Games Inbox: Super Mario 3D All-Stars impressions, Kingdoms Of Amalur remaster, and Demon’s Souls PC

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars logo
Super Mario 3D All-Stars – a welcome homage or expensive rip-off? (pic: Nintendo)

The Friday Inbox asks what’s the point of consoles if you have a gaming PC, as another reader doubts the Resident Evil 4 remake will work.

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

Expect the unexpected
For me the Mario reveal was at best meh. I was hoping for a remake of Super Mario 64 and not having Super Mario Galaxy 2 in the compilation is a disgrace. Was there a specific reason why there is a limited run for Super Mario 3D All-Stars? Unless I missed it in the presentation?

That Mario Kart game looks great, but you would need a massive living room to make use of it, which in the UK is a luxury for a lot people. All those rumours of a new Switch Mario Kart game were for nothing, the old adage you can’t predict Nintendo is so very true in this instance.

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The Game & Watch was the only thing that I wanted, not because I haven’t played Super Mario Bros. but the console looks so cool with the colour screen. I am also looking forward to Super Mario 3D World as I didn’t own a Wii U, so this will be like a new game for me.
Alek Kazam
PS: I have bought some of these Kinder Joy Mario eggs for my kids and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the toys. The figurines are really high quality but others were pointless, like a plastic headphone cable decoration with a Luigi sticker.

GC: Does that mean they’re… joy eggs? And no, there was no explanation for anything.

Games of the year
Here we are (in)patiently waiting for Sony and Microsoft to ramp up the flow of information on their next gen consoles when, out of nowhere, Nintendo stealth drop a Super Mario 35-year anniversary Direct.

OK, so there have been plenty of rumours but we now have confirmation of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. And it’s out in just a few days! This has easily become my most wanted gaming purchase of 2020.
ProEvoSan78 (PSN ID)

One benefit
When my internet gets good enough to download everything quickly, physical games become a thing of the past, and Sony and Microsoft are releasing their exclusives on PC at the same time as their consoles, I will just get a gaming PC and upgrade/replace it when new consoles are released. Is there any reason not to at this point?

I’m genuinely curious what the unique selling point of them is if I can just play everything with better graphics, etc. and with much cheaper games, 100% backwards compatibility, free online, etc., in one place (with Nintendo hardware as well, obviously, I’m not a savage). Please let me know why I’m wrong, ’cause I can’t think of any benefit of a bespoke console in this situation.
ANON

GC: The major one is that a console is cheaper than a high-end PC, which is pretty important to most people. Although, as you imply, you may well save money over time.

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E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Welcome extra
For me, I’m pretty much take it or leave it when it comes to backwards compatibility. It’s a nice feature to have, but it’s not a deal breaker. I very rarely dig out old games to play, as my current gen backlog is bad enough as it is!

But imagine if Game Pass came with all those retro games (does OG Xbox even count as retro?) or all Microsoft published games ever, I can see it being a big selling point.

Am I right in thinking Nintendo released nearly all their back catalogue on the Wii shop? Though of course you had to pay for it all!
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Ring Fit Adventure and Paper Mario: The Origami King

GC: The Wii Virtual Console was very comprehensive, yes. And we count retro as anything that’s two generations back from the current, so that’s definitely the original Xbox by the end of this year.

Improvement impossible
Totally agree with Jengaka about the Resident Evil 4 remake, I can’t see the point.

It still holds up really well now, graphically (yes, it’s very brown but the buildings, characters and weapons are excellent) and more importantly it still plays really well.

I’ll admit the controls are different from most modern games and I even doubted them a few years back. After playing a lot of run and gun games, like Uncharted, going back to Resident Evil 4’s rigid controls felt off (how on earth did I ever rave about this game?!) but by sticking with it my brain adjusted and I fell in love with it all over again!

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As Jengaka says, it’s a long game but it’s also a game that never puts a foot wrong. To me it’s the most perfectly paced game ever without an ounce of padding.

It’s also incredibly cheesy but that’s part of what makes it so special, but will its personality be considered old fashioned now and they’ll make it dark and edgy?!

Resident Evil 4 is the kind of game that comes along once in a generation and its influence is massive, it doesn’t need changing and modernising – it’s perfect the way it is!
LastYearsModel

Stranger things
I don’t know if you had plans to review Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning when it comes out soon – or just reprint your existing review – but I must warn you not to be too mean to it! This is little Ellen Rose’s favourite game! She hosts Outside Xtra on YouTube and it is something of a running gag that a quintessential 7 out of 10 game could be the personal favourite of a, err, ‘games media personality.’

Not that I will be rushing out to get it, even though I assume it comes with all the DLC. I have it for the Xbox 360 and it feel like far too much of an indulgence to purchase it, especially when I still have other role-players to beat!

Still, the game didn’t deserve the fate it got (Ha! Which is kind of ironic, considering the game’s themes) so I’m glad that it has disentangled itself from all that legal mess behind the scenes. A sequel would be more than welcome to refine its rougher edges. Just remember: Dragon’s Age was super-generic until Inquisition came along – nobody expected that. And Amalur was better than those early entries. In my opinion at least. And who knows? It could be the next Divinity: Original Sin in a few years’ time! Unlikely, but it can happen!
DMR

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GC: What?

Found planet
I am quite surprised that Capcom hasn’t started working on a Lost Planet 4, given that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X is coming upon us and will soon be ready to purchase. Although with Scavengers about to come out I think that Capcom might have to get Lost Planet 4 in the works, as this does look like it will give this series a serious run for its money.

I’m sure that Capcom will eventually get to it but they need to be starting right now, they could merge the three games into one super title and combine them into one amazing single game. I enjoyed the demo of Lost Planet 2 on the Xbox 360, when playing it with friends, and remember getting inside the monster and shooting at its heart. For a fun series like this to have no new title for a long while is disappointing and perhaps next generation will bring us a Lost Planet 4.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

Smellin’ ‘bout Bugsnax
I know you are big fans of the Bugsnax song (and rightly so) so I thought I should point you towards the latest update from iam8bit.com

I know vinyl is a bit niche but they have a lovely 7-inch version with a scratch ‘n’ sniff jacket. They also have the soundtrack to Untitled Goose Game as well as a boxed ‘Lovely Edition’ and several other gems.

Stay safe all.
Rolph (PSN ID)

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Reflecting upon improvements
RE: Bombay’s letter. I do think ray-tracing will wow a lot of casual gamers. We’ve never really had real reflections, light and shadows in games. Just approximations of these things like screen space reflections (where an image of what can be seen on screen by the player is simply pasted into reflective surfaces, meaning that if something is off screen at all it will not be reflected).

Seeing the Minecraft RTX demos and other examples made me realise how lacking light and reflections have been up until now. Seeing actual reflections in the floor in Ratchet & Clank even looked like nothing I’d really seen before. It also brings games more in line with CGI movies, which have always used ray-tracing (not a problem if you’re using super computers to render frames over days, not rendering 30-60 frames a second like a game).

But I do agree with his issue about 60fps. This has always been my problem with games, rather than aiming for smooth 30 or 60fps with at least a steady resolution they always push the visuals and effects to the point where the game feels like it’s struggling. If it wasn’t for ray-tracing the next gen would give us better looking versions of current games at solid frame rates and 4K resolution. But instead they’re reaching for something new that current GPUs will struggle with and we’ll get another generation of compromised frame rates and resolutions.
PjDonnelli

Inbox also-rans
Maybe an also-ran, but any chance Demon’s Souls remaster will show up on PC? Don’t fancy buying into a new generation for just one game.
Sven Kirby

GC: Given what Sony has been saying about PC games there’s a chance, but nothing’s been announced.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet & Clank, Demon’s Souls, and Astro’s Playroom all available at or near launch for the PlayStation 5? That’s really not bad you know, especially compared to you-know-who.
Grimph

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Talon, who asks what is the best open world environment in a game?

Especially since the release of Ghost Of Tsushima, there’s been a lot of debate over whether open world games are becoming too predictable and too bloated with filler content, is that something you agree with and what do you think have been the best and worst open world games of recent years?

How do you hope the concept will evolve in the next generation and what do you feel needs to change? How big a fan are you of open world games and how often do you complete them 100% – or thereabouts?

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.

MORE: Games Inbox: Marvel’s Avengers first impressions, RTX 3090 ray-tracing, and Star Wars Squadrons VR

MORE: Games Inbox: Sony buying Fall Guys developer, Resident Evil 4 remake fears, and Silent Hill rumours

MORE: Games Inbox: PS5 launch sell-out, Tell Me Why disappointment, and Persona 5 10/10

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