Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 26, 2017

SNES Classic announced $80

 

Contra III: The Alien Wars™
Donkey Kong Country™
EarthBound™
Final Fantasy III
F-ZERO™
Kirby™ Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course™
The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™
Mega Man® X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox™
Star Fox™ 2
Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV™
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts®
Super Mario Kart™
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars™
Super Mario World™
Super Metroid™
Super Punch-Out!! ™
Yoshi’s Island™

 

Comes with two controllers this time. The ‘big news’ is the chipped games on there like Super Mario RPG, Star Fox, Star Fox 2, Kirby Super Star, and Yoshi’s Island which are not even available on flash cards. Unfortunately, aside from Star Fox and maybe Kirby Super Star, I don’t see those games as that good (I own the cartridge of Yoshi’s Island and it is meh. No wonder Donkey Kong Country destroyed it!).

Let us look at the third party entries.

Contra III: The Alien Wars™
Final Fantasy III
Mega Man® X
Secret of Mana
Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV™
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts®

 

7 third party games? Ugh.

Where is…

Chrono Trigger

Gradius III

R-type III

Donkey Kong Country 2

Turtles in Time

Final Fantasy IV

Axelay

Actraiser

Mortal Kombat II

Lufia II

Tetris Attack

Tetris Vs. Dr. Mario

Breath of Fire

Etc. Etc. Etc.

??????????????????

NES Classic gave you 30 games for $60 but with only one controller.

SNES Classic will always be sold out.

What I don’t understand is why is Nintendo making these? I thought NES Classic was to have some sort of holiday gift for 2016. What is the point of these things? Why do this and offer no Virtual Console where there are greater profit margins?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 24, 2017

Sakamoto Says! Excellent takedown on Sakamoto

This is an archived version of Maple Leaf. There is very little here but quotes from Sakamoto and some shocked reactions. It shows what an egomaniac Sakamoto is.

I’m just glad someone else did all this. I can’t do it all! Sakamoto is truly a bizarre and crazy person.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 24, 2017

The Sakamoto Protection Racket

Reggie Fils-Aime speaks about Nintendo’s stance on AM2R. Let us hear what he has to say:

So, I think there needs to be clarity in what the line is, and, in our view, the line is when an initiative crosses from being an homage to something that is monetizing our IP. We allow homages to exist in a variety of different ways. And, for me personally, as a fan before I was an executive, I understand the attraction that you could have to our IP. But, when it transitions to something that… now, you’re trying to monetize, you’re trying to sell, you’re trying to profit off of, that is what broaches or breaks through that line for us, where we have to claim our IP protection.

Profit? AM2R was free. What is Fils-Aime talking about? Even the interviewer was aghast.

How are you talking about monetization here, because with AM2R, that was a game that anyone could download for free, and again I think, for fans, there was this notion of, “go talk to that person,” or “go talk to other fan creators” and see if there’s a way to not kill that project, to investigate the ideas that happening there that are exciting, who knows.

But again, to differentiate this, we have had conversations with entities that started as fans and became more of a business partner. Those conversations happen all the time, but again, when something transitions to a commercial product, and that’s what [AM2R] was—there wasn’t a charge, but it was now a commercial product.

There was no charge, but it was a ‘commercial product’. WTF?

The interviewer, again, is aghast, and follows up on it.

I guess I need… what’s the definition of “commercial product” for Nintendo?

Well, again, it’s all about… How do we protect our intellectual property? How do our creators, like Mr. Sakamoto, who created Metroid, and Nintendo control that intellectual property so that we can drive where it’s going, versus someone else driving where it’s going.

That’s where the line is very clear for us. And again, we could go on to YouTube and a variety of different places and see fans doing interesting things with our IP. But when it turns to driving the direction of the IP, or somehow monetizing or becoming a commercial project, that’s where for us, the line has been crossed.

If I was the interviewer, I would have responded: “Sakamoto had NOTHING TO DO with Metroid II!!!!” It is the equivalent of having Aonuma remaking the Legend of Zelda without Miyamoto. It is an insult.

Let me translate what Reggie is saying with a parable.

In 1991, Cafe Nintendo makes a chocolate chip cookie. People like this chocolate chip cookie.

Over the decades, Chef Sakamoto keeps putting out chocolate chip cookies with more salt. The sales for Sakamoto’s salty cookies go down. Cafe Nintendo does not respond to the market. Instead, Cafe Nintendo keeps trying to sell Sakamoto’s increasingly salty cookies.

An amateur cook puts out a chocolate chip cookie with more chocolate. Everyone celebrates! If only Cafe Nintendo would put out chocolate chip cookie with more chocolate or, at least, without the salt.

Cafe Nintendo’s response is to send thugs to the amateur chef, bust up his kitchen, beat his ass, and destroy any existence of the chocolate chip cookie with more chocolate.

Cookie eaters are stunned. Why did Cafe Nintendo do this? “We are protecting our IP.” (IP stands for Intellectual Property which applies equally across products including cookies.)

The truth of this situation is that AM2R is not the issue. The truth of the situation is that IP is also not the issue.

This is all about one thing: Sakamoto.

Stop talking about AM2R. Talk about Sakamoto. Nintendo is circling the wagons around Sakamoto.

Let me quote Reggie again:

How do our creators, like Mr. Sakamoto, who created Metroid, and Nintendo control that intellectual property so that we can drive where it’s going, versus someone else driving where it’s going.

The answer is THE MARKET DRIVES THE IP, NOT THE COMPANY.

Nintendo developers really do have their heads up their asses. The reason why no one is looking for Switch versions of Urban Champion or Wrecking Crew or Mach Rider or even Kid Icarus is because despite how much those IPs were ‘driven’, the market does not want them. People talk about Nintendo’s IPs without forgetting the corpses of failed IPs that Nintendo attempted. Remember Game Freak’s Drill Dozer?

Sakamoto, the pixel artist, did not invent Metroid. Metroid was Gunpei Yokoi’s baby. The people behind Metroid are either dead or retired. Sakamoto is the last one left who had any involvement with it.

Metroid Fusion, on the vast GBA installed base, is completely overshadowed and outsold by Metroid Prime, made by Texans in Austin on the teeny tiny installed base of the Gamecube. Retro’s direct sequels to Metroid Prime, though selling less, still sold over a million (i.e. more than Sakamoto Metroid Gymnastics).

Metroid Zero Mission, the second remake of the original Metroid (Super Metroid was the first), also didn’t perform.

Metroid Hunters came out and sold a million. Say what one wants about Hunters, the game added more to the Metroid franchise than anything Sakamoto did. The bounty hunters are far more interesting than ‘Adam’ or ‘Samus’s tortured past’.

Above: Added more to Metroid than Sakamoto ever did.

Then, of course, there was Metroid: Other M. It was funny to watch people be in such denial about HOW BAD the game was. “Team Ninja messed it up.” No one would blame Sakamoto, the person who WROTE, PRODUCED, and DIRECTED the game.

Above: Metroid: Other M still sucks years later.

With all of Sakamoto’s mistakes, you would think he’d be fired from Metroid franchise. But no. We have Metroid Returns (i.e. Sakamoto Returns) of a 3DS remake of Metroid 2.

Yet, AM2R has to be removed from the internet because Nintendo was scared.

Scared of what? Scared that an AMATEUR WORK can compete and outdo a ‘professional work’? Or is it more scared of how Sakamoto is perceived as being completely talent-less?

It raises the question: what does it take to get fired from being an IP director at Nintendo? Apparently making terrible games that sell bad and review bad is not enough. So what is it, Nintendo? How does one get fired at being IP director?

And why not give 2d Metroid to Retro? Retro can make 3d Metroid and can make 2d platformers. Clearly, Retro is qualified to make 2d Metroid. But Nintendo will never allow it because it would completely destroy Sakamoto who has nothing to list in his game accomplishments except for stuff like Tamagotchi Life and Warioware.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 21, 2017

Email: The Atari Box

 

Amidst all the Sakamoto nonsense, Atari has announced that they are back in the hardware business:

Looking into this in the news, it appears this is more than the Atari Flashback pack-in game system, but an actual full-fledged console. More info will be coming at some point. What to make of this?

 

It means someone saw the sales of the NES Mini and wants some of that.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 21, 2017

Email: Your Mario articles

Really helped open my eyes about the franchise a while back Malstrom.

Now that you’ve begun talking about Mario again I figured I’d share the revelation you helped me achieve.

I think in the past not just myself but most other gamers fell into a kind of mental trap whereby we thought to ourselves that once the Super Nintendo era came to an end we’d just have to accept the end of 2D side scrolling gaming as a “march of progress” kind of thing ie greater technology just necessitated the push to 3D EVERYTHING in our minds.

Sean, I remember being sad about this as it pertained to Mario thinking to myself at the time…

“Well that kinda sucks…I understand the move to greater technology that can create 3D graphics kinda necessitates a change in the videogames of the industry to 3D but I will miss that 2D Mario gameplay as I really loved SMB3 and Super Mario World”.

That was how my pre-teen or early teenager logic went at the time.

Then I basically forgot about the Mario series and moved onto the 3D games that I did like of the N64 era.

I never bought Mario 64 and it wasn’t directly out of spite of it’s change to 3D either but just at the time it didn’t particularly grab my attention or interest me like the previous 2D Mario games did.

Perhaps it was my mind unconsciously rejecting Mario in 3D as my soul/gut instinct what have you just knew it wouldn’t provide satisfactory gameplay to match or even top the 2D games of it’s ilk?

Anyway Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario World both captured my imagination and desire to own them as they just oozed a magical quality whereas 3D Mario 64 I just went “Meh”.

Perhaps it was the 3D graphics and gameplay alone that were the turn off to Mario 64 or the LGBTBBQ pride parade “Waha!” squeals of our formerly universally beloved protagonist or the new art style but something about the new product was just offputting in a gag inducing way.

For years however Malstrom I got this idea into my head (probably from the idiot filled game forums) that Mario 64 was just this amazingly, mind blowing, classic Mario game that I just HAD to play and beat at some point in my life or my time as a gamer on this earth just wouldn’t be complete.

Yet, I confess to you Malstrom each time I try to get into a 3D Mario game whether its Mario 64, the Galaxy games or what have you I get so far and then get bored and turn them off and move onto better videogame entertainments.

So yeah just making the point to you and to re-iterate I think the move to the greater technological 3D era tricked a great deal of us gamers out there in a Matrix Agent Smith like sense that we had to accept the 3D revolution as the “sounds of inevitability” ie 2D gaming was out/dead and 3D gaming was in and thats just the way it was going to be from here on out.

Well with time we learned that 2D wasn’t exactly as dead as we’d been tricked or rather tricked ourselves to believe and now in our modern time of 2017 it really seems to be making a come back.

Interestingly enough Malstrom a few weeks ago Nintendo sent an online survey to me and I’m sure many others who are subscribed to them somehow or Nintendo club members or what have you and one of the survey’s questions was a very Malstromy:

“What version of Mario do you prefer 2D or 3D?”

Which of course I had to answer 2D.

I wish I could remember the survey’s questions in full but I believe it also touched on points about other Nintendo games you bring up on your blog here so as you continue to assert (and I believe) Nintendo MUST read your website as I don’t see any of your wise sentiments being made on the corrupt game journalist websites or their clueless idiot filled forums.

haha, that is awesome!

One big reason for the blog’s existence is that the game media, as well as our good friends, the hardcore, living in their message forums, make you scared or doubt the games you prefer. The best example of this is the game, Zelda II. Everywhere, it is declared ‘Zelda II is the black sheep of the family’. Despite it being ‘declared’, market reality tells us another thing. What market reality tells us is the true black sheep of the series is Zelda: Wind Waker. That game did not sell as it should! “But no,” you see, “Wind Waker was divine with its brilliant art style. You do not understand its greatness. Now read a gazillion posts in Gaming Message Forum about how amazing Wind Waker is.” It’s so ridiculous. These people are not living in reality.

Zelda used to be an Open World game with RPG elements. “No,” they said. “It is about story and puzzles.” Then Breath of the Wild comes out, and these people do not know what to say! It is funny!

Nintendo’s prime directive is making money. Zelda got its Breath of the Wild because Zelda franchise was in big trouble of becoming a laughing stock. Metroid is pretty much already there. Why they are letting Sakamoto have ANYTHING to do with Metroid now is incredible to me.

We know Retro makes good 2d games. We know Retro can satisfy Metroid fans. Solution: have Retro make 2d Metroid.

But Nintendo won’t allow that. It is like Nintendo is some sort of elderly club of Aonumas and Sakamotos where no one is given a crack at those franchises no matter how many games they screw up.

Look at the NES Mini. In your mind, I am sure you believe NES games are ‘old’ and no one wants to play them anymore. But NES Mini was sold out 100% of the time and will forever be so as Nintendo just pulled the plug from it. Why? It is a viable product that makes Nintendo money. The point is that there is something else going on here. Nintendo has an agenda beyond money here. It could be something as simple as game designers’ crazy egos. But it could be something else.


Note: I will get to the other E3 emails soon. I work multiple jobs. And I am currently in a hurricane. Please understand.

Image result for iwata

Above: “Hey! That’s my line!”

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 21, 2017

Email: I loved the 2D Mario post

Keep pounding away at those deluded developers, not to mention the deluded management! Something managed to get through on Zelda (which I never expected), so you might as well continue to beat Nintendo over the head regarding Mario and Metroid.

By the way, here’s a small correction that you’ll appreciate. New Super Mario Bros. 2 has now outsold Super Mario 3D Land:

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/3ds.html

I still remember how Nintendo announced New Super Mario Bros. 2 during some sort of Japanese-only investor’s conference or something, and all they did was quickly show the logo to say that the game was coming. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s marketing machine went berserk with Super Mario 3D Land. Assholes!

Isn’t it amazing how Nintendo doesn’t care that other series keep going 2D (Yoshi, Kirby… probably because Nintendo hands those games off to other developers), yet the company is OBSESSED with 3D Mario.

Hey Nintendo, GROW THE FUCK UP. We prefer 2D Mario. Get it through your thick skulls.

It goes all the way back to the 16-bit generation. After Super Mario World, Nintendo fans were expecting an eventual Super Mario Brothers 5 for the SNES (as well as another Zelda game [perhaps a 16-bit Zelda II? Ooohhhh!], another Kid Icarus game, etc.). Instead of Super Mario Brothers 5, we got Donkey Kong Country and its sequels. Fine games, but they are not 2d Mario. In Nintendo’s defense, Sega’s marketing machine may have tainted Mario enough where they had to bring out Donkey Kong as Donkey Kong was still ‘fresh’.

Miyamoto has said they knew people wanted those 2d platformers so he said that the DKC games would satisfy those people instead of making another 2d Mario.

But yet we get no more 2d Mario until NSMB DS. And that game, as dreadful as it was, was a Super Mario Advance original game for the Gameboy Advance later moved to DS. When NSMB DS sold gazillions, selling hardware left and right, Nintendo forced Miyamoto to direct NSMB Wii. And NSMB Wii sold a gazillion and sold hardware left and right.

NSMB U was originally NSMB Mii.

Terrible! Nintendo tried to clean it up some. But the reason why NSMB Mii was the launch title was because Nintendo didn’t care if it was rushed. Super Mario 3d World would NOT be rushed. Iwata said Super Mario 3d World would alone save the Wii U. Hahaha.

At this link, there is a collection of the sick, sick obsession Nintendo has with 3d Mario.

Nintendo, when does this end? If game A, B, C, and D fail to convert 2d Mario fans, why should E, F, and G be any different? Why not just put all the resources into making 2d Mario? Why does Nintendo hate 2d Mario?

And what is with Mario Maker? Why not make a 3d Mario Maker? Or a Aonuma Zelda Maker? Nintendo will never do that because they want 2d Mario to die.

Why does Nintendo keep defying the market on this? What is so damn good about 3d Mario to warrant this obsession? 3d Mario is much more expensive, and 2d Mario is much cheaper to make. In a business sense, this is a slam dunk. So what else is causing Nintendo to do this?

My theory is that Nintendo doesn’t just make hardware for its time. Nintendo has long range plans for a game console that is about 3d virtual space. Each console is a step closer to that magic time. They are very frustrated that 3d Mario has not been accepted by the mainstream. Mario needs to be there at the dawn of the 3d Virtual Space console. I suspect this is what helps fuel their obsession for more (always more) 3d Mario.

Check out this interview with Koizuma and such.

GC: But I always found it disappointing that it sold so much less than the New Super Mario Bros. games, which were clearly more accessible to casual gamers. This is a problem all developers struggle with, but how do you balance the complexity and difficulty of a game with one that’s accessible? And do you feel the problem has gotten worse with the rise of smartphones, where a game that would seem relatively simplistic to ordinary gamers 5 or 10 years ago is now almost too much for most casual gamers.

First of all, THIS IS THE INTERVIEWER. The interviewer is injecting his own personal opinion which is wildly contradictory to the market. “I hate how NSMB sold so well. It only sold due to casual gamers. Wah.” That is what he is saying!

Now you know why I hate game journalists.

More incredible, look how Nintendo responded:

YK: So I think historically, just as a starting point, a lot of people have the 2D Mario games as a place where they become familiar with the series and some of the concepts; because they are so easy to play, so easy to understand. Whereas when we made the shift into 3D games with Super Mario 64, at that time I think we did notice that there was a slightly fewer number of people playing. We didn’t necessarily have the exact same number of players slide right on over.

Slightly fewer!? hahahahaha

They are lying to themselves.

Super Mario 64 sold 11 million, most of that from the United States.

Super Mario Sunshine sold 6 million, most of that from the United States.

Super Mario Galaxy sold around 12 million units.

Super Mario Bros. (1985) – 40.24 million
New Super Mario Bros. (2006) – 30.80 million
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009) – 29.90 million
Super Mario World (1990) – 20.61 million
Super Mario Land (1989) – 18.14 million
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) – 17.28 million

NSMB Wii sold more than TWICE as Super Mario Galaxy despite Galaxy being released earlier on the system. It’s clear that 2d Mario is the preference.

The 8-bit and 16-bit sales are massive especially when you calculate the population growth and additional markets that have come from twenty to thirty years ago. Also, the early Mario games faced a cold market, today’s Mario games face a warm market.

“But what about NSMB U that didn’t sell the Wii U? OMG, Malstrom!” cries the reader.

Let’s look at the sales numbers for best selling Wii U games:

Mario Kart 8 — 7.5 million
New Super Mario Bros. U — 5..19 million
Nintendo Land — 5.07 million
Super Mario 3D World — 4.82 million
Super Smash Bros. Wii U — 4.8 million
Splatoon — 4.27 million
Super Mario Maker — 3.52 million
New Super Luigi U — 2.49 million
Mario Party 10 — 1.76 million
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD — 1.72 million

NSMB U was met with disappointment and boredom while Super Mario 3d World was declared ‘best game ever’ and Iwata bet the company’s financials on 3d World (only to watch it blow up hahaha).

“Mario Kart 8 is so popular. OMG!” people keep saying. Well, NSMB U is the SECOND best selling game on the Wii U. So yes, 2d Mario did push the system despite it being seen as a disappointing 2d Mario of a disappointing hardware. If Mario Kart 8 is good enough to port over to Switch, then the next game ought to be NSMB U.

New Super Luigi U sold more than HALF of what Super Mario 3d World sold. There is no way to look at these sales numbers without coming to the conclusion that 2d Mario is what people want, not 3d Mario. Even strange Luigi 2d Mario expansions perform well. Nintendo doesn’t have the balls to put out a Super Luigi 3d World because no one would buy it. People buy 3d Mario for the Mario, not for the 3d. But people do buy 2d Mario for both Mario and the 2d.

“But what about 3DS, Malstrom? 3d Mario outsold 2d Mario there!”

You mean a strange 2d Mario that was about collecting coins that offered very little new while a heavily marketed 3d Mario, saturated in Tanooki suits, sold about the same? It shows how weak 3d Mario is.

Pokemon X/Y — 14.7 million
Mario Kart 7 — 13.26 million
Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire — 11.84 million
Super Mario 3D Land — 10.73 million
New Super Mario Bros. 2 — 10.25 million
Animal Crossing: New Leaf — 10 million
Super Smash Bros. 3DS — 8.12 million
Tomodachi Life — 4.98 million
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon — 4.82 million
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D — 4.04 million

You never hear about NSMB 2 for the 3DS despite it selling over 10 million units (!). On the Gaming Message Forums, all you hear about is Super Mario 3d Land and how ‘wonderful’ and ‘amazing’ it is. Yeah right.

This also shows how little Super Mario Maker is selling. Sure it sells a few million, but the reason why people are not drawn to Super Mario Maker is because there is no adventure in it. It is just a construction kit. How boring.

Now, let us return to the interview:

And so from that point on I think that we changed our awareness just a little bit, we were trying to think of, ‘How do we solve some of these accessibility problems?’ Our goal is to make the 3D games even more accessible than the 2D ones, so that that could become the entry point. And we look at that from a number of various angles. And one of the key ways that we decided on an approach to that is to create that kind of emotional resonance for players.

In other words, how do we get 3d Mario to outsell 2d Mario and have 2d Mario die? That is what Nintendo is asking.

What is NOT being asked is, “Why are we wasting so much resources on 3d Mario when it doesn’t sell nearly as well as 2d Mario despite 2d Mario being MUCH cheaper to make?”

Nintendo is interested in making games for themselves, not for us.

Nintendo refuses to give any serious production or creative effort into 2d Mario. Super Mario Galaxy gets the orchestra, NSMB Wii gets the ‘wah wah’. 3d Mario gets the Giant World, 2d Mario gets the generic ‘ice worlds’ and all.

It isn’t that 2d Mario is more accessible. It is that 3d Mario is being rejected. Nintendo and others are lying to themselves if they cannot see that.

 

There’s this feeling of detachment and you’re sort of removed from immersion if you need a lot of explanation, if something is unfamiliar. So we have to look at how can we create systems that will feel familiar, even if you’re seeing them for the first time? And how do we integrate them all together into one game, so that they seem like a seamless part of a whole? And that was the sort of synthesis work that the team had to figure out.

And so with that experience we’re able to do a lot of play-testing, and have people from lots of different demographics come in – really a diverse group. You have some people who are definitely core gamers and more experienced, but you also have casual gamers and even people who’ve never played games before. And we look very carefully at what is hard for some of the more casual or newer gamers to understand; and we try to identify each one as a problem that we can then solve.

They have no clue what they’re doing, folks.

I would like 2d Mario to be given to an outside developer such as Retro. Maybe that is what they are up to. Yeah right. Nintendo has no passion for 2d Mario, and it shows, but the market does.

You know who should be interviewing these Nintendo guys? ME. Can you imagine Malstrom interviewing them? I’d be throwing sales figures at them and history. “Why do you keep making something the market keeps rejecting? Why are you trying to make games for yourself? Iwata told you not to do that!”

Reader sings: “Odyssey! Yes see! Odyssey! Yes see!

We will see how this game does. Despite the juggernaut of marketing, holiday season, and hot console going for it, I think Mario Odyssey sales will go from strong to tepid as that is the case for every 3d Mario game. People expecting Mario Odyssey to sell like Grand Theft Auto are going to be in for a rude awakening. Actually, they have these irrational hopes every time a 3d Mario comes out.

“Mario 64 will rock the world with the N64!”

Mario 64 condemns the N64 to sales death with the exception being America because hot American economy had people buy 3d Mario just because.

“Mario Sunshine will rock the world with the Gamecube!”

Sunshine condemns the Gamecube to sales death with the exception being America because yada yada.

“Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 will rock the world with the Wii’s high install base!”

haha. Nope! Low budget NSMB Wii causes the Wii to sell four million units in December of 2009 in America alone. Unprecedented and has not been surpassed.

“Mario 3d Land will rock the 3DS.”

Nope!

“Mario 3d World will launch the Wii U!”

Nope! Iwata bet his analysis on this, and he got served crow. It also showed that Iwata had poor market analysis skills to say what he did.

Now: “Super Mario Odyssey will rock the Switch!”

I know how this is going to go. It is not because I am some seer or have super duper ability. History tells us the probability of ‘Odyssey rocking the Switch’ to be low.

Meanwhile, Breath of the Wild IS rocking the Switch and the world. Breath of the Wild is a Zelda game with open world, RPG elements, ,and less emphasis on puzzles and story. Gee, who has been pushing for this type of Zelda for years? Hint: it wasn’t game journalists or Gaming Message Forums.

Now look at how Nintendo keeps screwing up Metroid and Mario. When are they going to right those ships?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 17, 2017

Email: The alternate reality of Gaming Message Forums

There was a Reddit AMA with Koizumi earlier today (but with the way Reddit works, high-profile AMAs are just choreographed marketing stunts…whatever), and one comment stuck with me. Someone asked what the biggest challenge in developing Mario Odyssey was, and Koizumi responded that it was the decision to return to “sandbox Mario”, because it’s been so long since 64/Sunshine and they weren’t sure if people would accept that kind of game again. Someone responded with (paraphrased), “but Mario 64 is the best Mario game ever. How could there be any doubt that people would like a sandbox Mario today?”

It’s comments like these that make me really worry about how seriously Nintendo takes fan feedback. Mario 64 was not universally adored when it came out. Yes, it was well-crafted, broke new ground, and is a solid game in its own right, but a lot of people felt that it wasn’t really a Mario game at all (which is correct, or at least it was before Nintendo decided to keep changing what a Mario game is), and it certainly wasn’t the flawless mega-hit that Internet dwellers make it out to be today. So when Nintendo gets feedback from people who think some of their more divisive games were perfect and fantastic (Wind Waker, Yoshi’s Island, Mario 64 and now even Sunshine!), it’s hard not to worry that Nintendo will think that as well–especially since those are the games Nintendo loves so much and wants to push on everyone to no end.

So as much as I hate to admit it, you’re probably right that we’re about to enter another cycle of “arrogant Nintendo” soon. Let’s just be thankful that the Switch doesn’t have a real competitor yet so 3rd parties will probably be around to soften the blow.

 

What’s funny about the game industry is that they had a positive macro-economic trend throughout the 80s and 90s and early 2000s. Japan has not been as fortunate. Nintendo designed the DS and Wii to create new gamers in order to counter bad macro-economic trends in Japan. This is why the DS and Wii did so well in America because America was doing well in its macro-economics… until around 2008. 2008 is also when the Wii and other systems began to fall. It is like walking against a river’s current. It is harder to sell. When Nintendo would make a mediocre game (which I believe is most of Nintendo’s output, not terrible but not that great), the macro-economics would push the game sales. I prefer cold markets (i.e. Generation 1-3) or new growth (Generation 7) since the games tend to be ‘better made’ to go against the current of disinterest.

I believe the macro-economic trend, at least in America, is returning to positive. This will create a positive boost for all consoles including Switch.

This means Nintendo will not be punished by the market for making a mediocre game. The mediocre game will sell “well” (like Mario 64) and Nintendo will think the market now loves it and will only make that type of game.

Nintendo’s E3 showing was boring to me because all the games shown, including ones like Metroid Prime 4, are very formulaic. I want more Breath of the Wild, more shattering the formula. One of the reasons why the NES era was so magical was because there was no established formula. We went from games that didn’t scroll, to games that scrolled one way, to games that scrolled all over. We went from games with black backgrounds to the blue sky of Super Mario Brothers.

I don’t pay close attention to Sony and Microsoft, but what they show is sooo boring. I’ve always thought what they had to show was boring. Maybe people are getting bored with the AAA game model. We will see.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 17, 2017

Email: Nintendo is hindering re-sales of physical games

 

I was going through some of my old DS games and found a few I wanted to sell. I usually use Amazon Marketplace for various reasons, and when I wanted to put up a game by Nintendo I got an error message that I have to request a permission to sell those. The problem is that a permission can only be granted if a) you have permission from Nintendo, or b) if you have a proof of purchase listing your name and the product in question and the invoice is no older than half a year or so.

There is no way a regular person can request a permission from Nintendo to re-sell old games, and for a game that’s ten years old and no longer being manufactured it is impossible to have a valid invoice. I contacted Amazon and they told me there is nothing that can be done. This restriction does not apply to DS games not published by Nintendo, so this is intentional. Even if you bought a game recently, if you don’t have an invoice with your name and address on it (for example you bought it in a retail store paying in cash because you don’t your purchases to be tracked by every middleman) you will not be able to sell it.

Nintendo has effectively made it impossible now for me to sell my old games on Amazon Marketplace, but this is not the big issue. Nintendo doesn’t give a rat’s ass about old DS cartridges, those are just collateral damage in a general restriction on Nintendo products. What I mean is, it doesn’t matter that Switch games are now on cartridges if you cannot trade in your cartridges anymore. The used games market has been a thorn in the side of all game companies and there have been various ways of cutting down on the value of physical games, such as “project 10$” by EA, and this is now Nintendo’s attempt.

I guess soon we’ll be back to trading cartridges on flea markets again, at least until Nintendo cracks down on those as well. You know what? Fuck Nintendo, I’m waiting for a Switch flashcart, if Nintendo has no respect for the customer, then why should I have respect for Nintendo either?

 

I have not heard about this until now.

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 17, 2017

Conspicuously missing from E3

 

Hi Malstrom,

There is one game that Nintendo set up perfectly to reveal this E3 and they didn’t: the next 2D Mario. Just look at what they’ve been doing with their mobile games. They release Pokemon Go, and then Pokemon sales and 3DS sales skyrocket. They also have Miitomo and the Fire Emblem mobile games, and they have Miitopia and Fire Emblem games to go with those. But they also have Super Mario Run. Where is the 2D Mario game for the Switch? This is the perfect time for it. Millions of people have bought Super Mario Run, and many millions more downloaded the first few levels for free. Also Mario is really the only other game that can excite people on the level of Pokemon. Miitomo and Fire Emblem are not in the same league. It looks like they are sabotaging their whole mobile strategy just because they hate to make 2D Mario that much.

 

Super Mario Maker was made so that another 2d Mario will never have to be made again. Note the absence of a Zelda maker or Metroid maker. Then we could fire Aonuma and Sakamoto as those fan creations would be superior to anything they would make.

 

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