Di­a­logue

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

EDGE - - SECTIONS -

Pa­tience and time

I am be­hind the times. Stuck in the past. I am a life­long con­sole gamer yet to make the leap to the cur­rent gen, and I prob­a­bly won’t for a while yet (mainly be­cause I still can’t de­cide be­tween Xbox One and PS4). I have never been an early adopter and have usu­ally waited at least a year be­fore up­grad­ing. I am cling­ing to my 360 which, even though it has started mak­ing some strange noises, is still go­ing strong. I have a cup­board and a hard drive full of un­fin­ished games that will likely be left un­touched and for­got­ten when I do make the switch.

I try to hold on to the past, though. I still have a PS2 hooked up to the bed­room TV, on which I tell my­self I will fi­nally fin­ish Okami and FFXII. Deep down, I know I never will. Those games will end up be­ing lost to time as their host hard­ware be­comes ob­so­lete.

Back­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity helped me in the tran­si­tion from PS1 to PS2, but has be­come an af­ter­thought th­ese days. Back­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity for Xbox One is a nice idea but is lim­ited. I envy PC own­ers who can upgrade their rig to ex­pe­ri­ence the new while still ac­com­mo­dat­ing the old.

Go­ing back to games af­ter too many years or hard­ware gen­er­a­tions can dam­age the nos­tal­gia-tinted mem­ory you have of them when, in the stark light of the present, you com­pare what they were then to what they are now. This makes it harder to play them again and en­joy them as much as when they were state of the art. I’ve tried to re­cap­ture my youth by down­load­ing the 16bit Sonic games on my 360, and while it was nice to play them again, it’s just not the same.

I try to make progress with my older, un­fin­ished 360 games but inevitably end up just play­ing Madden each time I pick up the pad. This re­ally comes down to con­ve­nience as I know a match in Madden will be over in a set time, say 20 min­utes, whereas I would have to com­mit at least an hour to make any sig­nif­i­cant progress in other games.

Time is against me. It’s too late for a lot of my games. I know that when I do get a new con­sole I will cre­ate new mem­o­ries with shiny new games but some will still slip through un­fin­ished. It’s sad to think of all the un­ex­plored worlds and un­fin­ished ad­ven­tures that sit gath­er­ing dust in the limbo of the at­tic. For now, I’ll try to hold onto the past for as long as I can. Alex Evans PCs aren’t quite the so­lu­tion – games may sur­vive hard­ware tran­si­tions, but they still show their age over time. Any­way, live in the past or leave it all be­hind – ei­ther is en­tirely ac­cept­able. Al­though we draw a line at play­ing on­line games with a Dream­cast, nat­u­rally.

“I tell my­self I will fi­nally fin­ish Okami and FFXIII. Deep down, I know I never will”

Vi­sion of con­flu­ence

Hav­ing just read yet an­other dress­ing-down of the cur­rent state of mo­bile gam­ing by Nathan Brown in E289, I thought I’d make a spec­u­la­tive at­tempt to un­der­stand the cur­rent mo­bile gam­ing mar­ket.

Over the fes­tive pe­riod I was for­tu­nate enough to be gifted an An­droid tablet, mean­ing I could play through some of the qual­ity mo­bile ti­tles I’ve missed. How­ever, hav­ing quickly burned through the likes of The Room, Mon­u­ment Val­ley and Hit­man Go, I’m find­ing it hard to find games that stray far from a few gen­res: match-three puz­zle games, base-builders, and end­less run­ners.

I was born some time af­ter the videogame crash but from what I un­der­stand, a lack of qual­ity con­trol saw devs and pub­lish­ers make and pro­duce games of poor qual­ity in vast quan­ti­ties, and so au­di­ences be­came dis­in­ter­ested in gam­ing as a whole.

Are we cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion with mo­bile games? And just like they did back in the 1980s with the Seal

Of Qual­ity, are we de­pend­ing on Nin­tendo strid­ing into the mar­ket once again to save the day? With the NX on the hori­zon, mo­bile gam­ing may not be Nin­tendo’s main fo­cus for 2016, but I for one am wait­ing with keen in­ter­est to see what Nin­tendo in­tends to do to make its money in the mo­bile mar­ket.

Ben Monro

If any com­pany can shake up mo­bile gam­ing, surely Nin­tendo has a good chance, even though Mi­it­omo doesn’t ex­actly sound like it’s go­ing to change the world. The con­cern is that cash-hun­gry Nin­tendo sim­ply fol­lows ex­ist­ing App Store trends, rather than set­ting its own. Let’s hope not.

Bad seed down

Nathan Brown’s col­umn in E288 re­minded me: videogames are now made, re­viewed and played pre­dom­i­nantly by dads. Dads who, just like Nathan, can make know­ing jokes about baby fae­ces to other dads. You know what I’m talk­ing about, right, dads? I cer­tainly do. I know all about baby fae­ces now. I can joke about it, and come up with funny metaphors to de­scribe it. It’s a com­edy gold­mine, this baby-fae­ces stuff.

Devs are at it too, for­ever ex­plor­ing the poignant bond be­tween father and child. Fall­out 4. Heavy Rain. The Walk­ing Dead. The Last Of Us. Shower With Your Dad Sim­u­la­tor 2015: Do You Still Shower With Your Dad? It’s in­evitable, as male in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als reach breed­ing age, that they should change their fo­cus.

They have given up res­cu­ing ab­ducted princesses from cas­tles, and are now in­ter­ested in sav­ing ab­ducted prog­eny from post-apoc­a­lyp­tic mad­men, or se­rial killers, or zom­bies, and us­ing their art to ex­press the pro­found moral un­cer­tainty that comes from be­ing naked in the pres­ence of an in­fant you are bi­o­log­i­cally re­lated to. You need to shower. They need to shower. It’s re­ally con­ve­nient to wash you both at the same time; it’s im­prac­ti­cal to get a sit­ter ev­ery time you need a rinse, but it still feels a bit off. Only videogames can give cathar­tic voice to this com­plex emo­tion.

Don’t start me on Who’s The Daddy. Do Viet­nam veter­ans watch Full Metal Jacket for re­lax­ation? In­die de­sign will soon be noth­ing but pa­ter­nal neu­roses. Baby sui­cide sims will over­take open-world sur­vival games in Steam Early Ac­cess and itch.io will be ran­cid with semi-func­tional clones with sim­i­lar sound­ing names: Who Is The Daddy, Who’s Your Dad, Who Is Father, et al. Any­way, must dash. I’ve dis­cov­ered that if I har­ness the baby to my chest and re­main stand­ing upright, jog­ging slightly from foot to foot, she will sleep for nearly 45 min­utes in one go. That’s al­most half a quest­line in The Witcher III.

Ti­mothy Franklin

If you haven’t fought a raid boss with a baby asleep on your chest, or ar­rived at work on dead­line day with vomit on your shirt, you haven’t lived. Please note: your New 3DS is not rec­om­mended for use by un­der-sev­ens.

Fate of all fools

Loft space is of­ten filled with ob­jects that don’t need to be im­me­di­ately to hand: suit­cases, spare du­vets, tins of paint. It is also a place to store items that en­cap­su­late par­tic­u­lar mo­ments in life that have been and gone, be that old school re­ports, photo al­bums, or gam­ing sys­tems from the past.

We have re­cently moved house, and our new home is lit­er­ally over the road from the pre­vi­ous one. Be­fore our mov­ing day, I climbed into the loft and sur­veyed the ob­jects that I would need to take across the road. Did I re­ally still need it all? Of course I did! It’s my chil­dren’s in­her­i­tance, whether they like it or not. An ex­ten­sive Amiga col­lec­tion, a Nin­tendo 64 and games, a few dif­fer­ent-coloured GameCubes, plenty of vin­tage ’80s toys and there, in the cor­ner, a tow­er­ing fortress of Edge mag­a­zines.

I have to say, re­peat­edly haul­ing those mag­a­zines in stacks of 20 or so, down a lad­der, and then the stairs, and across the road was an epic jour­ney. Car­ry­ing over 20 years’ worth of the fu­ture of in­ter­ac­tive en­ter­tain­ment from one home to an­other was back-break­ing work. There’s your proof that videogames are bad for your health.

Now we are set­tled in the new house, with the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion con­soles sat be­neath the TV, the older con­soles wired up to a tele­vi­sion in a spare room, and of course the ever-ex­pand­ing mass of Edge sat in a quiet cor­ner, ready for ac­tion when re­quired. If you are a longterm videogamer, com­mon sense sug­gests not to move home too of­ten. I’ll be stay­ing put for a while now.

Ben Bul­beck

We salute you. Also, we may be mov­ing of­fices soon – we’ll give you a shout, right?

The last word

I have no­ticed a pat­tern emerg­ing with your let­ters lately, and I won­dered if Edge has a spe­cific cri­te­ria that it looks for.

There al­ways seems to be one about how the au­thor has been play­ing games since the be­gin­ning of time but no longer has the time to do so, of­ten cit­ing fam­ily or work com­mit­ments as the main cul­prit.

There is a let­ter where the au­thor has read last month’s col­umn by Steven Poole and feels com­pelled to make their point us­ing the long­est pos­si­ble words.

There is usu­ally a let­ter com­plain­ing about the costs and ef­fi­cacy of DLC and/or sea­son passes.

Could Edge clear up whether it is com­plete co­in­ci­dence re­gard­ing this or that we should all be writ­ing th­ese kind of let­ters to be con­sid­ered for pub­li­ca­tion?

I am won­der­ing if I write ‘jux­ta­po­si­tion’ and ‘an­tidis­es­tab­lish­men­tar­i­an­ism’ whether I might win a 3DS XL.

Rich Lenton

Ah, so close. As you can see, we can still find room for a bit of nos­tal­gia, but the Dis­patches meta has moved on from Poole to Brown. No prize this time!

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