Mr.Spo Comments

Page 1 of 23

  • Digital Foundry vs Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

  • Mr.Spo 13/12/2014

    @spekkeh But I think the point stands, loathe as I am to moan about review scores.

    For me the text of the review is all important, but the scores at the end are valued by consumers and publishers a like. Smash on Wii U is 60fps, 1080p, and, according to EG's review, the best in a series which averages scores of 90 to 95 out of 100 on Metacritic; yet Smash is an 8, one point higher than AC: Unity which was riddled with glitches, the same score as The Crew and one point less than the Master Chief Collection, which still doesn't function as intended. Hell Smash, from my experience, even has working online.

    If we're sticking with scores--and if glitchy, unfinished games are becoming an issue--the onus lies on critics to punish that kind of behaviour, I think. It's a big issue, and it's also true consumers will have to share some responsibility and get out of the poisonous "Next Big Thing" pre-order mentality.
    Reply +11
  • Eurogamer readers' top 50 games of 2014 voting

  • Mr.Spo 12/12/2014

    To make up for it being overlooked at the Video Game Awards:

    1) Bayonetta 2

    2) Bayonetta 2

    3) Bayonetta 2

    4) Bayonetta 2

    5) Bayonetta 2


    I wasn't actually allowed to vote like this, but it is my GOTY
    Reply +6
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt delayed again, now due May 2015

  • Mr.Spo 08/12/2014

    CD Projekt Red has blamed new 12-week hold up on the game's "sheer size and complexity", and the need to correct "key details" before launch.
    Given how many publishers are happy to correct "key details" after launch, I think this is the right decision. Plus it gives me longer to save up for a new console to play this on...
    Reply +4
  • Ubisoft racer The Crew enters UK chart in sixth

  • Mr.Spo 08/12/2014

    @grassyknoll Thanks for that, not sure who negged you. That's a shame, at this point Wii U is the equivalent of the Saturn in the UK. I don't see that changing now. Have you seen the sales in France? At least 100k higher install base in a smaller market, 60k copies of Bayonetta 2 sold as of this month--which puts it on par with the opening month sales in the US. I have to wonder what Nintendo France do that Nintendo UK don't, though obviously different tastes are playing a part. Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 08/12/2014

    Smash dropped from 13th to 14th. Not a bad drop off, but safe to assume (given the Black Friday inflation last week) unit sales saw a big drop off. Reply 0
  • Yes, Sony Santa Monica is working on a new God of War

  • Mr.Spo 08/12/2014

    @TONYgr A Balrog developed God of War... What is this new devilry? Reply +7
  • Digital Foundry vs Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS

  • Mr.Spo 07/12/2014

    @Der_tolle_Emil Unlike some other games recently released (including a certain Wii U exclusive), Smash had a very, very long QA process. There were some suggestions in the Japanese press that the QA process actually started shortly after E3. Obviously, given the variables, the game needs it, but it would be great if some publishers weren't so willing to skimp on that process. Reply +11
  • Mr.Spo 07/12/2014

    @Dantonir This thought struck me over the weekend, after the Zelda/Uncharted footage. Both will release around the same time next year, and you couldn't hope for two more high quality (I hope), yet very different experiences as the leading lights for two publishers/consoles next year.

    Smash on Wii U is glorious. I'd love an expansion in 12 months time...
    Reply +1
  • Zelda Wii U detailed with new developer walkthrough video

  • Mr.Spo 06/12/2014

    Obviously very early footage, you can see Link's cape/hood thing clipping through his shield when he's on horseback. Looks very promising, though. Looking forward to it! Reply +1
  • The Game Awards 2014 live report

  • Mr.Spo 05/12/2014

    I'm always suspicious of videogame award ceremonies, but I really hope Bayonetta 2 gets Game of the Year. The extra publicity might help it sell a few more copies. Reply 0
  • Shovel Knight has sold over 300K copies

  • Mr.Spo 05/12/2014

    Add another copy for when I get around to buying and playing it. Reply +2
  • Super Smash Bros. creator says Wii U version is likely his last

  • Mr.Spo 04/12/2014

    @SpaceMonkey77 On the Kid Icarus count, it became a Kid Icarus game because Sakurai wanted to use that license:

    "Interestingly, the genre came first and then Kid Icarus and Pit were fitted into that later. Initially, Nintendo and Mr Iwata came to me with a request to create a game for the new portable system. I had a proposal for a game where a character would fly - for air shooting, then would land and battle on the ground, in the same way the game is set up right now. In discussing that, we realised that Kid Icarus and Pit would be a perfect match, so that's how it came about... we were able to use the design of Pit developed in Smash Bros; to incorporate him into the game."

    Standard development process at Nintendo. Create a prototype game. What existing IP fits? If the answer is 'none', create a new IP. That's how Splatoon happened.
    Reply +8
  • Mr.Spo 04/12/2014

    @Calverz Maybe because they gave him the capital to set up Sora Ltd, his own development studio??? Reply +4
  • Mr.Spo 04/12/2014

    I'd love to see a Wii U version of Kid Icarus, but I think Sakurai has earned a bit of a break first. Reply +15
  • Ex-Nintendo indie game guru Dan Adelman now working on Chasm

  • Mr.Spo 03/12/2014

    @Triggerhappytel Given Nintendo have gone from "We don't want garage developers on our platforms" to having a diverse, high quality selection of indie games on both 3DS and Wii U, I think Dan did ok at Nintendo. There's room to improve--there always is--but Nintendo platforms aren't the wasteland they once were for indie games. Reply +6
  • Sony announces PS1-themed PlayStation 4

  • Mr.Spo 03/12/2014

    I get why this is a limited edition, but if this was more easily available I'd be buying a PS4 6 to 12 months earlier than planned. Reply +5
  • Nintendo and Philips sort out their Wii U patent dispute

  • Mr.Spo 02/12/2014

    It also appears that Nintendo had been pursuing patent infringement cases against Philips. That may just have been in response to Philip's action, though.

    Good to see they settled it in this manner, rather than echoing Samsung and Apple's global, ongoing war over patents.

    EDIT: Also, Nintendo now have access to some Philips patents, and Philips are pretty big in medical and healthcare equipment. And Nintendo are planning their "Quality of Life" health products.
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 02/12/2014

    @IronSoldier Was the game Smash? There was a day one update for that. Other than that I don't know, I'm on a lunch break in work so no Wii U to check. I haven't noticed a proper system update recently, but individual software updates for amiibo have been happening. Reply 0
  • Game Of Thrones: Iron from Ice review

  • Mr.Spo 02/12/2014

    @Dajji77 Well, that's a poor analogy. Yes, you're not comparing GoT to porn, but you are implying (unintentionally I assume) that the TV adaptation would share next to no thematic concerns with the material it is based on. Yet in this case the TV adaptation very obviously explores many of the same themes as the books while being distinct from the books. As I said, yes, there's objectification and titillation, but there are also scenes where nudity and sex make 'sense'. Is there a better way to state that?

    I'll give an example from season 2, with one character trying to seduce her husband, whose homosexuality (seen as immoral/unnatural in some parts of Westeros) is rumoured in the world and known to the viewer. She bares her breasts, but that isn't objectification. The husband's reaction to her nudity is so incredibly important. In season 4, there are a couple of 'sexposition' scenes with a new character, a promiscuous, sexual character. Do you simply tell the audience about that? Or do you depict the sex? It's better to show, not to tell.

    I won't dispute that the series goes too far, at times, but it's also more nuanced in its use of nudity and sex that it is given credit for. And it's not as if nudity is restricted to women, or sex restricted to heterosexual relationships. Female characters are also very often characterised by more than their appearance or sexuality. It's not as simple as "shows breasts = titillation and gratification", nor are the 'sexposition' (which was dialled down in the latest season, despite one very dubious insertion on the part of the TV network late in the season) scenes indicative of the show as a whole.
    Reply +8
  • Mr.Spo 02/12/2014

    @Dajji77 The HBO show certainly, at times, goes much farther than it needs to, but the source material is depicting a fantasy world that's far closer to the reality of medieval life than Neo-Tolkeinian fantasy has ever tried to be. That includes sexual violence, prostitution, dismemberment, disempowered women (though there are obviously strong female characters), and stigma towards the disabled (consider Tyrion's treatment). Depicting that in a 'TOTALLY FICTIONAL WORLD' does not equal endorsing those elements in the real world.

    You wondered why someone responded to you with undue hostility, yet you then dismiss someone else's argument out of hand. There's a lot more to Martin's world and depiction of women than objectification and titillation, even if (too often, though not always) HBO goes too far (the rape scenes in season four were ridiculously excessive).
    Reply +20
  • Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire UK's biggest Pokémon launch ever

  • Mr.Spo 01/12/2014

    @grassyknoll At this point I don't know what people would expect from Smash in the UK. Kart was the bigger franchise in Europe, which has stayed in the top 40 since it launched, and Nintendo just didn't anything to stop Wii U from getting lost last week. 10k lower than Brawl, with a far lower install base and 3DS version in the wild, I think that's about as well as Smash could have gone without a day one bundle or price cut. The UK is Wii U's weakest major market, after all.

    I'd also point out that Wii U sales are growing. Not by much, but the growth is there and was triggered by Kart. Sales will grow again next year, if the usual Nintendo pattern holds, and will begin the downward spiral the year after that. I think any chance of 'significant' growth went out the window last year when 3D World didn't do much to revitalise the system, and the nail in the coffin was Nintendo's six month gap until another system seller came along. Right now riding it out to 15 million, keeping the install base happy, and turning a profit is about all Nintendo can do. I think 3DS will be giving them more sleepless nights than Wii U.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 01/12/2014

    @grassyknoll In context I wouldn't call that 'terrible', I'd say that's about as well as they could expect. 10k lower than Brawl, which launched mid-2008 while Wii was in its peak sales year and already had a large UK install base (the largest ever for a Nintendo home console in the UK) isn't bad. Sales across Europe should mean Smash sold a couple of hundred thousand units in it's debut weekend. I'd also point out the amiibo/Smash bundle only launches this coming Friday, so Smash may yet sell decently through to Christmas.

    I'd be more concerned about the absence of any Nintendo bundles or discounts last week. There have been some great Wii U basic discounts recently. In October you could get the Wii Party U Basic (which comes with said game and a remote plus) with the Bayonetta 2 double pack for £180. A friend of mine has a pre-order on Zavvi for a Wii U Basic with five games, one of which is Captain Toad, for £220. Surely a Black Friday launch special Basic + Smash could have been on sale for £150 to get some impulse buys in? I understand Nintendo's current strategy is profit ahead of marketshare, but a one day or on week discount would have made a lot of sense. The fact there were no discounts in the States on Wii U for Black Friday is even more alarming.

    So all in all, I think 13th place for Smash is misleading. It did ok but hasn't sparked the revival some were still hoping for. More concerning is Nintendo's refusal to be more aggressive around Black Friday and Smash's launch. This time last year I picked up a premium and 2 games for £180 thanks to Black Friday.
    Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 01/12/2014

    Smash debut on Wii U is apparently around 30k, or 10k lower than Brawl's debut on Wii. Titles at the top end of the chart are in the 150k-200k range this week thanks to heavy bundling and discounting. Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 01/12/2014

    @Rogueywon The stock shortage for Smash was more for peripheral bundles than the solus edition, which seems to be in stock in most places. There have been reports across Europe (CVG picked this story up) that retailers have been unable to fulfill pre-orders for certain Amiibos, the new GameCube style Smash pads, and the Smash/controller or Smash/controller-adaptor bundles. I know my pre-order was delayed by Amazon on Saturday from day one delivery to December 19th at the earliest, so I swapped it for a solo edition and Samus amiibo which turned up this morning.

    MCV have a good write up on this week's chart:

    Right now I'd be hesitant about stating whether or not Smash has underperformed. Given the aggressive, wide-spread bundling and software discounts across Xbox and PlayStation last week (versus a complete absence of Nintendo deals), and the sheer lunacy of Black Friday in the UK comparative to other years, I think it's fairly safe to say 13th place for Smash isn't a sign of a disasterous launch. Unit sales could actually be quite respectable. Like I said in my first comment on this article, the Pokemon remakes performed better than any other Pokemon game in the UK, yet charted several places lower than X/Y. Higher unit sales across the board mean successful new releases haven't charted particularly high this week. It'll be far more telling to see how Smash holds up through-out December, and indeed, whether or not it holds up at all.
    Reply +5
  • Mr.Spo 01/12/2014

    Presumably launching Smash on Black Friday with a complete absence of any Wii U deals or promotions, alongside limited stock, was something of a bad idea.

    It's also important to note that most games in the top 20 were heavily discounted and promoted through Black Friday week. Sales must be high for a record breaking Pokemon launch to only come in at 6 and 7.

    EDIT: By sales must be 'high' I mean this must be a relatively skewed week. I still think Nintendo have missed a trick in not getting Smash out in mid-November so it has more of the Christmas shopping season to sell through. Captain Toad being 2nd January is mad, too.
    Reply +10
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U review

  • Mr.Spo 29/11/2014

    @jazzrock Important point on the graphics: this is native 1080p, whereas Kart is native 720p. Both are 60fps.

    Basically Smash can generate less sophisticated graphics (than Kart) because more has power been thrown at a higher resolution. You can see why, too, with up to 8 players on screen at any one time.
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 28/11/2014

    @MccyMcFlinn I read on another review and some blogs that with a lot of play time, it rapidly becomes something incredibly fun. I'm not sure if that'll hold up to be true for me. It sounds absolutely bonkers--even by Smash standards--so it might not be as good a party mode as it could have been.

    I'll give it a try over Christmas when I'm free from work, I bought the GC adaptor solely for the eight player mode, too. Sometimes a bit of chaos is fun, but as you, that can also lend against the mode actually being played.
    Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 28/11/2014

    @PurpleRain Can't have too many 9 or 10 rated exclusives for Wii U, can we? ;-)

    The criticisms here--odd stage selection, odd character selection, uneven game modes--could be levelled at Melee (repetitive adventure mode, too many clones) or Brawl (Subslog Emissary, Fox/Falco/Wolf rlly?).

    It is a bit bizarre what seems to be the best Smash yet is scored lower than Melee or Brawl, but in all seriousness, I don't think the score is hugely important here. It sounds great, and I know it's going to be one of my favourite games of the year.
    Reply +28
  • Mr.Spo 28/11/2014

    I've heard Smash Tour is something that requires extended play to get used to. A shame it's so chaotic initially, sounds like very few people will actually give it a chance.

    I was going with a "no more games till Christmas" rule, but I caved yesterday and ordered the Smash + GC adaptor. Sadly it's not yet been dispatched and the price has rocked up to £77 (pre-ordered for £49), so I'm wondering how long it's going to take to get to me.
    Reply +7
  • Xbox Japan boss resigns amid dismal Xbox One sales

  • Mr.Spo 28/11/2014

    @vherostar I'd hardly say Wii U or PS4 are 'doing fine' in Japan. I'm more optimistic about PS4 in Japan in the long-term, but Japan's market has obviously changed enormously and home consoles are the main losers. Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 28/11/2014

    Yeah, the Japanese home console market is in the doldrums right now. Neither Wii U or PS4 are performing well.

    Only 3DS is performing strongly in Japan, but then it's had the combination of a fairly major hardware redesign, Monster Hunter, Smash Brothers and new Yokoi Watch games in the last few months. It'll be interesting to see if the home console release of Smash does anything for Wii U, and if PS4 picks up next year when there are more Japan orientated games available.
    Reply +4
  • Eurogamer vs Tom Bramwell

  • Mr.Spo 28/11/2014

    Best of luck in the future Tom.

    I've actually been considering getting a GameCube because of how much I liked the design. I had a purple one that my parents sold when I first started uni, I'd bought a Wii and 360 by that point and was all "Yeah, pfft, fine, I don't need that stuff!" The last 12 months I've really regretted that stance, because it meant a purple GC, an original Xbox, a slim PSOne and a GameBoy Colour with Odin knows how many games went out the window, never to return. Even though I can play GC games fine through my Wii, I really want that purple box back.

    But yeah, best of luck Tom. EG has become my go to website for games news and in particular, features. Hopefully you'll stay in the industry and we'll see you around.
    Reply -3
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire review

  • Mr.Spo 27/11/2014

    Never a fan of Ruby/Sapphire the first time around, but really fell back in love with Pokemon thanks to Y last year. To get the most out of this, though, I'm going to have to wait until a less busy time of year. One to pick up at some point, though. Reply +2
  • Digital Foundry vs Watch Dogs on Wii U

  • Mr.Spo 26/11/2014

    @A_FAN Not exactly. Most estimates come in at between 500,000 to 600,000 units. Now that might sound unimpressive, but there are several caveats. Consider the development team was small (around 40 people), it was a new, 'mature' IP launching exclusively on a Nintendo format with a small install base, a fairly mixed critical reception (particularly in the States) and it wasn't exactly a big budget release. ZombiU has basic graphics, a single player campaign, a handful of voice actors, and a local multiplayer mode. Remember it was also announced as the B-tier prototype "Killer Freaks from Outer Space".

    In fact, talking about Rayman Legends and ZombiU prior to launch, Yves Guillemot said:

    "As we've always said when there is such an innovation, the need is not to have big production value but to concentrate on the innovation," Guillemot added. "This is what we are trying on Rayman and ZombiU."

    Guillemot in this context was suggesting that despite having a large amount of Wii U software planned, (due to a combination of porting and low-cost innovative titles like ZombiU and Rayman Legends) Ubisoft's financial investment in Wii U was actually quite low.

    Yet this is the same man who, in August of this year, claimed ZombiU "wasn't even close" to making a profit. If that's true, and if the sales figures are accurate, then Ubisoft's budget management must be absolutely crazy and borderline incompetent. Or Guillemot was being deliberately misleading rather than admitting Ubisoft just aren't interested in continuing the franchise up for a sequel in order to avoid provoking the ire of fans, given the reaction to the Rayman Legends delay/loss of exclusivity.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 26/11/2014

    @SpaceMonkey77 I don't think anyone would deny that. Iwata himself said there's a huge amount of work to be done if Wii U will ever be capable of selling 10 or even 5 million units in a financial year. The line up for next year looks fantastic from Nintendo, but there's (so far) nothing to complement that and I expect some titles will be subject to delays. Zelda is the only real heavy hitter in that line up, and is one of the titles most likely to be delayed (though I expect other EAD developed titles will be put on the back burner, and that Monolith Soft will be drafted in to help squeeze Zelda out in 2015).

    Personally I think Mario Maker could have been a transformative title for Wii U, but will arrive too little, too late, and without enough fanfare for Nintendo. It's a proven, bankable license with an easy to understand premise that actually utilises the gamepad. It should have been there at day one in the box, but here we are. The next financial year should be Wii U at it's peak, so I'm expect 4.5 million units that year (after 3.6 m this financial year) if things continue as they are. If stuff like amiibo, Splatoon and Mario Maker rejuvenates the system, then we could see a 5 m+ year. At this point I think Nintendo know squeezing out software and turning a profit is a more achievable aim than building higher marketshare, though.
    Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 26/11/2014

    @Malek86 Will Wii U's CPU be a problem in Xenoblade Chronicles X and the new Zelda, I wonder?

    Both titles will presumably be 30 fps, and I expect X to feature the same issues as Chronicles on the Wii--noticeable pop in and low resolution textures, for example, although it has to be said the recent Direct footage looked better than the footage from E3. I'd also bet X is going to have a far larger world and larger play areas than Watch Dogs. I can't imagine Zelda having problems, either. Obviously they've gone for a stylistic aesthetic which should alleviate some technical difficulty, but I can't see Nintendo failing to hit 30fps locked, 720p with a wonderful looking and superbly animated game on a large scale.

    The point is with the right approach, and not necessarily just with heavily stylistic games, you can get great results with Wii U's architecture. Ubisoft have had an extra six months on top of the original Watch Dogs delay in which they could have at least aimed for a competent technical peformance from this port. Instead it reeks of being a lazy cash grab, and that's hugely disappointing given how good ZombiU and Rayman Legends were.
    Reply +13
  • Mr.Spo 26/11/2014

    Good news is almost no-one has bought this on Wii U.

    Bad news is it will be used as justification for not creating ZombiU 2, though maybe Nintendo are going to start reaching out to Western developers as well as Japanese developers for more support...
    Reply +11
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire sell 3m copies in three days

  • Mr.Spo 26/11/2014

    That's impressive given there are no European sales and no digital sales in the Japanese total. The North American sales are better than X and Y's opening weekend, if I remember correctly. Obviously the benefit of a bigger base to sell into, but Pokemon is still a serious money spinner for Nintendo. I'll probably cave and pick this up at some point, X/Y was my favourite since the second generation games. Reply 0
  • Never Alone review

  • Mr.Spo 20/11/2014

    Sounds fantastic, brilliant review.

    More so than any other game, this actually makes me want an Xbox One or PS4.
    Reply +2
  • Nintendo isn't working on any paid DLC for Super Smash Bros.

  • Mr.Spo 20/11/2014

    @Mr-Writer As Electrolite said, Nintendo can simpy but an NFC chip inside their next machine. After all, that's a new feature in the 'New' 3DS models, so it's obviously getting easier and easier to do.

    On the subject of paid DLC for Smash, I wouldn't mind an expansion in 12 months time. Nintendo have shown with Kart that they can do DLC for major games and get it almost exactly right. I do sympathise with Sakurai, though, in that attempting to balance a roster as large as Smash is difficult. Coming up with unique movesets is also obviously difficult, as the continued presence of several clone characters attests.

    I wouldn't be surprised if we get a paid DLC pack at some point. Maybe somebody other than Sakurai could handle it? Get him on the Star Fox reboot or a Wii U version of Kid Icarus...
    Reply 0
  • Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack One review

  • Mr.Spo 14/11/2014

    @Pantsonmyhead Agreed. F Zero was in Nintendo Land, and Captain Falcon continues to appear in Smash. He'll have an amiibo figurine, too.

    If Nintendo are willing to fund stuff like Bayonetta 2 and Devil's Third, commission reboots of series like Punch Out, Kid Icarus and Star Fox, and even a sequel (and what must be an expensive sequel given the scale and development time) to something as niche as Xenoblade Chronicles, then we shouldn't write F Zero off.

    It's not as if F Zero was ever a frequent fixture on Nintendo machines, anyway. There was F Zero in 1990, X followed eight years later, GX 5 years after that, with GBA versions (of mixed quality) launching in 2001 and 2004. I think Nintendo won't let F Zero rest permanently.

    Also this DLC is fantastic. Best I've felt about DLC since Lair of the Shadow Broker.
    Reply +8
  • Video: Join us and play Mario Kart 8's DLC from 5pm GMT

  • Mr.Spo 13/11/2014

    @the9000 *£11 Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 13/11/2014

    Worked from home today and squeezed in some play time through lunch. Fantastic pack, most of the tracks are excellent. Mute City, Dragon Driftway and Hyrule Castle are better than almost anything in the game itself.

    Does anyone else also think these tracks look, well, better? The lighting on SNES Rainbow Road is incredible, and in Mute City and Hyrule Castle there's far more going on, with far more detail, than any of the tracks on disc. Makes sense that with more development time, the team would get even more out of this Kart engine, but they really look incredible. Kudos to them.
    Reply +2
  • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Wii U infinite height exploit lets you skip most of the game

  • Mr.Spo 13/11/2014

    Given Sega didn't send out review copies for this game, it must be pretty bad. Glitches like this make me think it had an incredibly rushed QA process.

    Shame on you, Sega. Nintendo didn't put any money on the table to get these Sonic games, did they? They must be fuming. Just buy the Shining Force IP and put Camelot to work on it.
    Reply +4
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection review

  • Mr.Spo 10/11/2014

    That can join Sunset Overdrive on my Xbox One list. I'll probably cave in the next six months or so... Reply +3
  • The games that have defined PS4 and Xbox One

  • Mr.Spo 09/11/2014

    Defining this generation? Nothing from Vita, 3DS, Wii U? Yes, they are all this generation. Generation is a mark of time, not technical capability. It's why Wii was in the same generation as 360 and PS3, why the DS was the same generation as PSP. It's the same reason the original GameBoy's technologically superior rivals were the same generation as the market leader.

    I don't want to be too harsh here, but that subtitle is irritating. It's guilty of falling into the mentality that only the two Western orientated home consoles matter, and that Nintendo, whether successful due to the mass market or stuck in a niche because of their own failings, don't matter. The same logic that denied DS and PSP discussion in these kinds of lists, despite being the most successful ever handheld generation. The warped logic that denies 3DS and Vita a place here, because they don't count, it's a shrinking market, and portables (portable whats?) aren't real consoles anyway.

    I know this is picky, almost to an extreme, but I think I'm justified in being picky. You come so close to clearly stating what this list is, Tom.

    The games that have defined PS4 and Xbox One
    In the meantime, here are 13 games that have defined our first year with PS4 and Xbox One.
    I'd be fine with that. It's natural to look at Xbox One and PS4 12 months into their lifespans. It's good for owners and for people considering their next console purchases. But then look at this:

    And what they say about the generation so far.

    In putting together this list, we immediately ruled out last-gen remasters. They are certainly a fixture of the generation so far, but we suspect their numbers will thin out now the new formats have built a head of steam, returning us to the familiar rhythm of occasional HD collections rather than enhanced ports of more recent titles. The games we're really interested in, then, are those developed primarily for PS4 and Xbox One, or else multiformat games that have become synonymous with either platform. We wanted to see what the most notable games of year one had to say about this fledgling hardware generation - how do the popular narratives stack up against the reality of the games we find ourselves playing and enjoying the most?
    Where is the rest of the generation? Why not explain why Wii U, 3DS and Vita are excluded here? This is obviously a list of the first year for Xbox One and PS4--but you conflate those first twelve months with the entirety of the generation, and excise any mention of the other formats and the software on those devices that have already launched, and were defining this generation before PS4 and Xbox One launched.

    This list and its premise is so close to being fine, that I'm annoyed at myself for wanting to point this out. I'd understand if people negged me into oblivion for this rant. But you pose the question, Tom, of how popular narratives stack up against the reality of the games we play and how we enjoy them. A popular narrative of Xbox and PlayStation home consoles being the only defining aspect of this generation doesn't hold up against the games I've been playing. That'll be true for the niche of owners with a Wii U or Vita, and it'll be even more true for the tens of millions of people playing on 3DS.

    If you're going to tell the story of the first 12 months of Xbox One and PS4, please do. Like I said, it's an appropriate and important time to do so. But don't pretend that story is the narrative of the whole generation. It isn't.
    Reply +52
  • Everything not saved will be lost

  • Mr.Spo 08/11/2014

    Interesting article. It would have been nice to link it into how different science fiction videogames make us think about our place in the universe.

    Destiny didn't really do that for me, but Mass Effect and Metroid did. I found Mass Effect fascinating in that there's an obviously (relatively) stable and prosperous galactic community which humanity has become a part of. That's a wonderful, captivating, and optimistic view of our future. Sure, at the start of the game, there's a threat. But in your first play-through, you assume it's just Saren. He's just a bad guy. As Alenko says, with aliens, there are saints and jerks, just like us. Mass Effect takes on a whole different dimension when Sovereign reveals what it really is. That's still a profoundly affecting moment in videogames. I don't think Mass Effect ever really capitalised on those few minutes of mind-boggling, cosmic horror, when Sovereign gives you a perspective on space, time and existence far beyond anything yet seen in the game. And when you head to Ilos, and hear the Prothean distress call, and talk to Vigil... Fantastic science fiction. The final act of one civilization gives you a fighting chance. It made me think of the Pioneer and Voyager missions. Once they leave the solar systems (several have), they contain on them information that will allow, in the very rare eventuality that they are detected and captured, an alien civilization to know that at some point, on our particular planet, intelligent life existed. It's a message in a bottle, a statement of hope rather than a meaningful dialogue. I don't think the Mass Effect series ever really managed to encroach those heights thereafter, but I really found Liara's fail safe option moving in Mass Effect 3 (a game I think is the most flawed of the trilogy). There was your chance to send a message in a bottle, in the event you fail. The 'refusal' ending is almost my favourite ending, but I like being selfish (human?) and helping my Shepard and squad survive. Given the personal investment in a trilogy long playthrough, knowing that the sum total of my efforts through-out three games was to give another civilization, in another time, a fighting chance, that might just be the most profound ending Mass Effect offered.

    Now Metroid almost always presents a very hostile universe. Particularly in the first two Prime games, when you are alone with the dead and creatures that want you dead. Metroid is a game in which dead or dying civilizations--always enlightened, peaceful, and powerful--litter your playing time, usually the Chozo. It's one of the reasons I loved the scanning mechanism in Prime. You can read the history, and then prophecies of the Chozo. How they attempted to live in harmony with nature on Tallon IV, how the meteor and Phazon came, how they foresaw that Samus would one day come. How they were so attached to the home they built, they quite literally came to haunt it. How they chose to leave behind the tools that would allow Samus to end their war. At time's it's almost oppressive. The knowledge that you are alone, as the lifts shudder and creak down deeper into a planet that wants you dead. Yet again, it's a testament to intelligent life and its ability to outlive itself. Without the guidance and equipment of the Chozo, Samus wouldn't be what she is, and wouldn't be able to end the threats that ended them.

    Ultimately I think that's what's profound about those visions of science fiction. Voyager and Pioneer might be our Vigil, or our Screw Attack. The things we leave behind, or send out into the cosmos, are the record that intelligent life prospered in an unknowable, hostile universe. That's what Brian Cox's show was about, it's what Sagan's humanism was about. That we have a responsibility to preserve intelligent life, and if possible, provide help or sign-posts for intelligent life in the future. Just like Vigil and the Chozo do. Maybe that's why we received the Wow! signal a few decades ago. Somebody out there just wanted to say that they are there, that intelligent life is there, as we have done, and as we'll hopefully continue to do.
    Reply +11
  • Watch BioWare's live Mass Effect 4 developer roundtable here

  • Mr.Spo 07/11/2014

    Given they were largely talking in terms of themes, and only showed concept art, I'd bet this is still a couple of years away. I don't think Bioware and EA can screw another major franchise like this completely into the ground, so taking their time is good.

    I liked what I heard. Less combat, more exploration, a greater sense of mystery. The concept art gave the impression of a more lonely, hostile universe, and gave me a bit of a Metroid vibe. I'd love to have my Mass Effect save files impact the game in some way, but given the lack of backwards compatibility I don't see it happening. Encounters with characters who are still alive (Liara, Grunt), or a record of your squadmates, would be a nice touch. Like I said, though, doubtful that will happen in any way were it's tailored to your previous Mass Effect experience.

    Hopefully this turns out well. Even if it ends up being another couple of years, I can stand the wait. There's more chance it'll be a considered and thoughtful return to Mass Effect that way.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 07/11/2014

    I'd really like this to be an excellent, excellent game. Mass Effect was the most promising IP of last generation for me, but I do think the third game let it down (because of more than just the ending, it was Michael Bay Effect too often).

    I think I'll give the roundtable a watch. Fingers crossed for something concrete.
    Reply +4
  • Majora's Mask comparison video shows off 3DS enhancements

  • Mr.Spo 07/11/2014

    The moon is going to look creepy as hell in stereoscopic 3D.

    I quite like the new look, it's closer to the original concept art. The colours are muted in the N64 version, and a lot of background detail is lost.

    Either way it's an incredible game. Looking forward to this.
    Reply +4