Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 17, 2018

Email: Indie Games Selling Well On Switch

Interesting article. Apparently, though it’s still the biggest source of revenue, Steam is becoming less popular among indies. Switch, since it is less crowded with games, and since Nintendo does not allow the sort of garbage Valve does (endless gluts of anime girl visual novels and cheap Unity games made in 5 minutes). It’s a better place if a dev wants some exposure.

Switch gamers are not the ‘AAA Game Industry tools’ that saturate Xbox and PlayStation platforms. If you did an IQ test on the platforms, I would guarantee you that last place IQ would be the Xbox and PlayStation platform gamers. PC gamer would likely have the highest IQ.

Indie games do not have the advantages of AAA Game Industry with ‘big cinematics’ and shit like that. What they do have is the ability to pool from classic 8-bit and 16-bit gameplay for the bulk of their games.

Where are the players who love 8-bit and 16-bit gameplay? Well, they are on all platforms. But there is one platform where they are most concentrated: the Nintendo platform.

It is why Sonic games sell best on Nintendo platforms. Genesis fans have more in common with a Nintendo fan than a Xbox/PlayStation “Game Industry is rad dude! Check out this week’s hype, duuuude!” fan.

The difference between the indie market and the AAA Game Industry market is that the competition between indie games is not based off of graphics, cinematics, and marketing. (There is some marketing for indies, but it is nothing like a Game Industry game.)

Indie games have to be smart and extremely competitive in enjoyment consistency to win in the market. It resembles the earlier days of gaming. The Game Industry’s response to competition is to throw bigger budgets at it for more graphics, more hype, etc. so the competition goes away.

The indies are the mammals. The Game Industry are the dinosaurs getting more and more bloated.

All that has happened before.

Once upon a time, the big Game Industry companies were Nintendo and Sega. A few indie game companies squeezed out a few games on their systems. Others took to mail to distribute their games.

Indie game company: Silicon and Synapse


File:Rock N Roll Racing (SNES) (NA).jpg

Today, you know Silicon and Synapse as Blizzard Entertainment.

What about the company that made these following games?

Above: I love that music!

This mail order company is Epic who now makes games like Gears of War and provides the Unreal engine that forms the infrastructure for the Game Industry.

There is no difference from Indie games and ‘big company’ games of today except one has a future and the other does not.

I’m pleased that Nintendo does not see indie games as ‘second class games’ because my dollars are just as equal to any other dollar. If an indie game gets my dollars, those are the same dollars that are not going to big industry games or other form of entertainment.

Now if we can get more of these indie games to put out physical releases, all will be well.

The article says this is the calm before the storm of the bigger companies getting in. This may be true. It will take a couple of years for the bigger companies to get in. 2019 may be the start of the AAA Game Industry putting in their shit onto the Switch. However, I think most of the gamers won’t buy their shit. They’ll buy the good shit like Skyrim and Doom, but they won’t buy the over-hyped crap that PS/Xbox gamers seem to gorge on. Then they will moan, “Third parties can’t sell on Nintendo platforms,” while indie developers rake in the money and laugh.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 17, 2018

Email: Sonic Mania getting a physical release

The new characters look stupid, but hey, it’s on a cartridge! I wish Sega had done this before they got everyone (like me) to buy the digital version.

They’re giving out the free DLC so it still sounds good. The ‘new characters’ come from Sonic the Arcade game.

If the game isn’t physical, it doesn’t exist in Malstrom’s World. The price seems right at $30. Also, the packaging is nice too!


​While everyone rightfully so is hyped about Smash Bros. coming to Switch later this year, Crash Bandicoot may be the second most important game on Switch this year.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a good game that has sold around 3.5 million copies on PS4 in merely nine months. I can see it perform really well on Switch because it is a pick-up-and-play platforming game that fits both the audience and hardware of Switch. I own the game on PS4, but my main problem is that PS4 takes forever to boot up, and the game itself has very long loading times. It is a huge barrier for me, and the main reason why I do not play the game enough (or any other PS4 games). As soon as the Switch version is released, I will sell my PS4 copy of the game and buy it for Switch instead. Having the game on a cartridge will definitely improve the loading times, and the general use of the sleep mode on Switch will make loading times less of a hassle overall.

The funny thing about Crash Bandicoot is that when the original PlayStation games were released back in the 90’s, they were never seen as great games. They were good, but did not match the quality of the original Super Mario Bros. games, and it is debatable if they were better than Mario 64 (really depends on the type of gamer you are). However, in today’s market, the value of the three original Crash games has increased due to the scarcity of truly great games. I really appreciate what the remastered version have to offer in today’s market. Compare the value of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which includes the remaster of three games (100 levels in total) and by the way was released at budget price on PS4, to Nintendo’s own offerings this year. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ae both releasing at premium price points and their game content cannot compete with Crash, both in regards to pure game design (slow platforming) but also value (lack of challenge and/or a low number of levels).

In many ways, the three original Crash Bandicoot games are the true 3D versions of Donkey Kong Country on SNES. The characters, the world and most importantly the gameplay design and physics are very, very similar. The Crash Bandicoot games feel more like a Donkey Kong Country Game than the two recent Donkey Kong Country Returns games. The pacing and physics of the ‘Returns’ series so off. I played both and was bored to death (you could write a whole post on this alone).

The tragic thing is that is Nintendo that should be making a game like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. There is no doubt that Nintendo would be able to make a better game, but somehow they do not want to. And as long as Nintendo does not make such a game, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will fill that gap in the market. And that is why I think it will be an important game on Switch that will sell well.​

ZZzzzzzzz Crash Bandicoot zzzZZZzzzzz….

I do agree that bright playful platformers with serious talent behind them are rare on Playstation.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 14, 2018

Email: The value of Dark Souls

Hi Malstrom,

Regarding your comments on Dark Souls for Switch, if there’s going to be a Souls game on the Switch, there’s really no choice other than Dark Souls 1. Demon’s Souls and Bloodbourne were partially developed by Sony, so they are locked to Playstation platforms for the foreseeable future. Apparently Dark Souls 2 was a bit of a disappointment (I’ve never played it, but that’s what I’ve heard). And DS3 is probably too new to be easy to port to the Switch any time soon.

As for whether any Souls game is worth being on the Switch at all, I’d say yes. Thanks to a heads up from a helpful emailer of yours, I played some Demon’s Souls before the multiplayer servers shut down a little while ago. It had been a long time since I played it last, and though I still love that game, playing it after so long made me realize that the difficulty the game has is the kind of difficulty that doesn’t respect your time. I’m at a boss that can easily kill you by knocking you off a narrow bridge; that wouldn’t be too much of a problem if dying didn’t send you back to a checkpoint that’s a 5-10 minute walk back to the boss. And that made me realize that the reason I haven’t played that game in so long is because unless you have a good chunk of time to dedicate to it, it’s entirely possible not to make much progress in an average play session, unless you’re a high school student with a lot of time on your hands (as I was when the game first came out).

I have Dark Souls 1 on PS3 in my backlog, but to be honest I don’t think I could ever make much progress in it, as I don’t have as much time for time-demanding single-player video games as I used to. But the Switch version is extremely enticing for me, as I take the subway (or as I call it lately, the Zelda tunnel) to & from work every day where I can easily see myself playing it at a leisurely pace. Even the demanding nature of the game isn’t that much of a dealbreaker given that I have plenty of commute time to sink into it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees certain kinds of games as “more playable” when they become portable. And the fact that this plain ol’ Dark Souls 1 means that it’s a tried-and-true game with a great reputation. If it were a new Souls game exclusively for Switch, it might have had the feeling of a gimped “portable version” game like what graced the PSP every so often instead of the “real” version of the game.

Just some food for thought. Keep up the great work.

it’s entirely possible not to make much progress in an average play session, unless you’re a high school student with a lot of time on your hands (as I was when the game first came out).

Damn, I’m old. Did you know I still have an Atari 2600 backlog? Hey! Anyone want to play some Mazecraze?

Above: Mazecraze! Fuck, yeah!

So by putting a game on a portable makes these longer games easier to digest? This might help explain BoW “Wow!”‘s success. Skyrim and Xenoblade 2 are also not short games.

I’m so old that when I think of portable games, I think of SHORT because the game screen is so tiring to look at after a while (Oh, original Gameboy, ooohhhhhh).

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 13, 2018

Email: The Chorus That Surrounds 3D Mario

“What I don’t understand is why there is this massive Internet chorus surrounding 3d Mario when 2d Mario lacks such online energy but has that energy in the market.”

I believe there are two factors at play here, Malstrom: One is gamers’ nostalgia for Mario 64, which accounts for 3d Mario hype, and the other is Nintendo’s persistent use of bland music and graphics in 2d Mario, which generates apathy, the exact opposite of hype, in those same gamers. I’ll try to elaborate, but apologies in advance if this turns into a wall of text.

I’m not a huge 3d Mario fan. I was, once upon a time, but then I was very critical of Nintendo reusing the ‘collect 120 stars’ formula in Sunshine, and again in Galaxy. Your blog posts helped me see many of the flaws inherent in 3d Mario titles which kept me from wanting to repeatedly replay them as I had SMB3 and SMW. Yet… I still hold a special place in my heart for SM64, and I’ve thought a lot about why that is. Because I was born in the mid-80s, one of my first games was Super Mario Bros. I went through Mario Mania just like everyone else, playing each new game, reading the comics, watching the cartoons and that awful movie. And when Super Mario 64 came out, it absolutely blew my mind. All throughout 1996 up until the release, game magazines hyped the fact that Mario would talk, that you’d be able to explore the Mushroom Kingdom in 3d and go anywhere you want… and in my naive 12 year old brain, I really wondered whether this game would be endless. You know those digging sections of SMB2? I pictured Mario being able to dig in the sand like that, except the sand would go on for infinity, and there would be endless doors and secrets to be found–like I said, naive, but Nintendo was able to inspire that kind of magical thinking in kids’ brains back then.

When the game finally came out, I was disappointed that there still limits to where you could go (i.e. invisible boundaries over each hill and wall), but Malstrom–this is the key to understanding people’s fixation with 3d Mario–it was awe-inspiring. I can understand why it wouldn’t have been for you, since you had been jaded by the 16-bit console wars and were more concerned with PC gaming at that time. But for the many of us who’d played 2d Mario for years and were experiencing real 3d movement for the first time, we were wonderstruck. You could look up and see the sky above the Mushroom Kingdom, hear the birds chirp, do incredible backflips and sideflips and every kind of jump imaginable! There were so many secrets, some true–Yoshi is on the roof, and if you talk to him he’ll give you 100 lives!–and some false–Luigi is hidden in the game, and if you find him, you can play as him! Everything was mysterious and wonderful. All the schoolyard buzz that sprung up around SMB was reborn for SM64. Everyone had a friend who claimed to be able to do some insane trick no one else could conceive.

Please take for my word for this–whatever you think of the core gameplay in comparison to 2d Mario, very few of us who were kids at the time were willing to criticize it; we were too excited by all the secrets and tricks we were discovering. Meanwhile, there were some adults who did criticize it. I’ll never forget Howard “The Game Master” Phillips review of Super Mario 64 (this was a few years after he left Nintendo); he trashed it for being too simple, and said that, like SMW, there was very little to discover once you got the flying ability. But I think for the most part gamers at that time were blown away by N64, not only by the graphics, but by the new sense of freedom we thought 3d movement granted us–and Mario 64 was the poster boy for that.

So I firmly believe the reason why so many people (especially hardcore game reviewers) are so vocal about their love for 3d Mario is because of their fond memories of SM64. With each new title in the series they hope Nintendo can conjure up that magical feeling they got when they played their first 3d Mario game. And since Odyssey brought back the sandbox-style levels that originated in 64, you can see why this last game was particularly exciting for them.

So where does this leave 2d Mario? 2d Mario can be mysterious, secret-filled, wonder-inspiring, and all those things gamers of my generation felt about SM64, so why does it lack the online energy 3d Mario has? You already know the answer, as it’s something you yourself have said many a time: Nintendo has never made a 2d Mario that can compete with Super Mario Bros. 3. There were a few good efforts–Super Mario World, Super Mario Land 2–but nothing came close, and by the time they brought 2d Mario back in 2006, the Mario team had all but abandoned hand-drawn graphics. Consequently, the Mushroom Kingdom was given a very homogenized 3d rendered look. Perfectly round hills with light reflections (are they plastic?). Slow moving enemies that were impossible to miss. A soundtrack full of wah-wahs and bah-bahs, half of which were recycled tunes from the original game.


And they’ve kept this up for 4 games now. Why should anyone be excited for 2d Mario? Even when the gameplay is there, as it was with NSMBWii multiplayer, do these games honestly LOOK as fun as the old games? The screenshots show nothing but generic looking graphics that they’ve reused since 2006. Whereas 2d Mario didn’t just get a fresh new coat of paint each time–it got a whole new engine AND exterior! The “New” in New Super Mario Bros. is a joke. The punchline is that people are still buying them despite Nintendo putting almost no effort into them.

I would like a comparison of the marketing budgets for any 3d Mario and a 2d Mario. I think that would be very eye opening.

Knowing these game companies as I do, I do think some of this ‘energy’ is artificially made by the marketing department. All these companies do it. They must ‘viral market’ the product.

There is intense interest from Miyamoto and others for 3d Mario to succeed. But when you consider the outrageous budgets including the marketing budget, does it?

I think the secret sauce in Super Mario Brothers was the ‘Open World’ philosophy that seeped in due to the same development team was also making The Legend of Zelda at the same time. 2d platformers, like Adventure Island or even Ninja Gaiden, felt like obstacle courses. But Super Mario Brothers games felt like WORLDS. They weren’t even called levels but worlds. World One. World Two. Desert World. Giant World. Pipe World.

This is partly mentioned Kotaku’s look at Super Mario Brothers 3. I do like Howard Phillips views on how the game gives you more and more control. I agree games make ‘challenging’ by introducing novelty and then punishing you for it.

It is because they know the Switch is the first Generation 9 game console. Switch is successor to both 3DS and Wii U, both Generation 8 systems. Switch will have a long life cycle, and it will be competing directly with PS5. PS5 may, indeed, be a Switch clone knowing the track record of Sony.

Generations are important because they mark time. They do not mark ‘technology’. Generation 1 is defined so because all its consoles cannot change their games. This technology was only possible in the latter 1970s.

Also, the NES is not the first game console Nintendo made either. People who talk about video games on Video Game Forum should actually look up their shit. But then again, if they did, people wouldn’t have to come to Malstrom’s Page to learn what really happens.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 12, 2018

Email: About games competing with the past

“If a game cannot compete with a game thirty years old, that new game
should not exist.”

The 80’s and 90’s had a lot of great games that are still played
today. From 2000 on, I can probably count on one hand the number of
games that are great.

It’s not just competing with the past, it’s replay value. Is the game
fun to play past the first time through? Is it easy to get into? Are
there plenty of things to do?

Games that have little to no replay value simply die out after a few
months at most. Super Mario Odyssey, which for some reason is one of
the most critically acclaimed games of all time, is all but ignored
now by everyone except for speedrunners. The same is true for all 3D
Mario games in general… aside from speedrunners or charity or
anniversary streams, who do you see playing any of those today?

The N64 era was sadly the last time that I’ve had a big chunk of
“great” games (not as many as the SNES era before it though). From the
Gamecube era on at Nintendo, they seem to think that games are
something that you should play through once and then never again, with
few exceptions. And it’s not hard to see why… they make more money
selling different games and they constantly want you to play with
their “new stuff”. I feel like Miyamoto would erase every 2D Mario
from existence and Aonuma would erase every pre-OoT Zelda if they
could, because they don’t want you playing those today.

I think we should reframe the language. There is no 2d Mario and 3d Mario. There is the Super Mario Brothers series and a strange spin-off of 3d Mario games. There is also a New Super Mario Brothers series that has more in common with the 3d Mario games than the original Super Mario Brothers series of games!

Miyamoto’s error is that he is not a consumer of his products so he cannot understand why we like it. To him, Super Mario Brothers is boring to make from a creative point of view. But remember Iwata’s statement that the person who should be having fun with the video game is the consumer, not the developer. Making good games is extremely hard and stressful but making bad games is very easy and laid back.

I can say that Mario as an IP is in trouble. Mario used to be THE icon of video games. Now, Mario is an icon for children. Mario used to be cool. Now, Mario games are synonymous with kiddie games. Note how Zelda doesn’t suffer this. I consider Zelda IP largely corrected with Breath of the Wild.

I highly suspect Nintendo bought the Mario Odyssey review ratings. Games that score so high dominate discussions even a year after the game is out. But no one talks about Mario Odyssey because there is nothing to talk about.

Mario games were such landmarks. Each classic Mario game redefined how we perceived video games. The classic Mario games also carved out Mushroom Kingdom. You didn’t get universes from Centipede and Frogger.

Some people swear that they keep replaying Mario 64. Fair enough. But do they replay Super Mario Sunshine or the Galaxy games? I somehow doubt it.

What I don’t understand is why there is this massive Internet chorus surrounding 3d Mario when 2d Mario lacks such online energy but has that energy in the market. And for that same reason, why is the Internet chorus so unhappy with Breath of the Wild? It is like they are offended that Aonuma’s shrine of bad game design is torn down. People keep trying to invent ‘problems’ for BoW. Take a look at this Resetera thread where the OP thinks BoW Link outfit is ‘terrible’ only because it is ‘lazy’ as it mimics WW’s Link.

I apologize for bringing a Babylon 5 quote into this, but it applies:

“Greatness is never appreciated in youth, called pride in midlife, dismissed in old age and reconsidered in death. Because we cannot tolerate greatness in our midst we do all that we can to destroy it.”

Let me tinker with this statement so it applies to video games…

“Great games are never appreciated in release, mocked and called names in mid-console cycle, dismissed in generation change and reconsidered only in the death of the console. Because we cannot tolerate great games in our midst we do all that we can to destroy them.”

Every game you call today as ‘classic’ was not appreciated during its release and mocked and called names as the game became popular. When the next generation comes, the classic game is entirely dismissed because the next generation will render the old game ‘obsolete’. Who cares about 8-bit games with 16-bit on the way? Who cares about 16-bit with 3d games on the way?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 11, 2018

Email: Legend of Kay

Hi, Master Malstrom,

I happen to be right in the middle of playing through Legend of Kay on PlayStation 2 when your review
of it went up. Though the your review and other reviews I’ve seen of the game on YouTube are fair, I, I guess,
Just wanted to chime in with my own opinion…

I haven’t played a game like Legend of Kay in a long time so I was ready for such an experience and
delighted to play it.

To get right into it: Only the beginning is a bit of a drag. I felt like I had to keep talking to some
characters just to get some simple direction (that could have been a comprehension failure on my part) and
getting the sword seemed a little too round-about. But it only gets better from there. I’d say Legend of Kay
gets good after the second level (the forest is the second level), that puts it in the clear since that’s the last you see of any tutorial.

It features ‘Easy’, ‘Normal’, “Hard’ and ‘Nightmare’ difficulty modes along with cool extras such as character models, concept art pieces and soundtracks that can be unlocked. I played on Normal mode.

Legend of Kay is actually challenging.
From arena matches with multiple foes (powerful ones, even), to tough platforming segments, Legend of Kay
had me on my toes a good number of times (and I’m good at platforming). Even the animal rides had some
good challenges to them with split second timings or even trial-and-error bits. I came away from these
experiences feeling very satisfied.

Combat is also very satisfying. It’s simple, fast, and adequately deep. You get up to three weapons (A sword, claws (like Wolverine) and a large hammer). I really like how the game challenges you to use every skill the game has, like switching weapons be tween strikes!

The soundtrack is great. I was surprised by how nice the soundtrack is. It is generally orchestral with usually
an Asian theme. I’m not big on music, but it sounds very inspired.

As for the H.D. remake, I’ve looked into it a bit and besides the graphical upgrades, I hear it has some
gameplay-related tweaks such as a “New Camera” mode that fixes some of the camera issues the original
game has. I might try to get it on the Switch if I can manage to get my hands on one after I’m done playing
through the bunch of games I currently have.

Also, I think comparing Legend of Kay to Aonuma-Zelda is unfair. As a Zelda fan, Aonuma’s crap is Premium Bullshit– I don’t think Legend of Kay is that bad. It has far more action and seems more focused than an Aonuma-Zelda. It’s even not as linear; you don’t even have to rescue all the prisoners and stuff(!), though they do give you money or other gifts for it. And though some of the voice acting is god-aweful, half of it is actually decent. I don’t find it offensively bad like Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s voice acting (though I’ve not played through it for myself yet), as Zelda has a reputation and the fact that they let it be that bad for the series’ first is just sad. I liked Tak’s (the rat alchemist) voice the most. His thick Elmer-Fudd accent cracks me up.

Overall, I’ve had a fun time with the game. When I first started the game, I was seeing its averageness, but it
evolved into a very satisfying experience for me overall.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played an action- adventure game like this so I don’t remember how good these experiences get. Do you know of a better one that you could recommend?

I’ve begun my second play-through of Legend of Kay and I don’t feel that sense of “What’s the point?” that I did when I recently turned on Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Perhaps I will later?

By the way, how far did you play into the game? I’m just curious.

Well, that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

Have a nice day. :^)

Here’s how I go about ‘reviewing’ games (which greatly differentiates from what you see with online youtubers)…

[This is not about the decades old games which I look at entirely for timeliness. This is about more recent games such as the Wii U library. “But why should I care about that console, Malstrom? The Wii U library isn’t relevant today. The Switch’s library is!” Ahh, my dear reader, the Switch library IS the Wii U library! Ports galore! But most of all I wish to counter the uncontested claim that ‘Wii U’s library was fantastic’. Bullshit. If it was ‘fantastic’, Wii U would have sold. This is video game console sales logic 101.]

I BUY all my games. All the reviews you see on the Internet, including youtubers, DO NOT BUY their own games. Because of that, they cannot determine the value because they have no skin in the game.

Second, I have a full time job that takes almost 50 hours a week. Pro reviews and youtubers do not juggle another job because reviewing games IS their job. What if you had all day to play games? How would you determine the value of ‘fun to time invested’? My time is limited. I want fun. If games don’t bring me fun, fuck them.

In old racing games, such as Rad Racer, you had limited time until you got far enough where more time was added to your clock. If you then got to the next checkmark, only then was more time added to your clock. I consume games similar to these racing games’ checkpoints. Let’s say I give a game a couple of hours. If the game isn’t entertaining to me, I will not give it more time. I just stop it, and I pull out the game. If the game is so-so, I give it the benefit of the doubt and see where it stands hours later. If I a game is really fun, I obviously keep playing it.

I’ve played the classic games when they were brand new. I know how it feels to consume a classic when it is new, before it becomes seen as a classic. I think we need to question how we determine ‘value’ for these games. Currently, it is ‘hours played’ which I do not consider a good metric. “I played this game for 500 hours.” “Wow! What a great time investment that was.” Not necessarily. What was the experience of that time? World of Warcraft has a ton of time investment in it, but you don’t see anyone say that it was ‘a great time investment’. But they WILL say it for Tetris and Super Mario Brothers.

The online community does not seem to have much in common with the mass market which has greatly frustrated me over the years. One of the purposes of this site is to combat such ‘Internet consensus’. It was Internet consensus that the DS was doomed, that Wii was completely wrong, and that Switch ‘had no games’ and was ‘dead on arrival’.

I played Legend of Kay for several hours. I kept playing and gave it the benefit of the doubt. I hated every second of it. I despise the voice acting. I despise the game’s ‘story’ and environment. I despise the controls. I despise the comic strip cinematics. I despise the humanized ‘animals’ that we got as characters. This game feels more like a children’s game.

Look, is anyone buying The Legend of Kay? Is anyone talking about The Legend of Kay? You will be hard pressed to find reviews compared to many other games. Good games get discussed and talked about. Bad games get ignored. Bad games get indifference. Legend of Kay gets indifference from everyone. I think its cute and childish exterior is serving as armor against criticism. People just ignore it.

“What other good action adventure games are there?” In 3d I assume? Aside from the Zelda games on the system (Wii U has EVERY ZELDA GAME ON THE SYSTEM. All. Of. Them. Even the handhelds!), have you tried Darksiders 1 and 2? I haven’t tried them yet.

One thing about me is that I am harsher than most because I believe the marketplace is not just ALL GAMES CURRENTLY RELEASED, which is a massive amount, but ALL GAMES OF THE PAST as well.

Therefore, I have to compare Legend of Kay to… Frogger. To Pac-Man. To Super Mario Brothers. To Chrono Trigger. To Starcraft. To Diablo. To every video game ever made. Why? Well, my time is limited. I’d rather replay Frogger than play Legend of Kay.

Let this be a warning to all game makers: you must compete with the past. The good news is that graphics and sound are in your advantage. If a game cannot compete with a game thirty years old, that new game should not exist.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 11, 2018

Email: Mario Tennis Aces

Dear Master Malstrom,

I was looking forward to Mario Tennis Aces, but after seeing the recent Nintendo Direct I’m not so sure. The gameplay looks overly complicated. You have the ability to slow down time and target your shot; You can break your opponent’s racket. I’m looking for a game that is easy to pick up and play with others, and I suspect this may not be it. On the other hand, I have Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Wii U, and that game is very easy to pick up and play. What’s interesting is that Ultra Smash was a rushed game and thus lacks content, but I think this may have ultimately made the game better because it forced the developers to keep the gameplay relatively simple. I was hoping that Mario Tennis Aces would offer the same gameplay as Ultra Smash but give us more content into terms of different tennis courts to play on. Instead, the extra content seems to be in the single player mode which doesn’t really interest me.

Interesting take. I don’t know what to think as I do not play Mario Tennis games.


Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 10, 2018

Switch Software Year 2 (Spring)

[Doh, forgot to hit publish on this days ago. haha]

Ahh, the Nintendo Direct is over. Let us begin…


Kirby Star Allies


Who gives a shit about Kirby? After 16 bit Kirby, has any Kirby ever mattered?

Okami HD

Note it said only E-shop.

Okami is a truly awful video game. Do not listen to Internet hype. Okami bombed on the Gamecube, bombed on the PlayStation 2, bombed on the Wii, and it will bomb here as well. Why is Okami being re-released if no one likes it? It may explain why it is an E-shop version. It seems like some of these remasters are the developers wishing and praying that the internet praise will translate to market action. It won’t.

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido

Fuck this shit.

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

These ‘Travis’ games are also those games that get tons of Internet praise but die in the market. Travis 3 looks like a budget indie game; it is so bad.

Dark Souls Remastered

After Demon Souls, Dark Souls 1,2,3 and Bloodborne, I think this deposit has been mined out. Why on earth would a handheld version of Dark Souls matter today? Does anyone want to replay Dark Souls when all these other Dark Souls games exist?

Mario Tennis Aces

This one looks very interesting, but it could go either way. This game could be really, really fun or really really lame. Knowing Nintendo like I do: probably really lame.

“How dare you say that, Malstrom!”

I say that because of some shitty Nintendo behavior such as the endless ports such as…

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

This is a really, really shitty game that has ZERO replay value. Why is this $20 budget Wii U throw-away game being ported to the Switch and 3DS? Why not port a better game such as NSMB U and Luigi U? Hell, even Pikmin 3 on Switch makes more sense than this piece of shit.



Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy

Three games in one is a tempting offer. However, how have these games aged? PlayStation Era games age like milk, 8/16 bit games have aged like wine.

Little Nightmares

What is this shit?!? Fucking ‘horror’ games. You want to know what a horror game is? Any NES game made by Jaleco or LJN. Now that is scary stuff.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole


Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition

Above: Don’t let the beginning of this song fool you. It grows into an awesome bad-ass song for you to kick everyone’s ass.

Is this game more addictive than Zelda BOW “Wow!”? Almost!

This is Zelda 5! Get it, and it you will see why.

Zelda 1 – Legend of Zelda

Zelda 2 – Adventure of Link

Zelda 3 – Link to the Past

Zelda 4 – Ocarina of Time

Zelda 5 – Hyrule Warriors

Zelda 6 – Breath of the Wild

(Handheld Zeldas don’t count.)

Hyrule Warriors puts all the Aonuma Zeldas into a blender, hits purree, and out comes fun zelda gameplay without the shitty Aonuma stories and ‘puzzles!’. Hyrule Warriors is the most fun Zelda game between Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild.

“But what about Link’s Crossbow Training?”

Shut up, reader.

*Bonus: BoW “Wow” Princess Zelda model. Much more pleasing to look at.

ARMS tournaments

We’re still not going to buy this game. But I love its theme.

“Ohh oooh ohhhh…. ohhh ohhh ohhhhhh”

Splatoon 2 version 3.0


Splatoon 2 first paid DLC: Octo Expansion

This looks interesting, and I like the single player idea. But there is no cartridge. I’ll buy Splatoon 2: Definitive Edition when it comes out for Super Switch in 2024. (What! You think these Switch games won’t be ported? Oh ho ho ho! You need to read more, reader!)

Octopath Traveler

Greatest of All Time. When this game is released, the birds will sing happier, the sun will shine brighter, the air will be crisper, and all will be right in the world. The demo only showed two ‘starts’ of the game. I worry if the game can pull off a satisfying conclusion. But the combo of jobs is really, really cool. This game screams classic 16-bit Final Fantasy quality to me which is why it is going to fly off the shelves.

I am eyeing that special edition too. I need that map! That CD! I must have it, reader. I shall not be denied!

Above: This NEW Classic will be joining our 8/16 bit friends in July. If this game has a strong finish and offers replayability, it’ll get a guaranteed Malstrom Award (in twenty years of course).

So what to make of Switch Year 2 so far… It is as you would expect. Some games were not mentioned that I want like Street Fighter Collection.

The strong quality titles I see are Octopath and Hyrule Warriors. Mario Tennis Aces could go either way. The rest are ports and trash.

Market side, I don’t think any of these games will sell that much. Mario Tennis might capture some of the family market. These games are to keep the Switch locomotive going to E3. E3 will announce some junky games for the rest of summer and early fall with the heavy hitters coming for the holidays.

Switch Smash will be heralding the online Nintendo network… as I suspected as did other people.

“Where are the games, Malstrom? Oh noes!”

It takes about two years for these games to be made. I expect 2019, which is two years after the Switch released, to be full of games. 2019 and 2020 will be floods of software. We may be seeing so many ports now simply because they get done faster.

Older Posts »