Edge readers share their opinions; one wins a PS+ subscription
I’m sure many who have managed to complete Breath Of The Wild will have seen Corey Bunnell, the sole non-Japanese name to appear on Nintendo’s development end credits. Ten years ago he posted on an online forum sharing his dreams to go to Japan and work for Nintendo. It’s truly inspiring to see that after years of hard work he didn’t only achieve his dream but had a hand in making the greatest game of all time. And in 2017, we need all the inspiring stories we can get.
So I’ll be doing a Corey myself. What with some seismic changes in my personal and work life that all came to a head at the end of last year, topped off with the double clusterfuck of Brexit and Trump, I’m making plans to bid good riddance to the west and start over in Japan.
You can say my love of Japan was rooted in my growing up with videogames, but at the same time my favourite games over the years have enriched my understanding of Japanese culture. Still, there’s only so much that playthroughs of Shenmue, Project Diva, Yakuza and Persona can show me - I need to be there living it for myself.
Of course, I’m not so naive to believe that it’s going to be all sushi and cherry blossoms. The language barrier is going to be a problem (but hey, I still enjoyed playing through the Japanese version of Persona 5 despite putting my Google Translate app up to the screen every other minute), and I’ve read my fair share of horror stories from English teachers working there.
I also wonder if the Japanese culture of overworking will mean I’ll once again have no time for gaming. Luggage limitations mean I might not even be able to squeeze a PS4 into my suitcase, though I suppose I could just buy a Japanese model once I’m there. But that’s also why I’m very happy to own a Switch, on which I’ll be able to squeeze in sessions during commutes and still play at home whether or not I have a TV.
So wish me luck as I try to get a job and visa to get to Japan in the next few months. And if you fancy getting me a going away gift, then maybe I should definitely find a way to hang onto my PS4. Alan Wen All the best to you on your adventure, Alan. And when you get settled – before March 2019, ideally – make sure you send for us.
Having enjoyed games for over 20 years, and followed critic review scores for nearly as long, I’ve become convinced that there is a genre bias in scoring games. Almost all games that receive the highest scores across multiple multiformat publications seem to be limited to a narrow scope of gaming genres. A cursory look at Edge 10s reveals a heavy presence of certain titles – Zelda, Mario, GTA, etc. But my favourite genre, JRPGs, although providing the most memorable experiences for me, rarely seem to hit those ‘perfect’ scores across publications.
I believe it is the nature of different genres that is responsible for this. A game like Bayonetta is lots of fun and probably worthy of a 10, but in many ways it’s a simpler format to refine and perfect. JRPGs, on the other hand, have to balance story progression with world exploration, the control you can have over supporting characters versus fastpaced battles, etc. There are so many more pitfalls to fall into and because they really are impossible to balance perfectly, it damages their chances of acquiring legendary scores.
And yet the ambition and scale of FFXV and the effort that went into it can never be fully recognised in a score because the genre type forces too many constraints. However, I wonder just because a game has ‘flaws’ or is
“My favourite genre, JRPGs, rarely seem to hit those ‘perfect’ scores across publications”
slightly ‘unbalanced’ in parts should that really take away from the whole positive experience of what they have achieved? Robert Gilbert If FFXV is a 10 to you, then great, but it’s not our job to play favourites. Still, it’s not long ago that Final Fantasy XII was Edge’s game of the year; it could happen again.
The lead designer of Magic: The Gathering, Mark Rosewater, has often described three types of players: Tammy, who values experience (think: Shadow Of The Colossus or Thumper); Spike, who values expertise (think:
Street Fighter or Drop7), and Jenny, who values expression (think: Facade or Deus Ex). These player archetypes are often discussed in board-game circles but rarely when it comes to computer games. Luckily, these are easily looked up on the internet.
Now I’ve always loved the elegance of this triad, and have given it much thought over the years. One thing I keep finding myself busy with is if there should be a hierarchy between them. In my own experience, expression is the highest form of play, with experience the lowest (and naturally, most popular). I can also defend this rationally by arguing that experience is easily found in other media, although a sense of ‘being there’ is only easily mass produced in digital forms. Expertise is something best practiced in games, due to them being safe to experiment in, but this attitude rarely focuses on anything but the game’s rules. And expression would be the highest, as it not only has you interacting with the rules of the game, it can also have one interacting with the joys and the sores of reality. Notice how only the best manage to juggle all these:
Dark Souls, Zelda, WOW and Super Metroid. Years ago, Edge once boldly stated that they always choose gameplay over graphics. Reading that as a kid meant a lot to me. Twenty years later, I’m still curious as to what my favourite magazine considers valuable in games. Perhaps this triad is the ideal dichotomy; perhaps Edge has an even better one. So what I’m asking is, where does Edge actually stand? Robert August de Meijer Heavens above, Robert, isn’t a bit early in the day for this? As far as we ‘re concerned, there’s only one type that matters: the one that reads Edge. Enjoy your PS Plus sub, and please stop asking such difficult questions.
I’m certain much has been and will be said about how fantastic an experience Breath Of
The Wild is in singleplayer, but it turns out it’s a fantastic multiplayer experience too. At a recent StreetPass event (thankfully despite the Switch not having it, Nintendo is still supporting the community) many of us had our Switches and Zelda. We had two projector screens and two docks. On one we had the various games of that event’s tournament, the other was for Zelda.
I created another profile on my Switch for new players to get a chance to explore the Great Plateau, but we also switched consoles frequently so people could show off the new things they’d found.
Watching someone else play and pointing out things in the distance was great. We found a labyrinth in the desert, one of the dragons and a bunch of shrines. It was easy to swap back and forth between players with the dock, so everyone got to join in.
I’ve seen a lot of people worried about spoilers for Breath Of The Wild, but I’ve been only too happy to learn of other people’s discoveries then look for them myself. Spoilers in Breath Of The Wild feel more like travel guides to get the best out of my holiday – and, like most holidays, it’s more fun if you don’t go alone. John Edwards It’s a rare game that feels so immune to spoilers. Just as well, really, because it’s all anyone round here wants to talk about.
The delightful severity with which the top end of the year has filled with startlingly good games that beg to be experienced has been astonishing. Resident Evil 7, Horizon
Zero Dawn and now Persona 5: these titles sing to me. I am also the proud owner of a neon Switch, loaded with Zelda, Snake
Pass, Snipperclips and I Am Setsuna. Yet I am dejected. I am a mature student in my final term of computer science, undergoing continuous assessment from lecturers and trying to complete my thesis on the application of agile methodologies in software development.
I have no time. I knew this term would be busy, but not to this degree. I have managed about five hours of gameplay in Zelda. Five! I’m stunned to hear of people on second and third playthroughs when I have yet to carry the blue flame to the sodding furnace! Or save the rupees for registering a horse.
I don’t begin my job as a demo engineer until mid-August, so my last summer off bodes well for my back catalogue. There’s something inherently wistful, even in your 30s, about daytime gaming. For those of us who aren’t privy to this as a career it’s a joy. Owen Grogan Hey, this job isn’t just about playing games all day, you know. There are also bribes to collect and nefarious sociopolitical agendas to subtly advance. Still, best of luck with the final push. We hope a summer off is worth the effort, and definitely aren’t jealous.
We forgot to send you an email last week about film night, so just in case you have a look at your emails today here is a reminder that we are showing My Old Lady starring Maggie Smith. Slim Of course we’ll be there! And probably for the next few after that, since we doubt our spam filter’s getting fixed any time soon.