This Month On Edge

The things that caught our eye dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of E302

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BOOK Phoenix IV bit.ly/phoenixiv Though many out­side of the US were un­aware of it at the time, Amer­ica’s videogame crash of 1983 ripped an in­dus­try to pieces, leav­ing a trail of high-pro­file ca­su­al­ties in its wake. The rebuilding process in the fol­low­ing years was the fo­cus of Leonard Her­man’s Phoenix in 1994, and the book re­tained its sub­ti­tle, The Fall & Rise Of Videogames, for two sub­se­quent edi­tions. With the ar­rival of its fourth it­er­a­tion, how­ever, we get a sub­ti­tle that en­cap­su­lates the book’s mis­sion state­ment to­day: The His­tory Of The Videogame In­dus­try. At 828 pages, it is the most far­reach­ing of all game-his­tory stud­ies (for ar­cade and con­sole games, at least – it avoids com­puter games), Her­man’s hard­ened ded­i­ca­tion to his mis­sion baked into ev­ery one of its 43 chap­ters, stretch­ing from 1951 to the mod­ern era. PHONE Sony Xpe­ria XZ bit.ly/xzre­mote Sony may still be ter­ri­ble at nam­ing phones (and their com­po­nents: this de­vice’s case is made of a metal com­pound the com­pany has dubbed Al­ka­leido), but on the ev­i­dence of its Xpe­ria XZ, it’s at least get­ting bet­ter at mak­ing them. In­deed, there’s a tremen­dous amount here to like – USB-C con­nec­tiv­ity, for in­stance, and an adap­tive charg­ing sys­tem that Sony claims dou­bles bat­tery life­span. But the real draw is PS4 Re­mote Play, which sings on the phone’s 5.2-inch dis­play, es­pe­cially when stream­ing at 1080p from a PS4 Pro. Also worth a look is the Game Con­trol Mount, which clips your phone to a DualShock 4, and has the added bonus of not hav­ing a de­scrip­tive, not-en­tirely-ter­ri­ble name.

VIDEO Atari 2600 Minecraft em­u­la­tor bit.ly/atar­i­craft

Minecraft- fo­cused YouTu­ber SethBling has built an Atari 2600 em­u­la­tor in Mo­jang’s ap­par­ently lim­it­lessly flex­i­ble sand­box. While a short video cov­ers the ba­sics, this ver­sion goes into more de­tail. The cre­ation re­pro­duces the works of the 6502 CPU us­ing mud, stone and wool blocks, while a vast ex­panse of dirt blocks rep­re­sent the con­sole’s 128 bytes of ad­dress­able mem­ory. Each game ROM is stored as a vast rec­tan­gu­lar bank of blocks at one end of the RAM plain, while an elon­gated dis­play sits at the other. The whole setup is ca­pa­ble of ren­der­ing at a blis­ter­ing 15 frames per hour. con­tinue Old Bones Xbox 360 com­pat­i­bil­ity con­tin­ues to liven up this gen’s most bor­ing con­sole Trial 911 Porsche’s 17-year ex­clu­siv­ity deal with EA comes to a con­clu­sion Hard knocks Rain­bow Six: Siege’s PVE Bartlett Univer­sity map gets a PVP re­vamp Face in­vaders Clas­sic ar­cade games make Face­book Messenger marginally more palat­able WEB GAME Spin­gun bit.ly/spin­gun In­spired by the likes of

Down­well, Luf­trausers and As­ter­oids, Spin­gun is a fran­tic, bru­tal two-but­ton shooter for iOS and PC. Your two in­puts con­trol your ship’s left and right thrusters, while hold­ing both but­tons down shuts down the af­ter­burner and fires what­ever pro­jec­tiles you hap­pen to have equipped at the time. The setup means you can’t boost in a straight line, caus­ing a pan­icked, chaotic bal­let of pro­jec­tiles as you try to ma­noeu­vre your­self as en­e­mies close in. Some sim­ply float di­rectly to­wards you, oth­ers pa­tiently wait for the op­por­tu­nity to rush in, while still more fill the tiny arena with pro­jec­tiles. Weapon powerups in­clude laser beams, hom­ing mis­siles and prox­im­ity-trig­gered ex­plo­sives, and quick kills earn you pre­cious health packs. But death in this fast­paced shooter is in­evitable. quit X pains Not even the pres­ence of

Skate 3 can ease the pain of Xbox One’s ghastly UI Sen­sored With Touch’s ar­rival, our VR rig’s USB-port quota is of­fi­cially maxed out Vir­tual short Yep, we’re ready to get our teeth into some more sub­stan­tial VR treats now Su­per Mario stop Su­per Mario Run needs to be on­line to counter piracy, ap­par­ently TWEETS Hey! So, some­times game devs will tweet that the com­pany they work for is hir­ing. This is not a re­quest for you to DM them your game pitch. Emily Gar­ri­son @emily­buck­shot Nar­ra­tive de­signer, Bat­man: TheTell­tale Se­ries, TheWalk­ingDead: Mi­chonne I’m so old that I re­mem­ber when WASD was IJKM. Ben Collins-Suss­man @suss­man En­gi­neer­ing site lead, Google Chicago How can I ex­plain to a 4 year old why all the men in FFXV look like Asian glam rock­ers, drive Amer­i­can cars and fight gi­ant worms for love?

Alex Hutchin­son @BangBangClick Cre­ative di­rec­tor, Ubisoft Mon­treal

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