Games Inbox: The best sound effects in video games
Cuphead – you know when you’ve won

The evening Inbox tries to make sense of the rumours of Microsoft buying EA, as one reader controls his Mario Kart 8 road rage.

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Sweet sound of victory

Is there any more joyous sound than the victory tune for Cuphead? Obviously the absolutely beautiful artwork is the first thing to get your attention but the music is equally wonderful. Everything from the map screen to the game over screen is wonderfully scored with some amazing big band jazz. It makes it so much easier to jump back into the fight when you have such a wonderful soundtrack to play along to, and when you finally conquer that rock hard boss you’re rewarded with that sweet, sweet victory music.

There’s been a lot of talk about difficulty lately and I don’t think there’s any harm in having a choice. But I would personally never play Cuphead on the easy mode as I’d feel I was missing the full experience. Part of the joy of the game is facing seemingly impossible odds then slowly learning and improving until you finally achieve a heroic victory. The boss’ attack patterns are brilliantly varied and challenging but always fair, it just takes time and patience to master them.

Cuphead really is a fantastic work of imagination with inspired artwork, music and gameplay. It really heartens me that a game like this can even exist.
Ryan O’D

Licensing regulations

I thought EA’s licensing agreement with FIFA required the games to be released on all live platforms? If that is the case even if Microsoft bought EA, FIFA would remain multiplatform. I am not sure if this became a stipulation of the FIFA license recently though as I do not think FIFA appeared on the Dreamcast? I am also unaware if similar limitations apply to other sports series such as Madden or NBA.

Titles such as Anthem, Mass Effect, Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront, Dragon Age, and Titanfall might all become Xbox exclusives though. (Although I would expect Disney to put a stipulation on the Star Wars license that would prevent that being a format exclusive).

There is a precedent for Microsoft to allow their IP to appear on other formats with Minecraft remaining multiformat after the recent acquisition and Rareware being allowed to develop games for Nintendo portables.

GC: It’s a good point, but as you say it’s had plenty of exceptions before. Even if they had to leave out a few games they’d stay make money from them on other formats, so it wouldn’t necessarily put them off any potential deal.

Rage mode

When I was younger I would often lose my temper whilst playing games, but as I hurtle relentlessly through my twenties (please make it stop) I’ve found it much easier to control my anger. The last time I threw a controller was back in 2015 whilst playing Destiny, fortunately I was able to get a replacement free of charge due to the rubber on the thumbsticks deteriorating.

Nowadays I play games predominantly on my Switch. I play a lot of Mario Kart 8 online and I’m very good, so good I’m almost always in second or first place during a race – a crime for which the game punishes me by giving me single mushrooms and coins from item boxes and rewarding my opponents with copious red and blue shells.

There’ve been a few occasions when my bad luck has prompted me to raise my Switch above my head with the intention bringing it down onto my knee as if it were a tiny Batman and I were a slightly less muscular Bane.

However, I’m always able to stop myself because I love my Switch and would never want to hurt her, I mean it. Never want to hurt it.
iLike Fat Ladys (gamertag)

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Practice makes perfect

All the talk of dampening reflexes as one gets older has got me thinking. Is it really to do with that or is it more to do with practice? At 43 I can still just about hold my own on Call Of Duty: WWII but have never thought it’s down to my reflexes, more to not knowing the maps and not having the time to devote to learning them. If I put on Modern Warfare Remastered I am invariably top because before the advent of a wife and children I sunk (to my shame) hundreds of hours into that game. My lack of the time to ‘get gud’ is more what puts me off online shooters these days.

In other news, Monster Hunter: World is finally clicking with me. I’ve just got to the second area (terrible with place names) and defeated the first beastie there (terrible with monster names) and it was suitably epic. 20 minutes of epic-ness actually, where I wasn’t sure before. It’s still rather arcane in structure, I’m having great fun with it.
Daz Bome
PS: Any chance of the code for Planet Of The Apes?
PPS: Looking forward to playing Shadow Of The Colossus, a game I missed out on unspeakably first time round.

GC: We’ll send you the code now.

Impossible hunt

I do believe that the average person has not got the money to go hunting for real monsters so nice gesture, but I believe that’s all it is is – a nice gesture. You would need thousands of pounds, euros, or dollars to take on something like this yeti. Even just to get to these places would cost you thousands.

How’s the average gamer going to afford this? You could have done something a little bit easier, something a little bit more fun. It would probably cost you more than that to go and find a monster and if you did, I’m sure it would be worth more than 50 grand.

Please do something a bit more fun and a bit more feasible, something that way someone could win 50 grand instead of needing to spend 10 times that much to obtain that money. Kind regards, a future monster hunter.
Acid life

GC: Erm… monsters aren’t real. It’s just a joke by Capcom.

Price parity

I’m a bit late on this one, but have been catching up with Inboxes from the past week or so and wanted to clarify the situation with Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. Those who already own the normal version of the game do not automatically get season pass 1 and 2, they either have to pay for them or earn enough in-game fight money to unlock the content. You will still get the new game modes though without having to unlock anything first.

For those who buy the dedicated Arcade Edition of the game, you will indeed get all of the season 1 and 2 content included off the bat. Although this version generally retails for about £20 more than the standard version, so whether it’s worth the extra cash is a different matter entirely…
Adzz1986 (PSN ID)

GC: Considering how poorly the Arcade Edition seems to have sold we doubt that price difference will last. We think someone mentioned it was already available for less than £20 in a recent sale.

Art of the villain

I am really enjoying Wolfenstein II at the moment, it seems to be far more polished than the first one to me. The main villain is the most interesting character and is really well portrayed.

I liked your comment about keeping the art separate from the artist’s views. I feel the same way in the modern world there is far too much person vs. art where the lines have blurred.

Also, will you be reviewing Celeste?

GC: Yes, probably tomorrow.

Fluff free

Dave’s letter regarding concerns about Game Pass being used as a way of fluffing (sorry) gamers before charging for DLC and microtransactions is interesting.

I just signed up for Game Pass and I’m downloading Gears Of War 4. The season pass and 99% of the DLC is included with Game Pass. It’s just a few, what look like cosmetic items that aren’t and some of those refer to supporting esports with some of the proceeds going to a team or league. So maybe that’s why they aren’t included. Hopefully that’s how the service will be for all games.
Simundo Jones

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Life doesn’t give you instructions

I agree that Dark Souls should not have an easy mode – the challenge is so fundamental to the experience and I’ve had some of my best gaming moments overcoming the difficult bosses in the series. To be honest, I’m not actually sure that the difficulty is the problem. If my first attempt at Dark Souls is anything to go by, it’s the fact that it doesn’t explain itself in a way that most gamers, myself included, are accustomed to. Here is the reason I gave up on my first run at the game. It’s a familiar tale but regardless – spoilers ahead.

After the terror of the Asylum Demon, I’m dropped into Firelink. I investigated the shrine and came across the graveyard where I spent an hour getting annihilated by enemies that are grossly overpowered. I then stumbled across the lift to New Londo, where I spent an hour getting annihilated by invincible ghosts. I found the item that made them… vincible? Only to discover that in a ‘fair’ fight they are grossly overpowered.

I then found the vendor that sells miracles and bought one, but couldn’t cast it. I subsequently discovered that to cast spells you need to do four things – find the spell, attune the spell, have the right level of the right stat, and also have the right catalyst. With my spell sitting uselessly in my inventory I headed towards the Undead Burg where I was enjoying killing the appropriately-powered enemies until I got a terrifying message explaining that I’d just been invaded and was subsequently one-shotted by a grossly overpowered enemy. I had absolutely no idea what had happened or why.

For people who persevered for the five or six hours it takes to make these mistakes, these are war stories. We look back fondly and share them with friends, getting one-up on each other like the Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen sketch (‘I got invaded while I was fighting the Black Knight.’ ‘Ha! Luxury! I got invaded in my cell at the Undead Asylum!’). But the first time through, this is an utter nightmare. The game is difficult, but it’s the fact that you’re not sure if you’re in the right place, or if you fully understand the systems, that makes it tough. Difficult isn’t bad, but when you throw confusion into the mix it becomes frustrating and you get the nagging feeling that you’re doing something wrong.

So I’d disagree with the idea that Dark Souls should have an easy mode. If From held your hand ever-so slightly tighter in those opening hours, though, I don’t think I would disapprove. At a time when there’s so many great new games, many of them hundreds of hours long, people just don’t have time to spent six hours banging their heads against a brick wall without fully understanding why.
Gary Wright

GC: To be fair, the games did get slightly more explicit, in terms of instructions, as the series went on.

Inbox also-rans

How many games have you played from start to finish, then gone through it again and again and again and again and again? On that basis for me Resident Evil 4 is the best game I’ve ever played.

To answer Suo Tempore from the morning Inbox. If you had an Xbox One you’d probably have to play Monster Hunter World solo. Not a sniff of getting online in four days. Lack of beta for Xbox One could be a factor!
redperil68 (gamertag/PSN ID)

This week’s Hot Topic

It’s the last week of January, which means this weekend’s Inbox is the time for you to vote in the official GameCentral Reader’s Top 20 of 2017.

All you have to do is send us a list of your three favourite games of last year and we’ll add all the votes together to create an overall top 20. But to be shown in the Hot Topic itself we want to know why you picked your favourites and what you think of them. How do your picks for 2017 compare to previous years, and where do they stand in your own personal all-time list?

Although we place certain limitations on our own top 20, such as not including remasters or remakes, the only restriction for the reader’s chart is that they have to be games that were released new in the UK during 2017.

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