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