Edge read­ers share their opin­ions; one wins a New Nin­tendo 3DS XL

“Where would you draw the line? If you don’t put a score on a game at launch, when do you?”

No score draw

So you fi­nally went ahead and did it. I never thought I’d see the day where Edge ran a re­view with­out a score, and didn’t even print it on an­other page later in the mag­a­zine. I’m in­trigued as to why you de­cided not to put a num­ber on the end of the text, given the num­ber of gam­ing web­sites who have hap­pily slapped a score on Blood­borne af­ter what ap­pears to be a sim­i­lar amount of time with the game. Was it part of the deal with Sony that got you such early ac­cess to the fin­ished prod­uct? Were you per­haps mind­ful of the fact that you only gave Dark Souls a 9, only to later re­turn with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight and award it the score it de­served? Or did you just not feel that 40 hours was enough?

Ei­ther way, it was an in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ment and one I’d like to see re­peated for big ‘event’ re­leases like this where you don’t feel like you’ve quite had the time you need. Equally, where would you draw the line? Games evolve for months af­ter launch th­ese days, and are of­ten as good as un­recog­nis­able from their orig­i­nal forms a year or two down the line. If you don’t put a score on a game at launch, when do you?

What­ever you de­cide, I hope you make it the ex­cep­tion rather than the rule. While the fea­ture strad­dled that awk­ward line be­tween pre­view and re­view, I was sur­prised how much I missed the num­ber at the end of the text. It seems the games me­dia is grad­u­ally mov­ing away from scores, but I’m not quite ready for Edge to fol­low in kind just yet, and I hope you aren’t ei­ther. Ja­son West

Thanks to every­body who sent in feed­back on this. OK, not every­body, be­cause some of you were a bit weird about it, but the ex­per­i­ment has taught us much. Scores are here to stay, at least for now.

The ’Shroom

Nin­tendo just can’t win. For years they’ve been tak­ing heat for not mov­ing with the times, for their ar­chaic on­line ser­vice and lack of a cross-de­vice ac­count sys­tem. For years there have been calls for Nin­tendo to aban­don its hard­ware busi­ness and go mul­ti­plat­form, bring­ing their games to the masses else­where.

Yet while fo­rums have blazed for years with ar­gu­ments about what Nin­tendo should and shouldn’t do, I don’t think I ever saw any­one sug­gest it should be mak­ing games for smartphones. Mo­bile games are al­most uni­ver­sally looked down on among th­ese so-called se­ri­ous gamers, seen as tacky, throw­away, grindy non­sense for ca­su­als. Only Nin­tendo’s in­vestors have ever wanted Mario on mo­bile de­vices, and now they’re fi­nally get­ting their wish. Cue yet an­other round of fury from noisy Nin­tendo de­trac­tors.

I might not even play Nin­tendo’s mo­bile games, but I can’t for a sec­ond imag­ine that Miyamoto and co will al­low the level of qual­ity the com­pany is so well known for to drop off.

Who knows? Maybe Nin­tendo will usher touch­screen gam­ing into a new golden age, just as it did with DS. What­ever the re­sults, the move opens up Nin­tendo’s games to an enor­mous au­di­ence and should bring in enough to keep the com­pany mak­ing its own hard­ware, and the amaz­ing games to sup­port it, for years to come. Who could pos­si­bly com­plain about that?

Robert Birch

This guy:

The ’Shroom Two

Can this re­ally be hap­pen­ing? It was dif­fi­cult enough watch­ing Sega slowly lose its grip on the con­sole mar­ket be­fore melt­ing away into a cross­plat­form pub­lisher and de­vel­oper (I

still have my Dream­cast, and oc­ca­sion­ally fire up ChuChu Rocket), but now it seems like we might be wit­ness­ing the be­gin­ning of a sim­i­lar fall from grace for Nin­tendo.

The com­pany’s de­ci­sion to bow out of the tra­di­tional hard­ware arms race with Wii was in­spired, and while Wii U has strug­gled to find its feet, it is no less rep­re­sen­ta­tive of its maker’s heroic ded­i­ca­tion to in­no­va­tion and fun. Nin­tendo’s most mem­o­rable and defin­ing mo­ments have al­ways oc­curred at the in­ter­sec­tion be­tween game and be­spoke hard­ware de­sign. Star Fox’s use of the Su­per FX chip. Those first steps in Mario 64 us­ing an ana­logue-sticked tri­dent. Just about any in­ter­ac­tion in Sky­ward Sword.

None of this magic could ever truly be repli­cated on a mo­bile phone, much less across a le­gion of dif­fer­ent screen sizes, touch sen­si­tiv­i­ties and pro­ces­sors. I get that DeNA and Nin­tendo’s in­ten­tion is to cre­ate be­spoke ex­pe­ri­ences, but that misses the point – ded­i­cated hard­ware has been ev­ery bit as im­por­tant to Nin­tendo’s magic as Miyamoto. I’m stoked by the prospect of the NX (seem­ingly meant to pla­cate peo­ple like me), but I can’t help but worry that it will be Nin­tendo’s last con­sole, rather than an ex­cit­ing vi­sion of the fu­ture.

Chris Lawrence

Let’s post­pone our judge­ment, shall we? At the very least it means an on­line ser­vice and ac­count sys­tem made by ex­pe­ri­enced hands, and, as Robert says, will prop up the bal­ance sheet while Wii U bat­tles on­ward.

Don’t re­make me an­gry

Now be­fore you say it, I re­alise not ev­ery videogame is made and re­leased with me in mind, and that I am free to ig­nore any­thing that fails to tickle my fancy. But se­ri­ously, who is buy­ing all th­ese Re­mas­tered Edi­tions and De­fin­i­tive Col­lec­tions and all the rest of it? I see Sony is re­mak­ing God Of War III for PS4. God Of War III! Who wants that?

In fair­ness, I can at least see some logic in tart­ing up and rere­leas­ing a PS3 game on PS4, given how many lapsed Xbox own­ers Sony has lured into the fold since the re­lease of its new con­sole. And given the way The Last Of Us made my PS3 sound like it was wind­ing up for take­off, it was nice to re­play it on a con­sole bet­ter able to cope with Naughty Dog’s am­bi­tions. But I strug­gle to be­lieve that there is this vast call for God Of War III. In­stead, it seems to me that Sony is us­ing it as a mar­ket­ing de­vice, re­mind­ing peo­ple that Kratos ex­ists in prepa­ra­tion for God Of War IV.

In­deed, lots of th­ese re-re­leases seem more in­tended to solve pub­lish­ers’ prob­lems than play­ers’. DmC: Devil May Cry has been given an­other chance on a new gen­er­a­tion be­cause, I as­sume, the orig­i­nal didn’t sell as Cap­com hoped. The same must surely ap­ply to Saints Row IV and Border­lands and… Hon­estly, there are just so many of the bloody things.

And if com­pa­nies are go­ing to persist, can they at least get it right? Ob­vi­ously Mi­crosoft made an un­prece­dented mess of

The Mas­ter Chief Col­lec­tion, but even the less am­bi­tious re­mas­ters of­ten com­pare un­favourably to their orig­i­nal form run­ning on a mid-range PC. If you’re not mak­ing the de­fin­i­tive ver­sion of a game, why bother do­ing it? Ah, yes, the money. I re­alise this is a busi­ness, but th­ese rushed-out cash-ins are mak­ing th­ese sup­pos­edly pow­er­ful con­soles look bad, and I’m get­ting a bit fed up with it.

An­drew Byrne

Ab­so­lutely, though it’s a case-by-case thing; we wel­come the Grim Fan­dango and Day Of The Ten­ta­cle re­makes with open arms, for in­stance. Given your dis­taste for the gen­tly en­hanced, we as­sume we can hang on to your New 3DS XL. If not, do let us know.

An­other world

There seems to have been a swell of na­tional pride of late. Not in the Nigel Farage sense of the phrase, but in a ‘red tele­phone boxes and trun­cheons in games’ kind of way. And

I, for one, am all for it. The most re­cent ex­am­ple is We Happy Few, which twists BioShock In­fi­nite’s evoca­tive Amer­i­cana into a hal­lu­cino­genic take on ITV’s Heart­beat. It looks stunning.

Sir, You Are Be­ing Hunted did some­thing very sim­i­lar with its flat-capped robot as­sailants, and The Chi­nese Room clearly shares the same fas­ci­na­tion with the English coun­try­side, given what they’ve shown of Every­body’s Gone To The Rap­ture so far. And let’s not for­get Dear Esther’s heather-strewn He­bridean is­land.

I think this re­flects a big­ger, more ex­cit­ing shift in videogames. As play­ers, we’ve all trav­elled around vir­tual in­ter­pre­ta­tions of our world (and many oth­ers) mul­ti­ple times, of­ten dur­ing the course of a sin­gle game. But this rush of Bri­tish­ness got me think­ing about how rare it is for a game to re­ally dig into a place, and use the dis­tinc­tive at­mos­phere of a lo­ca­tion to en­rich a game, rather than just colour it.

You could ar­gue that the Ti­betan vil­lage in Un­charted 2 is sim­i­larly evoca­tive, but a sin­gle level’s worth of play isn’t enough to fully steep your­self in the per­son­al­ity of a place. And then there are the open worlds of

GTAV, Far Cry 4, Just Cause 2 and their ilk – games that em­u­late the at­mos­phere of a real-world lo­ca­tion, but do so on such an enor­mous scale that the in­tri­ca­cies of a place get smeared into a blur of reused as­sets and ho­mogenised game­play.

I’d love to see more games set in a sin­gle, evoca­tively re­alised lo­ca­tion that truly un­der­stand ev­ery­thing that makes that place feel and look like it does, and not just cue up the right vis­ual notes. And I’d es­pe­cially like to see more games ex­plore less familiar lo­cales in de­tail – if mak­ing a game feel dis­tinctly Bri­tish still seems quirky now, imag­ine what de­vel­op­ers could do else­where.

Martin Ed­wards

Care­ful now, they're lis­ten­ing. Some­where a pub­lisher is green­light­ing Wolf Hall: A Tale Of Thorns. Ac­tu­ally, we’d play that.

Is­sue 278

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