Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 3, 2015

Email: 4-player versions of Dr. Mario and similar

My parents love games like Dr. Mario and Tetris, games that I call “puzzle-arcade” (so as to differentiate from “puzzle-adventure” like Myst and “puzzle-Aonuma”).

However, other than several verities of Tetris, (not including Tetris Attack / Panel de Pon) I literally know of only one to three (depending of how you define it) other “puzzle-arcade” games that have 4-player support:

– Dr. Mario 64

– Nintendo Puzzle Collection [updated versions of Yoshi’s Cookie and Tetris Attack / Panel de Pon; includes Dr. Mario 64] (Japan only, GameCube)Am I wrong, or is there simply a lack of”puzzle-arcade” games with 4-player local multiplayer that aren’t named “Tetris”?  Please enlighten me Master Malstrom!

(home console is preferred even if it’s Xbox, PC is OK, arcade might be possible with MAME, and handheld could be difficult even with emulators)

 

What you say sounds right. I can’t think of many 4 player Tetris clone games.

One you should consider is Puzzle Bobble. The DS one was great. Bust-A-Move (it was called) on the DS supported six players.

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 3, 2015

Reggie talks about E3 2015

This doesn’t work. The reason why is that Reggie cannot represent himself, and he is using too much ‘shop talk’. Reggie Fils-Aime is Nintendo. He cannot be ‘independent gamer’. No one really cares about Reggie’s feelings, about what he finds enjoyable or not enjoyable. I only care what I find enjoyable and not enjoyable as well as other gamers. Youtube personalities I also don’t care about since E3 is such a more closed event than it used to be.

Reggie, if you have to say Nintendo is ‘special’, then it isn’t special.

The shop talk I mean is Reggie referring to the ‘showfloor’. No one sees ‘show floor’. We just think of games. We don’t think in those marketing terms.

But as I’ve said in the past, I don’t really care about Miyamoto’s field trips or what gives developers ‘inspiration’. As far as their games are concerned, I haven’t seen any real inspired titles since the 16 bit era. It’s the same game over and over again. I do not care what gives Nintendo developers ‘fun’. I only care what gives ME fun. I only care what gives other gamers fun.

Yeah, I’m selfish. But I’m also the only one paying.

Nintendo World Event was a success because it revolved around gamers, not around developers.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 2, 2015

Email: The Cult of Miyamoto is unraveling

http://fortune.com/2015/06/23/shigeru-miyamoto-wii-u/

Interesting interview.  Once again, Miyamoto blames the failure of the Wii U on everything but the GAMES or even themselves.  We customers didn’t “understand” what they were trying to achieve.  Which is funny seeing as they did such a bang up job of unveiling the Wii U that they had to show a picture of the damned console after the fact because people weren’t sure what the Wii U was.  So whose fault is that, Nintendo?
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What I do want to comment on is that in some places I’m seeing this article being linked to, like Gamefaqs, I’m seeing a lot comments that are along the lines “Thank God!”  “He needs to not be involved with the hardware, stick to making games.”  Some are even going further and stating that he’s past his prime and needs to move on.  And those sentiments are not just reserved for him.
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The overall tone on such forums towards Nintendo after their Direct is quite NEGATIVE.  There’s lots of criticism and anger towards Nintendo for the dearth of software and overall just “meh” presentation.  Normally the “hardcore” Nintendo fans would try to shout down and drown out those sentiments.  But it’s not happening this time.  There’s more voices of discontent joining the choir.  And because Nintendo put their developers forth as the face of the company and IPs, they are now bearing the full brunt of responsibility in the eyes of gamers.  The door swings both ways and it’s hitting them in the face.  I think you said that the reason we don’t see Sakamoto anymore is because of how he put himself out there for Other M, that there was no way for him to avoid blame for how disastrously that game turned out.  Team Ninja made sure to point out that all the critical decisions in the game came from him and they followed his orders, despite objecting to them.  There was no way for him to avoid blame for the results.  Maybe this is why we aren’t seeing anymore Iwata Asks interviews.  People are seeing who it is to blame for their games turning out poorly.
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I am curious about him saying he’s “not actively involved” with the development of NX.  Was this planned all along, or is something happening within the company that has him saying this?  This is only a few weeks after their Direct, and there’s no spinning how poorly received that was.  Could the poor reception finally be lighting a fire the company’s ass and have them pushing for some changes in the status quo internally?
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I do agree with your sentiment that it was stupid to put Miyamoto and the other developers out there as the face of the company, because now these people are going to become pinatas for their customers anger for failing to deliver quality games and hardware.  Contrast with the Bethesda unveiling of Fallout 4, and all they do is talk about the game and show it off and all the cool new neat things you can do in the game.  People can’t really attack the spokesman because he isn’t putting himself out as the “face” of Bethesda or Fallout or The Elder Scrolls.  He’s just letting the games speak for themselves.  Nintendo needs to go back to doing this.  Unfortunately, the quality of their games has bombed to the point that the poor reception to their Direct speaks for itself.

 

Here is how things went from what I know.

NES, SNES, and N64 were Yamauchi led. I imagine Miyamoto was a big part of the N64 too by that time.

Gunpei was huge factor behind the Gameboy. I know that Gunpei was a factor behind Virtual Boy, but we know Miyamoto was also a big advocate for Virtual Boy too.

I am not sure where the DS came from. What part did Yamauchi or Iwata have in it? We do know that the DS was deliberately done to check the PSP. Sony beat Nintendo in home consoles, why not in handhelds? It is no doubt that the DS was largely made (third pillar and all) to be a counter to the PSP.

I know Iwata had a big part with Gamecube, and I am sure Miyamoto and the rest did too. Gamecube represents the same ‘faster and better’. NOA also likely had a big factor in the N64 and Gamecube.

We do know that the 3DS hardware design was largely affected by Miyamoto. Investors wanted Miyamoto involved because they keep hearing he is such a genius! The 3DS was a disaster. Its 3d display made the device not likely for younger kids (a large Nintendo market). Miyamoto was also said to be the one who put the ‘slider’ in place of the D-pad.

In the Iwata Asks interviews, I got the impression that Iwata was letting Miyamoto do anything he wanted.

The Wii was never said to be a Miyamoto invention. What was said was that a ‘young person’ came up with the idea of a single handheld controller. But Miyamoto’s ‘idea’ was to be able to connect other devices into it.

Nintendo was very open about the Gamecube disaster. They admitted that it did not work. Iwata, at the time, also blamed lack of third party support on the timing of the Gamecube’s launch. Gamecube launched a year later than PS2. This is why it was deliberately done for the Wii to launch exactly when the PS3 did. It is why Wii U launched earlier than PS4. Iwata thought the third parties would get used to such hardware and stay. Wii U proved him wrong.

I’m mixed about NX’s direction. Getting Miyamoto away from it seems acknowledgement that Miyamoto does not have the Midas touch. However, Miyamoto blaming ‘tablets’ for everyone ‘not getting’ Wii U seems ridiculous. Is this a Nintendo problem or a Miyamoto problem? I’m thinking it is a Miyamoto problem. Nintendo acknowledges the disaster called Virtual Boy even if Miyamoto still thinks the Virtual Boy is awesome.


Above: Hidden video of what goes on at night at the Treehouse

We really have to see what the NX is. We had the Wii-mote controller revealed before the Wii. We have nothing to go on for the NX except the account system plan with DeMa (or whatever its name is).

Did you know that Nintendo loves EA?

Oh yes.

Nintendo thinks EA has the coolest business model. This is one reason why Nintendo was so excited to put EA front and center during the Wii U announcement. Nintendo loves how EA can make the same sports games over and over again. Nintendo wants to be like EA in this.

Yes, it is all true.

But when you analyze fan reaction to Nintendo, it is clear fans are not being in a backlash due to ‘Nintendo trying something different’. Nintendo fans even love the Virtual Boy. They do! But the thing about Nintendo fans is that they are NOT fans of EA. Now, why is that?

Are there any fans of EA?

EA was voted in some magazine to be the worst company every to exist in two years in a row. Gamers despise EA’s business model practices. Sports games buyers and Call of Duty clone buyers are not the most savviest of gamers.

Nintendo’s gaming output might as well have been farmed out to EA. Metroid Prime Galactic Federation sounds like what would happen if EA got hold of the Metroid license. The NSMB franchise, including 3d World and 3d Lan, seems what would happen if EA got hold of the Mario license.

It’s not the IPs or the ‘game concepts’ Nintendo fans are backlashing against. They are in a backlash due to the EA style business model. The games coming out look soul-less, cheap, and have absolutely no point. They seem like games manufactured off an assembly line. “Here comes another Paper Mario handheld RPG.”

Have you noticed all the ‘developer interviews’ and commentary when new games are introduced? It is amazing because games used to have no such introduction. No one knew who Miyamoto was. No one knew who the developers were. All we knew is that the games were coming. They might as well have fallen from the sky.

Where did this come from? It didn’t matter. It was a Mario game.

Where are the developers? They are all missing!

Now, I know these are TV commercials. However, the point is that these games did not need developers to speak out for them. Why is that? What is the point of having developers speak up about their game?

It is to combat the perception the game was made from an assembly line.

Nintendo fans are incompatible with EA’s business model. Nintendo may find generational editions of Smash and Mario Kart to sell well, but it isn’t exactly moving new hardware. Mario Kart Wii cannot compare to Wii Fit or Wii Sports or Super Mario Brothers. Donkey Kong Country probably did more for the SNES than Super Mario World did which is very telling.

Nintendo’s business model also feels like it is stuck in the 1990s (in the bad way). Why would anyone want to purchase the console hardware to play such uninspired crap?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 26, 2015

Game journalists don’t even try anymore

Take a look at this from Kotaku:

Blizzard has announced that this July it will release three missions that act as a prologue to Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void. Whispers of Oblivion is a three-mission arc that tells the story of Zeratul, a character we’ve only met through Heroes of the Storm,Blizzard’s moba.

Zeratul was a main character in Starcraft: Brood War and in Starcraft 2 and both expansions. Zeratul has always been a very popular hero. A simple google check will easily identify this.

So fans are having fun with this. They’ve mocked Kotaku with their parody.

BTW, I now own ALL heroes in Heroes of the Storm. I think I bought the Nexus Pack and a couple of heroes that were on sale. Gold gain will get most of what you need.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 26, 2015

Email: Miyamoto and puppets

Miyamoto has explained the 3D obsession.  It’s because he made puppets when he was a kid and it reminds him of that.  This also explains why he hired Aonuma.

“And then we came to the 3-D era of video games, and when I was younger I used to enjoy creating puppets and doing puppet shows, so this was like doing puppet shows in a 3-D video game space. So I found that even as time progressed in my career as a video game designer, I still kept encountering all the things that I loved when I was younger. So I truly feel fortunate to have found them.”

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/06/19/415568892/q-a-shigeru-miyamoto-on-the-origins-of-nintendos-famous-characters

 

Miyamoto is richer than fuck. He even has a dog farm where he breeds dogs (or some other animal). HE CAN BUY WHATEVER HE WANTS.

I’m sick and tired of this ‘tortured artist’ routine he pulls. No one is stopping Miyamoto from doing anything. Not financially. Not in the company. Not the investors. No one.

Since Nintendo has been going back in their past and looking at things like World Championship of Nintendo 1992, perhaps they will also go back and realize that Miyamoto’s face was not the face of Nintendo. No one knew who the fuck Miyamoto was or really cared. Mario was the face of Nintendo.

Nintendo used to be the House of Mario.

Now, Nintendo is the House of Miyamoto.

This is a big, big problem. Mario does not age. Mario does not get sick. Mario does not retire. Miyamoto will age, get sick, and retire. It is inevitable. Yet, some moron at Nintendo thinks it is a good idea to tie up Nintendo’s… ‘soul’… into one of its members. Nintendo has made many great games without Miyamoto.

When Miyamoto does step down… because he is made of flesh and not a god of sunbeams and rainbows… how is Nintendo going to represent what it is?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 26, 2015

Email: Chibi Aonuma Zelda

That new 3 player Zelda game is just a quick way for Nintendo to re-use the Link between worlds engine. Using Chibi links guarantees no sale

Nintendo loves re-using their engines!

 

 

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 26, 2015

Email: re: Video Game Music

Greetings Master Malstrom,

              I thought I’d share some newer video game music with you. Haven’t actually played a single one of these games, but who cares.

From Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmTs0SJOjqo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LICY7XMIye0

From Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtMSyLdk0Q8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boqy0Q-4c_M

From Scribblenauts Unlimited

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax3FiOrEewM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT2NiR-XRv0

I like video game music. It’s got a bit more depth than pop, but it’s also less involving or fatiguing to listen to as classical symphonies or movie soundtracks.

Sincerely,

              Reader

 

Very nice, reader!

Master Malstrom,

It seems to me, based on your posts, that all of Nintendo’s hope for success lay on the next E3 and what they will reveal for the next generation (the NX). Having an agnostic platform, with an account system that allows you to pay once for games you can play on several platforms seems fine, but I fail to see how is that going to allow for gameplay innovation – the one thing you state Nintendo is lacking right now. Why isn’t the NX any different from any new hardware release? Why do you believe the NX will be able to bring gameplay innovation better than Wii U? I don’t see Sakamoto or Aonuma or Miyamoto getting sacked anytime soon…

 

Nintendo monitors what we all say on the Internet. From their monitoring, they began a series of statements saying “NX is the hardware.” hahaha. I think that may has more to do with the unveiling of the Wii U and that no one thought Wii U was a ‘new console’ since Nintendo didn’t promote the console box, just the controller.

There are business objectives that must be done. One of them is a unified account system. I can’t see how Nintendo can do anything in the gaming space without one. There is a reason why Nintendo bought that Internet company. I believe the ‘mobile games’ Nintendo is making was part of that deal. What Nintendo wants is someone to do the unified account system. Let’s take a look at the picture Iwata presented:

Yes, the NX is ‘new hardware’. But I know that software is what drives the hardware production. This membership service jointly serving all these systems has to come into play somehow. I think that has to be a big element of NX.

I think it might be a mistake to look at NX through the context of ‘game console’ but more as part of a ‘family’. We know that the NX isn’t going to replace your PC, smartphone and all. Will it replace your 3DS or Wii U?

Will it?

I don’t know. It will succeed it, yes, but will the NX do the same job as a home console? Or a handheld? Nintendo really isn’t saying. 3DS is old and Wii U has no sales, so why put those two on the ‘new membership service’? Seems like a waste of money.

I’m thinking NX is more positioned as a ‘third pillar’ type DS device. It is a successor, but it is not yet ‘another Gameboy’.

We just don’t have much information to go on. If we go based on Nintendo’s track record, then NX will be pushing 3d gaming in some fashion because we apparently can’t seem to get enough of 3d technology.

 

 

Just read, I do not believe this. Everything you said about Sakamoto and Aonuma wanting to insist that their horrid experiments are ‘good’ are beginning to take light.

‘What’s interesting is that now I’m hearing that the reaction to Blast Ball has been quite fabulous. So things are good.’ Ok Reggie, where exactly did you hear this information? The YouTube dislike bar, the petition to cancel the game (which is VERY rare to see in this day and age) and the big controversy surrounding it? Is he literally braindead? How can anyone be this stubborn?

 

I believe Metroid Prime Hunters sold pretty well on the DS. Nothing spectacular, but it was solid. I personally liked Hunters and thought it was a solid game with a strong Quake 3 type feel to it.

Above: To all the people who bitched about Metroid Prime Hunters not being ‘metroid enough’, after Federation Force, you owe us an apology… And I’m still waiting for Weavel to have his own game.

You want a Metroid spin-off? How about Metroid Prime Pinball. Oh yeah….

I love how the beginning of the video the reviewer says people were worried that Nintendo would start making all these Metroid spin-offs. Federation Force proves this to be true.

The truth is that good products do not have to be ‘explained’ to the customer. Every time Nintendo drops the ball, be it Virtual Boy, Wii U, or whatever, Miyamoto goes out there and demands new marketing. But the problem is that you cannot ‘explain’ a good product. Wii Sports was never ‘explained’. It was simply played live. Wii Fit was never explained. It was simply shown playing. Everyone got it.

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