Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 13, 2017

Email: Don’t sleep on Bomberman for Switch

And now a message from the reader…

Hello Malstrom,

I know that you’ve already bought Bomberman but I haven’t seen you say anything about the transformation that game has taken after launch. It was a pretty bad Bomberman at launch, or maybe just mediocre, but after consistent fixes and content updates over a relatively long period it’s a very good game now. I feel that they realized that they screwed it up at launch and… surprisingly, fixed it. That’s just my opinion of course. Have you played the game recently?


I have not played it in a while, but I will be playing it for the Christmas break. 4 player Bomberman!!! Mmmmmmm…


Dear Malstrom,

I think the main reason Nintendo is going back to Bayonetta despite its weak sales is because they’re determined to get plenty of games out for the Switch, and a port is much cheaper and faster than developing a game from scratch.

As to why games like Madworld get critical praise and games like Wii Sports don’t, it’s probably because game reviewers are like movie reviewers in that they are predominantly left-wing. The artsy game/movie that allows the smartset to feel smart will usually get praised while the game/movie that appeals to the mainstream is more likely to get dissed (which is why I never trust glowing reviews of indie films).

I really enjoyed playing Super Mario Odyssey, but a lot of that depends on how much you enjoy fetch-a-thons. I’m a person who plays games more for the experience than the challenge, and it is a fun experience, though nowhere near as good or replayable as Zelda ‘BoW’.

I don’t think Nintendo will ever be a huge force in online gaming as the Call of Duty crowd seems dedicated to Playstation and Xbox. I’ve never been big on playing online, and yet the Switch game I think I’ve played the most is Splatoon 2. As much as I enjoy it, I find online play to be frustrating due to the inability to control the difficulty level, lag that results in cheap deaths (my opponents are often a second or two ahead of me), and one-sided matches that occur when a teammate drops out of the game.

The game is still immense fun to play despite all this, but couldn’t Nintendo create a one-player version of the game with seven other CPU players? Something similar was done with Star Wars Battlefront for the PS2, so you would think it could be done again. Or are developers just too lazy to create good AI anymore?

I think Bayonetta is doing the job Metroid used to do for the Nintendo platform.

“What job did Metroid do for the Nintendo platform?” asks the squirrely reader.

Metroid has never been much of a big seller, however, Metroid is a great counterweight title compared to Nintendo’s cutesy family friendly games. Metroid, original Metroid that is, was considered an ‘expert gamer’ type game. Metroid wasn’t for children. Metroid gave advanced gamer respect for the console that Mario and Zelda could not.

Bayonetta is a mature rated game full of violence and sexuality. It is unlike anything else in Nintendo’s stable. Bayonetta is worth it to Nintendo to fund and publish because it provides a counterweight to the console library from tipping over into ‘kiddie zone’ reputation territory. For consoles, reputation is a very serious thing.

I don’t think anyone is realistically thinking Bayonetta will become a ‘big’ seller, but Nintendo needs the game for its console reputation.

It is also why DOOM was so important to be ported to Switch… AND the SNES and N64 :) .

About AI, developers do not know how to make AI anymore. I’m serious! Look at a game like Master of Orion which is a strong brand and good seller and classic game.

Master of Orion is turn based gameplay. Ooohhhh. Anyone can do that.

Master of Orion has virtually no art or sound assets. OMG. Anyone can make that. Even Master Malstrom can make the art and sound for Master of Orion.

But what no one can do is make the AI that Master of Orion used. It is so hard that Master of Orion reboot (from EA of course) and Master of Orion clones can only use space lanes. Why? It is because they cannot program the AI to do full space.

Why can a 1990 game be able to do it but games almost thirty years later cannot?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 11, 2017

Email: Super Mario Odyssey

“This is why I do not trust the ‘rave reviews’ for Mario Odyssey, a game which has already faded from the gaming conversations.”

You are completely right about that. I just got the game for $35 (10% off used with a $15 off used games certificate) and I’m already trying to figure out if I can just exchange it for a used copy of Fire Emblem Warriors.

The production values are high in every area. Animation, modeling, artwork, music, sounds, etc but the game is not good. The game has less freedom in it than Super Mario 64 and Sunshine.

First off, that freedom that Nintendo openly spouts off isn’t true freedom. Sure, you’re not kicked out to a hub world after getting stars now. Yea, I know that they call them moons now, but that’s essentially what they are. It’s nice not being kicked out of the world, but it’s hardly new. Banjo-Kazooie did it back in the 90’s and it did it better.

In fact, Odyssey plays like a prettied up Banjo-Kazooie game that removes a bit of player freedom while treating you like an idiot. In Banjo you had fight pads that could be used for true flight around a world with a collectable (feathers) based limit. In Odyssey, you use your cap to take control of a glide guy at certain points. No true flight with him and the expensive can be frustrating because of it. Cappy can be thrown and used in multiple ways, but the best ways are limited to motion controls only. It’s the motion controlled ground pound in Donkey Kong Country Returns all over again. Despite being able to take control of enemies, the feature mostly functions like the Wisps in Sonic Color. You’re meant to use them to progress, there are plenty of places that you cannot move through without doing so. Unlike Wisps, the powers gained are often just novelty or spectacle. Like ooh, it’s cool that you can control a Goofball. After the first time you wonder why anyone thought it would be fun to control a Goomba.

I’ve only made it to the Fifth Kingdom, but I’ve seen these patterns and issues already. If the game had of been designed to not require the capturing, it would have been much more fun. If the enemies could be captured and used in any area while also not being needed, I would have been singing the praises of Odyssey too. The way things stand now, the game will age like milk and people will praise it for being a lesser game than Banjo-Kazooie in every way other than production values. That’s a shame, since I am a big Mario fan.

It is always risky buying a game at launch. I rarely do it. In console land, I have only bought two consoles at launch (Wii and Switch) and, interestingly, both sold like wildfire from the beginning. Zelda BoW sold me on the Switch, and the game exceeded my expectations. Zelda BoW + $20 DLC to be an $80 game… and I still think it is worth it. Game has tremendous content and replay value.

I’ve barely played Fire Emblem Warriors. I do not like the Fire Emblem ‘stuff’ in it, but I love the Musuo ‘warriors’ gameplay. Game performs well, much better than Hyrule Warriors, and is ‘clean’ compared to Hyrule Warriors jankiness. I already bought the DLC season pass for FE Warriors knowing I’ll be playing that game for a LONG time.

I’m just done with the hype. I found I like getting games when I know their value. It is why I like retro systems, ports of older games (like Skyrim and DOOM, you already know the value of them), and buying a game later.

I work 50 hours a week. Time is not on my side. I do not have the time to waste on hype trains or games with low value.

After a month, the hype train is over.

After one year, we truly can see the value of the game.

After 20 years, if a game is still good and exciting, it gets a Malstrom Award, the rarest and most prestige award ever for video games for it is a game that can stand the test of time. Pac-Man is such a game.

There are too many games out there. I want games to stand the test of time.

We will see if Mario Odyssey stands the test of time. We’ll see how it is a year from now.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Street Fighter Collection announced

12 games are included. Comes to PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam (PC).


It comes with those games. Online play with four of them.

Here is the trailer:

I’m buying it.

And I’ll also be buying this:


Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Email: Bayo 1+2

Why do you think you have to get Bayo 1+2 on Wii U soon? They’re porting 1+2 to Switch in a month and a half.

Not the physical copy of Bayonetta 1 (except for the Japanese special collection).

If you want a physical version of Bayonetta 1, you either need that Japanese special collection or a first print run of Bayonetta 2 for Wii U (which includes Bayonetta 1 on a separate disc).

I expect those Wii U first print copies to climb in value now. The biggest retro game seller in Houston tells me whenever a digital version of a game comes out (Virtual Console) or a collection (Classic Mini), demand goes up for the physical versions.

Some people say Wii U library will go up over time. This may or may not be true, but we know it is true for first print runs of Bayonetta 2 for Wii U.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Email: Bayonetta

Remember the meltdown when Bayonetta 2 was announced as exclusive to Wii
U? Meltdowns like this are good PR for Nintendo among the “hardcore”.

By the way, I could have bought Bayonetta 1&2 for 10€ two years back,
but because the game is heavily marketed towards 10-20 years younger
guys than I am, I thought I’d skip the games. I tried out the B2 demo
later, and the game kicked ass (and also, my 8-yo daughter loved it).
Damn I regret not buying the games back then. Just that the gameplay in
the marketing looked boring, and I prefer chicks I can stick my dick
into, instead of pixelated ones, so even the looks of the main character
didn’s sell me a copy.

What many people do not realize is that women love Bayonetta. Women love that ‘chicks playing volley ball game’, whatever it is called, for earlier systems. That’s right, Dead or Alive Xtreme.

Above: Do not watch the above for it is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

Women are the biggest fans of such games! The Happy Console Gamer (youtube personality) admits that Bayonetta was the game that got his young wife to bond with him when they started dating!

*Checks the prices for Bayonetta 1 and 2*

I see it going for around $50-70 for Wii U for both Bayonetta 1 and 2. You can get it cheaper on Ebay for around $30. But you are running out of time (and supply).

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Email: The Indie Revolution is over

Every day a new broken game appears on the e-shop. So many of these games are being rushed to the system to try to cash in on all the hype. This poor software is going to kill the image of the Switch. People do not associate game systems with anything other than the games they play on them, and when they end up playing broken, unfinished software, that is what they will think of. It seems that now that almost anyone can create a game. The “Indie Revolution” of small teams crafting quality games is over and crap games are flooding the market. This is all very reminiscent of the video game crash of 1983.

Everyone wants to be a game developer. However, most people lack the technical skills AND analytical skills to be a game developer. Most of the indie games shouldn’t have been published in the first place.

Flood of games isn’t bad. Nintendo learned much from Sony. Sega and Nintendo, scared of 1983 crashes, did not want to flood their console with software. Sony comes in and floods it. What are the results of that?

You say, “Bad games come to the system.” Who is to say what is a bad game?

One of the ‘bad games’ was a game called ‘Grand Theft Auto’. The first two originated on PC. They were OK. But then GTA 3 came out on the PS2 and rocketed that system up.

You never know where the next great game is coming from.

Therefore, you flood your console with software. Nintendo started doing this with the DS and Wii. In order to compete with Sony, Nintendo will flood their console with software. Why? You never know where the next great game is coming from.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Email: This is why Miiverse is a software problem…


Being the guy wrote about everyone and their dog. Apparently, someone
completely misunderstood the hardware/software problems!

Wii U has pretty big chunk of RAM. The problem is, that Nintendo decided
to put SOFTWARE on the system that eats half of the RAM. This, is a
software-related problem, not the hardware.

On the games, how they utilise the controller: the hardware is easilly
powerful enough to run the games it needs to, but because how the
SOFTWARE gobbles up resources by streaming two different images on two
different screens, instead of same image on two displays, eats
needlessly away processing power. This, again, is a problem with the

As for the Playstation 3, it did not have good games early in it’s life,
and it did not sell back then! Remember when you had two games of your
choice bundled with PS3? I do. Remember when it was always “game X” that
would be out “next month” that would save the PS3? I do. Remember when
Sony had excess stock of PS3s, because it could not sell all the systems
it manufactured? I do. It was only later in it’s life when PS3 started
to sell, when the games were there.

And the same goes with the original Playstation: it did not sell well
until the games like FF7 and Gran Turismo.

The only out of the gate breakaway hit Playstation was PS2.

What would be a hardware problem? Something that breaks. Having to pay
extra for something you don’t need or want (pretty much a cutting edge
problem as well). A bottleneck to prevent you from getting the most out
of your hardware (think of N64 or PS3). Bad ergonomy.

My thoughts on N64: I’m born in the 70’s, and I have all of Nintendo’s
home consoles released in the west since the NES (including the Classic
minis), but no Switch. Generally the N64 games are designed to play like
2D games with tight gameplay. SM64, OOT, Wave Race 64, Mario Kart 64,
Lylat Wars are all one of the top games in their genres, even today. The
problem was the lack of processing power for 3D games so that you could
have lots of enemies on screen in arcade fashion. This was something I’d
expected Gamecube to fix, but GC is where Nintendo dropped the ball and
everything related to arcade gameplay was removed – though, this was
indicated already in Majora’s Mask on N64. N64 problem is the lack of
games in general.

Cartridges? I loved them. Imagine if you could have played Gran Turismo
or Metal Gear Solid (or any PSX game) on cartridge and not needed to
wait the constant loading screens. Cartridge was a problem for the
publishers (because of the cost) but not for the players!

I think the hatred for cartridges is more than that. Many developers want game consoles to be dumbed down PCs so they don’t have to do much work. Cartridges differentiates consoles from PCs more, and the developer has to do more work to get the game to fit the cartridge.

Honestly, game sizes are out of control lately. There are copies of Pac-Man that are gigabytes in size (really?). Due to the Internet, there is a pipeline of infinite data. Developers want to be sloppy. Cartridges don’t allow them to be sloppy.

“Why can’t it be like on PC? Durr derrrp!”

I like PC games. I like console games. But I do not like PC games on console, and I do not like console games on PC.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Wii U Impressions: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

“The Wii U library is amazing!” they say. Therefore, reader, I am investigating the Wii U library for the ‘amazing’. Perhaps they were referring to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Let’s take a look.

Image result

Above: Is this a reason for the ‘incredible’ Wii U library?

Taking a sabbatical from Hyrule Warriors is allowing to start playing some different games. I popped in Captain Toad, a game unlikely to be ported anytime soon. What to make of it?

I got my copy NEW. The game is fantastic with its charm. I really like Toad having a game. I also really like that Toad pulls up turnips and throws them at the enemies in SMB 2 style. That’s wonderful!

Above: Trailer for Captain Toad

First big problem with this game is that it doesn’t need the TV. You can just play this game entirely on the Gamepad. And the Gamepad is required. A touch screen is necessary. I think the 3DS would have been a better platform for this game. Perhaps it came out for the Wii U because Nintendo wanted to solve gaps in the lineup.

Captain Toad is a game almost reminiscent of Lolo from HAL on the NES. However, this is 3d Lolo. You will spend most of the time moving the camera around to see the passageways not obvious from one perspective.

Do I like the game? I’m meh on it. I like that it is a budget title. I love the Toad charm. I despise the 3d.

This game doesn’t seem to have much of any replay value. There are three ‘gems’ to collect in each level like three stars in a NSMB level. But why would anyone replay a level once you have beaten it?

This is a puzzle game. It feels like it is treading on the indie game shovelware.

It’s not worth buying a Wii U for. I think this game would be great for a girlfriend or something. It being a budget title alters the value scale. If this game was $60, it’d be F material.

The best line I heard describing this game is: “If anyone but Nintendo made this game, you’d hear constant praise and accolades on the game’s charm and creativity.” I think that is probably true.

This game is an AAA 3d version of Binary Land from Hudson for the Famicom (you didn’t think my memory was that good, did you, reader?).

Above: Binary Land

Captain Toad’s gameplay isn’t *bad*, it just feels like it is very green. I love games like Lolo, but we do not need 3d versions of them.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 10, 2017

Why does Nintendo love Bayonetta?

Above: Bayonetta 3 trailer

Bayonetta doesn’t move Nintendo hardware. Bayonetta 2 didn’t sell Wii Us.

Why is Nintendo bothering with publishing another Bayonetta?

Bayonetta franchise is one of violence, hack-and-slash, and gratuitous sex appeal. In other words, it is everything that is opposite of the Nintendo ‘reputation’.

Bayoneta franchise helps keep the Nintendo console reputation from see-sawing over to the ‘cute’, ‘family friendly’, and ‘non-mature’ side.

This, and Nintendo really likes Platinum Games (probably for the reason of how different they are from Nintendo).

That’s what I got, you guys have any ideas?

(I didn’t know if I would regret buying the Wii U library, but the Bayonetta 1 and 2 copy is sure paying off now.)

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