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Games Inbox: What is the worst video game console name?


The name that doomed a console (Nintendo)

The Monday letters page discusses the best UK video game magazines, as one reader offers his review of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Funny names
Someone the other day was trying to guess the name of Nintendo’s next console. I think all three of the main console manufacturers are terrible at naming their consoles. Switch, Wii, GameCube?

It is thought that part of the failure of the Wii U was caused by its name confusing potential customers as to what it was, and I think the name Xbox Series X might also be partly responsible for Microsoft’s recent troubles for the same reason. PlayStation 5? I wonder what Sony will call their next console? So, what console has the best name? I vote The Bally Astrocade, released in the US in 1978.
Tim Keeling

GC: Wii U is probably the worst console name of all time but what’s wrong with Switch? Clearly, WonderSwan is the best.

Forced to agree
Just a quick note to say that I read the Reader’s Feature about the death of video games and I really wish I could disagree.

I’ll take it if it means it takes late stage capitalism with it because, let’s face it, that’s what’s really to blame here.

I’m old enough to remember the last crash and it was exactly the same hubris that brought that about. Maybe Nintendo can save the industry again. I think I’m near done with giving money to Xbox now and I’ll be looking very closely at the Switch successor.

The Reader’s Feature was extremely well written so I won’t add anything other than that.

Stay cool everyone!
Adam

GC: We wish we could disagree with anything you said. (Well, except the bit about it being a good feature.)

Schrödinger’s exec
Yep, that Sarah Bond interview was shockingly bad, and she was given real softball questions. Anyway, the really interesting thing was that she was still towing the title by title line when it came to cross platform publishing, which is in direct odds to almost a mountain of commentators saying everything is going to go when discussing Xbox to PlayStation games.

So what’s going on, is there an internal war between members of Xbox still holding out for exclusives and Microsoft who want everything to go? Hope we find out soon, I’m holding out hope for Fable on my PlayStation 5!
Rob

GC: We suspect it’s a case of in-fighting and that the decisions are constantly changing. We’d be surprised if anyone at Xbox had a clear idea what they were doing at the moment, especially after the success of Sea Of Thieves.

Email your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Hard copy
Interesting article here on The Guardian, about 15 of the best UK video game magazines. It’s basically just a list of the writer’s own personal favourites, but still a nice little nostalgia piece about the magic that was physical gaming magazines. Maybe GC and your viewers could share your own personal favourite mags when growing up?

Mine were probably N64/NGC, and gamesTM, especially the latter with its well written features mixed with a slightly less po-faced tone than Edge and I don’t think I’ve bought one since this great mag shut a few years back.

I remember how exciting it was to come home from the newsagent with/get delivery of the latest issue and getting lost for hours in its pages, with features of exciting new games or consoles on the horizon, without the distractions of a million other apps or websites that you get nowadays when reading online. Really makes me want to go out and buy a copy of Retro Gamer or Edge now, the only ones left still standing…
Manchester
PS: Despite all this, I still love you GC, been reading since ’93 and Digi (over 30 years, wow) and still don’t start the day without reading you over breakfast!

GC: Thank you. Our favourite is Amiga Power, which seems way too low on that list. Your Sinclair and Commodore User sharing a spot seems odd too, given how dissimilar they were.

Prime candidate
If there was ever a game that would drive subscriptions it would be Call Of Duty, no?

It’s the perfect game for the service, as it’s constantly supported throughout the year, as opposed to a one-time playthrough. So people would be more likely to stay subscribed?

Also, doesn’t Call Of Duty make a shedload from its cosmetics? Skins, BlackCell, the season passes, etc.?
Having it on Game Pass would tempt even more people to download it, and have eyes on the store.

Or is the one time purchase worth that much?
Matt

GC: That’s the logic, but we’ll just have to see. Many people, particularly casual gamers, just don’t seem to want to pay for a game subscription, especially if they only buy one or two games a year – which is the case for many Call Of Duty players. And even if it does drive subscriber numbers, there’s the question of how much money that means Microsoft will be missing out on from full price sales.

Well appreciated
An awesome review of Animal Well and exactly why I love the minds of indie developers and their unique insights into art on a playable level. The old style graphics excite me in a way that wasn’t possible many years ago, when these game types originally were made. I am talking about experiencing the games before Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night and Metroid Prime, as these are timeless and always playable. But the older retro games aren’t so much.

Here we get the fluid movement and tightly controlled gameplay which early retro gaming could not possibly do, until the Amiga possibly, but definitely not the NES and Master System. That made playing retro games much less fiddly (though still blooming difficult) compared to the Spectrum, Atari, and Commodore 64.

I enjoy synthwave a lot and this style of music is tied heavily with indie gaming. I hit the YouTube examples which GameCentral set out and was hit with just an amazing sound which came from the complementary gameplay videos. It totally suited the game and it was just so magical and atmospheric, as the music was matching the on-screen action and the dreamy neon-bit graphics. Was the music up to the same quality as the game GC? I know it wasn’t discussed in depth.

Watching the sound and animations was amazing and I was expecting the game to be longer than it is. But I think finding all of the secrets hidden amongst the levels will lengthen the game and I will definitely not be using YouTube to find the secrets, especially as the fulfilment factor will be a pretty big high if I do it by my own trial and error.

So GC, again, much thanks for such a great review of an indie game which brings a little light in this emotional time for employees in the gaming sector affected by job concerns. Can’t wait to play this game and here’s a big thank you to the developer and the indie community in general for their talents and artistic vision.
Alucard

Instant game console
I was spending time with my twin granddaughters on Thursday and their latest love is Peppa Pig… so loaded it up on Game Pass on the iPad and on my phone. It made me realise the talk of an Xbox handheld would be the most pointless device ever.

You can already play the games on anything from PC to laptop to phone or tablet, so pointless. As always, keep up the good work, take care of yourselves. All the best.
TWO MACKS

Too much of a good thing
I’ve been playing Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth almost every day since launch, and finally, after two- and a-bit months of playing it, I finally rolled credits. My thoughts then, if you’ll have them.

The battle system remains right up there with the best in video games, with a constantly engaging mix of managing damage dealing, healing, your ATB bars, limit breaks, synergy abilities, and flicking between character instructions remaining fun all the way to the end.

I liked the story, and admire how they’ve cleverly turned it into a fully-fledged sequel to the PS1 original, even if my understanding of the various story strands was rather stretched at points.

The middle of the trilogy means a chunk of the game is focussed on the characters and their relationships, which I too enjoyed. There are a lot of fun moments in the game and the Golden Saucer was the highlight for me, although perhaps I felt a lack of purpose or urgency in the main story, which was epitomised with a main quest to try all the rides in the amusement park, when actually the planet is dying and there is a madman on the loose. Priorities, Cloud!

My main issue with the game though, and it rather spoilt my enjoyment towards the end, was the absolute mammoth length of the game. Is there really any need for games to be this damn long? I was rushing through the story for the last 20 hours of playtime at least. I get to play for just over an hour a day, on average, and the game kept me playing for about 75 hours (and I skipped a lot of side content!) – that’s almost 20% of my play time for the entire year!

I get this isn’t a problem for everybody, and some people might appreciate its length (pardon) but really, would anyone have noticed if it was only 40 or 50 hours long? Final Fantasy 7 Remake was about that long and it was all the better for it.

I had a great time with it overall, it’s just such a mammoth undertaking when my gaming time is pretty limited (if ~400 hours per year can really be called limited). I know I’m by no means the only person in this position, so I hope companies do consider generally shorter games as a matter of course. While Sony and Xbox are pondering how to lower budgets or save money (sack everyone seems to be their answer!) I’m sure knocking off about 20 hours of content would contribute a little bit.

Anyway, it’s a few short games in a row for me now. Pepper Grinder was ticked off during a long coach trip to Manchester and after the reviews for Animal Well I’ll pick that up too. By ‘reviews’ I don’t mean the good scores, I mean reviewers saying it’s quite short. That’s a yes from me then.
Henshin Agogo

Inbox also-rans
Are you going to review Madison? I’m a couple of hours into it and it is very atmospheric and for VR it looks fantastic, but it just isn’t scary. I thought it was going to be Outlook or even Resident Evil 7 and I would need a change of underwear, but it hasn’t really clicked with me yet. Hopefully it does.
Simon

GC: We’re not sure we can take another modern horror game that isn’t scary, it’s becoming almost depressing.

If I was Microsoft I wouldn’t have Phil Spencer or any of those others appear in the Games Showcase. I think people are just sick of hearing from them. I bet they can’t stop themselves from appearing though.
Kuskus

Email your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

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.

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


MORE : Games Inbox: Will Metroid Prime 4 be out this year, Xbox closure anger, and EA Play problems


MORE : Games Inbox: What can Xbox learn from Nintendo, Battlefield age, and GTA 6 Trailer 2


MORE : Games Inbox: Giving up on Xbox after Tango Gameworks closure, Nintendo Switch 2 hype, and Helldivers 2

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.





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