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