For gamers of a certain age, “cross play” refers to the feelings experienced whilst trying to get off Level 5 of Manic Miner. These days, the words usually appear in sentences including “Sony”.
As a resolutely singleplayer gamer, I’ve been ambivalent about Sony’s stubborn stance. That was until my kids’ pester power got me into Fortnite. Great game, but no local co-op – unless you have multiple devices in the same room. Imagine our family’s excitement to learn of Fortnite coming to Switch! Picture the scene of father and daughter booting up the PS4 and Switch to play together and getting unceremoniously blocked by Sony’s greedy policy.
I’d forgotten about that episode until Sony’s CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, popped up to say, “On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play. Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users.” Tell that to my daughter watching me play with her Switch powered off on her lap.
For a company that lost its PS2 dominance to Microsoft through arrogance only to see the same fate happen again but in reverse, this display of ludicrous pomposity is bewildering. The desire for player lock-in is embarrassingly transparent and everyone can see through it. As this generation matures, it’s no coincidence that both Sony and Microsoft are upping the quality of ‘free’ releases via PS Plus and Xbox Live to give you an impenetrable backlog that’ll be hard to give up.
But Microsoft is showing admirable determination to compete. Backwards compatibility and Game Pass means an instant game library to defectors. Their Achilles’ Heel this gen has been exclusive titles, but their sudden splurge in new studios shows some strategy to move away from the boring Forza-Halo-Gears loop.
Sony might feel comfortable with their massive userbase and quality exclusives being pumped out on a regular basis, but history has shown that it can be lost in a generation. I recently pulled out of buying a PS4 Pro – how could I invest in a company that has stopped our family playing together? Sony needs to look over its shoulder – the Victory Royale that seems so close can be quickly terminated by a Legendary Pump blast to the back! Ivan Harding And, as we send to press, everything appears to be fine. This whole episode proves that, however big you get, there’s always someone bigger – and Sony knew it needed Fortnite. Enjoy your new PS Plus subscription.
Road well travelled
Recently I have found myself completely overwhelmed with a compulsive desire to play roleplaying games, particularly Japanese-developed ones. Whilst I won’t go into the depths of the back catalogue, this year has added Xenoblade Chronicles 2’ s DLC, Ni No Kuni 2, Dragon Quest XI and Octopath to my pile of shame. This feels like an overload, and I have found myself unable to really get stuck into one game for fear of forgetting the specific mechanics of another title, a problem I have never previously had.
Now, I don’t think the humble RPG has ever gone out of fashion – it seems that post- COD4, it was more that the systems and mechanics of traditional roleplaying games became methods of player retention and were amalgamated into other genres.
Recently, however, it seems that the oldschool, ‘traditional’ RPG-system-based game has made quite a renaissance in both the indie and the mainstream circuit. It could
“Sony’s desire for player lock-in is embarrassingly transparent and everyone can see through it”
just be that localisation time has dropped last year’s Japanese releases like DQXI into 2018, but it seems that there is a real glut of them returning. It may be that as gamers get older, some of them become nostalgic for the days of yore, or that 2018 has just become that far into the current generational lifespan that these games, which traditionally take long periods to create, are now coming (a pattern seen on previous systems, especially the SNES) out with more regularity, but I’m wondering what the Edge take on it is? Also, can you add two more hours to the day so I can grind in Octopath? Martin Hollis No to the last bit – the bods who wear aftershave would see that as justification to stretch us even further. But you’re right to note the resurgence in a once-forgotten genre. For our money it’s part nostalgia, partly it being easier to take risks late in a console generation, and part – sorry – developers having run out of ideas.
Nintendo: a company who has made an extreme revival. It was widely thought that should the Switch fail, the company will fail, and it was believed that the Switch would be the console to put an end to the longrunning console-making company. But the Switch has overwhelmingly succeeded. Nintendo’s stock price hit a ten-year high this year. Its shares have taken a slight tumble recently, but in comparison to what they were like just two years ago, it’s unnoticeable.
And, last week at the time of writing, the latest Nintendo Direct presentation aired. People’s hopes were mixed. After all, Super
Smash Bros Ultimate has taken much of the focus for all of 2018’s presentations – most notably E3 – and is extremely anticipated by all Switch owners. But this Direct was not a focus on Ultimate in the slightest. In fact, only a small proportion of the 35 minutes was given to the huge title. Some incredible announcements were made for the console; starting off with Luigi’s Mansion 3 was a wonderful surprise. The rumoured port of the Wii U’s New Super Mario Bros U was confirmed. Half of the Final Fantasy series seems to be making the jump to Switch. And finally, Animal
Crossing was announced to be making the cross to the hybrid console. The only downside was the lack of content of the new paid online service that Nintendo has brought to the system. But at the end of the day, everyone is going to buy it anyway, really. It still shocked me, however, when people came out of the presentation complaining.
After all that Nintendo gifted us, I expected Twitter to be full of happiness and excitement, yet instead, I was greeted by mixed thoughts and unconvinced people. But why? We only got glimpses of most games – the likes of LM3 and AC, but also Daemon X Machina and games like Final Fantasy – which could irritate some people, yet this time six months ago, everybody was yearning for a new Animal Crossing. So to even confirm its existence should be something for most people, right?
It just doesn’t seem that way and that is where I cannot understand how some people ask for all these games, get the confirmation and then criticise it. Things like E3 were heavily focsed on Super Smash Bros Ultimate, where we had lots of gameplay footage and most of the game’s mechanics confirmed that day. There was even a whole Direct for that particular game, so we were never in doubt about certain things for Smash. Nintendo has been varying how they announce games, so I think people should begin to accept that if they aren’t ready to show the games off with footage, then let them be.
I personally thought the Nintendo Direct was excellent. It seems 2019 could be another good year for the Switch. 2017 was orientated hugely around Breath Of The Wild and Odyssey; 2018 around Ultimate; 2019 is now looking like it’ll be set around Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing; and looking even further, we still have Bayonetta 3 and Metroid: Prime 4 on the way. I find it hard to complain. But, I guess, people always will. James Baldwin Well yes, stay off Twitter, especially at Direct time. The heart of the issue is, however, Smash
Bros, and what it means for this year. Despite its all-star line-up, it’s not for everyone, and after such a stellar 2018, this year has been a quiet one for Switch, particularly where firstparty releases are concerned. Next year, at least, looks like quite the return to form.
Capture the blag
I’m gonna write a short letter on your article about Spider-Man, I think one of the best features that made Spider-Man amazing is the quality of roaming around the town. You will never get tired of web-swinging around Manhattan’s tall buildings and that’s something a few games have achieved in the whole history of videogames; to enjoy the path and destiny all at once specially in an open world type of game with a big scale. Some side missions might seem lackluster but the combination of exciting combat and freedom of movement makes up for it. Aside from that, I think we should really applaud Insomniac for the implementation of superb dynamic lighting, grading, depth of field and many other great effects that turned this game into a beautiful masterpiece. Of course it has its downsides as well, boss fights aren’t that challenging and it doesn’t feel like you are fighting a worthy opponent; I mean it’s true that Spider-Man is always the strongest but it shouldn’t be this easy to fight his toughest enemies. The story is commendable but it starts slow and some parts of it are really predictable. Marry Jane’s character was amazingly portrayed though, outside of comics it was the first time that I felt she had a great impact on the story, Aunt May and Miles were great additions to the story as well. In the end I have to say that
Spider-Man definitely showed that singleplayer games are still in high demand, if you put proper time and effort into them. Reza Hamid This, it seems, is what happens when you put out a call on Twitter offering a year’s PS Plus to the best letter of the month. In any case, what about those puddles, eh? Disgusting.