Dear Santa, CG wants…

As we all know, Father Christmas (or Santa Claus, or Pere Noel, or Sinterklaas, or whatever; like Satan, he has many names) is a being of ineffable power. Bending the very fabric of space-time to his will, he delivers a staggering volume and variety of presents to children across the entire planet in a single night. He knows what to give them – and whether or not they are worthy – thanks to his omniscience. Imagine that you were given the opportunity to enter into direct communication with this figure, and he promised to grant your deepest, darkest desires. What would you ask for?

Some would ask for world peace (losers). Others would ask for superpowers, or a sandwich. Disturbingly obsessed with videogames as we are, each item on our wishlist would – in one way or another – relate to electronic entertainment. In fact, it would look a little something like this:

The ability to pay for games with real-life loot boxes

As so many publishers are in love with loot boxes, I’m sure that they’d embrace this idea. Here’s how it works: when I want to buy a game, I prepare five hundred shoe boxes. One of the boxes contains cash equivalent to the game’s RRP, while the other 499 contain items of significantly less value (a shoe, a couple of tins of Pedigree Chum, a hairbrush, a bag of crisps; that sort of thing). I then assign each shoe box a unique number.

Next, I tell the publisher that I am willing to accept a digital copy of their game. They send me a code to redeem, as well as money to cover postage of one shoe box via PayPal. Finally, they choose a number from 1 to 500. I send them the corresponding shoebox, and they get the excitement of opening a ‘crate’ full of goodies! There’s even a small chance that they’ll get what they actually want.

Each shoebox will also contain a signed piece of paper telling them how many “Luke Credits” – or LC – they have won (anything from 100 to 1000). They needn’t despair if their first one or fifty shoeboxes don’t contain the cash (possible, as I will replace each shoebox sent, and mix the numbers around. So long as they keep sending me games and/or DLC, they can eventually save up the 50,000 LC necessary to cash in for guaranteed legal tender equivalent to the RRP of the latest game they sent me a code for. What on earth could they complain about? Luke K

Tidy up the Switch

I would ask Santa to sort out Nintendo’s online strategy. Voice chat via the console, if it’s even possible (but hey, if he can travel in a sleigh with reindeer which fly, we’ll assume for the purpose of this article it is). A 4K enabled dock would be awesome too, with a hard drive to download all the extra assets for when the game is docked. I would also ask for a huge ‘best of Amiga’ collection for the Nintendo Switch – that would be gaming nirvana for me…. Grumpy Gurevitz

Resident Evil 4: Switch Edition

This is a no-brainer, right? And not just because you could twist the ‘no-brainer’ thing into several terrible zombie jokes. The fourth game is in most people’s top three Resident Evils and, for me, it’s still the best in the series. The control system – revolutionary for a Resi at the time – would be a little clunky in today’s market, but that could be amended for a rerelease. Speaking of controls, the main thing that made the Wii version the definitive one was the nunchuk-Wiimote combo. Imagine playing with the joy-cons.

The nature of the Switch means that the unadventurous could still be offered a traditional gamepad-style control system. The rest of us, however, could enjoy a wireless and super-accurate joy-con in each hand as we pop zombie heads and save the world. Sex up the graphics, add in online functionality, maybe a cheeky little bit of extra content, et voila; possibly the best Resident Evil ever. Luke K

Dear Mr Claus,

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. In fact, I think the last time I wrote I asked you for a Millennium Falcon, but ended up with an AT-AT. I know you messed up, but that’s OK; I forgive you. Now I’m a keen gamer, as your little spies know, and what I’d really like for Christmas this year is an end to the console power wars so that the industry can concentrate on making fun games. It’s not quite world peace… but it comes close. Nintendo have kept out of this race since the Wii, but both Sony and Microsoft are guilty of trying to outdo one another to claim the ‘most powerful console ever’ tag, and then rub their rival’s nose in it. Sony started it this gen with the PS4, which was slightly more powerful than Microsoft’s original Xbox One. Gaming snobbery came to the fore with comparisons of the resolution and frame rate of the two competing consoles, which crowned Sony the winner in the first round of the console power battle.

Things have become a bit more confusing now, with the slightly upgraded PS4 Pro and Xbox One X coming on the scene. Their promise of 4K gaming and mighty teraflops of power is the new resolution and frame rate argument. The pendulum of power has swung back to Microsoft with the Xbox One X, with the ‘true 4K’ champion, a powerhouse of a console that has swept aside the ‘faux 4K’ PS4 Pro from Sony. Yes Microsoft have been waggling their teraflops in Sony’s direction this time. Unfortunately though, Microsoft have forgotten to bring out an exclusive game that will wow gamers with compelling gameplay, and that is the crux of the problem. It doesn’t matter how many pixels or teraflops you’re flinging around on the screen, gameplay is king. So let’s stop all this tech mumbo jumbo, and concentrate on the games, eh?

Thanks Santa

Kevin M (aged 44 and 9 months)

“I’ve thought it over but I’ve not had any ideas that I’ve liked, I’m afraid. Sorry!”

Séan P

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

2 comments

  1. Kate Yap /

    ROFL, the shoe boxes got to me. It would be great to give them a taste of their own medicine. They could humor us for it over the holiday season, that would be a sight to see.

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