Edge (Wii U / 3DS eShop) Review
It is rare that you see a title get a simultaneous release across both platforms of the eShop, what more is when the game is great on both systems, this is an example of when it mostly goes right. Edge started its life on iOS several years back, while it wasn’t a huge success from a volume of users, it definitely received a lot of positive attention from those that played it.
This title has certainly gained a lot of inspiration from classic games like Marble Madness and to be and fair if you know that game well then you will be right at home here – the idea is identical but taken much further. This is platform puzzling in its most pure.
You control a cube that has to navigate to a goal zone while avoiding all manner of level based obstacles without falling into a dark empty void. The idea is very simple but like any game that is determined to win the heart of gamers, it manages to add difficulty and complexity without increasing the control complexity. At first you wobble your way precariously but eventually you will have the equivalent of a puzzle based cube parlour while not feeling forced. There are no enemies to avoid other than obstacles to push you around, you have to use your reaction time, sheer skills and memorization to get to the goal as quickly as possible.
Occasionally it does feel like the developers are trying to troll you with tricky traps to lead you to your demise, but that is part of the joy at hand. To backup this trickery it’s a very lenient checkpoint system that keeps the pace flowing, you will rarely be stuck for more than a minute at any one section.
This is yet another title where you have are racing to get to the finish to get an A grade rating on every level, this fits a title like this perfectly as it keeps the experience quick and concise without cheapening the overall feeling. You will be driven to constantly deliver a better run even if just for bragging rights. With over 100 levels to test your skills on you can be kept entertained for a reasonable amount of time – it’s not a 300 hour puzzle epic the rival the length of War and peace but neither would you want it to be as it definitely doesn’t out stay its welcome.
Despite its touch screen origins this title makes the most across of the traditional controls available, it doesn’t feel as though it has been hampered by its origins, if you didn’t know about its origins then you would be none the wiser about its initial limited controls. It increases the accuracy of your movements in a way a purely touch screen device never could.
To back up the game play is an awesome audio visual experience. Visually it is all a very minimalist design with everything made out of simple cube based geometry but it is shaded and used to great effect, it gives it a real unique style without using too much complexity. It has overtones of the beginnings of 3D graphics similar to the Virtual games on the Sega platforms combined with the strange isolation that Tron provided, it is kind of special. The audio is the perfect complement, chips tunes and lots of them! To keep you moving they keep the audio track pace moving at a rapid pace and it should not be any different. While there are some issues with these components between the versions I will get to that soon.
A pure experience like this is great for most players as it can be picked up by almost anyone of any skill set and make some decent progress but it also allows for more refined skills to be pushed in the later stages.
There are very few conflicts to be had with this title as it simply delivers on all fronts.
“So which version to get?” I pretend to hear you say. If you just want a quick pick up and play title then the 3DS will command as always simply due to its portable nature. Keep in mind that visually it is not as polished as the Wii U version – running at half the frame rate even suffering from some heavy slowdown in some of the more complex levels is a little disappointing to see but this title is trying to achieve a lot on a limited format. The Wii U simply excels due to added processing power, it looks gorgeous in its HD form even with its minimalist visuals.
The oddest issue I noticed however comes down to how the second screen is used; 3DS uses the lower screen to provide a top down map allowing you to figure out your relative position easily, it’s a great feature than really increases to overall game play – so you can figure my slight disappointed to discover the Wii U has no Gamepad use other than screen mirroring. The Wii U version still has the map on it is on the main screen but it is a strange omission to have considering the great potential for some asymmetric gameplay advantages. One has to wonder if this was intentional or not as maybe this was done to preserve multi-platform compatibility seeing as this title has already been released on PC/Mac before.
While games of this nature turn up a lot in the indie space they usually feel incomplete and a tad uninspired, this is not one of those titles. Here is a puzzle platformer executed to near perfection and on the platform of your choice. Seeing as this is the last game to come out of Two tribes before they had major lay offs – it should be seen as a swan song for a developer that simply never received significant recognition that they deserved.
A game like this should be respected by all that appreciate the genre, it is accessible and presented wonderfully all the while delivering loads of content at a cheap price. I don’t seeing it becoming a classic to be remembered in a few decades time but it is sure to earn its place permanently on your console.