Games Inbox: Is Fortnite worth playing, Nintendo Switch 2 predictions, and Excite Truck love

Fortnite season 3 Vibin characters Darth Vader Indiana Jones
Fortnite when was the last time you played it? (pic: Epic Games Store)

The Friday letters page hopes that NFTs are on their way out with all games companies, as a reader prefers Obi-Wan Kenobi to Fallen Order.

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Going back
Since there’s so few new games out at the moment I did something I haven’t done for years now: I put on Fortnite. At first I just wanted to see how long it’d take to update, which I knew would be ridiculously long, but then I became curious as to how it played nowadays, especially as there’s now a no building mode.

I’d heard about that before and it almost made me dip back in when it happened, but I never quite got round to it. So I tried it yesterday and it was a lot better without everyone building walls and sheds and whatever. However, the thing that struck me most about going back was how… ordinary the action was. I wouldn’t classify it as bad, at least for a free game, but I wouldn’t say it was good either, it feels kind of spongy and weightless and not like you’re firing a gun at all.

The rest of the game… I was impressed by all the options and the stuff going on with the map that had nothing to do with the battle royale itself. They clearly put in a lot of effort with it all, to keep it constantly updated. For me though, it’s not worth playing anymore though, not as anything more than a curiosity. If the action in an action game isn’t top notch I don’t see the point, free or not.

Just say no
I can’t say that Minecraft is a game I’ve spared more than a second thinking about in the past but I suddenly have a great deal of respect for Microsoft saying no to NFTs. There was a moment there when it looked like this was going to be the new loot box, but even worse, especially when Ubisoft and EA started going on about them (Activision get a lot of stick but it’s always those two at the forefront of any bad idea).

I’m assuming this will put the final nail into Ubisoft’s plans for using them, but as far as I understand one of the big reasons for EA giving up the FIFA name is so that it could have the rights to sell NFTs for the game. We’ll see if they’ve rethought their position, but I’m guessing not.

The only other big companies that seem interested now are Japanese, so I can only assume NFTs are perceived differently there. Hopefully they come round soon, as Square Enix in particular is making an embarrassment of itself at the moment.

First choice
So with SJC after a PC controller I thought I would throw my two-penneth in.

I use a standard Xbox Series X/S controller. It hooks up to Windows easily and most games are programmed to recognise the Xbox buttons (so, for example, tutorials will tell you to use button ‘Y‘ rather than a generic button 1). I also prefer the analogue stick location, but that is purely personal preference.

My only real complaint with it is that it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery and takes AAs. However, there are plenty of good controllers out there, this article gives a good rundown covering a variety of budgets.

Hope that’s helpful!
The Dude Abides

GC: It is, but even for PC we’d never recommend a joypad that wasn’t a first party console controller.

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Still truckin’
Excite Truck on Wii remains a family favourite; 10/10 having played every week for years now, we’ve even grown to love and master the motion controls. The excellent Cruis’n Blast on Switch being the only new arcade game that appeals to our non-simulation tastes.

It’s criminal that a game like Need For Speed can get 20 sequels, yet this genius design has a single iteration.

I’d take a new Excite Truck over F-Zero any day of the week, as Excite offers multiple layers of control and bonus chasing. Such a waste of a genius arcade game design where every boundary and limitation is blown wide open.

Thanks for all the honest, entertaining reviews
will sargent

Cleaning up on Game Pass
Game Pass has been great value, with its wide range of genres, from indie titles to AAA releases… but what am I addicted to at the moment? Cleaning up other people’s muck on Power Wash Simulator.

The OCD in me means I just have to get 100% once I start each level
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Power Wash Simulator and Road 96

Cal before Obi
I know I’m late to the party here but I just finished watching Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I remember that the general consensus here, with inboxers, was that it wasn’t very good, and it just carbon-copied the story of Fallen Order.

Well, not only was the show brilliant and ‘felt’ like Star Wars, but it had absolutely nothing to do with Fallen Order.

There was the one location and the inquisitors. That’s it. No link whatsoever.

Except for Darth Vader I don’t think there was a single character in both.

I wonder if the people jumping on the bandwagon even played/watched them?

GC: We agree with the Inbox consensus that Fallen Order did everything Obi-Wan did but better. Characters don’t have to have the same name to fulfil the same role in a story.

Infinite charge
I’d long packed away my DS Lite and upgraded to a 3DS, then after eons of usage bought a 3DS XL just as they were becoming obsolete with the industry standard Switch console.

Late last year I was going through my collection, readying some things for potential eBay sales, and flicked the power button on my DS Lite, it powered up and I don’t believe I charged it before resigning it to its original box. Though I can’t be sure, as it was easily over six years ago, at least? Pretty ridiculous, nonetheless.
Bad Edit

Bonkers ideas
In response to Focus’s excellent letter the other day, regarding which direction Nintendo are going to go with their next eventual console, I love it when brainstorming starts, particularly with the Kyoto company. I love how you can throw any idea up in the air and it doesn’t matter how absurd it is, the chances are that Nintendo have, at the least, probably considered it.

So I thought I would throw my two pennies into the madness of gaming creativity. I’m predicting we won’t see a new console for another three years, as long as Nintendo can ride this gravy train that long (it’s only just over 1,000 days after all).

I predict it will take a similar form to the Switch, in that the controllers will be detachable on the sides of the screen. Only the controllers will be foldable outwards with touchscreens, a bit like a foldable touchscreen phone.

That leaves you with the option to fold out your controllers and make an even wider screen to play on via touchscreen, Tetris would be interesting via touchscreen portrait gaming.

The docking station will probably stream images straight onto your TV via the main console. Three people could play, two with the controllers and one with the touchscreen or all three with touchscreens or two touchscreens and one controller. If that makes any sense?

Have I lost you yet?

Here’s the trick though, the two controllers fold out and join together to make a second screen to be used, if you measure the Joy-Cons of today they already equate to a quarter length of the screen. Fold both controllers out and they cover the same screen size as the Switch screen itself.
Then they could even do one better and have the conjoined controllers latch onto the top of the original screen in a sort of hybrid duel screen console shape and Lord knows we all know how successful the flip screen has been for the big N.

How any of this would translate into a load of successful games is anyone’s guess but that’s how Nintendo operate.

All of my ideas are nuts of course but that’s the fun of trying to second guess Nintendo.

It would be great to hear other reader’s ideas regardless of how bonkers it may appear at the time.
freeway 77

Inbox also-rans
They missed a trick not releasing Stray on the PSP, didn’t they?

GC: If that’s a joke, we don’t get it?

The free games on Epic Games Store, from 4pm on Thursday, are Shop Titans and Tannenberg.
Andrew J.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tolly, who asks what’s the longest games session you’ve ever had.

Put simply, what’s the longest you’ve ever played a game without any substantial break? Did you purposefully set out to play for that long and if so, what preparations did you make for it?

Have you ever sat down to play and been surprised by just how long you’ve been there once you finished? Did you consider this a good thing and generally speaking what’s your preferred length of time for a gaming session?

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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.

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

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