the characters’ special moves. I’d never heard of it but it’s really intentionally, cheesily awful (in the very best kind of way). Not a lot of longevity there maybe, but at £1.39 I’m not too bothered.

We already have Gang Beasts and Rocket League – can anybody suggest any other good local multiplayers while the sale’s still on?

GC: Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime is a fantastic co-op game, and it’s currently only £4.94 on Steam.


Welcome experiment

RE: Petro thinking of selling his PlayStation VR. I agree with his assessment that it’ll be some time until VR is mainstream and not an expensive niche accessory.

I’m sold on VR though, so will hold on to my unit. Even if like a TV set in the 1950s it only gets wheeled out once a year for the Queen’s Christmas message (when was the first televised Christmas message?). Although it’s had plenty of use so far with Resident Evil 7, Thumper, Polybius, DiRT Rally, and currently the rather superb puzzle game Statik. The level of immersion is a game changer for me and not just a temporary wow factor that fads.

I not sure if we will see a PlayStation VR 2 but, as I have a good PC, if HTC Vive 2 was released in a year or so I’d be very tempted. In the case of VR I’m happy to be a money dispensing guinea pig for a fledgling technology, even if it is a bust and goes nowhere the ride will be an enjoyable one if the experiences I’ve had so far with VR are to go by.
Simundo Jones

GC: 1957, according to Wikipedia.


Short window

Another tale of woe I’m afraid, for my attempts to secure a SNES Mini. I’m not as sure as to the timings, but Argos had opened pre-orders somewhere between midnight and 8.00am on Thursday and despite a late evening check, which at that point had not gone live, I rechecked at 8.00am only to find… all gone!

Sadly, I work all day, need some sleep, and for my sins had an urge to eat breakfast this morning – which is where I clearly went wrong! I concede defeat on pre-orders as it’s clear that’s not going to happen. So I have to ask in your opinion, do you think we’ll ever see this product on the shop shelf?
Yours, a further frustrated Rob

GC: We can’t predict Nintendo any more than anyone else can, but Toys ‘R’ Us and Very also put up pre-orders after Argos. We think it likely that shops will get small allocations of stock like this all the way up to the release, so it’s probably a matter of keeping your eyes open and hoping you get lucky.


Advance order

I take it everyone trying to get hold of a SNES Mini has tried actual shops?

I’d quickly given up on the idea of getting one but then was walking past GAME in the Metrocentre in Gateshead, wasn’t even planning on going in but then a sign caught my eye saying they were taking pre-orders!

One £50 later (ahem) and it looks like I’m getting one. I see it as an investment for the grandchildren that don’t exist yet. Although is it actually going to be as rare as we all think?

GC: An investment in terms of their video game education or you’re going to sell it to pay for their university fees?


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Mini opinions

RE: Mini SNES. Anyone wondering if the RRP is justified, don’t worry. The superb line-up of games, the extra controller, and the chance to play the superior US versions connected to a plasma/LCD/LED TV, via a HDMI cable more than makes up for the increase in price compared to the previously released Mini NES. Also, the 16-bit era was way much better than the 8-bit era, in my opinion. 16-bit games, some of them anyway, really have stood the test of time. (The DS sold well. The 3DS continues to sell well, which kind of proves the point that there’s still a big demand for these kind of games).

RE: Mini PS1. Sounds like a great idea to me. I still play on my PS1 a fair bit. Not too sure that this will happen, but you never know. Some great games on this machine. Indeed, the PS1/N64 generation is my favourite. Kudos to the Tomb Raiders, the Resident Evils, the Syphon Filters, the Final Fantasys, and also Metal Gear Solid, Tombi, and Kula World. Ace!

RE: Mini N64. The NES happened, the SNES is happening, so this could very well become a reality in the future. The graphics on the PS1, when connected to these newer large screen digital TVs via an RGB SCART lead, are still OK. However, the graphics on the N64 when connected to digital TVs are poor. The machine doesn’t support RGB, unfortunately, and using an AV SCART lead just makes everything look excessively bright and white. Shocking.

So, the chance to play these games with some graphical enhancements really does appeal. And what a clutch of about 15 truly magnificent games there are on the 64.

Here’s the big ‘but’, though.

About half of this small clutch of games were developed by Rareware. (Their golden age, without a doubt). Do they (or Microsoft) own the rights to these games?! Would the Rare games, in particular GoldenEye 007, be allowed on a Mini N64?!

A Mini N64 without GoldenEye?! It ain’t right!
Paul C
PS: Looking forward to purchasing the New Nintendo 2DS XL.
PPS: Nice to see the Crash games getting the quality remaster they deserve.

GC: Nintendo own the games with their characters in it, such as Donkey Kong 64, whereas Rare own the ones with theirs, such as Banjo-Kazooie. (Diddy Kong Racing is also Nintendo’s but they have to remove the Rare characters). Nobody owns GoldenEye and an agreement has to be reached with Nintendo, Rare, and whoever owns the James Bond licence – which is currently nobody on consoles.


Inbox also-rans

I didn’t realise that Crash Bandicoot came out after Super Mario 64. That’s kind of embarrassing. The only one I liked is Crash Team Racing, and that’s the only one they didn’t remake!

I know it’s not really been that long but is there any sign of a new SoulsBorne game yet? Is an announcement at Gamescom likely at all, do you think?

GC: Anything is possible, but the Tokyo Game Show in September might be more likely.

This week’s Hot Topic

E3 has been and gone for another year, which means those hoping for unlikely sequels to seemingly forgotten franchises will have had their hopes dashed yet again.

So for this weekend’s Inbox we want to know what long dead franchise you’d most like to see make a comeback. It can be any game from any format, as long as it hasn’t had a sequel in the last 10 years (or if the last one was such a spectacular bomb no new game is likely).

How much do you care about sequels and do you ever worry that there’s too much emphasis on them? What do you feel is the right gap between sequels and are there any you’re happy to see only every now and again?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


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