Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Demo – have you played it? (pic: Capcom)

The Monday letters page debates nine years of Phil Spencer in charge of Xbox, as one reader looks forward to his first Nintendo console.

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Bridging the gap!
As a massive fan of the original game, and Resident Evil in general, I just wanted to give my review of the Resident Evil Chainsaw Demo. Short version: it’s amazing. Slightly longer version: it’s really amazing. Now my actually longer version:

The first thing that grabs you are the graphics, which are fantastic but then you’d expect that after the other remakes. The second thing is the new control system, which is not as different as I expected it to be. It definitely works but it does feel a bit generic, like it could be from any game, and not something specifically trying to bridge the gap between not being able to move and shot and modern games.

I should be disappointed about that but what it gets right perfectly is the sense of panic and never letting you feel safe or at ease. The village sequence is one of the best in all gaming and this is a perfect replica of it with modern visuals and controls.

I love that it has the same attention to detail as the original, in terms of everything from limb damage to the cow in the shed that you can turn into a flaming weapon. I also approve of the same changes to gameplay revolving around the knife, which adds another layer of tension. March 24 can’t get here soon enough!

Scary sequel
So 2023 is shaping up to be a colossal year for survival horror. We’ve seen, so far, a brilliant Dead Space remake and Resident Evil 4 remake will most certainly impress. But I’m pondering when we will see Alan Wake 2? I remember playing the first game and I always thought the Darkness element, and a novel brought to life, could translate well to a survival horror game.

I’m ecstatic that it’s a strictly next gen title; last gen systems would hold this title back. It held back Cyberpunk 2077 and the less said of that, the better. I’m wondering if the story, will connect to what Control brought, from the expansion? Hopefully, the story is written well and we can see some footage at Summer Games Fest.

I’m also asking what no one else seems to have pondered, will Alice Wake return in this instalment? I remember that she played a part in the first game, but I’d like to see her return to drive the story. I also hope that it is a terrifying game. Remedy stated categorically that it’s their first foray into the survival horror genre, but I foresaw confidence in Sam Lake and the team when the title was announced. Hopefully, we see an update soon.
Shahzaib Sadiq

GC: Alan Wake 2 is supposed to be out this yet.

Trying to survive
I recently tried the Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Demo and I was surprised to find how difficult it was (I am not referring to chainsaw difficulty mode.) I spent well over an hour just trying to get past the village siege and I’ve still not completed the demo yet.

The knife now being breakable has really affected the balance of the game for me. I appreciate that Capcom are wanting to challenge Resi 4 veterans who know the game inside out, but I thought that the original Resident Evil 4 struck a fine balance already.

Can GC comment on whether they have played the finished version yet and whether or not the difficulty in the demo is raised above normal? I’ve see other folk online state that they were finding that the game had less ammo than usual and the villagers were doing more damage than previously.

GC: We haven’t played the Chainsaw Demo and we’re not allowed to discuss the final game until the embargo. But we had no trouble with the difficulty when we played a demo last year, that seems to be very similar to what was released last week.

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So many beat ‘em-ups, so little time
I notice that Streets Of Rage 4 is getting a new free update with a surprising amount of brand new content and fixes and it got me wondering whether that might mean a sequel is brewing? I really loved what
Dotemu did with the game, and I’m sure it’s better than anything Sega would’ve come up with, but I also want to see them work on other Sega games like Golden Axe and Altered Beast.

In short, I want it all and yet given they’re just one little indie developer and these things take time I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen. I know they work with a number of different studios, so maybe they can work something out but, really, all this sort of thing should’ve been worked out years ago.

The longer Sega waits the less likely anyone will be interested. It would be just like them to release an amazing reboot after all these years and to have missed their moment so much that nobody cared.

Constant attention
Pretty funny seeing the new warning over the dying Wii U if left too long. Mine had been lying around in my TV stand for what seemed like a year or so when I remembered I had Pikmin 3. From then I’ve been playing it fairly exclusively. I think I’ve hit the last level but I don’t want it to end.

This was a stroke of luck that I started playing it though as not long after the warnings came through. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild next. Plus, now I’ll have to switch it on every so often to keep it healthy.

It’s probably going to be like this for most recent consoles so we’re all going to need to do this I’d imagine.

My first Nintendo
I have recently bought my son (six and a half) a Switch OLED and I must say it’s a lovely bit of kit. I have only had Xboxes since my PlayStation 2, and this will be my first ever Nintendo console! That’s probably sacrilege to many of you. Still, I have already subscribed to Switch Online + Expansion pack, so am looking forward to trying Super Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, and Pilotwings amongst many others.

I bought him Luigi’s Mansion 3, Mario Kart 8, and Minecraft to start, and got myself Metroid Prime Remastered. I have read hundreds of articles and letters on GC about these and many other Nintendo classics and am relishing getting stuck into them.

I was hoping for some help from the GC community.

Firstly, any suggestions on a good, sturdy case to use whilst playing the console in portable mode (for obvious reasons!)? Preferably one that can be kept on whilst docking the console, and also that you can remove the Joy-Cons from without having to take it off.

Secondly, what games other than the ones I have already bought would you recommend, that I can play co-op with my boy?

Lastly, I would like to try a few of the Zelda games. Ocarina is included with Nintendo Switch Online, so I will start that first. What two or three other Zelda games available on the Switch are considered the best, and is there any merit to playing them in a specific order, or can I just try any of them? Presumably Breath Of The Wild will be the most technically advanced, so I’m sure I will purchase that soon.

Thanks in advance as always for the help fellow readers.
MaJ0R RaNT (gamertag)

GC: The case doesn’t matter much beyond cosmetics, but we’d strongly suggest something like this for the screen. Notable co-op games include Overcooked, Snipperclips, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, but we’re sure readers can suggest more.

We’d say the definitive three Zelda games are A Link To The Past, Ocarina Of Time, and Breath Of The Wild. We’d try to play them in that order too, not because of any story concerns (there is barely any connection between any of them) but to see the evolution of the series and its ideas.

Horace goes multiformat
Just heads up to say that the excellent platformer/puzzle game Horace, that I played on Switch, is now on Xbox and PlayStation digital stores. It’s on PC as well. I was hoping it might be on Game Pass, as a friend would like the humour of the game, but I don’t think he would play it unless it was available on Game Pass, as it would not be something he would buy.
Andrew J.
PS: You can pre-order a physical version of the new Jeff Minter game Akka Arrh on Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 at Limited Run Games. The games are region free but the only problem is that postage and duties put the price up a bit, as they are shipped from USA.

Growing resentment
I read the Reader’s Feature about Xbox’s legacy of failure and pretty much agreed with it all.

I’ve reached 50 now and have been gaming since ZX Spectrum days and have never considered myself a fanboy one way or the other. However, I have noticed a change recently in my growing resentment towards Microsoft. It was the recent story about Microsoft taking full page ads in the press to announce 150 million players would be able to play Call Of Duty. It’s as ridiculous as it is annoying.

I may be coming at this with slightly rose-tinted specs, given I have just taken delivery of a PlayStation VR2. Yes, Gran Turismo 7 is incredible, but after that Reader’s Feature I didn’t boot that up. Instead, I played Demon’s Souls on PlayStation 5. It’s utterly brilliant. I’m not sure that Microsoft/Xbox quite understand what makes it so good.

I won’t be abandoning my other main gaming platform (PC) so in that sense I’m still a Microsoft consumer.

But has there ever been an example of a CEO in charge of a company for so long, and has spent as many billions as Phil Spencer has, and yet has presided over so much failure?

And then, at opportune moments, he carefully drops snippets into social media, such as 100%-ing Vampire Survivors recently, something which only 4% of players achieve. We’re the ones who are getting played, by Spencer.

As a 51-year-old gamer I find myself taking sides for the first ever time. Boo to Microsoft.

Inbox also-rans
So how big do we think The Super Mario Bros. Movie is going to be? I see a lot of hype for it but people thought Detective Pikachu was going to be massive and it was just a minor hit. Will this be the same?

Always enjoy a good random birthday reveal, so here’s mine before someone else gets in: Chrono Trigger is 28 years old this month. Here are all the official anniversary announcements:

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Korey, who asks what’s the longest you’ve gone without playing video games on a regular basis?

Perhaps you’re a lapsed gamer and lost in interest for a period of time, but if that’s the case what pushed you away and what drew you back in? Or maybe it was just a monetary issue or something related to work that stopped you from playing?

Do you consider gaming to be a major part of your life or is it just something you pay attention to when a particular game grabs you? If you became interested in games later in life what was it that finally caught your eye?

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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.

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic: Famous franchises you’ve never played

MORE : Games Inbox: Activision has turned Microsoft and Sony insane, Suicide Squad worries, and Final Fantasy 17

MORE : Games Inbox: Waiting for Starfield, Resident Evil 4 remake confidence, and Dragon Age 2 remaster

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