Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 23, 2016

Email: Cartridges make sense for NX

Hello, Master Malstrom!

Last May I made a prediction thread on a gaming forum. The gist of it was that cartridges would return for Nintendo’s new home console because if Nintendo is going into the direction of a shared library between two or more devices, then it should be easy for consumers to buy games for said devices. A storage medium that can be inserted in either device would be the most elegant solution. The most logical choice would be proprietary SD cards like the DS and 3DS have used, because optical media don’t make much sense for portable hardware. Another benefit would be that stores wouldn’t need to stock separate game boxes for home console and handheld devices, therefore allowing a wider range of games to be displayed in the Nintendo section.

In the last few years SD cards have rapidly increased in storage capacity, so unlike the cartridges of the past, they won’t be inferior to optical media. Mass production prices are comparable to optical media as well, so this shouldn’t be a serious issue either. Then there are the benefits for the video game hardware: For one, fewer moving parts inside increase reliability, and two, card-based hardware doesn’t need as much cooling which leads to a reduction of noise while playing games.

I shrugged off any concerns regarding Nintendo failing to meet industry standards because third parties wouldn’t give Nintendo a fair shake to begin with. The initial wave of Wii U titles was littered with poor ports and more than half of the upcoming multiplatform games at the time were skipping the Wii U, even though the console had yet to launch and cement its failure. One would have to be delusional in order to believe that third parties would be rushing back to Nintendo, if only the Japanese console manufacturer met all of their standards. Nintendo is free to do as they please, also because it is Nintendo software that sells Nintendo hardware. Third parties will come around to make games once the hardware sells, and if it sells, then specifications aren’t that important anymore. If there’s money to be made, it’s hard to ignore.

The bottom line was that there a lot more reasons that speak for cartridges than against it. If the wall between Nintendo home console and Nintendo handheld is supposed to be teared down and most (or all?) games are supposed to be available for any NX device, then it would be counter-productive for the entire endeavor if each device had to be fed with a different storage medium.

Suppose there were different storage media for NX and you owned at least two devices: With Nintendo’s upcoming account system, you could have the solution to buy a physical copy for one of your devices, register it and then get a free download for your other device (before you moan that Nintendo will always want you to buy two copies: Nintendo has already begun to toy with crossbuy on Wii U and 3DS last year). On the other hand, if the storage medium was the same for both devices, you could simply plug your cartridge in the machine you want and would be ready to play. Of course, this doesn’t rule out that you could still register your physical copy to your account and get a free download for any of your registered NX devices; so keep your cartridges at home for your console while you go all digital for your handheld.

 

NX is about leveraging DeNa (or whatever name that online company Nintendo bought). NX is about a new relationship of game ownership. Instead of the console and game being a system in itself, it will be the game having a connection to Nintendo’s account system. NX may have Funky Hardware Gimmick, but the fundamental relationship will change. Iwata told us this.

I like cartridges because they can be collected and can only be taken away from my cold dead hands. I want Nintendo’s online system to be more like GoG, instead, it will likely be more like Steam.

Instead of the platform being the hardware, the platform will be the account. All I want is to be able to take my Super Mario Brothers to any Nintendo hardware. That does not mean I yield ownership to that Super Mario Brothers game.

I want the games to go multi-console (within Nintendo consoles, present and future). What Nintendo will likely do is make the games tethered to the account so that the platform is now online and console hardware have become nothing more than Extremely Expensive Controllers. What! You doubt this? What is Nintendo hardware today but an Extremely Expensive Controller? If the platform is the Nintendo Account System, then instead of controllers that plug into  the console, it is consoles that plug into the account system…. hence, the consoles become Extremely Expensive Controllers. And, of course, we won’t actually own any of the games. I can see it now: “You must get permission from Nintendo server to use your copy of Super Mario Brothers, which is 30 years old, to be on your handheld device.”

I’m a consumer! I am selfish! Iwata says I am king! With my rump on my throne, I demand that my experience with Nintendo does not go backwards because of the re-definition of the platform to not be hardware. If Nintendo did that, it would be a worse disaster than the Wii U (“How is that possible?” Well, we didn’t think it could go lower than Gamecube, but Nintendo did it!). In the long line of generations of consoles, the customer experience is supposed to GO UP. It would be like putting out a console that didn’t allow you to use different controllers or placed the controls on the hardware itself like Generation 1 PONG machines.

To me, cartridges are not a gush of nostalgia but an example of ownership stability. CDs do not last. You cannot own downloaded games. Nintendo thinks it is providing the same experience with Amiibos, but Amiibos are not cartridges.

There is no reason for me to buy games if they do not last or I do not own them.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 23, 2016

Email: Force Awakens

Does it seem to you like that Force Awaken’s status of generally well-received by the public at large was mostly manufactured? Because of the massive hype machine, along with critical reviews bought and paid for (and there weren’t any obviously terrible Jar Jar Binks characters), that the general public was more or less “set up” to like this movie? Or is the positive reaction mostly genuine, despite the hype?

I wasn’t a fan, and neither were any of my friends/family who are big Star Wars fans like me. Wasn’t a terrible movie, but it was infuriating to me that they tried to call it “Episode 7” when it didn’t feel like an Episode 7 at all. The thing I was most in disbelief of was how positive the reaction was everywhere. It seems like as more time is passing, I am reading more and more critical reactions, and this makes me wonder if people are finally starting to realize the wool that was pulled over their eyes?

Then again, I actually liked the prequels (although upon watching the TPM again… although it has some good parts, it just isn’t a good movie). The prequels have a different feel to them but I enjoyed that about them. Still, they were inferior movies to the originals. But I really enjoyed Revenge of the Sith. Here are my rankings:

ESB
ROS
ROJ
ANH
AOTC
FA
TPM

 

Of course there was a manufactured reaction. This is true with all big budget movies and video games. Marketing companies are hard at work to keep the buzz going. They call it hype for a reason. Nintendo even does it too.

But a large part of it is from the consumers. When The Phantom Menace came out, people LOVED the film. “It is sublime,” they told me. As time went on, criticism of it began to snowball. The same is occurring with Force Awakens. “It was the best movie EVER, Malstrom!” But as the hype passes away, like bad gas, clearer eyes begin to see that most of Force Awakens was very similar to A New Hope. At the end of the day, Force Awakens will be seen as a retread of Episode IV and that’s about that. Wait YEARS from now, and it will be more pronounced in that thinking.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 23, 2016

Email: Star Wars VII is fine

I don’t think I’ve rolled my eyes any harder at your website than I did when reading the previous emailer’s criticisms of the new Star Wars. The movie is probably as good (or bad) as Return of the Jedi for similar reasons, chiefly the fact that it revolves, once again, around a Death Star-type weapon and its destruction. The movie itself is fine and functions well enough as both a reboot (which Star Wars needed after nothing but Lucas’ prequels for almost forty years) and as a sequel that introduces us to a new cast.

The new characters are fine. They’re good, even. Kylo Ren is a spoiled, privileged brat who was radicalized because he lacked any real internal struggle and desperately wanted one (just like real radicals). The emailer doesn’t seem to understand that his whole character revolves around him being a dopey, whiney asshole. Like, that was sort of the whole point. Rey’s history is mysterious and hints at something greater than herself, but she’s afraid to move forward in life out of a fear of abandoning the only life she ever knew. Finn was a genuine good guy who was brave enough to defect, but too afraid to fight until his friend was captured. Poe is the least fleshed out, but we still like him because he seems like a genuine hero and has a humorous, plucky attitude. I really hope the next film features him more.

The plot is mostly a retread of the first film, I totally acknowledge that. I’m able to forgive it because it basically functions as a means to introduce us to the new characters and how they interact, while simultaneously trying to assure us as an audience that this new Star Wars is going back to the Star Wars we like. With this movie out of the way, and with one of the series’ biggest heroes dead, I’m certain the next movie will move forward into totally unfamiliar territory that almost entirely revolves around the new cast.

The emailer’s opinion deserves to be completely discarded if only for the fact that he ranked any of the prequel films before this one. The prequels are unspeakably awful (yes, even Revenge of the Sith). None of the characters are memorable, the story makes no sense, the script is cringe inducing and there are rarely any stakes for us as an audience to care about. Oh, and the overuse of CGI made them look really fake, which has only gotten worse with time. They are completely non-functional as movies, let alone Star Wars movies. The Force Awakens did play it safe, it had to, precisely because Lucas had done so much damage to the saga. I see TFA as functioning as sort of a First Aid kit for Star Wars; not a cure-all, but a good stop-gap measure to help reverse some of the damage.

If we’re doing lists, mine would look like this:

*Empire Strikes Back*
*Star Wars*
*Return of the Jedi* = *The Force Awakens*

And that’s it.

Also I think The Force Awakens would be most like the Wii, since it was deliberately made to be a callback to the classic Star Wars that everyone liked. The Wii and this movie both performed the exact same job, no comparison is more accurate.

The emailer also doesn’t seem to understand that Star Wars has pretty much been a commercial product since the second film. Oh, so now Disney’s supposedly milking Star Wars, but the endless novels, comics, games, toys, apparel, VHS/DVD rereleases etc sold since the ’80s wasn’t milking it? Get real. If anything I’m glad we’re getting a ton of movies. It’s a great universe and I’d love to explore it more. Isn’t that what movies are about? Exciting your imagination?

In defense of Abrams: I remember everyone in 2009 saying, “That was a bad Star Trek movie but it would have been a great Star Wars”. I believe that statement was so accurate it was literally prescient. Abrams was very much suited to take the helm of a Sci-Fi series that was less about science and more about high drama, and known for great visual direction. Everyone (except Lucas) knows Star Wars is a space opera. Abrams, who is great at dramatic, high stakes movies, was a great choice for a movie like this. James Gunn would have been great too.

Abrams’ major flaw is his tendency to be too referential, which I assume is precisely why he has no involvement in the next Star Wars films. He was suited to this film because it needed to be referential. Now TFA is done his involvement is with Star Wars is also done.

I agree that the trailer for the new Star Trek is one of the worst things I’ve seen in ages. Abrams has stated many times he doesn’t want to work on these movies any more, and it’s showing. Star Trek 09 was fun as an action movie, but Into Darkness was just plain terrible. I can only imagine what’s in store for this one. At least maybe the fourth one will be about Humpback Whales again.

Two points.

One, I do not understand the need for any reboots. Why didn’t George Lucas reboot Ben-Hur instead of making Star Wars? Why not do something new? I would like to see NEW shows, not retreads or reboots.

Two, I don’t think people today understand that Star Trek IV is the most popular Star Trek film ever made. It grossed so much in sales that its performance had Paramount give the go-ahead to make The Next Generation. And of course, The Next Generation’s success had Paramount do the go ahead on Deep Space Nine and Voyager. It is Star Trek IV that saved the Star Trek franchise more than anything.

But I heard a young 24 year old start quoting Scotty: “Captain! There be whales here!” I asked him about the movie. He said he had never seen it but saw what people said of it on Youtube. I asked, “You should watch it. You might like it.” Oh no. He refuses to watch it. He is a huge Star Wars fan which is fine. “Have you seen any Star Trek?” No. At this point, I’m just banging my head against the wall. How can you know if you like something or not if you do not watch it? I remember people liking Farscape. I watched it. BOY, did I hate it! But at least I watched it. It is extremely disturbing that people are allowing Youtube commentators decide their opinions. Why not watch the source material instead of what someone says about it?

I have a relative who commented, “Star Trek IV? That is a bad one.” Really? Then, what is a good one? “Star Trek V. The one where they search for Eden is the good one.” What! Did he watch any of these movies? No. I once said how the original Star Trek lasted three seasons before it was canceled (this is an actual fact). He was shocked. “I thought it went longer than that.” We have an information revolution with no information.

I don’t have much to say about Star Wars because I’ve never been a Star Wars fan.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2016

Email: I bought a Wii U for Xenoblade X

The reason I liked the original Xenoblade game on the Wii was because it was a return to classic Japanese RPGs from the SNES like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. It stood out from the western/PC RPGs and stuck to what JRPGs are known for and what they do best- it created an immersive fantasy world with fantastic music and a focused linear narrative. The difference from the 16-bit games is that now the dialogue was delivered through voice acting and the scenes were played out through high-quality animation (I know there is something to love about the classic retro style, but like you say, the only games made in that style today are indies that don’t justify a full price). On top of that was a party and battle system based on unique character classes and teamwork strategy, just like the classic JRPGs.

Xenoblade X for Wii U is not like the first game. It instead is an example of the Japanese trying to emulate the west instead of sticking to what they’re good at. So now we are left with an inferior pseudo-western RPG littered with unwanted Japanese weirdness and half-assed online multiplayer. Western/PC fans laugh and have no interest, while people expecting a JRPG like the Wii game are left confused and disappointed. So who are the people buying and playing this game? That’s simple- it is the Wii U owners who are starving for the “anti-lame” game. Xenoblade X is like Zelda on the N64 and Metroid on the Gamecube.

So I disconnected the Wii from my living room for the first time in 9 years, but I’m now thinking it will return very soon as I don’t see any reason to keep using the Wii U. Mario Kart 8 came pre-installed, and we had a great time with the multiplayer, however my friends and family were never “amazed” by this new version. They actually remembered the Wii game being better- they do not care about shiny HD graphics. As for the backwards compatibility letting the Wii U effectively replace the Wii, I hesitate because my Wii has a wealth of virtual console games, and due to Nintendo lacking a proper account system, it’s a one-way trip to transfer them to the Wii U.

 

I like your point of ‘anti-lame game’. It sums up Nintendo. “Lame”. Kirby? Lame. Mario? Lame. Zelda? Lame. Metroid? Lame. Metroid Federation Force? LAME LAME LAME.

Remember when Nintendo was cool?

I can’t.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2016

Email: Classic Arcade Machines

Hey Sean,

Thought you may be interested in this video of a business in PA that refurbishes old arcade and pinball machines.

The owner can be a bit snarky but you can see that he loves this old machines.

.

Awesome! Way more fun than Hardcore Gaming. Healthier too since you play standing up…

Flashback 2006:

Hardcore Gamer: “OMG, this Wii thing sucks! I have to play standing up? Video games have never been played standing up! *gasp* *wheeze*. I only play long boring RPGs on my couch eating non-nutritious food! I also haven’t showered in five days.”

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2016

Email: I humbly request your opinion of The Force Awakens

Master Malstrom,

If you’re comparing Episode VII with the Wii U, then I must ask what your opinion of Episode VII was. Give us a full review! Here’s what I thought:

I’ve always disliked Abrams as a director, but after this movie, I have a new nickname for him: DJ Abrams. When given an established franchise, he is incapable of making new stories or new material. All he can do is remix classics, add a few new elements, and call it “new”.

Luckily for Abrams, Harrison Ford came back, and boy did he deliver. Ford carried that film from appearance until his death. Great banter with Chewie, and the new cast, too. The scene with him and the mercenaries that came to collect was easily the best of the movie. In fact, the film didn’t feel like Star Wars until he arrived.

Without Ford, The Force Awakens would’ve been easily the worst movie in the entire series.

Rey and Finn either aren’t ready to be lead characters (or lack the charisma), the plot copied A New Hope with only a few minor deviations (seriously, another Death Star? And how did the rebels not see THAT one coming), I couldn’t take Ren seriously as a villain once the helmet came off (also, you seriously left Rey guarded by a single Stormtrooper despite that you knew she could use force powers?), new characters like Captain Phasma were horribly underutilized, and Luke was absent until the very end.

Speaking of which, Abrams made a massive mistake in having Finn, Rey, and Poe play Luke by committee. Rey has the force and the lightsaber skills, Finn has the gun slinging, and Poe has the star fighting ability. It doesn’t work, and all the characters feel weaker as a result. He should’ve just had one clear main character instead of this nonsense. None of them have any stage presence, and

The prequels were overly wordy, but this film had barely any explanation for anything. Why is there a Republic and a Resistance? Shouldn’t the Resistance have become the Republic after the Empire’s defeat? And why did R2-D2 just stay depressed until the plot needed him to not be? Barely anything was explained, and it was stuff that needed explaining.

There were too many moments where it felt like he was copying A New Hope, but he couldn’t muster the same emotional impact. Jakku is a discount Tatooine, that planet cracker thing was a discount Death Star, that smuggler place they stopped at was a discount Mos Eisley, etc. The journey into the stabilizer to blow it up was especially bad as a discount trench run, as it only took like 30 seconds and ended in the anti-climax of Poe just blowing everything up rather quickly.

The worst retread however, was when Abrams blew up an entire solar system for no reason, and then hand waved it away. I actually thought Coruscant was destroyed, and felt like he violated the lore itself. It felt like the whole purpose was (A) to explain away why the Alliance could only send 12 X-Wings to attack, and (B) to reset the whole universe back into the condition it was in A New Hope. Trillions of people died, yet I felt more when Alderaan was destroyed (a planet we barely got to see and barely knew anything about) than when all those planets were destroyed. The lack of emotional punch was shocking.

Heck, the whole film lacked emotional punch. I actually forgot the rebel base was at risk of being destroyed by the space station because no one in the base was acting like they cared.

The second worst retread was having Ren be Han Solo’s son. It felt like Abrams was trying to copy ESB, but completely failed. I remember face palming in the theater because it was so obvious he was going to make Ren family to someone, somehow. Also, Abrams stole that plot twist from the Expanded Universe, which was incredibly classless on his part. Declaring something non-canon and then stealing from that non-canon material reeks of borderline plagiarism, not to mention it was done better in the Expanded Universe anyway.

Speaking of Han Solo, I knew he was going to die as soon as he went on that bridge. It was so obviously another retread of Kenobi’s death. Even worse, they killed the one guy (as I mentioned before) who was carrying the film, which made the death feel less sad and more idiotic. The new characters are going to have to get better at acting between now and the next film without him around to pick up their slack, or Episode VIII could get ugly.

Now, things I did like, besides Ford’s performance:
* BB-8 was definitely a discount R2-D2, but he was funny and helped lighten the mood.
* Adding new tricks to the TIE fighters and X-Wings (AKA the rear guns) was great.
* That melee sequence with the Storm trooper and Finn was great, and I’m actually sad the Stormtrooper died.
* The whole sequence on Han and Chewie’s freighter with those tentacle beasts was very well done
* The Stormtroopers were humanized more, and that was great to see.
* The old characters like Carrie also carried their weight well. Too bad they weren’t more heavily featured.

All in all, the film about met my expectations. It was terrible, but not as terrible like Episode 1 and 2.

Worse than terrible though, this film was utterly forgettable. Say what you will about the prequels, but at least they were memorably bad. This was basically the film industry getting its hands on Star Wars and completely stripping the soul out of it. It’s like if EA saw Super Mario Bros, and then tried to remake it and add bits of their own.

In terms of my personal rankings among the films, from best to worst:

Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
A New Hope
Revenge of the Sith
The Phantom Menace
The Force Awakens
Attack of the Clones

Someone needs to blacklist DJ Abrams from ever being able to work on any established sci-fi series ever again. First this man ruins Star Trek, now he tries to ruin Star Wars. The only good news is that he won’t be directing Episode VIII. Unfortunately, Disney is determined to run Star Wars into the ground by making a movie every year, and then shoot the franchise dead in a ditch once it can’t be exploited any more.

At that point however, it may very well be considered a mercy killing.

 

Remember watching Star Trek: Insurrection and thinking, “Man, this sucks”? If we only could go back in time and tell people to watch the Enterprise to save Star Trek from JJ Abrams. Our imagination could not conceive of Star Trek getting worse, but it did.

There are worse things than JJ Abrams. I could not imagine it, but here we go:

Who wants to watch this? Not any Trek fan I know. I expect Star Wars to get as bad very soon.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2016

Email: Star Wars Rankings

Don’t listen to anyone (Sith) Lord Malstrom.

You definitely knocked it out of the park with your Nintendo compared to Star Wars rankings.

Since you left the Wii U kind of up in the air the only thing I can add to the discussion is to say Jar Jar Abrams feces sandwhich has my vote as being analgous to the Wii U.

That guy and Aonuma could trade director’s chairs for Star Wars and Zelda and no one would notice the difference in the quality or rather “lackthereof” of the end product.

P.S: ROTS was awesome.

Wii U + things that are awesome= does not compute.

I keep remembering how a former employee at Nintendo said that “Those who cut their teeth on the NES and SNES are running Nintendo…” as if it was a bad thing. It actually is a bad thing and here is why. They do not understand why Nintendo became popular from the consumer perspective.

I think Wii was close. Wii went awry with someone thinking Wii Music was brilliant, that Metroid: Other M was brilliant, that Aonuma Zelda was brilliant, that those people buying NSMB need to be manipulated into buying 3d Mario, etc.

The way how Nintendo makes their games these days makes me think they do not like ‘the Nintendo audience’. The Nintendo audience prevents them from making games like Metroid: Other M. Who does enable Nintendo to make such games? The manga crowd and those who are… creepy collectors of Nintendo. You know who I mean. They are the ones who buy every Fire Emblem game and frame its art. What’s with these people? “Yeah!” Nintendo says. “We want more of those gamers!” But the gamers who buy Mario, Zelda, and Metroid? “Fuck those guys. We will turn Mario into 3d Mario, Zelda into Aonuma Zelda, and Metroid into Manga. Hahahahahahahaha!”

Do you hear that, reader? Nintendo is laughing at me. Nintendo is laughing at us.

Nintendo: “Time to buy some more amiibos! Bahahahaha!”

Screw this.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2016

Email: Cartridges

You are so damn right about cartridges.

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about how much I love cartridges, how awesome and durable they are.

I imported a Super Famicom and started importing games like a freak (Japanese games are usually cheaper). I am loving it. I hooked that bitch up, inserted the cartridge and bang, there I was, ready to enjoy some great games. NO freaking menus, no signing in, no loading, no bullshit. Just the game screen. “Aw, the games are all in Japanese”. Who cares? The games I play, I don’t have to read shit anyways. Over 20 years and the games all work just fine.

Anyway, I was telling my friend that I was convinced that if Nintendo went back to cartridges for their home console, with the right games, a good marketing, and great packaging (I love game manuals) they would have unbelievable success.

I have a feeling that it’s not gonna happen but, I really do hope that is how they will differentiate themselves from the competition for the next gen.

 

It is also something that is *very Nintendo* and something Microsoft and Sony will never do. Ever.

Nintendo is chasing profit, not gamers. This puts Nintendo is a bad position to become disrupted. It feels good to chase the lucrative profit, but competitors rise from nowhere to gobble it up. I prefer Nintendo to aim at the bottom of the market, not the top.

The macroeconomic environment that the NX will be born into is insanely bad. Economically, things are getting worse every day.

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 17, 2016

Tangible means cartridges, not amiibos

Check out this story.

I have seen other stories like it. Analog is making a comeback in many media forms. The story I linked to points to Nintendo’s Amiibos as an example of this, but this is incorrect. Nintendo sees Amiibos as easy cash. Having a bunch of Amiibos make you look ridiculous and hurt your social and romantic life.

What we want are cartridges.

Nintendo still makes cartridges for the 3DS.

I love cartridges, reader. I just love them. I love the GLORIOUS ARTWORK on the cartridge. I love how the cartridge feels in my hand. I love stacking the cartridges. Most important, I love the durability of the cartridge. If optical discs were durable, I’d love them too. No moving parts means it is more durable.

“But the costs, Malstrom! The costs!”

Non-cartridge media never won the war. PSP was supposed to ‘win’ because ‘cartridges are lame and belong in past’ yet DS whooped its ass. Why? No moving parts is good for a handheld. And it is not cartridges that are responsible for the 3DS doing poorly.

“But the N64! OMG, Malstrom!”

Third parties may not have liked the cartridges, but the consumers did. N64 sold well in North America with cartridges. “I hate the N64 because of cartridges!” said no one ever. In fact, cartridges is now considered a PLUS part of the N64 today.

Third parties whine all the time anyway. The point is, third parties are not on Nintendo hardware. If Nintendo’s home console went cartridges, it would greatly differentiate itself with the competitors. It would draw in many former Nintendo gamers (which exceed the current Nintendo gamers of today).

I believe the market would respond passionately well to a return to cartridges. There’s that word: passion. It is not enough to get customers. One must get passionate customers. There is nothing about Nintendo hardware today to be passionate about.

NES has passion with its hardware because it had the market to itself. NES hardware was a new generation telling Trip Hawkins that they didn’t want to play games on a computer.

SNES has passion because of the Great 16-bit Console War with Sega. Aside from that, no one really cares about the SNES hardware.

N64 had no real passion behind the hardware. If anything, it was the reverse. “Why N64 still using cartridges? Why N64 look like baby toy?”

Gamecube had anti-passion against it too. “Looks like a kid’s toy.”

Wii hardware had intense passion in it. Much of it was due to the Wii-mote. What it actually means was that the Wii-mote was giving players agency. Gamers do not care about companies having agency. Customers are selfish. They want to know about them! The Wii-mote had value to customers, therefore, it had value to third parties. It’s as simple as that.

Wii U has anti-passion in its hardware. The Gamepad scares people.

The NX needs to have reason for people to be passionate about the hardware as well as the software. As far as I know, the NX is going to be multiple boxes (handheld, home console, etc.) connected to Nintendo’s Online Empire.

PS4 and Xbox One have hardware passion through the graphics and shit like that. Nintendo isn’t going to compete on that level so they need something.

Cartridges would be so awesome. It would give me a reason to CARE about Nintendo hardware again. You know how amazing it would be if Nintendo made new cartridge versions of… say…. Super Mario Brothers? Do you know how expensive the old classic games are today?

“But Malstrom, you want this because you think retro prices are too high!”

No, the retro prices are indicating that people are still buying cartridges. People are STILL buying Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Link to the Past, and so on.

Nintendo should do some market research and ask if people would buy a home console that played cartridges. They’d be shocked at the passionate interest that would come their way.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 13, 2016

Email: Star Wars rankings

Master Malstrom –

As a huge Star Wars geek, I loved your comparison of Nintendo to Star Wars. May I offer the following friendly suggestions?

-Revenge of the Sith is widely considered to be the best of the prequel trilogy, which gives the Wii U too much credit. If the “GameCube philosophy” is the prequels, then the GameCube should be Episode III.

-It’s debatable whether Attack of the Clones is worse than Phantom Menace, but I personally think it is. The cool stuff packed into it can’t save it from the awful and nonsensical love story at its core. Given that the nonsensical tablet controller (which is really vestigial at this point) is a big part of what has sunk the Wii U, and that the Wii U has other redeeming qualities that can’t save it from the core concept it’s built around, I think it should be Episode II. Also, Episode II was the only Star Wars movie that was NOT the top-grossing film of the year it came out, so it makes sense from a financial perspective too.

-The Force Awakens, although beloved now, in its moment, is criticized for being way too similar to A New Hope (and it really is, ignore the fanboys. I like it, but it’s the same thing as Jurassic World: a poorer-than-the-original remake disguised as a sequel). I don’t think Nintendo looked to the NES when designing the Wii U. They looked to the GameCube. You could make a case for the Wii U being VII since it’s so similar to the GameCube, but since it doesn’t have VII’s level of success, I don’t think it jibes. The Wii makes more sense as VII (inspired by IV, the NES), but I like the Jedi ranking better.

So my suggested revised ranking is:

NES = IV
SNES = V
N64 = I
GameCube = III
Wii = VI or VII, take your pick
Wii U = II

What do you think?

 

Nintendo most definitely did look to the NES when designing the Wii. Prior to the Wii, NES was the best selling Nintendo home console. The controller was a replica of the NES controller. Wii Sports Golf actually had the NES Golf courses in it. Wii Play had duck hunt in it. Nintendo even copied Atari’s marketing with SHOWING happy people playing instead of showing the game.

Wii is definitely more like VI. VII is going to be hated soon just as the ‘nu’ Star Trek movies by JJ Abrams are hated by Trekkers. Have you SEEN the trailer to Star Trek: Beyond? Yech.

Gamecube could be III.

I see Wii as the third piece of the trilogy of NES, SNES, and Wii. N64, Gamecube, and Wii U are like the prequels. They are doing something very different. Wii brought back NES and SNES type gameplay, Wii U is bringing back N64 and Gamecube gameplay.

What I am absolutely convinced of is that while Wii was a success in making new gamers, Nintendo was ultimately horrified by the Wii because it was the wrong type of gamers. Do you know what the wrong type of gamers are, reader? They are gamers who play 2d Mario. Oh yes.

Nintendo thought the Gamecube-esque gamers were too complicated. The reason for something like 2d Mario was only as a stepping stone for people to get into 3d Mario. What happened instead is that people came just for 2d Mario and didn’t move to 3d Mario. Nintendo made another Mario Galaxy for this expressed purpose (complete with instructional DVD on how to play the game!).

Players were not supposed to stick with Wii Sports. They were to move on to Aonuma Zelda or Sakamoto Metroid. They didn’t do this. The new gamers loved Wii Sports, 2d Mario, and Mario Kart, but ultimately rejected Aonuma Zelda, 3d Mario, and Sakamoto Metroid.

The purpose of 3DS was to popularize 3d gaming. The Wii U was to popularize Gamecube/N64 gaming. After all, it had all the Wii branding and marketing, right? The failure of the Wii U shows that marketing wasn’t what sold the Wii. It was the games. I don’t know who the Wii U was intended for, but it wasn’t for Malstrom! It was a hostile console. Nintendo doesn’t want to make the games I want to play. Nintendo only wants to make the games it wants to develop. A very selfish Nintendo!

Will the NX be different? We’ll need to see the games. I’m beginning to see a future where Nintendo’s gaming business is a net loss for them but necessary as a means of marketing their IPs. In other words, game consoles cease to be products but become marketing agents for Nintendo. Some people say this is how it is now, but I think we’ll distinctly notice the change.

Remember license games? Yeah. Nintendo games are getting more and more that way.

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