Games Inbox: Stray and the best indie graphics of all time

Games Inbox: Stray and the best indie graphics of all time

Stray – a very attractive indie game (photo: Annapurna Interactive)

Thursday’s Letters page examines the ramifications of Atari’s 50th anniversary, as one reader calls the DS Lite the best console ever.

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super indie
Since it’s free, I’ve been playing Stray on the PlayStation 5 and I have to say what draws me the most is how amazing the graphics are. I can see some issues with the animation of the cat, and his face doesn’t look quite right, but he’s still very impressive and the best I’ve seen for a four-legged mammal, tho. exception of the various game horses.

What’s beyond review are the backgrounds, which are so good I can’t believe this is an indie game. The credits show that there are only about 30 core team members and yet the whole thing looks amazing. It’s not totally open world but the cyberpunk parts aren’t small either, which is really impressive.

Which makes me ask the question: is this the best indie game of all time? I can think of a few other very impressive ones, like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, What Remains Of Edith Finch, and Subnautica, but I think this might be the best. People talk about the return of AA games, but I think “super indie” is a much better way to describe these new games. Kudos to the team and I look forward to what they do next.

Zero to continue
Reading your Nintendo Insider article alluding to the F-Zero news, I momentarily got my hopes up. A new F-Zero game! Imagine F-Zero in 2022! As you rightly pointed out, the insider says to “manage expectations”.

I assume this will be more of an F-Zero themed Mario Kart DLC. This seems the most plausible. I don’t think we’ll have GameCube games on the Switch for quite some time, and while they might remaster GX, I just don’t think they’re interested in doing so. Maybe they are considering adding an F-Zero ride to their theme park?

Either way, it’s nice to see they haven’t forgotten about the franchise.

CG: As you say, Mario Kart DLC seems the most obvious guess. But we all know that trying to predict Nintendo is a game of cups.

Inevitable problem
I wonder if GC or readers can help with a question I have. My Switch Joy-Con has the well-known drift issue. Despite all the suggested fixes, it still doesn’t work. So, I thought if I bought a wired/wireless switch controller, that would solve this problem. However, after some quick research on the internet, it seems that some wired/wireless Switch controllers are also susceptible to drift.

Does anyone have any recommendations with which Switch controllers work well? Playing Triangle Strategy with this issue was infuriating and I have Live A Live coming in a few days so I want to play this without wanting to tear my hair out. Thanks in advance.
eyetunes (PSN ID)
PS: The Into The Breach interview was fantastic and I have downloaded the update but will only play it when I fix my drift issues.

CG: Thanks. All modern controllers, on all formats, are prone to drift, so there’s no guaranteed way to get away from it. It’s much rarer on the Pro Controller and Nintendo should fix it for you if it’s still relatively new.

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The complete range
I loved Super Mario Sunshine! It’s one of my favorite Mario games. In comparison, I haven’t had time for Super Mario Odyssey yet, it just seems to me that you get power moons in this game for doing very, very little, like it’s almost stupid. And I don’t know why there were so many power moons to collect, they went way over the top with that.

Definitely more aimed at kids, I think. I will still complete it one day.

CG: Some power moons were easy to get and some were incredibly difficult, the game is for everyone.

Positive vibes
In response to Grook’s letter about Mario Sunshine, although I agree that it is objectively the worst 3D Mario game with some very poor sections, such as the infamous pachinko machine level and the bird of sand, something their letter missed was the mood of the game.

Delfino Island is really a nice place to hang out and the interconnected locations, music, tropical island, theme, etc. truly come together to make for a memorable experience.

It was the first Mario game I got when I was 12, so there’s a certain nostalgia that colors my thoughts for sure. But still, if you want a gambling vacation, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Isle Delfino!

final piece
I would like to have a spare controller, GC. The last handheld I bought was a New Nintendo 3DS XL in 2017 I think. Before that, my last console was a Wii U, then I switched back to a PlayStation 2!

Part of the reason for getting a PC, as well as needing it for work, was to take advantage of Steam, Epic Games, Humble Bundle, and more. and their sales to play most of the classic games I’ve missed except the weird console exclusives like Bloodborne. Hopefully in the future this will be added to the PC.

I’m really looking forward to playing the games, the only bad part was the money spent on a good quality monitor, keyboard, mouse and other stuff. Thank you for your help with my question about the controller, but could I also ask you (last one, I promise!) which headset are you using? Or do you prefer speakers?

Sorry for the questions – I’m probably overthinking everything, but I want to get the setup right and not make a bad choice that I’ll regret later. Thanks again.

CG: No way. We have a few different headphones, including specific headphones for different consoles, but the Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 200 is a good inexpensive all-rounder.

Expensive in every way
It’s the £70 price tag that gets me talking about The Last Of Us Part 1. I don’t care if they changed the gameplay or not. If they change it, all they’re going to do is make it the same as part 2, and it really doesn’t make a difference. I bet that backer played the remake and didn’t even realize things had changed because it would make such a small difference.

I don’t see how it wouldn’t end up biting them on the ass. Gamers know it’s a scam before they start and non-gamers, who watch the TV show, are going to be shocked once they see how much the game costs. Other than die-hard Naughty Dog fans, I don’t don’t see who this is for.

the ancestor
It’s crazy to think that Atari turns 50 this year. It’s older than the vast majority of gamers and yet it’s still something a lot of people, including non-gamers, have heard of. I’ve never played an Atari VCS or any of its games, but I immediately recognized it from the Lego one (which looks awesome) and was also familiar with the game. It’s too bad that today’s Atari is just a shell of itself, literally, but I hope this compilation is good.

GC is right when they say most retro builds are lazy ports, but we know that Atari’s has ‘museum’ functionality, so hopefully it can serve as a model for others to follow. ‘coming. I certainly have my doubts about how good these games are today, but if they can be made interesting by everything around them, in terms of behind-the-scenes info, that would be cool.

While I’m at it, what was the very first console, if it was the Atari VCS? I know Pong doesn’t count because it’s just a game, so what was the ancestor of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?

CG: The first console, as in a device that could play multiple games released separately, was the Magnavox Odyssey. It was released in the US in 1972 and in the UK in 1974.

Inbox also works
My PlayStation 5 system crashes and I had to get a replacement controller due to drift. How can I put my name in the legal action ring?
sam cairns

CG: You can’t unless you’re American.

The DS Lite is probably the most beautiful and accomplished console of all time. Good battery too. I loaded it to replay Metroid: Zero Mission and Fusion before Dread. Life got in the way but it’s still fully charged a month later.
D Dubya

This week’s hot topic
This weekend’s inbox topic was suggested by reader Tolly, who asks what’s the longest gaming session you’ve ever had.

Simply put, what’s the longest amount of time you’ve ever played a game without substantial interruption? Did you deliberately decide to play this long and if so, what preparations did you make for it?

Have you ever sat down to play and were surprised how long you spent there once you were done? Do you consider this a good thing, and generally speaking, what is your preferred length for a gaming session?

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