Gamers, Be Ambitious


任天堂もソニーも、iOSの『Zombie Gunship』に気をつけろ


Zombie Gunship App

価格: ¥85

Zombie Gunship』はiOS用のゲームアプリ。地上を徘徊するゾンビを上空から機銃で掃討するという内容だ。クオリティの高いグラフィックと効果音、シンプルなルール、3種類の武器を地道にパワーアップさせていく楽しさ、逃げまどう民間人を救うスリル。そして「毎回5分で終わる」という手軽さ。爽快で完成度が高く、私も最近ずっと楽しませてもらっている。

これだけ楽しいゲームがたった85円というのはすごい……と言いたいところだが、Joystick Divisionに掲載されたDennis Scimeca氏の記事「Nintendo And Sony Should Fear The Zombie Gunship」によれば、注目すべきなのは「価格」ではなく、「そもそも携帯ゲームの役割とは何だったのか」という点にあるという。


元記事:504 - Gateway Timeout


​When I hear pundits talking about why Nintendo and Sony might be in trouble in the handheld market due to iOS devices and smartphones, the discussion usually comes down to cost and convenience. Why are gamers going to spend exorbitant amounts of money on dedicated handheld gaming platforms when they already have devices in their possession which provide mobile gaming for much less?

これが無意味な論拠だと言うつもりはないが、任天堂3DSソニーPS Vitaが“伝統的”な携帯ゲーム機における最後の世代になるという理由にはならないだろう。問題は価格でなく、もっと根本的なところにある。

私は、その問題が「携帯ゲームのそもそもの役割とは何か」であると考えたものの、先週『Zombie Gunship』をプレイするまで、その本質を理解できていなかった。それから私はようやく、任天堂ソニーが恐れをなす可能性を理解しつつある。

I'm not suggesting this is a bad argument, but I don't think it actually explains why traditional handheld gaming may be on its last generation with the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PS Vita. It's actually even more basic than price. I think it comes down to what mobile gaming was always meant to do, and I didn't quite understand this until I played Zombie Gunship last week. Then I began to understand why Nintendo and Sony might actually want to be afraid.



私の記憶にある最も古い携帯ゲームといえば、Mattel携帯ゲーム機(単一のゲームだけが動作する玩具的なゲーム機)と、任天堂ゲーム&ウォッチ、そしてColecoのMini Arcade(業務用ゲームを簡易的に移植したもの)だ。当時は、携帯できるビデオゲームは珍しいものだった。


The earliest mobile games I remember are the Mattel handhelds, the Nintendo Game 'n' Watch series, and the Coleco Mini Arcade games. Back then, portable video games were novelties. They weren't good for long play sessions, but were something to tide us over on the drive to Grandma's house, or on the way to and from church, or wherever the hell else our parents dragged us. When we got home, it was time to get back to the "real" games hooked up to the television set, or on our computers.


Starting with the original GameBoy in the early '90's, handheld gaming devices began transforming into platforms that wanted to mimic traditional game systems. When the Sony PSP approached PlayStation 2-quality graphics it was a real milestone, and the Nintendo DS turned into such a hit precisely because it was of equal value to the home systems Nintendo produced.


These modern day handhelds offer experiences which can be just as rich as their console counterparts. We have portable Zelda and Mario, God of War, Resistance, and Killzone, and we're meant to marvel at how good the graphics and sound are, and how deep the gameplay is.


形態は機能に従う。『Zombie Gunship』をプレイして、私は思い出したのだ。「携帯ゲームの機能はかくあるべし」と。

These are not games we turn on for just a few minutes and then put away. We're meant to sit down and play them. Form has superseded function. Playing Zombie Gunship reminded me what the function of a mobile game ought to be.



『Zombie Gunship』は、『Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare』の中の最も良くできたステージを参考にしつつ、私の好きな的当てゲームの要素も取り入れている。プレイヤーはAC-130ガンシップのガンナーとなり、バンカー塹壕)上空を周回飛行し、ゾンビ黙示録から生存者を守る。ゾンビを掃討し、市民を保護することがプレイヤーの任務だ。3人の市民を誤射により殺害してしまうか、またはゾンビバンカーに入れてしまえば、ゲームは終了となる。

Zombie Gunship takes what is arguably the best level of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and marries it to one of our favorite sets of shooting gallery targets. You are the weapons operator of an AC-130 gunship that's circling a bunker taking on survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Your mission is to protect the civilians by wiping out the zombies. If you kill three civilians, or allow the zombies to get into the bunker entrance, the game ends.


It looks great, it sounds great, and it's extremely challenging once the civilians start to get mixed in with the increasingly-dense crowds of zombies. The best part of Zombie Gunship is that each round only lasts 5 minutes or so, and that's precisely what I want from a handheld gaming platform.


While Nintendo and Sony continue to show us just how scary powerful a handheld gaming device can be, they're missing the point. A handheld should give us something to fill the time between getting on and off the subway, or while our partners shop for things we could care less about, or while waiting for someone who's late for an appointment. These are the spaces that mobile gaming is uniquely suited to fill.


もし3DS本体が100ドル、そのゲームソフトが5ドルだったとしても、私は買うかどうか決めかねる。優れたスマートフォン向けゲームのように時間を上手につぶしてくれるゲームが、いま発売中の3DSのソフトの中には存在しないからだ。私は、ゲームマニアにアピールしているPS Vitaもまた力量不足であると感じる。E3で見たPS Vitaのタイトルには、さらに時間を費やすことを強いられそうだ。

Even if a 3DS only cost me $100, and the games were $5 each, I'm still not sure I would buy one, because none of the 3DS games on the market could fill this space as well as a quality smartphone game. I'm guessing that the PS Vita with its hardcore appeal is going to be even less suited to the task. The Vita titles I saw at E3 this year are going to ask for more time than someone who is busy while out in the world may be willing to give.

もし外出先で、PS Vitaの『アンチャーテッド』にハマったり、3DSの『ゼルダの伝説』のダンジョンに取り組めるような、十分に大きな空き時間ができたとしても、その時間にメールやソーシャルネットもチェックしなきゃいけないし、ウェブも見なきゃいけないし、友達チャットもしなきゃいけない。スマートフォン、あるいはタブレットがあれば、それらのすべてが可能なのだ。

Even if we do happen to have a large enough block of free time away from home that we can afford to sink into the PS Vita's Uncharted or tackle a dungeon in a 3DS Zelda game, there's also email and social networks to check, and a web to surf, and friends to chat up, all of which can be done from the road on our smartphones or tablets.


The argument for mobile gaming to return to its roots of providing "in-between" experiences is pervasive. It's not the high price of their hardware or software that should have Nintendo and Sony worried, but the fact that iOS devices and smartphones simply do that job better. The lower price is just the cherry on top.



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