Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 24, 2017

Email: Black Sheep

Here’s a bunch of low quality pictures of Nintendo Power Top 30’s with both ‘The Legend of Zelda’ and ‘Zelda II: The Adventure of Link’ highlighted in the Top 30 and under Players’ Picks.

Also, those faces were intense.

 

Oh, this is an awesome email! Usually, I just put up sales of Zelda 2 and its sales phenomenon (people driving across different states to get it) as proof of its greatness. Here, you are using Nintendo’s own word, Nintendo Power’s top games ranked by players at the time, as proof. Very clever! Sure enough, Zelda 2 is in the top. Anyone who says Zelda 2 wasn’t well received at the time is FLAT. OUT. LYING. The proof is right there. Do you want to know the Zelda that wasn’t well received especially at launch? Wind Waker.

I LOVED the top lists of Nintendo Power then and even today. It was like the NES heartbeat of gaming. You saw what people were PLAYING then as opposed to what was SELLING then. Sales lists cannot tell us what people are playing at the moment. Here, we can see they are loving that Super Mario Brothers 2 and Zelda 2.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 24, 2017

S Minus 6 Days

It is six days plus a dozen hours or so. Take a look. We are LESS than 7 days.

 

Aonuma opens up Collector’s Box and names his favorite Zelda games

Nintendo is undergoing extreme IP control that is laughably ridiculous. Why is Nintendo employees doing unboxing videos? Why is Nintendo SO paranoid? Is it because someone else is making revenue? Or is it that someone else is defining the consumer reaction?

Aonuma is so worthless that Nintendo thinks his time is more productive opening up a Zelda box than doing anything else. This is very telling.

About Aonuma ‘favorite Zeldas’? It doesn’t matter. Let me place this in huge bold letters so everyone can read:

NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT DEVELOPER’S OPINIONS.

The only important people in the room are the customer and non-customer. Why does the customer like it? And why does the non-customer NOT like it?

What the developer thinks is completely irrelevant. The developer’s opinion on games is at the same importance as the cleaning lady at the company.

I actually have a longing for the Atari Era when games came out and we didn’t even know who the developers were. Back then, it was about crediting the developers. OK. Fair enough. But today, it is developers trying to become ‘famous’. Everyone wants to be ‘famous’ today. Too bad they all suck shit.

They really do. Miyamoto’s preferences on video games is completely and utterly irrelevant. Kimishima’s preferences on video games doesn’t matter. Do you know whose preferences on video games DO count? MINE of course! Silly reader. You knew that answer already. And not just mine, but YOUR VIEWS TOO.

In fact, my opinion and the readers’ opinion are the only opinions that truly matter. We are the paying customers. Miyamoto is not the customer. Aonuma is not the customer. Who gives a shit what their tastes are? Restaurants revolve around diners’ tastes, not the tastes of the chefs.

 

 

Binding of Isaac has an instruction booklet

Awesome.

I think I will buy BoI because of that. Fuck these non-instruction booklet games, and fuck the companies that did them.

 

Shmup for Switch

Hello Sean!

One title that I really think can work well on the Switch is Enter the Gungeon. Its an excieting indie that imo plays like a shmup. But it has a twist, its a rouge like game.

I’ve only played it on the PC but I can see it working well on Switch with multiplayer.

The controlls are SMS tight.

 

I think Gungeon is more of a rogue-like? Shmups are Japanese space-ship shooters.

The entire ‘no one liked Zelda 2 because its a black sheep’ needs to die. Take a look at this article from 1988:

Expecting system sales to stay constant (particularly with the introduction of the Power Set, which includes a Power Pad where the player’s body movements control the action), Nintendo is looking to rake it in with three hot new “must-have” games — Super Mario Bros. 2 (its predecessor has sold 4 million units and my son has pronounced it “bumpin’,” than which there is no higher compliment), Zelda II: Adventures of Link, and Double Dragon — though an electronic chip shortage may make them hard to find until after the first of the year. Still, with more than 100 games available for the Nintendo system, no one’s anticipating the kind of consumer hysteria sparked a few years back by Coleco’s Cabbage Patch Kids (as a point of comparison, Coleco did $600 million in 1985, its peak year).

I remember the Double Dragon craze too. Such a great game as well.

Above: Still better than Western AAA gaming

The NES had phenomenon after phenomenon. I’ve never seen any other console quite like it. Wii comes a distant second with some of the runs on Wii Fit, NSMB DS, and Mario Kart DS.

NES had runs on Mario 1, 2, 3, Zelda 1, 2, Punch-out, Double Dragon, Double Dragon 2, TMNT 2, Tetris, Dr. Mario, Mega Man 2, Metroid, Ducktales…

PCs were not integrated in society. Games were very special. You had to be there, reader, to understand the magic.

Related image

Malstrom Pictured Above: So interesting!

Here is a post I am very proud to make: my reactions to Minecraft Alpha in 2010. I was comparing Minecraft to games like NES Super Mario Brothers, Zelda 1, and Metroid in terms of quality. Today, in 2017, Minecraft is everywhere, one of the top selling games ever made, and has its own row of toys in toy stores. Minecraft phenomenon is on par with the Super Mario Brothers phenomenon of the 1980s.

A few days ago, I told a high school grad that I tested out Minecraft in the alpha. He looked upon me as a god. “You gave feedback to Notch? Whoa….” haha

I remember making the write-up on Minecraft then. I wanted that post to tell Nintendo why their games are ‘off’ and how to correct it. I said… Well, I can just quote myself!

This game is obviously designed to be as simple as possible. However, let us pretend I made Minecraft, and I worked for Nintendo. I would present this alpha to Iwata. What would he say? I guarantee he would disagree that the game is ‘accessible’. He would say, “The world is too big,” or “There are too many items to craft,” or “You can get lost too easily in the world.”

The game runs in a Java applet. How much simpler can you get? Minecraft tapped a Blue Ocean by not focusing on features every other game does (like graphics and “production values”) to focus on creating a MASSIVE world with MASSIVE interactivity. Note how the massive world and massive interactivity does not SCARE away players, it ATTRACTS them.

What if Iwata was presented with the above comments? Nintendo examines the market. We know Skyrim was examined because it sold so well. But Minecraft sold better than anything! And, if I am correct, Minecraft sells best on Wii U. Minecraft is a huge toy phenomenon. How could Nintendo not have looked at Minecraft???

Iwata had a policy to listen to non-customers. I was a non-customer of Skyward Sword. I was railing to the heavens against Skyward Sword as that seemed to be going the OPPOSITE way of what Zelda should be going. The above paragraphs are flipping the script on Nintendo’s belief of what accessibility is and what attracts gamers. Interactivity in a huge world is a BIG attraction, not a discouragement! Minecraft’s success with CHILDREN shows the way. Zelda 1 was also successful with CHILDREN too.

NES kids didn’t grow up with Minecraft. Instead, they had Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, and Metroid which performed similar emergent gameplay concepts. After all, in all three games you are breaking blocks to find secrets and upgrades. But in their sequels, you stop breaking blocks to find secrets and upgrades. And they wonder why sales go down!

More:

Iwata says video games, like any entertainment, depend on ‘surprise’. So Nintendo keeps trying to come up with ways to ‘surprise’ people. While with mediums like novels and movies, things like plot and character surprise people. Video games do not have plot or character and the ones that do are often very poorly made. Much of the element of surprise from video games comes from emergent gameplay. If I kill the monster, what loot will drop? No matter what happens, it is a surprise. If I explore through this wall, what will happen? If something happens, the player will be surprised. If nothing happens, the player becomes disappointed that the world is so scripted, so boring. The player will conclude the world feels small. But with emergent gameplay, the world feels large. This is how games like the early RPGs such as Final Fantasy and early Zeldas could FAKE being a huge epic world due to the unscripted experiences occurring to the player.

Minecraft is quite a master of emergent gameplay. First of all, the entire world is randomized and extends into infinity (not really but might as well). You have no idea what is over the next hill or what is in the next cave. Surprises are all over the place! When mining you don’t know what is going to come up. Sometimes you might run into some coal. Or some iron. Or some dirt (eww). Or some water or lava! It is a constant surprise.

And then I go through Japanese gaming classics:

Show me a major Japanese game franchise, and I will show you how the towers of Japanese gaming were built on Emergent Gameplay. Since the Japanese only make games of Scripted Gameplay today, it is no wonder their towers are crumbling.

Final Fantasy was founded on emergent gameplay. You could define your party, define your party’s skills, and monsters were random. While the game obviously corralled you to certain areas, you were always free to go back and stay in an earlier level if you wanted (such as going through the Ogre Hall again and again and again and again).

On Mario:

Super Mario Brothers was founded on emergent gameplay. Mario was the first video game character that I can recall who could reshape the game’s levels. Mario could remove blocks. Also, Mario could skip parts of levels by going through pipes. Mario could go through a level in many different ways (perhaps running on the top, perhaps by engaging each enemy). Hell, in Super Mario Brothers you could skip entire levels via the Warp Zone. That was huge back then. Today, 3d Mario is very scripted. When playing through the level, you MUST get the item in order to beat it. Each level can only be finished a CERTAIN way. And do not think about hopping in a Warp Zone and going to the end of the game. There is a script that you are forced to go through.

And now listen to what was said about Zelda. My bold is what I am highlighting today:

Legend of Zelda was founded on emergent gameplay. You were not told to go into the cave to get the sword. The player’s own curiosity brought him there. You did not have to upgrade your sword or get better armor. But players did so anyway. While the world was not random, the world felt so vast that it was easy to get lost in. And it was because of that, encounters would occur that the player never expected and took the player by surprise. Zelda used to be about exploring because you never knew what was around the next corner. You felt like you were in a vast world. When a Zelda player is asked what he wants in the next Zelda, you will find this answer common: “I want to get my sword and just go out into the world, any direction I choose, and go exploring. Just drop me off in the middle of the world with my sword. I don’t need any other of the baggage.” What the player is really saying is that he wants the emergent gameplay that once defined Zelda. In older Zelda games, nothing was scripted or felt scripted. You could choose different tactics to defeat enemies. Today, Zelda is entirely scripted with tons of baggage (i.e. story). From Zelda I to Spirit Tracks, you can see a clear but slow moving away from the emergent gameplay to more and more scripted gameplay. Now, Zelda games even have some character, which you can never get away from, telling you which way to go and what to do. And Nintendo wonders why their market data of disinterested gamers say they ‘feel video games are like work’. This is why I consider Aonuma’s comments on Skyward Sword to be a ‘red flag’ because he talked about ‘taking away Link’s sword’ for a scripted experience (a dungeon encounter). This tells me Aonuma has no interest in making emergent gameplay but only desires to make ‘scripted experiences’. Consider this: many players have said they are tired of the Zelda ‘formula’. They even suggest that the dungeon and overworld blur where it is unsure where one begins and one ends. What the player is really desiring is that emergent gameplay where nothing is scripted, where events ‘just happen’ because Link accidentally ran into some monsters who happened to spawn on top of a mountain instead of the valley, where Link accidentally did Dungeon 3 first and then discovered Dungeon 1, etc. Instead, Aonuma will think the game needs more unique ‘scripted experiences’ such as a dungeon that doesn’t look like a dungeon but resembles a bakery. Aonuma will think this is ‘surprising’ and ‘creative’ to make the bakery into a dungeon. The player will not be amused and will be fed up. The issue isn’t WHAT TYPE of scripted experience, the issue is the premise of scripted experiences in the first place.

Zelda: Skyward Sword was released in November 2011, one year after this was written. Skyward Sword was probably done by now and going through its long polishing phase so the designers may be thinking of the next Zelda game.

That paragraph so eerily describes Breath of the Wild’s design. Breath of the Wild very well could be about ’emergent gameplay’. Something like the dungeons sitting in the same place…. BORING. But if the dungeons move around, it creates more emergent gameplay scenarios.

Another quote: (bold is what I am adding today to highlight)

What fuels playing behind RPGs and, especially today, MMORPGs is the feeling of growth. You keep playing to get a better weapon, better armor. The more you play, the more you grow within the game. (Zelda used to have this. Ever since Zelda went to the scripted nonsense, you only get nice things when the linear story allows it.)

One of the best examples of ‘Feeling of Growth’ is Ultima VII. In Ultima VII, due to its unique engine, everything in the game is interactive. What many players do is that they make a secret house, they hoard armor and weapons, they stock up on food, they buy a boat, they get tons of stuff not needed to beat the game. People commonly do this in most RPGs as well such as MMORPGs.

Are RPGs or MMORPGs considered a ‘sandbox’ game? No. They are ‘feeling of growth’ games.

Miyamoto and Aonuma define Zelda as a ‘feeling of growth game’ so maybe the above lines resonated.

In Breath of the Wild, we already see Link go through all sorts of items and weapons. The point is that there doesn’t seem to be a script. With that first goblin camp, you can destroy it in many ways. Breath of the Wild seems to be centered on feeling of growth not by going through linear story but by exploring, getting new materials, crafting them, and experimenting.

So much feedback has been about the emergent gameplay components of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. An example is running around with a torch but you accidently catch the dry grass on fire. Or the wind spreads the fire throughout the prairie. Or you swing the torch at the goblin whose club catches fire. He then throws his burning club at you in response! hahaha

I refuse to get hyped for Zelda. We have been disappointed by Aonuma for far too long. It is easy to see that instead of ‘normal puzzles’, he is putting out ‘problem solving’ instead. But we are too jaded, and we may have been too harsh.

What if Nintendo is focusing on emergent gameplay for Breath of the Wild? What if emergent gameplay, and the feelings of growth, are the secret sauce? What if that post over six years ago foreshadows Skyward Sword’s sequel?

We’ll know soon enough.

S Minus 10 Days.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 20, 2017

S Minus 10 Days

Everyone is all excited over the Joycons click.

Is it my imagination or are people now beginning to see some of these third party games like Disagrea 5? With all the DLC, the game could be a very good value if you can get over the over-the-top anime-ness.

Above: high production values here… though a little over the top?

It is so much better than Western AAA gaming! So much more interesting! More surprises! More replayability!

 

New Parental Controls for Nintendo Account

Bah. Such a slow news day for Switch.

 

E3 Switch Games

Contrary to the nonsense out there, Nintendo is not doing a ‘super secret strategy’ of a soft launch in March for super strategery reasons. The real reason is that Switch was supposed to launch in 2016 holiday but was delayed due to lack of software. This gave Zelda some more time and some of the other games. I don’t think Bomberman would be out at launch if Switch launched in 2016. It might also explain why the hardware is so polished from what they showed early on.

You can tell something was awry because Nintendo had nothing in holiday of 2016 except some 3DS left over games and NES Classic Mini (still sold out because Nintendo didn’t think people wanted those ‘old games that only nostalgia likes’).

What is Nintendo going to show for E3? They can’t show Zelda because it will have launched. In fact, most of the Switch software will have launched or be close to launching. I doubt they would devote the entire E3 to Mario Odyssey.

I expect E3 to be Nintendo showcasing their online plans. With this, they will be making announcements of Super Smash Brothers 4 being ported over to the Switch with all DLC. Mario Maker might appear too.

I expect Capcom to announce Monster Hunter for Switch. No one will be surprised by this. Capcom, clearly the most influential third party company to Nintendo, has been pushing Nintendo for better online system. Monster Hunter and Smash Brothers would clearly be two games to showcase the new Nintendo online system.

I expect a Metroid announcement of some kind. Will it be a new 2d Metroid or a return to a Prime type Metroid? Silly reader! Reader is soooo silly. This is Nintendo we are talking about. After Other M, which was Sakamoto’s director debut disaster of exploring Samus’s maternal instincts, and after Federation Force, which no one knows why this game was made not even Nintendo, we can accurately predict with very high probability that the next Metroid game will be…. (drum roll please)….

Ta da! Metroid Prime Hunters 2!

Yes! You get to play FPS with the hunters over Switch. Reggie will come out and explain, “We needed a game to utilize our new online network. Traditional Metroid won’t cut it. 2d or 3d. So we are going with Death Match Metroid.”

It is so terrible and disappointing to Metroid fans that you KNOW this will be the Metroid announcement.

Pikmin 4 will  be announced because Nintendo loves making Pikmin games that no one buys. Miyamoto’s baby eats all the company’s resources.

Animal Crossing on Switch may be announced. Nintendo may be quick to put Animal Crossing out there.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Holiday 2017 is Mario and Pikmin 4 from Nintendo with Metroid pushed to February because… it is Metroid… and Nintendo doesn’t care if it dies. All that matters is if Nintendo makes more Pikmin games. Clearly, Pikmin 5, 6, 7 and 8 are all planned and will be ready to go into development.

Skyrim Switch will be showed off of course.

A Call of Duty port may be announced for Switch (Infinite Warfare?). Remember, Call of Duty was on the Wii, and it did sell well.

A Doom or Fallout 4 port to Switch is not implausible. Unlikely. I think they will wait to see how Skyrim sells.

A Dark Souls port for Switch is possible.

Some of Platinum’s games could get a Switch port like TMNT or Transformers.

Dragon Quest Builder seems like a smart port for Switch (hell I’d buy it). I wouldn’t even be surprised if Square-Enix does a later port of Final Fantasy 7 Remake complete with Cloud Amiibo.

Warner Brothers may announce Injustice 2 for the Switch.

What interests me more are the AAA Indie games. AAA Indie games are by experienced developers. I consider Shantae a AAA Indie game even though I think it is fairly flawed.

I think Bloodstained will be EXTREMELY well received on the Switch.

Bloodstained is made by the one who made the Castlevania DS games. Nintendo and 2d Castlevania go together like peanut butter and jelly. It is way more fun than Western AAA gaming (but what isn’t these days?).

Image result for nintendo switch third party

From the above, INTI CREATES is the company working with Iga’s development company. 505 games is the publisher for Iga’s development company (as well as some other games).

I was there for the DS. Iga’s three Castlevania games were a huge part of that DS experience. Also, Bloodstained was set to appear on Wii U. Why in the world would it not be on the Switch?

 

Is Nintendo directing their closer third party partners?

Nintendo is doing something unusual. Before with console releases, Nintendo had third parties make whatever the wanted. Of course, the third parties tended to make ‘experimental’ titles for the LOL and we all watched them crash and burn on the Nintendo console.

For example, there was no Street Fighter game for the Wii which badly needed one. Capcom put out another 2d fighter which wasn’t exactly what the Wii audience wanted. I highly suspect that Nintendo had a role in pointing Capcom to make Ultra Street Fighter 2.

We know that Nintendo was the reason why Konami suddenly got Hudson developers together to make another Bomberman. Nintendo WANTED that Bomberman. And why wouldn’t Nintendo not want Ultra Street Fighter 2?

The turn based RPG games… that Octo game… I don’t think Square Enix decided they wanted go all 16-bit style. Nintendo may be encouraging it.

And as for Bloodstained, why wouldn’t Nintendo want a Castlevania type game on their system?

Hopefully Nintendo can get a shmup. Nintendo could very well swoop in and save Treasure. Why not have Treasure port Ikaruga, Radiant Silvergun, and Guardian Heroes to the Switch? This would be a much better home with the Nintendo audience than the Microsoft audience (Nintendo absorbed the Sega gamers). Nintendo also worked with Treasure for that 3d shooter for Wii (whatever it is called, terrible business decision for that game. Should have stuck oldschool and not idiotic N64 sequels). I wouldn’t be surprised if Treasure announced a new game at E3 in partnership with Nintendo. Ikaruga would likely be one of the first VC Gamecube games put out for Switch due to how easy it is to emulate, its small size, and its co-op multiplayer. Or maybe Ikaruga HD or such will be used instead.

If Nintendo is hitting all the right games from the 16-bit era, there needs to be some sort of shmup. A Radiant Silvergun on a physical cart would be… most divine.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2017

S Minus Eleven Days

Email: About Florent Gorges

Hi Malstrom,

Two fun facts about Florent Gorges:

1) I recommended you read his book years ago, back when his book The History of Nintendo first came out. Told’ja he was good.

2) I had the opportunity of meeting him once shortly after he published his book. He was giving a talk and interpreting for a Nintendo artist – the guy who made all the artwork for the Wario Ware games. I told him about you and your Wii articles. I think I even sent him a link to your site by e-mail! So he’s technically heard about you from this reader at least. Whether he’s ever read your stuff, I couldn’t tell you, since he never actually replied to my e-mail. I probably came off too fanboy-ish at the time, ha. Oh well.

You can buy the book used on Amazon for nearly half a grand. Talk about value and demand!

I’m rather embarrassed about those early articles. I show up, excited what the DS is doing and looking forward to the Revolution, and I see all this crap going on about gaming. “That doesn’t match my memory!” The more I look into it, the more fascinating it is learning about Sega’s rise and fall, about Nintendo’s rises, why Microsoft joined the console industry, and so on. What Nintendo execs were saying at the time were a goldmine.

What is puzzling to me is comparing the game console sector with the tech industry when it comes to analysis. In the tech industry, you have many, many analysis of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and all the rest. Look at all the Steve Jobs movies that have been made recently. But when you go to the game industry, you find hardly any analysis whatsoever. Yet, game industry has tons of discussion. Message forums are always furiously discussing… something.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth generations where all the consoles were red ocean and going for similar consumers has more analysis because the gamers online are those consumers. But the first three generations I hear little about except for Nintendo ‘reviving’ console gaming with R.O.B. There is talk about the Atari crash, but not about why and how it came about and what legal innovations Nintendo made to prevent it from happening again (lockout chip). Generation one is still largely a mystery because in order to understand that one, one will have to understand Generation Zero which would be board games, toys, and such. Why did people buy a game console in the first place? Why buy it over a board game or toy? These are questions that have no real answers yet.

I figured everyone would come to their senses about what happened in Generation Seven. Instead, they came up with a MacGuffin called ‘casual gamers’ which saves them any thought process about why Wii and DS sold so well. Generation Eight with 3DS and Wii U failures are not truly examined well. All I hear is “Nintendo needs to stop being Nintendo and get in line with the rest of the Game Industry”. Why did Nintendo throw in 3d output on their handheld? Why is the Wii U connecting with a handheld type controller?

There is much analysis over movies. There is much analysis even over Disney. But why does there seem to be no analysis over gaming especially with Nintendo? It is baffling to me. I expected there to be a huge wave of people doing this and doing it professionally with cute charts. It is like Nintendo is a mystery to everyone in the game industry!

 

MMOs on Switch?

When games move to portable, sometimes they open up a new market or way of playing. Animal Crossing performs best on the handheld. Some games like Advance Wars works well on the handheld. Switch would be very interesting as a RPG powerhouse.

But what about MMOs?

MMOs on a handheld blows my mind. It could very well destroy all productivity in the world.

Final Fantasy 14 is being considered for Switch. Look!

This may actually be the surprising future for the Switch: the perfect console for MMOs. You can play that MMO at home on big TV or take it with you (which you do with a MMO because you are addicted as hell).

I am trying to think of some sort of killer app that would skyrocket the Switch. Every console tends to get something that comes out of nowhere. Nintendo never imagined 2d Mario would skyrocket the DS and Wii, for example. Who knew that GTA 3 would skyrocket the PS2?

The more I think about it, the more it seems that MMOs may take off on the Switch and cause the Switch to take off too. I have been addicted to MMOs in the past (such as WoW). MMOs are great fun. But they make you stay inside all the time. What if you could have a portable MMO but be able to play it on big screen when you are home? Switch seems tailor made to blow up the MMO scene.

The Switch is not going to be a SNES. The Switch is not going to be a DS. The Switch is going to be a Switch. It will be different. Retro style games and sequels are not going to make the system. But MMOs on the Switch, combined with Nintendo’s online service which I hope is decent, could rock our worlds.

 

Switch has been taken apart

No! The humanity!

 

Switch Packaging

I’m loving it.

 

I do not trust Nintendo with digital purchases

I was burned with the Wii and Virtual Console games. I will not buy digital on Nintendo. It will take a generation or two for me to regain trust.

Any game company that only has digital available for Switch means I will not buy it. I know many more will also not buy it.

Nicalis is being smart by putting Isaac and Reddout on physical carts. I might buy both.

I can’t even recommend buying any VC games on the Switch. You’re best to get the physical copy. The only exception I can think of would be Turbografx 16 games.

The Turbografx 16 CD games are rare as hell, and it is a bitch to get all the pieces together to work. So it would be better to just buy Castlevania: Rondo of Blood or Y’s I and II or Gate of Thunder on VC.

Alien Crush and Devil’s Crush would be excellent games for VC on the Switch. Pinball works really well on the portable. Also, physical copies of Alien Crush and Devil’s Crush do not allow you to save your score (unless you have additional TG16 parts which are now extremely rare).

Above: Much better than Western AAA gaming!

 

Even the TG 16 shmups would work very well on the system. With Nintendo’s partnership with Konami, maybe they can get the Hudson IPs out again.

I hope to see Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun on Switch too.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2017

Giant Bomb plays 1, 2 Switch

They play it for an hour.

It looks like fun in the right setting. But I can’t see why I would need something like it. At a party, I’d be like Karen and try to get people to play Mario Kart with me. Alas.

But that Gorilla game… hahahahaha

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2017

Florent Gorges

If there is one person out there that could or should be a Nintendo analyst (not talking about the Pachters and other Wall Street types), I would point to Florent Gorges. Florent Gorges spend half a decade writing the ‘History of Nintendo’ and he knows more about the history of Nintendo than probably anyone alive today. Perhaps even more than the employees of Nintendo.

In this interview, check out what he says about the Wii:

Some of the westerns gamers think that Nintendo betrayed the “gamers” with the Nintendo DS or the Nintendo Wii. They were very disappointed because of the “new direction of Nintendo” taken by Iwata since 2004 : the “casual gaming market”. But those gamers are wrong. If you read my book, you’ll understand that Nintendo, since more than 120 years, do “casual gaming”. Is there something more casual than a board game or a playing card set? No! In fact, Nintendo betrayed their own philosophy and DNA after the SNES and during 15 years! That’s the truth. In 2004, after the SNES, N64 and Game Cube, Nintendo and Iwata realised that they were going in the wrong direction since the 90’s: high technology for the hardcore gamers market. They couldn’t fight against huge companies like Microsoft or Sony. Iwata wanted, rightly, to return back to the real Nintendo DNA : “fun for everybody, for all the family”.

He not only rightly condemns the hardcore gamers for not understanding Nintendo, he is the only person I’ve heard (that isn’t myself) that says the SNES, N64, and Gamecube was a betrayal of Nintendo’s philosophy to itself. I felt SNES was a disappointment so I stopped buying Nintendo consoles after that until the DS. But if you go to Message Forum Basement Dwellers, they think Gamecube was the best system ever (Iwata literally said, “If Nintendo consoles sell like the Gamecube, then we should not be in the console business”). N64 was also a disaster. SNES was also a distinct change from the NES. SNES was about ‘playing it loud’ and going Red Ocean.

But the point is that Florent Gorges can offer that insight because he has absorbed so much data and history of Nintendo. I am clueless of what Nintendo made before they got into electronics. But he knows. And such knowledge is useful in figuring out the future of Nintendo. A guy like Florent Gorges I would listen. But why are these people so rare?

There are tons of Apple or other tech companies’ analysis. Nintendo is extremely well known and large. So why is the analysis so shitty? Viral marketing cannot explain it. I think people are leaving data at the table and would prefer to talk out of their ass.

During the Wii Era, this site became famous for talking about the Wii’s strategy. Do you know what revolutionary technique I did? I simply quoted what Nintendo executives said. Wow! How hard was that? The game journalists never did that. The professional analysts never did that. Hardcore gamers never did that. The company executives kept pointing to Blue Ocean Strategy and Innovator’s Dilemma as two books. But did anyone really read them? No. Did everyone talk out of their ass instead? Yep. “The only way for Wii to succeed is if it is the secondary platform for both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners.” To them, this commentary sounded brilliant. It was completely wrong. Most Wii owners didn’t own another console. While they were complaining about ‘casual gaming’, did they bother to go outside and talk to these gamers? No! They just talked out of their ass. “The casual gamer will like this. The casual gamer will not like this.” Why you talking for a gamer you do not understand, you hardcore piece of shit? Why do you put words in their mouths?

I do not pretend to understand kids’ opinions on a game console. So I do something radical: I ask them. Now, this may not be the best approach, but it is infinitely better than talking out of my ass about it. I am not a woman, and I do not play one on the Internet. If I want to know what women think of a game, I might as well go ask women. It’d be very stupid for me to get an opinion out of my ass by ASSUMING I know how the women think.

I’m disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any incentive to do research (aside from putting sales numbers in pretty charts) and there is constant discussing instead of constant fact finding.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2017

How you don’t do Nintendo analysis

I saw this video which is supposed to be a ‘great’ analysis of Nintendo (acclaimed great by those who were recommending it). In it, we see a puppet talk about how Switch is a ‘soft’ launch and how this is a great strategy by Nintendo.

The problem? Nintendo already declared why they are launching at this time. All you have to do is go to a search engine and look it up. It takes 30 seconds. But whoever made this video would rather talk out of his ass.

Here it is:

“When asked why Nintendo wasn’t launching the NX in time for this year’s big holiday season, Kimishima explained that Nintendo wanted to make sure there were games to go along with the NX.”

There you go.

There is no ‘super strategy’ of soft launching it in March. Nintendo would have wanted it in holiday of 2016. Keep in mind that Nintendo loves new console launches in holidays because of viral marketing with people showing off the consoles during Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a big reason how the Wii got so big so fast.

He says things like ‘Switch needs a better launch line-up’. What is a good launch line-up? We are going into Generation Nine here so we have dozens of consoles with launch line ups we can compare and contrast regarding their sales performance. I already did a post on this myself, and it is easy to see why Wii had the best launch line up (especially including the VC software).

Did you know that Nintendo considers the SNES launch line-up to be a failure? It’s true! Genesis was outselling the SNES in America because SNES didn’t have the correct games. The correct games were not Castlevania IV, Gradius 3, and Actraiser but shovelware kid games, sports games, and other stuff message forum dwellers do not like to play. Genesis didn’t sell so strongly because of Gunstar Heroes or Phantasy Star IV. It sold so strongly (aside from Sonic) due to sports games such as EA’s Madden. But no one is interested in such titles from a retro perspective.

As I leave this arena of gaming commentary, I am pleased and maddened at the progress and anti-progress. Everyone has realized that HARDWARE SPECS DO NOT MATTER. All that matters is software. Software sells the hardware, not the other way around! They did not realize this during the Wii (it’s true!).

But there seems to be no cross connections of the upcoming new generation versus prior non-consecutive generations. People keep looking at Generation 8. Why? Nintendo is doing everything the opposite from Generation 8. For example, with Wii (Generation 7), Nintendo used Atari style marketing (Generation 2) and used a hardware and software approach of the NES (Generation 3). If you were not familiar with Generation 2 and 3, then the Wii didn’t make any sense. The analysts at the time literally thought game consoles began with PlayStation 1 so they were blind to other generations.

There also is little interest in the macro-economics. These matter. It is much easier to sell game consoles when the economy is not in recession or stagnancy.

As for the Switch’s future, I believe the console that is closest to it will be the DS. During the height of the DS, the DS games were SO GOOD that we were playing our DS at home instead of playing our home consoles. The DS was also intermixed with our daily life. A commercial on TV? Time for more DS. This was a huge change because the Gameboy line never overlapped the home consoles. Also, the library on the handhelds left much to be desired. Most of the Nintendo first party software on the Gameboys were ports.

The DS was also when Japan’s handheld market de-coupled and became dominant over Japan’s home console. Prior to DS, Japan was PlayStation 1 and 2 Land. Japan being handheld dominant (DS and PSP, later 3DS and Vita) is a big reason why we have the Switch.

Switch may be the landmark console that de-couples the West from home consoles as the DS did to Japan. In other words, the West then switches to handheld gaming as its primary gaming. Keep in mind that younger generations are growing up with smartphones and tablets. They do not see a game console hooked up to a TV as sacrosanct. Nintendo is keeping in mind the future pipeline of their consumers.

Gaming commentary from message forums to Youtube videos has exploded since I began this little blog. I have been curious why there isn’t another Malstrom. Why can’t I point to someone else and be like, “Damn, that guy makes some great analysis.” There are the professional analysts who use a quantitative method using supply numbers and all… data I do not have access. But since I spend so much time playing older generation consoles and studying their business history, I come in with a qualitative assessment as to why a console is doing what it is doing in the market.

One big element is that I am a natural writer. This site has been going on for over a decade which is unheard of on the Internet, especially this dinky amateur blog. If there is such analysis out there, they may lack the communicative skills to express their analysis.

But I think a larger part of it is absorbing new contexts of data. Instead of looking at the past generation for clues of what Nintendo will do, why not look at ALL the generations? After all, generation 8 will be the generation Nintendo wants to do everything OPPOSITE of so why anyone gives Generation 8 as a benchmark for Nintendo is beyond me. Why are we not taking in the macro-economic data? What are the future trends for consumer behavior concerning gaming? Do they want to stick with a TV? Nintendo’s Switch is better they may transition away such as in the West.

There also doesn’t seem to be much critical thinking on conclusions. For example, if you said “Based on sales numbers alone with Link to the Past selling around 4.61 million units and Phantom Hourglass selling 4.76 million units, we must conclude that Phantom Hourglass is the better Zelda than Link to the Past. It is very dangerous to compare sales of games that are decades apart. You have to account for population growth. You have to account for the different macro-economic situation. The install bases are also different. Just because a game sells well does not mean it is well received. No Man’s Sky also sold extremely well and look what happened there. Seeing how much worse Spirit Tracks sold, it is clear that Phantom Hourglass wasn’t exactly a social phenomenon with consumers.

Look at how the NES Classic Mini is STILL sold out. This tells us something about the demand or value of these older gamers. Not even Nintendo fully grasps this! Nintendo appears to be the one who is most surprised at the NES Classic Mini’s success.

It is no surprise to readers of this page. Not all gamers live in the current generation. Many of us live in prior generations or, at least, we take long sabbaticals to those time periods. NES Classic Mini is a tool to take a trip to Generation 3 which is snapped up by those who lived in that time period but also in huge demand by those never lived during those times. They want to take a trip to Generation 3 too!

Games are so unique that gaming of Generation 3 is unlike anything in Generation 8. Gaming of Generation 5 is unlike many games of Generation 8 too. There are so many differences.

I guess I just wish I could be the one reading analysis instead of being the one writing it.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 18, 2017

S Minus Twelve Days

It’s Karen!

Remember Karen from the rooftop?

Image result for karen nintendo switch

Related image

Above: No one knows why Karen has four rings. It is a mystery!

Image result for karen nintendo switch

 

 

Apparently, she plays 3d Mario until her friends call where she takes her Switch out to have rooftop parties! Who wouldn’t want to play with Karen?

 

Switch and Google

Look!

 

Last Generation Tunnel Syndrome

Polygon says Switch is doomed. Hey, at least there is a nice picture of Karen!

It can be summed up as “Wah, Nintendo is not telling us all the information of its online plans.”

Now, why would Nintendo not do that? Naughty Nintendo!

The first thing to realize is that launching a game console is hard. Very, very hard. It is hard for Sony. It is hard for Microsoft. Launching a game console worldwide is a billion dollar investment. It is so, so hard. One of the reasons why Nintendo isn’t launching their paid online service until later on in the year is because of how difficult it is to launch a console.What Nintendo has told us is that the online games are free until then. Good enough.

Second thing to realize is that Nintendo likes putting hidden features into their hardware to go ‘surprise’ later on. The DS went an entire year without online games despite having Wi-fi inside each DS. The Xbox 360, however, did not even have wi-fi. When Nintendo began putting out online games like Mario Kart DS, it was a ‘surprise’ to the market and a ‘wow’ that their DS could do something they didn’t know! From an entertainment standpoint, Nintendo does this. It also fits well because at launch, everyone wants to see what the hardware can do. By hiding it, Nintendo kicks the ball to when they are ready to deal with it with appropriate software.

The flagship launch title, Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not online. Neither is 1, 2 Switch. Bomberman is. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is. Puyo Puyo Tetris is. But these games’ online is already well known as two have been released on other consoles and Bomberman is going to be Bomberman.

The question is… what is the online components of Mario Odyssey? I bet there is something cooking in there! You think Nintendo would launch a paid online service without their main holiday game not using it? Doubtful! We know Splatoon 2 will be using it but that is during the summer.

What about the Virtual Console? We know Nintendo plays to upgrade the VC games to do online multiplayer. VC may be delayed until the paid online service is available.

We know the E-shop will be available with titles like I am Setsuna.

Nintendo probably will give more details, but these journalists whining about this are not the voice of consumers. What these journalists wish to do is to do write-ups about Nintendo’s online service which they cannot because there are no details.

Nintendo may also be keeping quiet due to competition reasons.

But the only online game for Switch’s launch is Super Bomberman R (maybe Skylanders?), and the press has already declared Super Bomberman R to be ‘cheap’, ‘terrible’, and a ‘failure’. Why? It is because Super Bomberman R is the first Switch third party exclusive. If Super Bomberman R was coming to Sony or Microsoft systems, they would be much more supportive of it.

Be prepared for trashing of every exclusive third party Switch game. They will all be declared ‘bad’. Mark. My. Words.

But you know what is not ‘bad’? Western AAA gaming. Every AAA Western game is ‘best game of all time’ and ‘revolutionizes the industry’. Each preview of Western AAA game is an orgasm, and each review is multiple orgasms. How could you possibly miss out on this incredible Western AAA game? Despite that it is loaded with DRM and shit because the value of the game collapses once the hype wears off.

 

Email: Nintendo the “toy”company

I loved your article on Nintendo’s long history. I knew they began making cards but it was neat to see all the toys they made before getting into video games.
It’s funny because when you go onto any hardcore gamer message forum, you see things like “Nintendo games are baby toys!” “Nintendo needs to stop making toys!”
Want to know how to really piss off hardcore gamers? Tell them all video games are toys.

What is the dictionary definition of a “toy?” Something you play with to be entertained. By this logic all video games are toys no matter how black and shiny you make it. Hardcore will throw a fit and say “only Nintendo makes toys! Sony and MS make sophisticated entertainment.”

Probably the biggest hypocrisy is the same hardcore gamers who complain about Nintendo making baby toys have shelves full of expensive collectible action figures.

Nintendo is very similar in philosophy to Disney. Disney is an extremely cheap ass company that has premium IPs. Mario is to Nintendo as Mickey Mouse is to Disney.

Image result for miyamoto

Above: Miyamoto says, “That’s right, Malstrom!

Yamauchi was responsible for turning Nintendo into a Disney-esque company. Miyamoto turning Mario into a ‘Mickey Mouse of gaming’ may have been at Yamauchi’s urging.

 

Email: Miyamoto’s perception of Zelda 2: Adventure of Link

Master Malstrom,

Take a look at the question around the 2:05 mark in the video below:

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/02/17/miyamoto-and-aonuma-on-zeldas-balance-of-fan-feedback.aspx

The gist of it: Miyamoto says that he sees Zelda 2 more of a spin-off, and that he focused more on the combat in the game because of that.

One of two possibilities are here:

1. Miyamoto is lying through his teeth and trying to separate Zelda 2 from the other games in the series, like you speculate.

2. There’s a disconnect between Miyamoto’s perception of Zelda 2 (it’s a spin-off, and not really meant to be part of the series) and the fan’s perspective (this game is a natural evolution of the Zelda series up to that point, and is a bonifide sequel). Maybe if Miyamoto understood that fans want Zelda to be “action-based” (as he seemed to put it), they would focus more on putting the combat of past games into new Zelda titles.

It could also be both.

In any case, to the Nintendo employee reading this blog, let me take this opportunity to say a Zelda 2 remake (or a game in the vein of Zelda 2) would sell like GANGBUSTERS.

-A reader

No, I think Miyamoto is being truthful here. The idea of a sequel in that time period was Super Mario Brothers 2 which we know as ‘the Lost Levels’. Think of other NES sequels such as Super C for Contra, Mega Man 2, Ninja Gaiden 2, etc. The gameplay is very much like the first.

Legend of Zelda 2 could not be made because the game already had The Second Quest.

Both Miyamoto and Aonuma agreed that Zelda 2 has been completely absorbed into Zelda. In other words, Zelda 2 is a mainline Zelda game despite it being a little different.

The question we need to ask is why do these game journalists have an obsession over Zelda 2? The game is 30 plus years old now. I think it is because they suck at the game so therefore ‘the game can’t be good’. I bet it is the only Zelda game they can’t beat. Weak sauce gamers.

 

Email: End of Moore’s Law

It’s a an age-old rule. Every two years, the power of computers doubles. It has been roughly true for decades. It’s why we can goo from the 3DS being weaker than a Wii to the Switch being a little weaker than a PS4 in 6 years.

But it’s ending. Processors already cheat by going multi-core, as increased speed of individual cores is limited by traits my layman’s understanding cannot explain. It’s predicted that by 2021, processors will be built on 5nm architecture — that is, a processors will be 5×5 atoms. If a circuit is a maze that electrical signals travel through, if you go any smaller, quantum physics come into play, and the electrons will go right through the walls of the maze. Quantum computing will be the solution then, but quantum computers, while very useful in some ways, will not be straight upgrades of computers as we know them.

How does this relate to gaming? Well, since GPUs as we know them won’t be helped by quantum computing, then the graphical power of PCs and other machines will possibly hit a limit within 10 years. Miniaturization of technology will slow down. Quantum computers should resume miniaturization, but there’s three problems there: 1. Quantum computers do not exist yet.
2. As the tech is not a linear upgrade on existing tech, it could take awhile for the benefits to reach consumer electronics. 3. Some aspects of computing are not significantly helped by the technology.

With this in mind, my questions to you are these: if in the 10th generation of gaming, all machines are at the max power and have to stay there for a potentially very long time, how is the industry affected? Will Nintendo’s competition, be they switch rip-offs or what have you, be at an advantage, as they can sell equal power consoles at a loss? Will the end of the raw power arms race lead to a new-way-to-play arms race? Will PCs profit from not having to be upgraded all the time, or will they lose out to plug and play consoles of equal power? Will consumer graphical demand be undershot by stagnant graphical improvement, leading to another gaming crash? Do any of Nintendo’s actions signal preparation for this? Or perhaps most importantly: am I asking this question far too early?

The PC revolution is symbolized by two companies: Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft got rich by making computers do old tasks more efficiently (such as airline terminals using Windows software). Apple got rich by making computers do new things and consolidating other things out of existence (iPhone changing how we interact with each other and society).

Computers may be everywhere in society, but they are there in the ‘Microsoft’ way of doing the old things more efficiently. What you will see is the computers doing new things which will really upend the apple cart. This is the automation revolution that is already here.

 

Email: Zelda DLC and replayability

Hi Malstrom,

I’m the guy who wrote you the email about DLC a few days ago, before the Zelda DLC announcement, and I was planning on writing you a “see, I told you” email when the DLC was announced, but I figured “what’s the point anymore?” and just moved on.

Then I figured I could instead talk about something else: replay value. Recently I have been replaying through Red Steel 2 on the Wii again. The game has nothing to unlock, no achievements to display, no collectibles, nothing. These days “replay value” means hamster wheels: go collect all the thingies, unlock all of the gallery, get achievements, collect gamerscore, compare your e-penis with people on XBox Live, PSN, Steam, whatever.

When I was a child I used to try to get all the heart pieces in Zelda, but as I grew older and had less time to waste I realised that all these things are really just padding. The game is over, the developers ran out of content, so they just throw a bunch of hamster wheels to keep you busy. Heart pieces in Zelda at least make sense in-game, but unlocking achievements is more often than not just a waste of time.

The real problem with replay value is how slow modern games have become. Take any modern industry game and see how much time you spend actually playing the game, and how much time you spend walking around, listening to NPCs, flipping switches and shit like that. When you take a NES or SNES game it’s almost 100% just the game and you. And that’s what replay value is: how fun is the game to play? After the novelty of the graphics, story or gameplay has worn off, how much fun is it to keep playing the game regardless? This is why I could never get myself to replay any of the modern Zelda or 3D Mario games; the first time around the production values draw me in and I think I’m enjoying the *game*, but eventually the facade breaks down and I realise how boring the game itself is.

Breath of the Wild will be the same thing. Nintendo is just stretching out the game’s content to drip it out in pieces. Why? I don’t know, maybe it’s meant to give people the feeling that the game lasts longer than it actually does? What astonishes me however is how much contempt for the player there is in this DLC. First of all they are selling a season pass, which means you are supposed to pre-order the DLC before you even know what it is. Other companies have been doing this for years already, why are people paying money for these things? Then there is the content of the DLC itself. I think that it’s BS when developers force you to first play the game on a boring difficulty before you unlock the harder one, but that’s still better than having to *pay* for a hard mode. At least with the unlock you could download a save file from the internet and be done with it. The last DLC could be decent if it proves good content, but there is now way of know what it will be like at this point in time.

Compare this to Red Steel 2. Yeah, the world building makes no sense, the characters are campy, the story is not going to earn any rewards, but slashing and shooting enemies with your own hands just feels so damn good that playing the game is the reward in itself. It is by no means as pure as the 8-bit and 16-bit era games, but the Wii era gave us one last time where at least some games came close to this old-school purity where the game was able to carry itself.

We’ll be able to judge Breath of the Wild soon enough.

When looking back at some of the older Zeldas, I find Wind Waker to be completely non-replayable. Twilight Princess I find half the game to be terrible. The parts of Twilight Princess I enjoy are the latter half of the game starting with Arbiter’s Grounds.

I did greatly enjoy Twilight Princess first time I played with with some exceptions. When the puzzle came up of the jumping statues for the Master Sword, I said ‘fuck this’ and went to the Internet to pass it. What a waste of time that stupid puzzle was.

 

Email: Why would you still want to buy Breath of the Wild?

Hello Malstrom,

So, looks like Nintendo has dumped a bucket of ice water over everybody’s Switch hype with the DLC announcement. I wish I could say I was surprised, but NSMB DLC, MK8 DLC, Hyrule Warriors DLC had me expecting this move. Hell, I remember you even expecting this round E3 last year with this post: https://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/some-more-zelda-emails/

“I will post more emails up as I have to head out. But I want you to think of this.

No one has talked about expansions and downloadable content to Zelda: Breath of the Wild yet.

The vast overworld could be made even larger. Would people pay for that? I think they would. The last console Zelda was Skyward Sword. We have never had a DLC Zelda before. Prior imagination would be adding on a new dungeon or new item, but with an overworld centric Zelda, perhaps new ways to interact with the overworld? New events to occur? New lands?”

Sad as it is, Nintendo is has already embraced DLC. I’ve done my best to ignore it and sold my copy of Smash Bros after the DLC was so expensive.

With that and your recent anti-hype in mind, let me ask you this: why are you still bothering with Breath of the Wild? You know it will be full of the usual “Aonuma-isms” so to speak.

I’m still buying my copy because i’m looking forward to the big open world and I’m quite impressed with what they managed to do with the systems in the game. Also, I have enjoyed some Aonuma Zelda’s. Wind Waker and Link Between Worlds. It’s not as if Aonuma hasn’t produced games that i’ve enjoyed. But I was wondering what’s keeping you from not cancelling your pre-order. Outside of Twilight Princess, you’ve despised everything the man seems to have touched! Why waste money on a con man?

I enjoyed Twilight Princess for the Wii launch. Although, I think TP is a very imperfect game. I’ve replayed TP several times since then. There are worse games.

Seriously, Wii was starving for adventure or RPG games. And fighting games. If it weren’t for the VC, Wii would have been toast for many gamers.

With Switch, I see RPG games galore. I am glad Ultra Street Fighter 2 is coming. I am happy to see Bomberman.

 

Malstrom doesn’t really like Nintendo games

Did you know that Malstrom doesn’t really enjoy Nintendo games? In fact, Nintendo games are nowhere near my favorite.

I love Nintendo hardware, but I tend to not like their software.

The exception was the NES and Gameboy. I LOVED Super Mario Brothers 1, 2, 3, Zelda 1 and 2, and all the rest of Nintendo first party games. I LOVED the third party NES games especially anything from Konami, Capcom, or Sunsoft. With Gameboy, I LOVED Tetris, Alleyway, Metroid 2, Kirby, and the rest.

But Nintendo first party games just got lame.

During the SNES Era, I found Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and Link to the Past to be disappointing sequels. They have all aged like fine wine, and I find them extremely more enjoyable to play than probably anything else on the market. Donkey Kong Country games were OK. But the first party SNES game that rocked my world was Super Mario Kart. That game was incredible during that time (and all times!).

So what games did I love to play on SNES? Final Fantasy 2, Final Fantasy 3, Contra 3, Super Smash TV, Gradius 3, etc. these games rocked my world. You can see why I wasn’t happy with the N64. Lack of third party, 3d orgy everywhere.

On Gamecube, the first party content was terrible aside from Metroid Prime. My favorite Gamecube game was Ikaruga, a third party game.

With DS, I can’t think of a first party Nintendo game I LOVED. I did enjoy NSMB DS and Mario Kart DS. I think I LOVED Bomberman DS the most on the system as well as titles like Meteos and the DS RPGs.

For Wii, I thought Wii Sports was amazing. The rest of first party Nintendo games were so-so. NSMB Wii was awesome too, but it lacks atmosphere and adventure. To me, my favorite times with Wii was with the Virtual Console. I discovered the Turbografx 16 library. So awesome!

With Switch, I think BoW will be a good quality game, but not a classic. I am curious about Splatoon 2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe I want for multiplayer with girls (I’m so bad) and girlfriends. ARMS? Meh. Mario Odyssey? Meh. I am most excited for Super Bomberman R, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Ultra Street Fighter 2, Disagea 5, and the other RPGs.

I like Nintendo hardware with arcade and RPG quality third party software. This is how I have played my NES, SNES, DS, and Wii. It is how I will play my Switch too!

“Why do you like Nintendo hardware?”

Nintendo hardware is the best! It is built like a tank. Sega’s hardware was always… ehhhh. Look at how many versions of the Genesis there are! Then you have the 32x, the CD rom attachment, etc. Nintendo hardware is solid, solid. The controllers were always the best. I am talking about NES, SNES, Wii, not the atrocious N64 or Wii U.

I cannot stand PlayStation and Xbox hardware. Their controllers feel wrong. Their hardware just doesn’t seem made to last. I find Sony and Microsoft hardware to be cheap. Nintendo hardware I find to feel premium… or how console hardware SHOULD be. I do not want a PC in a box which is what Microsoft and Sony hardware is.

When you slip your Contra cartridge into your NES, you know this is how gaming SHOULD be, how gaming OUGHT to be.

Nintendo first party software has always been, to me, lukewarm good with a few OMG BEST GAME EVER. The games that are OMG BEST GAME EVER has been:

NES

Donkey Kong Classics
Mario Brothers
Super Mario Brothers
Super Mario Brothers 2
Super Mario Brothers 3
Legend of Zelda
Zelda 2: Adventure of Link
Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!
Dr. Mario
Tetris

Gameboy

Tetris
Alleyway
Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land 2
Metroid 2
Link’s Awakening

SNES

Super Mario Kart
DS

None

Wii

Wii Sports

This is my opinion only. Nintendo’s first party in the list above is perfect 10 (and yes, I loved Alleyway). No disappointments with the above titles. But first party for SNES was more like 6-8 range with only Super Mario Kart completely wowing me. (I bought Super Mario Kart the DAY it launched and was ridiculed by everyone for wanting a go kart game. But I knew. Everyone kept trying to borrow my Mario Kart cartridge!).

Zelda BOTW may be a 10 quality title to me. But most likely it will fall into the 6-8 range as will Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Splatoon 2 could win me over.

And then there are the unannounced titles. What about a new Metroid?

6-8 range in software isn’t bad. I am hoping a third party pulls out a 10. I thought Final Fantasy 1, 2, and 3 for the NES and SNES were all 10 range quality titles. After that, the franchise died to me. I still can’t get into 7 with its shitty 3d. Dragon Quest is more of a 6-8 range for me.

The games I really loved on the NES and SNES would surprise many. NES there are too many 10 range titles of both first and third party. Contra? Life Force? Blaster Master? Double Dragon 1 and 2? (3 wasn’t that bad). Mega Man 2 and 3? (rest weren’t bad either). Too much high quality games on the NES.

SNES I was really only rocked with Super Mario Kart, Contra 3, and the Square RPGs.

Remember what rocks my world is not going to rock the market’s world.

I am buying Splatoon 2 just to see how it is. But honestly, Zelda: BoW may be the only Nintendo made Switch game I buy. Instead of asking, “Why are you buying it?” you need to ask, “That is the only Nintendo game you are buying?” The answer is probably yeah.

There are some third party games I’d want to get for the other systems but their hardware is too terrible. Vita and PSP? No way! Vita was tempting to me because of the 3DS disaster. With all the installation needed for the PS4 and Xbox One, I can say to hell with all that.

 

Email: BOTW is not open world

Something I was thinking about when comparing the lineup to the switch to previous consoles, and I’ve come to the same conclusion as you, that it might be best to not expect a return to the preN64 days anytime soon.

The main reason that BOTW is being tuted as a successor to the original Zelda is because it is so open world. But is it? In the original Zelda you can go and do anywhere on the map with little worries except the enemies you might face. This is not the case for BOTW. You have to worry about staying warm, staying fed, having weapons that are not about to break. This all keeps you from just playing the game and will likely limit you quite a bit.

The original Zelda became more open as the player grew better at the game, which fit with the twitch style arcade gamelplay. With skyrim being one of the main sources of inspiration, BOTW is one of the furthest things from an arcade style game. Can you imagine playing Skyrim at the arcades? Not to say this is a bad style of game, but it is very different from the series roots.

It reminds me a lot of Ocarina of Time. That was really the first point that story started to be seen as more important than the fun twitch gameplay of the games that came beforehand. BOTW feels a lot more of a successor to Ocarina of Time than any 2D zelda. If they truly want to make a game that succeeds the 2D zeldas, why don’t they make it 2D?

Mario too is reverting to the N64, but no further back. 3D Mario has never sold as well as 2D Mario, and I’m glad that Nintendo has dropped the idea of “teaching” the people who play 2D mario by trying to flog creepy frankenstein merged 3d world games that don’t appeal to either demographic. But they didn’t learn they’re lesson. They have just gone back to 3D Mario with no mention of 2D mario once more. I;m sure that any 2D Mario that shows up will be covered in “NEW” branding once more, implying there’s something wrong with the old Mario that isn’t completely sacharine soaked.

If there’s one difference between the way nintendo handled the N64 and how they are handling the Switch, I’d say it’s the design of the controllers. Controllers are the most important aspect of a console, and have determined Nintendo’s success for every home console release. The N64 and Gamecube controllers were designed specifically for a few games that Nintendo wanted to design, note the large focus on the control stick, the D-pad squished out the way on both controllers, and the large emphasis on C (Camera) controls, which on the N64 takes away two face buttons that had previously been on the controller and on the Gamecube takes the prostigous place of second control stick. These controllers were clearly designed for 3D Mario and Zelda with little concern for anything else.

Fortunately the Switch seems to take more after the Wii in regards to design, focusing on multiple ways of playing and not putting a giant focus on the controls they want for their game. I was always quite suprised with Mario Galaxy, it felt like the game was actually adapted to the controller for the first time!

Sorry for rambling but it’s interesting to get ideas while we are still in the waiting period, even if they may soon be irrelevant. I believe the switch is what the N64 should have been, but I’m not sure if it’s worthy of being a successor to the SNES or Wii yet.

We will see soon enough.

 

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