Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown – one of the best of 2024 (Photo: Ubisoft)

Thursday's Letters Page wonders how many hardcore gamers there really are, while a reader asks what will happen at the 2024 PlayStation Showcase.

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Game of the quarter
I would have to agree with Angry_Kurt and say that Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown as the best game of the year so far is a good and accurate decision. I played the demo and saw enough that I liked it, so I bought the game as soon as it was heavily discounted. It's just over £20 at the moment, so it was a no-brainer. It was a toss-up between this or The Mobius Machine, which GC recently reviewed, which scored lower in the review and is in the same price range now.

What's more, I watched Digital Foundry's breakdown of its performance and even if you're playing on a Switch, it runs at 60fps at 1080p docked. If you're lucky enough to have a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, it's up to 120fps in 4K. All versions are well tuned so you get a great game for a good price.
Nick the Greek

Logical conclusions
There's actually no new information in the story about what people played last year, but seeing it all organized like this… it's hard not to be worried about the future of gaming.

The small number of people who play and enjoy the video games we talk about every day in our inbox is depressing and shows that for so many gamers all video games are an excuse to go online and talk to their friends.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it does mean that the number of people who enjoy more complex or unusual games is a lot smaller than we probably think. You can't even say it's always been this way, and we didn't know either, as many of the most popular games are free-to-play live service games.

It’s not hard to see what conclusions a bean counter would come to looking at these numbers…

Catch up
The 3DS was a good portable console for its time, but I always felt that Nintendo always lagged behind in terms of graphics and power, as they are the so-called competitors. Which I personally think they never achieved.

Nintendo has had some really good games, but sometimes it feels like it's still stuck between the 90s and early 2000s.
To steal

GC: This card certainly feels stuck in the 2000s. The 3DS outsold its rival, the more powerful PS Vita, by more than 60 million consoles.

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Invisible improvement
I find it interesting that some people can't visually see the difference between 30fps and 60fps. I notice the difference immediately and I'm not a professional player. You can easily test this without a video game.

If you change the TV setting to motion smoothing/streaming, the default frame rate will change from 24/30 to 60/120 on modern TVs. The result is a 'soap opera' effect. It is extremely shocking. But unlike video games, it's not natural. I find it hard to believe that no one noticed a difference with this simple experiment.

30fps in games can be mitigated with good motion blur. Without it, the frame rate is very noticeable to me.

summer event
If Silent Hill 2 is the most exciting thing at PlayStation's summer showcase, then we're really in trouble. I think it might be the only one we know for sure, especially considering all the leaks, but what else will Sony do?

They know that Xbox's summer showcase went down really well last year, so are they going to have a counterattack that actually makes an effort? What do they mean by no big releases before next year and does that still leave room for little things like Astro Bot and this Concord live service game?

I don't know, obviously, but what I also hope is that we get an announcement from the new head of PlayStation. They haven't released any major games in 12 months and no leader… is it any wonder people are losing faith?

Roadmap for 2024
So I decided to participate in a gaming marathon and speed run, in 2024. Here's my progress, so far. I think I'm doing very well. If I say so myself. I just finished Forspoken. I will say this, it's not a bad game. It has a decent story. Frey is a decent character, not the worst, but not the best. Overall, I can't wait to start expanding my list. Here's to a great journey ahead.
Shahzaib Sadiq

Video Games I Beat in 2024

(1) Batman: Arkham City (Steam Deck)
(2) Assassin's Creed Odyssey (Steam Deck)
(3) Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
(4) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4)
(5) Fallout 4 (Steam Deck)
(6) Far Cry 4 (PS4)
(7) Doki Doki Literature Club! (Steam Deck)
(8) The Elder Scrolls 4: Skyrim Special Edition (Steam Deck)
(9) Dishonored (Steam Deck)
(10) Horizon Zero Dawn (Steam Deck)
(11) The Harbinger (PS5)

Successful Fallout Effect
Since this Fallout TV show actually looks good and will probably be a hit, does that mean we'll get an Elder Scrolls show too? This is basic TV/film executive logic: if one thing is a hit, take the next closest thing and do that too.

The Lord of the Rings Amazon series is horrible and I don't really like House of the Dragon either, so I feel like there's room for a not-too-serious fantasy show that wouldn't necessarily be that expensive either (Skyrim is basically just Vikings with the occasional dragon ). I would watch.

Small chance
Then the other week my phone decided it no longer wanted to recognize my SIM card. Which was really fun. I had to go to my local supplier's store to resolve the issue. Which is EE. For my many sins. Who am I kidding? They are all practically the same.

After an endless process, I somehow managed to survive the barrage of aggressive sales pitches, although it took a few days to sort things out. Yes, days. But they managed to tempt me with something. They offered me a PlayStation 5 to take home as part of an installment plan of sorts. About £31 a month I think.

I couldn't take advantage of it at the time, because I didn't have enough credit in my flexible plan… or something like that. Blue sky thinking. Out of the box. Be a strawberry. Buy while stocks last; blah blah blah. Hubba, hubba, hubba – who can you trust?

Now, you can say that this is more expensive in the long run. Perhaps. I did not ask that. That being said, I am on benefits and have been mentally ill for a long time. My chances or even ability to escape the poverty trap are… slim. Thinner than any PlayStation Slim. Ha ha.

So this may very well be my only chance to upgrade to a next-gen console. And there are some things I would like now. Mortal Kombat 12(1), Tekken 8, Baldur's Gate 3, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and maybe even Dragon's Dogma 2 when it's discounted. Looks like it's only worth about £25. I love a good character creator.

So… is it worth it? Has anyone else taken advantage of this?

Inbox also deleted
How long until Sony announces it is buying Arrowhead? I'm really enjoying Helldivers 2 and these recent updates have been good too, they're really getting everything right at the moment.

Will support GC's Pepper Grinder analysis. I bought it because it was cheap and because of the Drill Dozer connection and it did not disappoint. Definitely the best indie game I've played this year.

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The small print
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