Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 14, 2016

Virtual Boy Mini?

Don’t tempt Nintendo. Just don’t.

Pictured Above: Actual video footage of Nintendo offices at the local Virtual Reality shrine where Virtual Boy is encased

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 14, 2016

NES Mini pages

Here is the Amazon page.

Here is the Official Page (check it out, it is very snazzy).

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 14, 2016

What games would be on a SNES mini?

If you guys are saying Starfox and Yoshi Island 2, I’m going to laugh. Games with the special chips will not be included. I don’t even think the DSP1 chip will be included.

Here are 30 possible games for a SNES mini based on the third party companies that supported the NES mini and that do not use special SNES chips:

Super Mario World
The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past
Super Metroid
Contra 3 Alien Wars
Final Fantasy 2 (IV)
Secret of Mana
Gradius 3
Wario’s Woods
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls and Ghosts
Mega Man X
Demon’s Crest
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy II
Super Punch Out
Earthbound*
Knights of the Round
Cybernator
UN Squadron
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Super Street Fighter 2
Donkey Kong Country
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Final Fight
Mortal Kombat II
Kirby Dream Course
EVO
Ogre Battle
Arkanoid Doh It Again
Super Double Dragon

When a company makes a list of such games, it will choose a diversity of genres. In the SNES era, they also must consider violent games so Mortal Kombat 2 may have to go since they do not want to brand the entire mini for teenagers and up. If there was a SNES Mini, I can guarantee Mario World + LTTP + Super Metroid + Wario Woods + Konami Games like Super Castlevania IV and Super Ghouls and Ghosts. Nintendo would try to put on Super Street Fighter 2. Expensive games like EVO and Earthbound might be tried to be included too. Hopefully, Secret of Mana + Chrono Trigger + Final Fantasy IV would all be included as they are all sought after (I doubt a mini could do Final Fantasy 3). Compilations like All-Stars will never be on the Mini.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 14, 2016

Nintendo re-releases the NES!!!

First, Zelda Wii U/NX ‘BoW’ “WOW!”

Second, Pokemon Go (been making a post on this one, an interesting story behind it)

And now we have a third masterstroke decision by Nintendo:

They are re-releasing the motherfucking NES.

For now on, when Nintendo pulls off a genius move, I will play the ‘kick ass Nintendo revolution theme’. You will recognize it when you hear it. It is Welcome to the Jungle (Runway) by Williams made famous by that Nintendo ON hoax video (that came out right before Generation 7).

CI_NintendoClassicMiniNES_PS_Announcement_MS7.jpg

 

The readers go into complete orgasm.

Contain yourselves, gentlemen! Here is the list of the included 30 titles (new NES controller is $10!):

Balloon Fight™
BUBBLE BOBBLE
Castlevania™
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest™
Donkey Kong™
Donkey Kong Jr. ™
DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
Dr. Mario™
Excitebike™
FINAL FANTASY®
Galaga™
GHOSTS’N GOBLINS®
GRADIUS™
Ice Climber™
Kid Icarus™
Kirby’s Adventure™
Mario Bros. ™
MEGA MAN® 2
Metroid™
NINJA GAIDEN
PAC-MAN™
Punch-Out!! ™ Featuring Mr. Dream
StarTropics™
SUPER C™
Super Mario Bros.™
Super Mario Bros. ™ 2
Super Mario Bros. ™ 3
TECMO BOWL
The Legend of Zelda™
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link™

This is a very, very solid list and all of this would be the definitive NES experience. In fact, I can say that even though I am not a collector, this is what my game library looks like. These are all the definitive NES games with some exceptions.

Castlevania II I would exchange for Life Force or another Konami game. Star Tropics I would exchange for another game too.

So why is Nintendo doing this? I know why.

The NES kids are having children of their own and they are paying THROUGH THE NOSE AND THE MOUTH to get authentic NES systems and these games. Do you know how much those games cost for the NES? They cost… at least… $20 each. No joke! Assuming this NES Version 3 plays like a genuine NES, this is, at least, a $600 value because that is how much it would cost to get all these games.

In 2004, at the beginning of GENERATION SEVEN, Iwata began the Classic Series line for Gameboy Advance which were NES games re-released for the GBA. This was so successful that it had Nintendo create the Virtual Console.

This NES V3 will sell like hotcakes. I plan to buy at least three of them. The value is off the charts with it.

The hardcore gamer is SO STUPID that they do not understand the value. Let us explain it to him, dear reader.

Final Fantasy 1

This game can be bloody difficult but endlessly replayable due to the different party choices at the start of the game. “But I can get a re-release!” No, you can’t. The original Final Fantasy has been nerfed on re-releases except on the Virtual Console. It easily is worth the $60 price tag. I still play it today, and I would be playing it right now except the battery in my cartridge died.

Super Mario Brothers 3

Best game ever made? Probably.

Then there is SMB 1 and 2 as well which are god-like and endlessly replayable.

Zelda 1 and 2

Zelda 1 has two quests so it is like two games. How long does it take to beat it? Ten hours for each one? Zelda 2, the same. Easily 30 hours of awesomeness that never gets old.

Pac-man and Galaga

Two great classics that never get old.

Multiplayer games

Here is where it gets interesting. What are the simultaneous multiplayer games on this list? Here they are:

Balloon Fight™
BUBBLE BOBBLE
DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
Dr. Mario™
Ice Climber™
Mario Bros. ™
SUPER C™
TECMO BOWL

Super Mario Brothers 3 doesn’t really count as it is Mario Brothers battlemode in it. Those games are some of the best multiplayer games I can think of.

Add in Kirby, Ninja Gaiden, Gradius, Castlevania…. oh man. The value of it is absurd. However, the value will only work if the games play authentically and without lag.

Who will buy this product?

NES fans who are in their 30s now. They will buy it for themselves and their kids.

Collectors are going to buy these in bulk. I am not joking! I expect this product to be on Ebay for over a hundred dollars at Christmas.

This sign also shows that Nintendo has not forgotten its roots… or… rather… it does not see its past as some embarrassment. “Oh, that Legend of Zelda game? We are embarrassed by it. Allow us to never remember its gameplay. And Metroid too. Metroid is about Samus Aran’s feelings. And that Zelda 2 game? Yeah. Those Mario games are 2d which means no one wants to play them.”

Fuck, they have Donkey Kong and Jr on that too. The value is absurd. I haven’t seen such a value rich offering from Nintendo in a long, long time.

I hope this opens up Nintendo to be making retro hardware because the third party quality sucks. I would not be unhappy if all VC games went on these type of devices which allowed the new Nintendo stuff to do whatever they wanted.

The classic cartridges and NES consoles are becoming rarer each day with growing demand and finite supply.

Good job, Nintendo. I am impressed by this move.

Dos Equis Gifs to the World okay ok yes clapping

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 12, 2016

Success of Pokemon Go spells doom for Virtual Reality

Pokemon Go is the biggest video game phenomenon since… Wii Sports? All Pokemon Go is Ingress with pokemon instead of portals. I know game developers who have been addicted to Ingress. Goes to show the power of the IP.

“I am playing Pokemon Go because I need to walk outside.” This was said to me by a 30 year old woman who NEVER plays video games.

Back when the Wii launched, I imagined something with the Wii-mote where you could play Duck Hunt with it but play it outside… like shoot the fantasy ducks in the sky. This is somewhat where I thought.

The secret to the Wii’s success was that it did the OPPOSITE of Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality is about REMOVING reality and REMOVING you from the world (and people). Wii did the opposite. Wii brought people together and the games did not remove you from the real world. People liked the Wii’s mission. They wanted their own house parties and thought it great to be bowling or playing tennis with the motion controller.

Pokemon Go, as that woman’s reason for playing it, is ironic in video games because we always associate video games with STAYING INSIDE. But is this true? Is this fair?

VIDEO GAMES ARE ABOUT BEING ALONE. No they aren’t. Even from the beginning, this wasn’t true.

VIDEO GAMES ARE ABOUT NOT BEING SOCIAL. But PONG and Donkey Kong started out at bars. You had to go outside to go to the arcade. And consoles have always been about multiplayer gaming.

So why have we assumed video games are about being inside? Even with the mobile cell phone games, we assumed that they were mobile games, not OUTSIDE GAMES. The paradigm shift matters.

Motion games were great because it forced us to re-realize that a video game wasn’t sitting around. Pokemon Go is making everyone realize that a game doesn’t have to be inside.

It is expanding our definition of gaming. This is why there is so much excitement for it. It is attracting all sorts of players.

We could even enter a generational divide where ‘old school’ video games meant playing games inside while ‘new school’ games meant playing video games outside. Sounds shocking to you? Welcome to future.  Your grandparents were probably shocked at internet, computers, and lasers. Time marches on.

Nintendo’s stock is soaring.

We need to pay close attention to Nintendo at the moment. This Pokemon Go could transform the entire company. Then again, Pokemon Go could be a ‘fad’ (oh, that word! Remember when they always used to say it!?) that vanishes within a couple of months. We will see.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 9, 2016

Other game companies are getting popular on mobile

Who knew Blizzard and Warcraft could become popular in Japan based on mobile?

 

Pokemon Go will be bonkers for Nintendo. It already is. I know people who are buying new phones for the game. I think that is funny since that shows people will buy hardware just to play the new Nintendo game, yet… yet… it isn’t a game console. Perhaps it is because of the stigma around the game console which the phone doesn’t have.

Too bad I still dislike Pokemon. I wonder if this game only works best in urban areas.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 5, 2016

Signs Nintendo is entering Hell

“We will either rise to Heaven or sink to Hell,” said Yamauchi about the Seventh Generation. Generation Seven was Heaven for Nintendo, Generation Eight was Hell. What will Generation Nine be?

It could go either way. Zelda BoW “WOW” was a good sign, but there are many bad signs coming out too. These are things Nintendo would never have said before the Wii came out. I do not believe Nintendo can survive another ‘Hell’ period and maybe not even a ‘Mixed’ period either. I believe the old age of the executives has blinded them of the realities of the young gaming present.

Above: Future of Nintendo if the NX goes bust… imagine old cartridges and systems being burned alive. (BTW, the scene with the four horse ride toys is to represent the four horsemen.)

Here is a sign that Nintendo is going to enter Hell. Miyamoto refuses to own up to the failure of Starfox U:

 

“I think personally Star Fox is a really fun game if you sit down and play it. I think, for example, an elementary school kid who plays it without any preconceived notions, I think it would be really fun for them. I think it’s also really, really fun for siblings to play it together.”

Preconceived notions did not stop the adoption of the D-pad over the joystick with the NES, the adoption of the Gameboy, the adoption of the analog stick, the adoption of touch gaming, and the popularity of motion controls. I never heard Miyamoto praise the gaming audience about having an open mind then. No. He accepted every praise that he and Nintendo were ‘gods’ and ‘geniuses’. Now when one of his games fails, it is not his fault.  No. It is the fault of the audience and our ‘preconceived notions’. This is exactly what Sakamoto said about the audience as to why Metroid Other M failed. These executives are too old and need to get out of the way.

Lately, we have the Investor Q and A with Nintendo. Unknown to everyone, Malstrom was secretly there with a microphone. Let’s find out what was being said:

Let’s talk about VR first. We are well aware that other companies are developing games and game-related products using VR technologies, and that consumers are interested in all of this. I cannot say anything specific at this time, but understand that we also consider VR to be a promising technology, and we are conducting research with much interest.

With much interest! With Iwata Asks series, we find out that Nintendo never got over the failure of Virtual Boy and still refuse to accept that it was a failure. Generation 8 saw Nintendo go full speed ahead with OMG 3d and High Definition Gamecube games (with some platformers). I have uncovered this hidden video, deep within the vaults of Nintendo, that reveal this ‘great interest’ in VR. Behold:

About the “Iwata Asks” section, I do not have a background in game development, so I would not be able to give very interesting questions. Going forward, we will create opportunities to provide information in a fitting format about the background to our game development and the interesting aspects of it.

The company president is a businessman, not a developer. OMG! Who would have thought???

Kaz Hirai is the president of Sony with developer ties. If anyone is going to do another Iwata Asks, it’d be Kaz. This might explain why the PS4 is doing well.

Miyamoto: The former President Mr. Iwata and I had talked about how the “Iwata Asks” section had fallen into a rut, and we will consider what format will best suit this type of content.

No one reads anymore. Even on the Message Forums, it has become nothing but spamming of gifs and barely intelligible memes.

I would first like to clarify my purported comments on Wii U. I do not wish to make excuses, but at the time of the Wii U launch, I was responsible for our sales base in the United States, and I never made any pessimistic comments. In an internal sales representative meeting, someone projected that we would sell close to 100 million Wii U systems worldwide. The thinking was that because Wii sold well, Wii U would follow suit. I said that, since the Wii had already sold so well, we need to clearly explain the attraction of the Wii U if we are to get beyond that and sell the new system, and that this would be no easy task. I was responsible for selling the Wii U, and I knew what was good about it, so I talked with those in charge of sales about the importance of conveying the attractiveness of Wii U to consumers. I am guessing that some of this communication may have come across in a negative tone.

Miyamoto: It is true that we are having a hard time with Wii U sales, due to its price and the added fact that tablets are distributed free of charge in the market. I do think Wii U continues to be attractive as a media device that changes life in the living room. A similar challenge continues with NX. As we had announced that the launch will be March of next year, we made no announcements about NX at E3, the world’s largest game expo held in Los Angeles. Our exhibit at E3 focused on the Wii U version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game, for which the same experience will also be available on NX.

The bold is extremely worrying. First, Miyamoto blames the failure of the Wii U on its high price or on tablets, not on market rejection. Then, he praises the Wii U for changing life in the living room (what!). And here is the really worrying point, he says the NX WILL HAVE THE SAME CHALLENGE AS WII U.

What does that mean, dear reader? That means the NX will have an ‘innovation’ that is difficult to market.

 

Miyamoto: As for VR, we are researching not just VR but AR and many other technologies. We have a range of core technology including 3D, and we are also considering the possibility of implementing these in our own hardware development. For VR in particular, we are continuing our research, and looking into development with a mind to how our current core products are meant to be played for a relatively long period of time. We are looking into the possibilities of providing an experience that gives value when played for a short time, and how to eliminate the concerns of long-duration use. We are also looking into how to make sure that a parent doesn’t need to worry when their child puts on a VR device in their living room. At this year’s E3, I was on the show floor, and it did not feel like VR was that big of a topic. This could be because VR is not that much to look at for the spectator, even while it might be highly appreciated for the person actually experiencing it. It might also not be clear how the experience can be made into a product.

Everything Miyamoto says there scares the hell out of me.

Miyamoto: Video content is a really interesting area for us. Going forward, it is extremely important for Nintendo to move beyond the limits of game systems and make good use of its character resources in order for Nintendo not to be forgotten. Nintendo has a variety of characters. That one company has all the rights to so many characters is something that is recognized as unprecedented. To avoid any misunderstandings, we have never said that we will produce a movie. We have talked about our expansion into video and other areas, but we are not saying anything official about the details. What I can say is that video is one of the business areas where Nintendo is making good use of its IP.

For Generation Seven, Nintendo said they saw movies, books, and other media as competition to video games. They wanted their video games to be more appealing than… movies.

In Generation Eight, Nintendo says they want video games to ‘co-exist’ with other media which is why Wii U was revealed with people playing games off on the small screen instead of the big TV.

Now, in Generation Nine, Nintendo wants to make their own movies and other non-gaming content.

These are signs of a company in massive, massive decline. The reason why we like Nintendo characters is because of what they can do. Mario can jump. Kirby can suck. Link has his sword and Batman style items. Samus can turn into a ball and get new items. Donkey Kong throws his weight around. Yoshi has his tongue. Nintendo characters are characters only in the video game sense. The video game sense of characters differs from other media because they are a vehicle to players for agency within the game world. No one wants to know Nintendo characters’ feelings. Sakamoto tried this with Metroid: Other M. Remember?

Miyamoto: In striking that balance, while it’s important that we do not overextend by putting an excessive amount of content in our games, the only solution is how to make software that sells well.

What is ‘excessive amount of content’? Has Nintendo ever put in an ‘excessive amount of content’? Isn’t that why people are interested in Zelda BoW “WOW” in the first place?

Very worrying signs ahead.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 2, 2016

Email: A quick look at another NX game: Dragon Quest 11

You made a good point about seeing where NX might be headed from the NX software we know about. So let’s look at the very first NX game that was announced. A third party game, no less.

Dragon Quest 11. This is the 3DS version but it might give us some insight into the NX version. The thing is, you can play with 3D “modern” graphics, or 2D old school graphics, or in the example below, both at the same time. Both sides have the same content, but you get to choose whether you want old school or new school, within the same game. You pointed out once that Spotpass was a feature Nintendo borrowed from Dragon Quest 9. Anything to see here?

I’m not paying attention to Dragon Quest. Here is someone else talking about what the game might mean for NX:

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 2, 2016

Email: Could NX carts be patchable?

Master Malstrom,

To my mind the main reason for wanting to use cartridges in a home console is it solves the slow optical disc access time problem. Currently Sony and Microsoft solve this problem by installations to a hard disc, which works but creates it’s own new set of problems (higher harware cost, lower hardware reliability, possibly running out of space, user needs to manage space like a PC, have to wait for install, etc).

On the other hand, as you have noted in the past, game software is becoming more like services which means patches and DLC which also means internal storage on the console is needed. The Wii U and 3DS both have relatively small solid-state on board storeage but that solves the above reliability problem while exasperating others. The Wii U lets you plug in your own external hard drive to get more storage, but that seems like a ‘worst of both worlds’ solution to me (I think 3DS storage is expandable with flash cards?)

But I have been thinking that, since mordern cartridges are basically flash cards anyway, why couldn’t the game and future patches and DLC all be stored on the cartridge itself? I’m not making any predictions here, I’m just wondering if there is some technical reason why this wouldn’t work. I guess the main downside is publishers trying to predict how big a cart needs to be at release. If it did work it would be awesome for consumers though.

Anyway I have not seen this idea floated anywhere so I was wondering what you thought.

Sure. Why not?

I think too much emphasis is being placed on the cartridges or the technical universe of the NX itself. I think more attention should be given to Nintendo’s account system plans. I think there is something going on there.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 2, 2016

Email: Mighty No, 9’s awful reception

So as you may know, Mighty No. 9’s got a lot of nasty backlash when it was finally released. Nearly four million dollars for a mediocre product.

As if this wasn’t enough, look at this: 4 FOUR HOUR credit sequence where they praise all 70,000 backers behind this disaster. It’s basically a wall of shame.

 

I do not like the idea of paying for a product before it is made.

Anyone who has made games knows that the initial idea and concept of a game changes radically during development. You discover things don’t work, you discover different things that do work. This is true with creation of novels, music, and other artistic works.

I also do not like the idea that games takes YEARS to make. Folks, the Manhattan Project (the project that designed nuclear weapons) took four years. You are not making weapons of war. Game development has become more about ‘development’ and less about the game. It is like a cook trying to cook the steak as long as possible and telling us to keep smelling it, to keep hearing the sizzle, but we are never allowed to taste. It is like they do not want to face the Big Bad Real World out there. Minecraft took less than a year to put out an alpha mode of it. I know vanilla World of Warcraft took four years of development, but this is vanilla WoW we are talking about. I know some game makers see their works as labors of love which is why they spend so long on them, but the point is that a game shouldn’t take so long to make… especially the first iteration of it.

Steve Jobs, when returning to Apple, had to tell his developers that ‘Real artists ship.’ I see creative works not as refined sculpture but as shit that needs to be crapped out. If you keep in old crap, it builds up, you become uncomfortable, become the angst artist, and end up shitting all over yourself in a giant mess. Old ideas should not be kept in the refrigerator. They begin to stink. They need to be either consumed or thrown in the trash. If you try to use old stale ideas, then you make Nintendo’s worst games such as Starfox Command.

In other words, I feel sorry for those who kickstarted Star Citizen.

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