Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 6, 2017

Designed for Malstrom Gamer: 2DS XL

I love how the 3DS product line went from 3DS to 2DS XL hahaha.

This is the Last Great DS. I already own 3 DS systems. I might as well own a fourth one.

This does give GBA Micro flashbacks though.

Who does care about the 3d? No one. Good riddance.

“I am amazed how much lighter it is!”

3d was a failure and almost destroyed Nintendo’s handheld line.

I can only think of three games I want on it:

NSMB 2

Zelda: Link Between Worlds

Mario Maker

Hyrule Warriors

Bravely Default

Dragon Quest VII

Dragon Quest VIII

If any of these appear on Switch at E3, I’ll get it then.

But the fact that 2DS XL plays ALL my DS games means I get to play my Chrono Trigger and Castlevania and Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games on the go.

This 2DS XL was designed for people like me who are hostile to the 3d but like the games. I might pick it up (with some games). Nintendo is really taking my money this year.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 3, 2017

Email: Puyo Puyo Tetris and Limited Run Game Cards

Greetings Master Malstrom,

At your urging, I ordered Puyo Puyo Tetris at a discount (!) with Amazon Prime. It was one of the best game purchases this year. It arrived right before me and my friends went on a weekend trip to the beach, which was a long drive. I played it, you guessed it, with the girls much of the way there. We loved it!

I trusted your advice, but I didn’t think it would be that awesome. It’s insane how this game only has a limited physical release. This thing should be selling millions. With Nintendo’s lack of a trustworthy account system and the push for digital-only, I wonder how many classics like this will be missed because of bad business models.

I wanted to ask, where did you get the info that Puyo Puyo Tetris had a limited physical run?

Other games, like Binding of Isaac, Ultra Street Fighter 2, Namco Museum, and even Rayman Legends, have me concerned that there will be limited physical runs causing major price gouges by scalpers. I’d like to know which ones I should preorder before they get snapped up and resold for way too much.

Thank you, good sir.

Ladies and gentlemen, this emailer here is no basement dwelling nerd. He was playing video games at the beach with girls (what are they, reader!? Ooohhh la la!). I haven’t even played all the games I own, but I think the three must-own games for Switch are: Zelda BoW “Wow!”, Mario Kart 8, and Puyo Puyo Tetris. If you are a fan of Tetris or Dr. Mario type games, you need to get Puyo Puyo Tetris. Luckily, a demo is available to show you some of the awesomeness. Puyo Puyo Tetris will become a ‘legendary’ game, but no one knows it yet! The Tetris license moves on, so this may be the only combination of Puyo puyo and Tetris that we will ever see.

I think Puyo Puyo Tetris being a limited physical run was general knowledge? It is really clear that the price point is different from physical and digital (clearly a no no unless it is a limited special edition). And it came with keychains.

Binding of Isaac will have a different cover for its next run I believe.

Has Been Heroes is a Gamestop exclusive. Not sure if it is limited run or not. Could be.

Disagea 5 will likely be limited run. I need to check that one out. I don’t expect that game to sell well so it will vanish soon to the avalanche of Switch releases down the line.

I don’t think Namco Museum or Raymen Legends would be limited.

Every Atlus game is though. Grab the Atlus games fast.

I don’t expect Ultra Street Fighter 2 to be it either.

I’m checking these releases like a hawk. I know how bad it is to not have the game after the run is gone due to the retro buying scene.

If anyone has a site or information pipeline that shows which of these Switch game releases are limited, please let us know.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 2, 2017

Investor Q/A with Kimishima

Dos Equis Gifs to the World thumbs up the most interesting man dos equis GIF

Above: Master Malstorm

There was an investor question and answer with Nintendo President Kimishima, reader. But… what Nintendo doesn’t realize is that I was able to sneak a microphone into the facility and spy on the meeting. If the reader will be quiet for a moment, we will hear what was said…

Image result for president kimishima

Above: President Kimishima

[Question about attach rate…]

These differences are due to the timing and cannot be compared directly. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is releasing today, has been highly anticipated by consumers and in fact currently has more momentum than we expected. We believe it is most important to convert this anticipation to sell-through and bring enjoyment to our consumers. Consumers are also looking forward to future titles in the Nintendo Switch lineup, including ARMS and Splatoon 2, so we are aiming for an attach rate of 3.5 units to 4 units over this fiscal year, comparable to that of Wii and Wii U.

Bold is my emphasis.

So Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sales are surpassing even Nintendo’s expectations. Interesting.

Our initial plan for the Nintendo Switch hardware shipments for the last fiscal year was 2 million units, but we saw the high anticipation from consumers prior to launch and began additional production, allowing us to ultimately ship 2.74 million units. We are planning to ship 10 million units this fiscal year, and this figure takes into account the fantastic response we have received from consumers. Planning to ship 10 million units means that we actually plan to produce more than that including units in our warehouse and in-transit product. We are not currently producing this full amount all at once. We expect that the number of consumers who want to buy the hardware will increase as we release titles such as ARMS, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey, so our current production model takes that into account.

Also interesting. Nintendo increased production on Switch units BEFORE the launch because they saw the pre-order situation. This is how Switch is selling more than the Wii at launch.

Investor asks:

I think it is incredible that you were able to predict ahead of time that shipments of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch would surpass the number of hardware units shipped. The late President Iwata declared that you would be reconsidering many conventions, and I feel that your way of thinking has changed considerably in areas such as hardware launch timing and price, software lineup and demand forecasting. Can you explain what kinds of changes have occurred?

Kimishima responds:

We are deeply thankful for the wonderful response to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the fact that we were able to ship more units than we did of the Nintendo Switch hardware. Since The Legend of Zelda series is very popular in Europe and in particular in the U.S., and the hardware launch was in March, we thought that we might end up with different results from a holiday season launch (when a wider range of consumers are likely to make purchases), and so we expected that there may be a high ratio of consumers who purchased this game along with the hardware.

So Zelda, while popular in Europe, is super popular in America. I would agree to that.

The result was exactly as expected in the U.S., but the game is much larger in scale than previous games, and it reached greater popularity than we had expected in Europe and Japan as people tried it themselves or watched others play. Reviews of this game prior to release were also very helpful in communicating its appeal.

So the increase sales in Zelda BoW “Wow!” are coming from Europe and Japan, not America!!!

Now listen to Kimishima here:

Ultimately, we were able to achieve these results because of the response not only from fans of The Legend of Zelda series, but also from consumers who had played a Zelda game in the past and wanted to play one again, as well as consumers who had never played a Zelda game before but who heard the buzz and wanted to play.

Kimishima lists the Nintendo Market Triumvirate. This was mentioned during the Wii launch if anyone was listening (they weren’t, they just went ‘casual gamers’ to explain mystifying sales results. They cannot explain Switch sales so they are tripping out).

First, he mentions Zelda fans. This is The Core Market.

Then, he mentions Zelda fans who played the games in the past but stopped playing (why did they stop? Could it be due to Aonuma?). These are the lapsed gamers. This is The Former Market.

Last, he mentions those who had never played a Zelda game before but did so because of the hype and crowds. These are the new gamers. This is The New Market.

The Wii was able to hit all three of those markets which is why it had such a massive result. Game Forums know about the Core and New Markets, hardcore and casuals, but the former gamers they completely missed. Making Zelda more like the original one, as well as the Classic NES Mini release, certainly got the Former Market’s attention.

We would certainly like to be able to predict the worldwide popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as you suggest, but we are still not able to forecast to that degree of accuracy. The end result was that the number of units of this game shipped was higher than the number of units of hardware shipped.

And this is why an Unfortunate Person At Nintendo (often punished for some misdeed) is assigned to read this site and report in. What will the future be? They want to know.

Investor:

I’d like to know as much as you can share about the basis for your short and medium-term sales forecasts of Nintendo Switch. In particular, are you expecting 10 million hardware shipments during this fiscal year because that’s the number your total anticipated demand in each region led you to, or are you looking at your software lineup for this period and predicting how much hardware you think you can sell? Also, you have been quoted in the media as saying that you want sales of Nintendo Switch to match the Wii sales. Should we take that to mean that your sales target for hardware is going to be 100 million units? If so, then do you envision Nintendo Switch selling not just one per household, but one per person?

Oh! This is a great question! Especially the bolded end. It is a question I would ask. Let us see how Kimishima responds…

“I am so nervous with excitement!” squeals the bubbly reader.

I know! And to think people say the Q/A is boring. They don’t understand.

We set this fiscal year’s 10 million shipment forecast for Nintendo Switch based on the fact that we were able to ship 2.74 million units during the last fiscal year, which was well above our initial forecast of 2 million units, combined with the response our sales offices around the world have reported from retailers and consumers about the software we will be releasing during this period. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released today and although we did not cover it when creating our sales plans, it has gotten especially positive reviews. Feedback from consumers at our ARMS and Splatoon 2 preview events has been positive, as well. We have also gotten good feedback about 1-2-Switch, which has already been released, and offers consumers a new gaming experience that takes advantage of the unique strengths of Nintendo Switch. All this together gives me the sense that Nintendo Switch is going to outperform our initial expectations.

Nintendo really does take reactions from these preview events seriously.

 

For us, being able to reach an installed base of more than 10 million units is fundamental to creating a strong business in a number of different ways. Shipping 10 million hardware units this fiscal year, as planned, will give publishers and the rest of our business partners a sense that the future of Nintendo Switch is more promising. This is another part of the reason why we are planning to ship 10 million units this fiscal year.

The 10 million line echoes Microsoft with the Xbox 360 when they said, “First one to 10 million wins!” because that is the number that Microsoft (and perhaps other console companies) saw that created a self-momentum console that attracted third parties. Nintendo seems interested to racing to 10 million as fast as possible.

The truth is we want to raise the installed base of Nintendo Switch up to the same level as Wii. As we mentioned during our presentation, Nintendo Switch in America had the fastest start of any Nintendo hardware, despite launching in March. In the video game business, it’s important for consumers to feel that a sales momentum is going to grow, and we are setting a standard with Nintendo Switch to release a continuous string of major software titles from now on. And if our sales go according to our plan this fiscal year, we will be able to see Nintendo Switch gaining the
momentum in which it can approach relative parity with Wii afterwards.

When the Wii began selling out, the goal posts kept shifting. “Wait until…” The last one was GTA 4. Pachter and all the rest were confident that GTA 4 would right the universe. Well, GTA 4 did come out. And this was the moment we knew for sure Wii would win that generation:

Plus, considering that Nintendo Switch is a home console video game system that you can take with you on the go so you can play anytime, anywhere, with anyone, we think there will be households that feel as though one is not really enough. This is another point that drives us to match the scale of Wii’s popularity with Nintendo Switch.

What Kimishima is saying is that Switch doesn’t have to penetrate the same number of households as Wii did in order to sell 100 million. For the DS, people have multiple systems (e.g. husband and wife each have one). I, myself, have THREE DS systems.

Switch seems more like a Next Gen DS-on-Steroids.  Switch is certainly used like a DS was. But the DS launched in 2004 which was FAR better macro-economic conditions than today. Wii launched in 2006 which also had far better macro-economic conditions.

If I can transfer save data, I wouldn’t mind even buying a new revision of the Switch.

Question:

Nintendo Switch sales numbers certainly resemble Wii immediately after launch, but I would guess that the favorable demand for Nintendo Switch up to this point has largely come from Nintendo fans who bought Nintendo Switch because they wanted to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I see this situation as being a little different from the huge contributions that Wii Sports is thought to have had on Wii sales at that time. Looking at the future software lineup for Nintendo Switch, I continue to see a lot of titles that cater to these long-time Nintendo fans and video game fans in general, but what is your strategy for enticing non-fans to buy Nintendo Switch, and what sort of time frame do you have for it?

Answer:

Our vision for Nintendo Switch is to release one title after another with no gaps following the March launch, reach a large number of consumers during the holiday season, and continue to expand the business. Along the way, we found that a lot of consumers were looking forward to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild being released simultaneously with the hardware, which led to our stronger-than-anticipated hardware launch.

One title after another…

Oh, and it is QUALITY software that attracts newcomers. BAD software only attracts hardcore fans. Hence, the hardcore gaming is actually POORLY MADE gaming. Kimishima makes this point in text that follows the above.

This means that our product lifecycles are not going to last for a set number of years, but will be flexible enough to change when required by changing consumer needs.

In general, this is the sort of thinking we want to adopt for all our hardware development. We want to have flexible hardware cycles where the launch of new hardware sets off the development of the next hardware that will respond to consumer trends.

This is MAJOR. Of course, none of the game journalists picked up on this.

Kimishima just declared that Nintendo will not use their hard-coded 6 year cycle but respond to consumer trends. So major.

Iwata would force the transition. I think the Wii and DS had many more years left in them. But Nintendo abandoned the Wii too fast.

In the Golden Age of Nintendo, the hardware responded to consumer trends. NES had such a long lifecycle because that is what the market wanted. While consumers already had a SNES, Dragon Warrior 4 came out on the NES (in the West at least). SNES had a long life cycle too.

This is a very positive sign. It means the Switch will have an extremely long life cycle, and Nintendo will keep milking the 3DS platform.

2DS XL has now become much more attractive to me in that even I might buy it.

Takeda expressed interest in retiring and passing the torch when his term of office expires this period. Takeda’s guidance has fostered many technicians over the years, particularly in the technical development departments. Ko Shiota, who we have mentioned as a candidate for the new director, was one of those Takeda mentored while developing our business.

No! Not Takeda!!!

Miyamoto is next.


Malstrom reads commentary on this Q/A.

“It is interesting,” snorts a hardcore gamer, “that Nintendo is not following the Wii path here.”

What is the Wii path? They don’t know, folks. They have no idea. All they know about Wii path is ‘casualz gamerz!!!111!!’

What Nintendo is doing with the Switch is following the NES PATH, or Golden Age path (NES, Gameboy, SNES eras). This path is “NES is just a box you buy to get to Mario.” Great games move the hardware.

Nintendo did not understand why the Wii was successful. They thought it was because of the hardware and marketing in addition to the software. Nope. The Wii U and 3DS were made to be ‘fabulous hardware’ with the TViiii and “OMG 3d movies!” Wii was seen as the Second Coming of the NES by many. The controller was identical to the NES controller too!

So Nintendo’s strategy with Switch will be similar to that of the NES. It seems that instead of massive focus on ‘changing how we play’ or ‘restarting the experience line’, it will be one quality game after another. To put in perspective, 3DS would have 3d Pilotwings because ‘omg 3d’. It would have Mario in 3d Land because ‘omg 3d’. With Wii, it would have every game have motion controls because ‘omg motion controls’.

We don’t want that.

We just want one quality game after another.

I don’t see any warning signs with Nintendo at the moment (they are even doing the right move by converting 3DS to a 2d platform). Now is the time to be bullish on Nintendo’s fortunes. E3 will give us Nintendo’s roadmap further. Let us see if Nintendo will save Metroid as it saved Zelda.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 1, 2017

Email: Mario Kart

One more thing Malstrom. Mario Kart’s core is still good, but there’s some crap on top that starting to make it off-putting. Namely vehicle and character selection. You used to be able to play with everyone and everything to figure out what works best for your style of play. Now there are so many choices that you will practically never figure that out satisfactorily. Mario Kart DS had the idea max for configurations in the series. Now you’re practically either poring over stats or you’re just picking what looks best to you. The only exception being that Tanooki Mario is the outright best racer to pick. He towers too far over everyone else, he gets a higher, more balanced set of base stats when compared to everyone else.

I have found myself annoyed at poring over all the stats. It is hard enough just to pick a racer!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 1, 2017

Email: Mario Kart bloat

Master Malstrom,

I’ve been playing through Mario Kart 8 on Switch right now and it’s very fun and engaging. You’ve mentioned numerous times that Nintendo hasn’t killed Mario Kart’s fundamentals yet, but I don’t think it’s for the lack of trying. There’s been stuff they’ve added in recent Mario Kart games that don’t really make a whole lot of sense and just feel like bloat. The addition of more vehicle types like Bikes and ATVs were once novel but now feel a little redundant and strays from the Kart racing experience. Then you have more and more items that can cause severe rubber band issues for players. I remember this being a huge problem in the Wii version where the AI was just unfair. The hang gliders in 7 made little sense and felt like an unnecessary add on. Finally there’s the anti gravity F-Zero mechanic shoehorned into 8 that also just doesn’t add a whole lot to the game and feels like a weak F-Zero Mario Kart hybrid that doesn’t help either franchise. My hope for the next version is they trim down this bloat and get back to the simpler idea of go kart racing with a small selection of items.

I miss the charm of the simple ‘go-kart’ experience.  But Nintendo will keep doing what sells and Mario Kart 8 sells.

A ‘Mario Kart Maker’ could be a lot of fun. Make our own tracks. Vroom! Vroom!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 1, 2017

Email: N64

Howdy again, Malstrom!

So, I was perusing some of your older posts (just to get caught up, as it had been awhile since I visited your website), and one of the themes I happened upon is your apparent loathing of the N64 (“Controller looked like a spaceship” – that’s more than a little harsh!).

Now, don’t get me wrong – everybody’s entitled to their own opinions, and video games are no different. Far be it for me to ever try and convince somebody else to like the same games that I do!! I also get your point of not caring for Mario in 3d, as that’s absolutely a personal opinion as to whether you like that style of game or not.

I do want to point out though, that the one thing the N64 did exceptionally well, was the implementation of four controllers – that was a big deal, back then! I remember the first time I put Mario Party on when I had some friends over (guys that were absolute PlayStation fanatics!!), and they just could not get enough of that game! We would be up to 4am playing game after game after game – it was incredibly addictive! Yes, the N64 was a ‘3d machine’ on the surface, but one of those ‘hidden’ Nintendo gems you seem to notice in their other systems and appreciate, was the localized social playability of that system. And for that one reason alone, I honestly don’t think it deserves the amount of hate you consistently lump on it.
…oh, and by the way, the other thing I loved about my N64 (and one of the very same things you seem to love about the Switch), was the fact that the games were on cartridges!! I loved Nintendo for sticking with cartridges, at a time when everybody was demanding CD-ROM. Sure, it was done solely for control and profit, but as a collector I love nothing more than owning cartridges – discs have always felt ‘cheap’ and flimsy to me. Give me a hefty cartridge any day, over a disc!

Stop the N64 hate!

 

There are three main game console markets: Japan, North America, and Europe. (I am not forgetting South America, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest. It is simply those markets are not as large as the big three.)

The NES DOMINATED (i.e. monopoly) Japan and North America. NES had limited exposure in Europe because Nintendo of America was constantly being taken to court in America (often by Atari, the sore loser).

During Generation 4, Super Nintendo largely dominated Japan (there was some PC-Engine action going there), Sega Megadrive largely dominated Europe, and SNES and Genesis were even in America with SNES coming out on top at the end (thanks to Donkey Kong Country).

Generation 5, N64 sold at the same rate as the PS1 in America for a while until, I believe, the release of Final Fantasy 7. Then PS1 overtook N64. N64 flopped in Europe and Japan.

Generation 6, Gamecube sold almost as much as the Xbox did in America, but it flopped everywhere.

Generation 7, Wii everywhere.

Generation 8, Wii U flopped everywhere.

Generation 9, Switch time! We will see where this goes.

N64 was probably the worst console Nintendo ever put out. Aside from a handful of titles that gave it some traction in America, no one bought the N64. The N64 introduced a new way of thinking for Nintendo which was: “Fuck you. Every game we will make now will be in 3d. Fuck you.” Under this grand philosophy, Nintendo would make the Gamecube which sunk their market even further.

Under no consideration can the N64 be considered a ‘success’.

Mario 64 almost destroyed the Mario brand with that stupid voice and ramming 3d down everyone’s throats. Mario 64’s sales were not impressive, sorry.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time, despite its great sales, destroyed its franchise by delivering the series to Aonuma where, until Breath of the Wild, every Zelda game would be a Ocarina Remake With Aonuma-isms.

No Metroid.

Mario Kart 64 has aged the worse of all the Mario Karts.

The N64 controller alienated people.

I see the N64 as the source of the poison that would tear 1980s Nintendo apart. It would be funny if Nintendo makes a N64-Mini, and no one buys it. The demand for it is going to be tepid.

When I came on the scene, N64 was praised left and right. I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized there are three reasons why N64 was being praised.

One: Nostalgia.

The best console is going to be the one you grew up with. I have nostalgia over the Vectrex. While I argue its graphics have aged the best out of all consoles (ohhh, those lines! Those vectors!), it is just a Vectrex.

Personally, I wish there was more said about the Sega Saturn which did have many great games (not just those rare ones) for it and is largely not heard much about. Yeah, the Saturn destroyed Sega, but N64 destroyed Nintendo’s home console business market. That cannot be denied.

Two: Nintendo developers LOVE the N64 and its 3d Manifest Destiny

Miyamoto has a sick, sick obsession with 3d. If you tell a Nintendo developer, “I love the game you loved making,” they will go, “That’s right! We need to make more of them!” If you tell a Nintendo developer, “I love the game you hated making,” they will go, “What!? You don’t really like it. It is just stupid nostalgia. You really want the game I enjoy making.” This has been the Nintendo policy since the N64 Era.

“We want more 2d Mario.” Fuck you. Here is more 3d Mario.

“We want Zelda more like the original.” Fuck you. Here is more Ocarina of Time.

With the success of Breath of the Wild, it blows up the last remaining pillar of the N64: Ocarina of Time. I’ve always thought Ocarina of Time was like a GTA before GTA. People liked the freedom of that game. Most people didn’t even COMPLETE Ocarina of Time which worried Miyamoto. But with the sales of BoW “Wow!”, it is clear Zelda sells as an Open World experience, not a ‘Ocarina Formula With Aonuma Puzzles’ experience.

After the N64, Nintendo abandoned the GAMEPLAY of the NES and SNES. This is reason enough to despise the N64. It also destroyed Nintendo’s home market.

Nintendo revived the N64 spirit with the 3DS and consequently nearly destroyed their handheld market. No one gives a shit about 3d. When will Nintendo learn???

It was the disaster of the N64 Era where the Nintendo President, Yamauchi, resigned. Iwata became president after the Gamecube launched.

And to top it off, the N64 games have not aged nearly as well as the 16-bit or 8-bit era. At least PS1 and Saturn had awesome 2d games, but N64 was, “No, we are 3d and only do 3d. Fuck you, Malstrom!” So I and the market fucked the N64 right back.

You don’t hear much about me with the Virtual Boy or Wii U because it is universally accepted those consoles are failures. But with Nintendo and many people such as yourself, you still hold the N64 as if it wasn’t the worst thing ever to happen to Nintendo which I take as denial of reality.

Nintendo cannot afford to deny reality. They will lose billions. They denied reality and ended up with the 3DS and Wii U disasters.

Also, Mario Party is not a Nintendo developed game. It is a Hudson game. And Hudson is dead now.

Above: He’s not wrong.

Three: Competitors loved the N64

It was common to see an executive or third party developer or game journalist praise the N64 and its games. Nintendo fans would squeal and go, “See? See? The games ARE good! My tastes are redeemed!” But they were so easily played.

Of COURSE Nintendo’s competitors praise the console that destroys Nintendo’s market. Nintendo competitors say, “Make more games like Mario 64. Oh yes!” Games like Mario Galaxy were ‘praised’ by all. They knew 3d Mario wasn’t going to do anything. But when NSMB Wii was shown off, the hate spewed fast and furious. Why? NSMB Wii moved hardware which is not what Nintendo’s competitors want.

You don’t see Nintendo praising the PS1 or PS2, do you? No, Nintendo wants Sony to make more PS3s or Vitas.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 30, 2017

Email: Level Design

I get your dislike of 3d and VR-obsessed developers, but level design? Level design is a huge part of what makes every great Mario game fun. For evidence of this, you need look no further than all the crappy Mario ROM hacks out there. They aren’t just crappy because someone changed the graphics, more often than not they fall short because they changed the object placement to something that wasn’t as fun as it was originally. Some of these hacks still feel authentically Mario (i.e. it feels like you are on an adventure in the Mushroom World), but are totally forgettable.

Because you need more than just an open field with a few scattered pipes. Design *is* a big part of it, for the same reason that some SMB3 levels are still memorable while others are forgotten. So why are you downplaying the importance of level design?

During the making of the original Super Mario Brothers, Yamauchi was a big believer in it. “You can go over land, in water, underground, in castles, and in the sky! It’s going to be great!” Mario was an adventure game, not a ‘level design’ game.

Miyamoto thinks Super Mario Brothers 3 is embarrassing:

“I look back and play some of these games and there are a lot of places where, to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed,” Miyamoto told Techland. “I look at Super Mario 3, and was like, ‘”This was it?! This is what we thought was good enough?'”

Why is he embarrassed? It is because the levels are short and simplistic. While Super Mario Brothers 3 is very ‘adventure’ based, Miyamoto is sad because there is not enough ‘level design’ in the game.

With the NSMB series, Nintendo elders, who didn’t want to make it, used it as an excuse to teach about level design. This obsession with level design killed the spirit of adventure in the NSMB games. All we got was ‘level design’. This Nintendo’s obsession with level design regarding 2d Mario resulted into Mario Maker. “Why should we get the fun making levels? Let us have everyone make levels!”

As far as adventure? That is intentionally being reserved only for 3d Mario. Miyamoto is telling you to go fuck yourself. 2d Mario is only for ‘level design’ while anything to do with adventure or doing cool stuff is reserved for 3d Mario.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 29, 2017

3d is dead! 3d is dead!

Kotaku: Nintendo says goodbye to 3d

3d TVs are dead as last holdouts of Sony and LG abandon the market

Let us go back to the 3DS unveiling… the beginning of Generation 8:

Above: Nintendo continues the work of Euclid and brings 3d to the masses! Look at how arrogant Nintendo was then and how off the market they were.

Iwata admitted he was not a genius like Yamauchi. Iwata had to look at market data, he had no intuition for the market. The 3DS and Wii U show this.

The 2DS XL is an attractive product that even has my eye, gentle reader. There are some 3DS games that I would like to play. Unfortunately for Nintendo, there are not 6 games I have to have for it due to all the 3d crap in the library. I can think of NSMB 2 and Zelda: LBW and that is it.

Miyamoto and Iwata even laughed at Yamauchi when he said that the console was a box people bought to get to a game. Why, they would put in software and capabilities to make the 3DS attractive by itself! See that widescreen top screen? People would buy 3DS to watch 3d movies! The arrogance of Nintendo built up from the Wii and DS successes knew no bounds. Only here did you see a thumbs down on the 3DS and the ‘OMG 3d!’. Wii U was universally panned when it was revealed. But Switch was panned everywhere, declared ‘dead on arrival’ at places like NeoGaf, but not at this site where Switch was said to have two bulls, small bull at first and large bull later, whose sales trajectory was predicted to mimic the DS. I still think this is the case.

But it just amazes me how some people cannot see something so simple. “OMG it has 3d!” Did that work for the N64? For the Gamecube? It almost destroyed Nintendo as a business by destroying their handheld market.

One reason I think Nintendo was so blinded by 3d is because that is what the developers, like Miyamoto, really want to do. The market be damned! It isn’t like Nintendo stopped making 2d Mario for decades after 3d Mario appeared (despite 3d Mario selling much, much less).

I was really scared Nintendo would go, “Now is the time for Virtual Reality!” and make NX be a sequel to the Virtual Boy. Miyamoto still publically thinks the Virtual Boy was wonderful where it didn’t succeed because of those damned ‘marketers’ not doing their job.

Above: Inside a secret test room inside Nintendo headquarters…

Above: How Nintendo thinks of the Virtual Boy

Speaking of the Switch sales…

Remember when people said the Switch, on its unveiling on January 13, 2017, had a ‘terrible software line-up’, that old Malstrom here said, “No! It has a great line-up! There is stuff here even I want to buy!” Remember how the Internet trashed poor Super Bomberman R before launch, calling it a ‘hot mess’, and all? While the game had problems that needed patching, the sales show that people wanted Bomberman. Remember how people said Zelda was ‘fine’, that its sales were actually ‘good’, yet here I kept saying it should look back to the early Zeldas, should go back to its RPG/arcade roots, and should get rid of all Aonuma-isms? “Remember when Zelda was a system seller, and when other game companies would copy it? No one wants to copy Aonuma Zelda because it is sales death.” Lo and behold Breath of the Wild rocketing the Switch in a way rivaling Wii Sports or Super Mario Brothers.

Why do I mention this? This site was never to get money or fame, it was to get quality gaming back as we saw in the ‘Golden Age’ of years gone by. “But it is just nostalgia. Every generation says that.” Yeah, Nintendo said that too. Then they actually go ahead and make something like Breath of the Wild and WHOOOOOSSHHHH! Switch sales go out the window! They put out NES Mini and WHOOOSSSHHH! NES Classic Mini remains forever sold out.

For example, I like Metroid. I want more QUALITY Metroid. Metroid Other M and Metroid Federation Force are not what we want. I would say, “Look to the original Metroid. Look to Super Metroid.” Am I speaking of nostalgia? Or of quality?

Not too many people remember Nintendo’s Golden Age games when they weren’t kids. I remember buying Super Mario Kart ON LAUNCH DAY. Everyone made fun of me. But I knew. Back then, buying games was more expensive than today. You rented first. I bought without playing. I knew. Soon, everyone wanted to borrow my Super Mario Kart. Super Mario Kart would become the best selling game for the SNES.

I just bought Mario Kart for Switch. I haven’t played it. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow because I have multiple jobs. In fact, I don’t get a day off.

Mario Kart is the only Nintendo franchise they haven’t royally fucked up. Perhaps it is due to how well racing translates to 3d or how the nature of Mario Kart is easy to understand. In an alternate reality, I am sure Nintendo screwed up Mario Kart like they did Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. Luckily, we don’t live in that universe.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 28, 2017

2DS XL

 

Nintendo seems to be positioning the 2DS/3DS as the juvenile console. Switch may be too much for them with all its detachable parts.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 28, 2017

Email: Super Mario maker

I don’t know if you have played the Mario maker game on 3ds/Wii u or not. But if that game came to switch it would be ok. As long as you look up the world’s online you can find super Mario world sequels and stuff created by fans.Usually labeled with their own names and 1-2 1-3 etc.

I remember Tezuka said When Mario Maker came out he realized something looking at the past games and said he had a new direction for 2 d games he would show off in a couple of years. Do you think 2- d Mario will be the next BOW for Nintendo after Mario Odyssey?

 

NSMB was based on the idea of ‘level design’. I think it is because elder developers didn’t want to make the games but did so anyway because it would be a good way to introduce ‘level design’ to the younger developers.

I have zero faith in Tezuka to make a decent 2d Mario.

Super Mario Brothers and the Legend of Zelda share the same developers and same development time cycle. The two are spiritual brothers. Mario 1, 2, 3, and World had a huge appeal of ‘exploring a world’. The appeal was not ‘OMG level design!111!!!’ Some of the levels are not well designed. But what mattered was the player believing they were exploring Mushroom World (or Dinosaur Land).

I would imagine Super Mario Brothers to be a vast overworld and that the game is about exploring that overworld. This would get to the true classical nature of Mario than whatever the hell Nintendo has been doing lately.

One interesting thing about the Mario games is that everyone played them differently. Some went to warp zones, some didn’t. Some went down the green pipe, some didn’t. Some got the power-up, others did not. Some confronted the monsters. Others avoided the monsters. No two games of Mario are the same.

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