This Month On Edge
The things that caught our eye during the production of E316
Keiichi Tanaka’s Den-fami Nico webcomics bit.ly/tanakacomics
Videogame and manga artist Keiichi Tanaka has an ingenious method of presenting his stories about, and interviews with, game designers: comic strips. From one on “the invaluable soul of Zoids”, another on Yakuza’s unlikely inception, and the moving series on Mother, each tale is richly illuminated via Tanaka’s pencils. Developers’ childhood anecdotes are charmingly realised: so too are Tanaka’s own reactions and interjections, lending conversations depth and realism. Visual representations of analogies entertain most – a depiction of Mother creator Shigesato Itoi as a salted snail is not to be missed – but Tanaka’s comics go beyond mere diversion, providing a uniquely intimate glimpse into games creators. Now, if only we could get him in Edge.
Resident Evil 7 Speedrun bit.ly/resi7run
This was the standout speedrun of AGDQ 2018, and makes for the perfect recommendation to those who are yet to have been bitten by the game-breaking bug. Runner Carcinogen (and his supportive couch) are informative and entertaining, dishing out facts about Resident Evil 7’ s secret skips, menu optimisations and even its Louisiana setting while mugging for the camera. But the unpredictable horror game itself is the real star: some suitably malevolent RNG and monster spawns ensure our host is kept on very real, very funny tenterhooks at every turn.
And so it begins – continues, really, given how the likes of Fortnite and Paladins are merrily riding the Battleground hype train to Profit City. Surviv.io, however, won’t cost you a penny, and its take on battle royale shooting is marginally more original, offering a top-down 2D perspective. Loot, explosive barrels, multiplayer duelling and an enclosing circle of death: it’s all here, albeit simplified, guns little more than sticks and protective helmets coloured discs. The 2D solution to scopes seems ingenious at first, as you scroll the mouse wheel to zoom your view in and out, but becomes irritating after a few instances of being shot by someone offscreen who’s bagged a 4x. But rounds are fast, camping is rare, and with a ‘squads’ update on the way, this is a surefire chicken dinner.
Razer Project Linda bit.ly/projectlinda
Razer loves a concept piece (remember the gaming laptop with three fold-out monitors?) but this year’s CES offering may be worth serious investment. Project Linda is a laptop-shaped dock for the Razer Phone (see E314): place the handset in the gap where you’d usually find a trackpad, press a key, and a USB-C connector locks it in place, powering the laptop and charging the phone. Project Linda’s 120Hz, 13.3-inch Quad HD touchscreen display runs games beautifully, while the phone displays menus and minimaps. A Razer Phone is required but with some smart pricing, the convenience of another hybrid device might sway a few Switch believers. believers