Ask CVG Anything: GTA HD, cash cows, zombie apocalypse

Plus: Should Gearbox apologise for Aliens: Colonial Marines?

Ask CVG Anything does exactly what it says on the tin. We ask followers on the CVG Facebook page and forums to send in their best game-related questions, and as long as they're legally sound we do our best to answer them.


If you want to see your question featured in a future edition of Ask CVG Anything, either add it as a comment at the bottom of this article or keep an eye on our Facebook page or this forum thread where we'll be regularly asking for more.

After the arcade version of F Zero was found within the GameCube disc, it got me thinking, would you rather see a 3D or HD F Zero? - Daniel Switzer

Chris - Definitely an HD one. I wouldn't turn down a 3DS version if that was all that was on offer but I'm sick of realistic racing games on HD systems. I want one that goes so fast it's in danger of making me slip into unconsciousness and stare straight into the vengeful eyes of God while I play it. Oh, and Sumo Digital should do it. WHAT A TWIST.

Tamoor - In an ideal world Nintendo releases a HD version of F-Zero GX, everyone buys it, they realise there's demand for it and we get a brand new one. A man can dream, can't he?

Rob - F-Zero X is the greatest racing game I've ever played. It was ugly then and it's ugly now, but it plays beautifully. I think I'd burst with joy if Nintendo released a HD version.

Is it just me or do publishers and developers rely too much on "what's hot" at the moment instead of listening to their fans? - gmcb007

Shaun - Publishers do listen to fans: we changed the Mass Effect 3 ending and Far Cry 3 now has an outpost reset option (bravo). It's true that the larger publishers are risk adverse, but their products are a result of what fans in their masses want. Also, fans aren't video game designers.

Rob - What Shaun said.

Tamoor - It's a little from column A and a little from column B. This late in the cycle it is totally normal to see a drought in groundbreaking, drastically different experiences, both because they're saving it all for the next-generation and because they've hit a wall with they can do on current technology. I've said this before, but it's important to reflect on the AMAZING games (and franchises) this generation has given us. Sure, some of them might have been milked over the last few years, but all blew us away at some point. The same will happen with the new crop of systems.

Chris - It's a harsh truth, but it's a truth nonetheless - these are businesses. If FPS games are popular, they're going to make more FPS games until they aren't popular anymore. If Facebook games are popular, they're going to keep making those until they stop making money. It would be lovely if big publishers kept saying "right, now let's make the sequel to Cool Spot" but they're there in this business to gather greenbacks.

If you want to blame someone, you can't really blame the publisher, because it's their job to make money. You can't blame the developer, because more often than not they've been commissioned the project and are really just feeding their families. In a roundabout way, you can only really blame the larger gaming community for liking and buying these games. If everyone suddenly thought "Call Of Duty's pish now" and didn't buy the next one, you can bet your bottom dollar Activision wouldn't be in such a huge rush to start work on another. Sounds unrealistic, but look at Guitar Hero.

In your opinion(s) what is the best traditional side-scrolling shmup ever? - Ian Churchill

Chris - Hmm. Assuming you mean flying around dodging bullets, rather than run 'n' gun games like Contra and Metal Slug, I'd say Thunderforce III on the Mega Drive. I had loads of other favourites back in the day though - Sol Feace (which came free with the Mega CD) was great, R-Type is obviously a classic and I once imported a Japanese Mega Drive game called Fire Mustang which was surprisingly brilliant. And if you want to try slightly odder ones, go for Fantasy Zone and Cloud Master on the Master System, Keio Flying Squadron on Mega CD or any of the Cho Aniki games.

I just realised those were all on Sega consoles. Seems Sega was was my company of choice for shoot 'em ups. Never really thought of it in that way before. Mind you, it's worth looking into the TurboGrafx for some excellent side-scrolling shooters (many of which are on the Wii Virtual Console).

Tamoor - I'm a big fan of Ikaruga. Most people agree that DoDonPachi is the best shmup ever but I'm an Ikaruga man.

Rob - Agh, these questions terrify me. There's so much amazing quality to choose from! If it came down to it, I would choose either Super Probotector (that's Contra 3, US chums) or Ikaruga. The former is just this amazing action movie structure presented in a game, the latter is brutal but structured in such a way that you get this unbelievable rush exploiting the game.

Do you think companies cash cowing games due to being run by people who purely want to make a profit is slowly ruining the quality of games? - Rez Storm

Rob - Nope, quite the opposite. The most heatless, penny-pinching company executive knows that the best way to get your money is to build an unbelievable game. Also, a lot of company executives want to do far more than just make money.

Chris - Only when it comes to release deadlines. I'm sure developers do their best with what they're given, and don't set out to make a cheap buck. It's only when the bigwigs tell them "your game needs to have this and that in it, and it has to be ready by this date" that problems can begin. It's the reason film tie-ins are generally not very good, because the developer doesn't have the freedom of a long deadline.

Shaun - Publishers may determine what is developed based on profit, but studios and developers generally work in the interests of making good products. Major titles are homogenised to an extent, and major yearly franchises exist because they meet demand and people enjoy them, so yeah, that's money speaking!

But there are alternatives. If the games delivered in the Triple-A sphere no longer appeal to you, there's a wealth of content in the independent sector. It may be disappointing that the bigger budgets aren't being spent on colossal advances in game design and experience, but that's money! And besides, titles like Watch Dogs, the next MGS game, and Destiny are showing early signs of progress, if only iteratively.

Tamoor - I think gamers constantly being negative, bitching and regurgitating redundant commentary on the state of the industry ad nauseam is ruining the quality of my life. I get it, annualised sequels suck, Call of Duty is for losers, and people in suits are ruining everything you love. I'm with you, but we've had this discussion a billion times. You don't need me to tell you what you already know.

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