When it’s time to se­lect a new brush from the pot


There is a po­tency to the Blood­borne Hunter, this crum­pled yet noble war­rior, con­tem­plat­ing con­flicts past and the fevered tus­sles that lie in wait. His is an almighty im­age, des­tined for im­mor­tal­i­sa­tion on the cover of Edge. Some­times, though, there re­ally is noth­ing for it but to stick an enor­mous pair of goo­gly eyes right there on the page one. And get on the phone to the ink sup­plier, be­cause we want the back­ground to be or­ange. Or­ange, yep. As or­ange as can pos­si­bly be achieved.

Spla­toon has this kind of ef­fect. The Nin­tendo uni­verse is hardly fa­mous for re­straint when it comes to splash­ing a bit of colour around, but this new Wii U shooter raises the bar. From the shock­ing neon-pink train­ers on its char­ac­ters’ feet to the zing­ing ink that sloshes around the cen­tre of its en­tire premise, it’s a ri­poste to the sludg­i­fi­ca­tion of mod­ern colour palettes in games that some­how out- Sun­set Over­drives Sun­set Over­drive.

Nat­u­rally, the story runs much deeper than the gar­ish sur­face, and in our cover story we talk to the de­sign­ers who won over an ini­tially scep­ti­cal Shigeru Miyamoto to get the chance to cre­ate that most un­usual Nin­tendo propo­si­tion: an en­tirely new in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. There are no plumb­ing broth­ers in Spla­toon, no space-faring foxes nor suck­ing pink blobs. This is an on­line-fo­cused shooter star­ring a bunch of kids. Sure, they just hap­pen to be ca­pa­ble of trans­form­ing into squid at will, but their dis­tinctly hu­man con­fig­u­ra­tions feel un­like tra­di­tional Nin­tendo of­fer­ings, show­ing that the com­pany’s will­ing­ness to try a change of tack isn’t mere lip ser­vice.

The re­al­i­ties of this new Nin­tendo were re­vealed more plainly in March when the com­pany an­nounced that it’s bring­ing its leg­endary prop­er­ties to mo­bile. The im­me­di­ate com­mu­nity re­sponse was largely neg­a­tive, and, in the ab­sence of fine de­tails, spec­u­la­tive. How the move ul­ti­mately af­fects the prospects of the com­pany’s tra­di­tional con­sole ti­tles is un­known, but at least no one could ar­gue against the chances of Nin­tendo do­ing any­thing other than de­liv­er­ing the goods wher­ever it leaves its mark.

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