Edge readers share their opinions; one wins a year’s PlayStation Plus
I own a Switch. I was sold from day one. Even if they had a Wii U-style misfire again, I would’ve enjoyed my time with the Switch. I’m happy with its success and I’m glad this console is getting more games with much more enthusiasm for the platform than Nintendo’s ever had with past consoles. That said, even with all its success: I don’t want everything coming to the platform. Neither Nintendo consoles nor the player base are properly served with highly compromised ports. Saturating the platform with two-year-old games and flooding the eShop with tons of indies: it becomes a problem that the Wii ran into where the quantity drowns the quality.
And as someone who’s used Nintendo consoles as the main console in the house, I want to see thirdparty developers making games with the same care and craft as Nintendo does. This would mean actually understanding the console’s limits and designing around it without completely compromising their own content just to see it run. Nobody wants a game like that, and nobody should have to pay for it.
I think there is going to be a stellar future for the Switch, but it would be a shame if it ran the path of the Wii and Wii U: a golden path for Nintendo only because thirdparties would rather flood the market. Kenneth Wesley Fair up to a point, but now we’ve been nursed through a 13-hour flight by portable Skyrim, we’re not sure we agree. If Switch continues to sell at its current rate, though, devs will have no alternative but to abandon the quick cash-ins and support it properly.
With the latest mass shooting (hopefully still Parkland, by the time you read this), is it finally time for videogames to take a good look at themselves?
My knee-jerk reaction is a common one: videogames are obviously not, in any way, to blame for violent acts! But our entrenched reluctance to even have a discussion is little better than the attitude of the Second Amendment enthusiasts.
A game cannot shoot someone, but a gun is just a tool; and cannot evoke an emotional response like a game can. We can defend our hobby, our passion, and still conduct a thorough self-examination. John Norris We hope it’s still Parkland by the time you read this too, John. There is absolutely a sensible discussion to be had about the levels of violence in contemporary games. Unfortunately, none of the people that want to have said discussion are actually sensible.
“I want to see developers making games with the same care and craft as Nintendo”
It’s been more than a year already since I moved from Italy (I’m no native speaker) to the UK to work in videogame localisation. Not the best time to relocate to the former Albion Empire, you might argue, but here I am, undaunted.
I was (positively) surprised to see how game prices can be significantly lower here compared to my native country. Big secondhand retail stores allowed me also to get a retro compatible Wii and a respectable bunch of Gamecube classics, Eternal Darkness included (I never got a Gamecube back then)! Then, one day, as I was heading to Italy for the Christmas holidays, I started browsing some videogame magazines at the airport. I don’t know for what astrological reasons I had absolutely never heard of Edge before, but after getting the last three issues of 2017, I went for the annual subscription.
You are probably used to getting praise, so
I am going to focus on the couple of things I personally find great. The first one is the quality of the interviews and special articles which never fail to appear in every issue, giving us the chance to get to know the people behind the creativity and will to entertain (and more, of course). The second one… well, an Italian would say, “Edge looks at no one’s face” – an idiomatic expression meaning you don’t check who you are addressing before saying what you think. It’s a delicate matter, and I am quite sure I’ve overhit my character restriction a long time ago, so I will finish by saying that it was very nice to find an editorial staff able to jot down their thoughts without second guessing themselves. At least, this is the impression I got. Keep up the good work, and thanks for helping me to enlarge my lexical drafting board. Luca Rungi Welcome, Luca – and thanks for the kind words. Not to tempt fate, but it’s been a while since we’ve had any real vitriol in the
Edge postbag. Either we’re finally getting somewhere, or they’ve tired themselves out.
On the pile
Every gamer with a family and a mortgage knows only too well the law that states the number of games in your library is inversely proportional to the free time available to actually play them.
It seems churlish to complain about having too many games to play or too much choice, but I am sometimes overwhelmed by the exponential expansion of media content. Maybe this comes across as trite nostalgia but I miss the days when I would buy a game, finish it and then trade it for another. Each game got the attention it deserved. My gaming experience now is much more fractured.
I have a similar problem with music. With my Amazon Music subscription I have access to about 40 million songs; I’m discovering tons of new music but I don’t engage with it in the same way I did when I used to buy five or six albums a year.
My son was given an Xbox One for his tenth birthday recently and had 150 games ready for download the first time he switched it on (a result of having linked his account with his elder brother). One hundred and fifty!! Sometimes he’ll stare at the Home screen for a full ten minutes, paralysed by the amount of choice, before abandoning the console to watch other people play games on YouTube.
Frequently he’ll look at me and ask, “What game should I play, Dad?” I glimpse a future where entertainment media content has reached critical mass and we will all need a personal AI to tell us what we should play, watch or listen to. Chris Davis We sense an opportunity here for an Edge
powered smart assistant to help you make difficult gaming choices. Assuming you’re fine with only ever being told to play
Overwatch or Puzzle & Dragons, that is. Oh, and sorry to add to the pile, but we’re afraid you just won a PlayStation Plus sub.
It’s been a particularly tough year so far for UK retail. Maplin and Toys R Us have bitten the dust, and seem unlikely to be the last. Many stores seem to have been just sort of existing for the past few years, with low interest rates reducing the pressure to make any actual profit.
Now the bubble, if you can call it that, is bursting, how long has UK videogame retail got? Like most Edge readers, I expect, I don’t use high-street retail for my game purchases, because I’ve had my fingers burnt one too many times in the past. Eye-watering prices, poor stock of anything but the newest games, and the dreaded upsell at the till have kept me away for years. I recently stuck my head round the door of the local Game, and it was more of a videogame-merchandise store than an actual videogame retailer, with a window display full of stolen phones. It’s getting harder and harder to see the point in it.
But I know that when the time finally comes, I’ll miss it. Games are too important to not have a home on the high street, even if that home smells bad and never seems to have the thing you’re looking for. Is the writing on the wall for the high-street game store? If there’s still time to save it, what needs to happen? James Wilson Well, you’d need to start spending money there, and so would we all – which, let’s face it, isn’t going to happen. It’s a brutal time for retail, but let’s not forget that the companies currently dying did an awful lot of killing in their day, and maybe their demise will open the door for small, passionate, principled indies to return.
The last time I wrote in, ten-odd years ago, my email was somehow replicated across three or four issues, for some fault or other. The cynic I am, I blamed the content of it, ARGs, for this fault. These alternative-reality games, so popular in the mid to late ’00s (our post- Majestic world) were constantly utilised as ways of exciting us about games ( Halo 2) or TV shows (Lost).
It seems now in the era or direct address, with Twitter et al at the forefront of our consumptive society, that these more subtle and subversive ways of engaging with an audience have died out. It’s a shame as outside of an actual game community these felt like the best way to engage and connect an audience together.
Is there any hope for the ARG? Martin Hollis If you want our response to this, you’ll need to take the first letter of the third word from the fourth line of body copy on each right-hand page for the next 12 issues of Edge. Then, we will have wasted roughly as much of your time as Lost did of ours.