The Tuesday letters page debates just how good the standard DualSense controller is, as one reader recommends Chained Echoes.
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Rather than trying to predict what the Nintendo Switch 2 will look like or when it will come out I want to address a more important issue, as far as I’m concerned: how powerful will it be? There’s already been some speculation as to what chip it might use but the bottom line is will it be as powerful as the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S? As far as a I can see this is impossible. Just look at how big the PlayStation 5 has to be with its massive fans, I don’t see any chance of miniaturising that to something as small as a portable/hybrid console.
I’m not even sure if it’ll be as powerful as the PlayStation 4. The Steam Deck is the benchmark here and given Nintendo’s desire to keep costs down, in both senses of the word, and the fact that it’ll no doubt have lots of weird hardware options I think we’ll be lucky to have something that’s as powerful as Valve’s machine.
That has its own issues for those that care a lot about graphics but for me it’s more interesting as to what this will say about continuing last gen support and whether the Switch 2 will ‘hold back’ the current gen. The Switch completely dominates gaming in Japan and there’s a good chance the sequel will too, which is something that always greatly influences a lot of Nintendo’s decisions, especially as they rely on local devs for a lot of their exclusives.
Most Japanese games aren’t made with a budget anywhere near that of a Western game though and my feeling is that Nintendo will have many reasons to not change that. I don’t think it’s possible for the Switch 2 to be a massive leap in graphics either from a technology standpoint or an economics one. And that is one Nintendo prediction I stand by!
Things can only get better
I love how publishers withholding review copies is the most reliable review you can actually get, because it always guarantees the game is clunker. Forspoken always looked bad but it’s a bit hard to tell what Square Enix was trying to do. They did send it to big sites, presumably so they don’t upset them, but all the others were much smaller, like maybe they thought they’d be easier to impress?
That seems to have happened in some cases but 66 is still a terrible Metacritic, especially when many of most relied upon websites, including GC, haven’t posted their reviews yet. It’s also super obvious the PC version is a mess so I’m not really sure how much sympathy I’ve got for anyone that buys that and is surprised when it turns out bad.
Of course, it’s disgusting that publishers do this but every time they turn out to be the losers so it almost doesn’t matter. I guess they better hope that Final Fantasy 16 turns out well, because a big giant flop is not a nice way to star the year.
Just wanted to say thank you for the review of Chained Echoes just before Christmas. I was just looking for a game to play over the festive period and this one wasn’t anywhere near my radar until your review.
I’ve just finally completed it – including all the additional bosses – and I have to say what a delight the whole game has been. The battle system is an absolute joy. I’ve played a huge range of turn-based games but the overdrive system is this one was so cleverly designed it stayed fresh throughout my playthrough. It encouraged the use of skills you may otherwise not use, and with more than 10 very different characters to mix and match with, the strategies you could use for specific enemies and bosses were almost infinite.
Can’t agree more with your review, which said this was how the whole genre may have developed if graphics hadn’t improved in the meantime. I certainly recommend it to anyone who loves to kick back with a good turn-based title.
GC: Excellent, we’re glad you liked it.
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Time is money
RE: freeway77. I’ve had this problem before, it sounds to me you ordered online first. You needed to check their terms & conditions about returned items and how long you need to wait for a refund. Being nearly halfway through last year they have broken them. If you have proof that the item has been returned via tracking number and a screenshot, and you paid via Visa/Debit card just ring up who the card is with and tell them you want to dispute the payment.
They will send you forms which you will need to fill in and include your proofs and send it to them. When they receive them someone will say yes or no. If they say yes your money will go back on your card, but do it ASAP. You only have so long before time runs out and sometimes you can fill in an online form and upload your proofs. Either way, do it ASAP.
If there’s any dispute on purchases, returns, guarantees, etc. it’s always good to have the transaction paid on a credit card. If you did then contact the credit card company and explain the situation. They should be able to help.
Speak to them
RE: freeway77. As someone suggested in the Underbox, it might be best to call Nintendo on the phone, here is Nintendo’s telephone number for the store, which is hidden away on the website: 03309 124581. A relative has had to call it recently, as there was a problem with their order when they missed a detail out in the postal address (their fault not Nintendo) and the item had to be returned to Nintendo and not be delivered by DPD.
Their open hours are as follows:
PS: On the Nintendo Store in the UK there are three Splatoon keyrings in stock. You can’t buy them, you have to trade Nintendo Points for them and pay £1.99 for postage.
Currently playing: Kirby And The Forgotten Land
Last in line
I’ve never taken to the DualSense controller. It is a very nice premium controller but after I read early reports of it being a game changer I was left somewhat scratching my head at the praise when finally getting a PlayStation 5.
The haptics and adaptive triggers were OK, but I found the extra resistance a bit annoying for the most part. After trying them out on several games I turned it all off in the system settings.
The extra bulk by including these features means I find the DualShock 4 more comfortable. The biggest weakness of that controller, the analogue sticks, is the same on DualSense and I find the Xbox analogue sticks far better.
The issue I find is due to their location there’s not much surface contact with the stick when at the furthest points, especially pushing up, leading to your thumbs slipping. It’s fixed with some cheap grips but even with them on the Xbox sticks still feel better. My order for favourite controller from first to last is DualShock 4, Xbox, and DualSense.
I’ve got a PlayStation VR2 on order and I’m interested if similar features help sell the physicality of objects in VR though. But never really got the love for DualSense.
Sony will never have the best controller ever made until they stop aligning their analogue sticks horizontally. They can say it’s an iconic design all they want but since they’re more than happy to rip-off the Xbox Elite controller, I wish they’d copy their thumb stick alignment also. Personal preference of course but my hands always feel cramped when using my DualSense controller.
A controller can have all the bells and whistles it wants but comfort will always be king. That’s why I didn’t get on with the Xbox Elite controller either; the added weight isn’t as comfortable as a standard controller over longer periods.
No controller is perfect, though I think the Xbox 360 pad has come closest. At least Sony have progressed their controller design, I’d argue Microsoft have gone backwards in a few aspects. The stick tension on those Xbox 360 pads were perfection.
With the sequel and remake news, and the older titles having gone multiformat over the winter… just wanted to sing the praises of Persona.
I picked up Persona 3 back as a little lad on the PlayStation 2 and was taken with it straight away. From its weird gothic atmosphere and story to the addictive gameplay loop of collecting persona and the way it develops the ‘school life’ side of its systems linked it all together. It was a smart restating of the old Japanese role-playing formula. It’s interesting that when we get to Persona 5 Royal the game at its core has barely changed at all, just having more of everything thrown at it while continuingly being polished up to an absolute shine, and it was more addictive than ever.
I played though Persona 5 again, with Royal, over the winter and it really is a stunning game, still the best Japanese role-playing game, despite creaking under its PlayStation 3 technology compared to recent genre titles. It’s also an incredible piece of young adult fiction even more relevant today than it was on release, that with a better localisation (and more self control over its ‘animeness’). It could be put next to the all-time classics in the genre from movies, books and TV. It’s rare to find a game where it’s simply a pleasure to spend time in the world and with the characters, like a good book; Persona 5 is one of them. And Persona 4 might be another.
I don’t see the point redoing the third title… but I wonder what they’ll do for the sixth? Throw more options at it again with a PlayStation 5 presentation? Not sure that would be possible given the resource overheads in modern game development. You’d need an army of thousands and the entire company’s budget at Atlus to do Persona 5 levels of content at the fidelity of say, Final Fantasy 7 Remake or even Tales Of Arise. Find out soon I guess.
GC: As you say, a full remake of Persona 3 doesn’t make sense but since the current version is basically a PSP port, creating a definite edition using content from all versions, and perhaps the graphics technology from Persona 5, does seem worthwhile and doable.
I love all these stories about sales of The Last Of Us Part 1 increasing by 10 bazillion percent and it’s still only at number 20?! What does that mean, a few hundred copies?
GC: Maybe a bit more than that, but yeah, a game at number 20 in the middle of January is not going to be selling very many copies.
That is such a Sega move: the finally make a decent 3D Sonic game and their next cool is to turn it into Sonic Adventure. I suppose we should be glad they didn’t turn it into a Sonic 06 tribute.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Paulie, who asks what is more important to you: graphics or gameplay?
Even if you consider both to be important do you have minimum requirements for either? Does it really not matter to you how bad the graphics are if you enjoy the rest of the game and how bad does the gameplay have to get before it becomes a problem, if you are appreciating other elements such as the visuals and story?
What are your best examples of games that excel in one area but not others and was it something you could still appreciate, or does everything have to have a good balance of features?
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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 and content.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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