Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 5, 2017

Entertaining Switch article

Nintendo-Switch-Mario-Kart

Above: Playing the video game while the girl dances around trying to get my attention is how it is in real life!

This article is too funny. Waffle picture? hahahahahaha

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 5, 2017

Which Console Had The Best Launch Line-up of All Time?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,

Tell us, which console had the best launch line-up of them all?

And the mirror responds:

“Master Malstrom, you already know the answer.”

The question is does the READER know the answer?

But how do we qualify what is a ‘good’ launch line-up? Should we determine it by its sales impact? By the quality of the games if we rate them today? Probably so by both those measurements combined.

Lately, the Internet has gone on retard rodeo answering that question with answers like ‘The Gamecube!’ The Gamecube had the worst launch line up of any Nintendo console sans the DS and 3DS. The Gamecube didn’t even have a Mario game at launch. People picked up a Gamecube, got Rogue Squadron 2, and some were fortunate to discover the masterpiece that is Monkeyball. There is a reason why the Gamecube sold the way it did.

When you look at consoles like the PlayStation, would you want to play that AAA shovelware today? Yikes!

One rule we have here is that we must defeat tunnel vision. For many people, console gaming began the day they were old enough to hold a controller. We must look at ALL GENERATIONS, not just the few you were there for.

Generation One console: PONG. It plays… PONG. Fuck yeah! PONG! But that is all it plays. OK, we can leave Generation One out since there is no other line-up to that than launch line up.

Atari 2600 (launched 1977)

Air-Sea Battle
Basic Math
Blackjack
Combat
Indy 500
Star Ship
Street Racer
Surround
Video Olympics

Fuck yeah! Basic Math! Still more interesting than AAA shovelware gaming.

Actually, Combat is really fun. The rest, not so much. But remember, this was 1977. This was before Space Invaders, before Pac-Man, before Donkey Kong. Give the console some credit.

Take a look at the Atari 7800:

Asteroids
Centipede
Desert Falcon
Dig Dug
Food Fight
Galaga
Joust
Ms. Pac-Man
Pole Position II
Robotron: 2084
Xevious

Now THIS is what I call a AAA line-up! Wow! The games here are SO GOOD. They are nearly all classics. All of them are high quality to play today. But the problem here is that while these are great games, these are great games of the present or past, not of the future.

I think Gameboy had a really solid launch line-up:

Alleyway
Baseball
Super Mario Land
Tennis
Tetris

Above: Still more fun than AAA gaming.

Tetris on Gameboy is like the best game ever made. Even best multiplayer too! Super Mario Land is awesome. Alleyway was cool. Even Baseball and Tennis were fun.

I think the Gameboy launch line-up shits all over the AAA shovelware games we see today that corrupt gaming libraries.

I have a soft spot for the SNES launch line-up:

F-Zero
Gradius III
Pilotwings
SimCity
Super Mario World

These are all really cool games even today. They all offer a wide variety of gameplay. Super Mario World is classic tier, hands down. F-Zero is ball bustingly hard and shows off mode 7. Gradius III is actually really cool, very replayable, and I did purchase Gradius 3 when it came out. Difficulty was toned down from the absurdly hard arcae version. The two weaker games are Pilotwings and SimCity. Pilotwings is just Mode 7 candy for the most part. Very cool game for its time. Today, it isn’t as hot. SimCity doesn’t make much sense if you had a PC.

Can you imagine going back in time and re-living the console such as SNES? Man, if we knew then what we knew today. I think everyone would be buying multiple copies of Earthbound to sell decades later for $200 a pop.

NES had an interesting US launch line-up. It curiously never gets mentioned:

10-Yard Fight
Baseball
Clu Clu Land
Donkey Kong Jr. Math
Duck Hunt
Excitebike
Golf
Gyromite
Hogan’s Alley
Ice Climber
Kung-Fu
Mach Rider
Pinball
Stack-Up
Super Mario Bros.
Tennis
Wild Gunman
Wrecking Crew

If we take out games like donkey kong jr. math (come on!) and the light gun games (three of them!) and the ROB games, we get a better picture:

10-Yard Fight
Baseball
Clu Clu Land
Excitebike
Golf
Ice Climber
Kung-Fu
Mach Rider
Pinball
Super Mario Bros.
Tennis
Wrecking Crew

Too many avid gamers do not like sports games. But these sports games were so much better than the Atari versions. There were a generation ahead! But let us take out the sports games:

Clu Clu Land
Excitebike
Ice Climber
Kung-Fu
Mach Rider
Pinball
Super Mario Bros.
Wrecking Crew

Even here we have a solid list. Super Mario Brothers is God Tier level game that no one can deny. The rest of these games are actually really fun (ok, not Clu Clu Land. Even Ice Brothers gets dry). I really like Wrecking Crew. Excitebike is awesome. Pinball is simple but really fun! Kung-Fu and Mach-Rider are cool.

Why people don’t talk more about the NES launch line-up, I will never understand. Guys, it launched with Super Mario Brothers!!!! That is the biggest first party launch game ever made.

I’d say the console that had the WORST launch line-up of the serious consoles (not Phillips CDi) was the Turbografx 16. Yeah, it had Alien Crush and Dungeon Explorer. It had Legendary Axe which is extremely overrated. It had R-type. But Turbografx 16’s best launch games being a pinball game and port of an arcade shmup never showed off the hardware. The rest of the launch games sucked ass. Keith Courage in Alpha Zones? NO! It is no wonder Turbografx 16 got completely destroyed by the Sega Genesis which launched at the same time.

The game console that has the BEST LAUNCH LINE-UP OF ALL TIME is…

The Wii.

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Call of Duty 3
Cars
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Excite Truck
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
GT Pro Series
Happy Feet
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Madden NFL 07
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Monster 4×4: World Circuit
Need for Speed: Carbon
Rampage: Total Destruction
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Red Steel
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Wii Sports (bundled with the Wii console)

Now there is garbage in this list. Yet, there is a Call of Duty here (which DID sell well). Wii Sports is God Tier on the level of the original Super Mario Brothers. It just was! Zelda: Twilight Princess was there. Excite Truck was there. Trauma Center, if you liked it, was there.

“That is not a bad launch line-up, Master Malstrom,” says the reader. “But how can you say it is the best.”

Because that is not the ENTIRE launch line-up of the Wii. Oh no. We must include the Virtual Console.

Altered Beast
Donkey Kong
F-Zero
Mario Bros.
Pinball
SimCity
Soccer
Solomon’s Key
Sonic the Hedgehog
Super Mario 64
The Legend of Zelda
Wario’s Woods

The original Mario Brothers? F-Zero? Sonic? The first Zelda? Mario 64? This is GREAT STUFF.

The Wii’s Virtual Console launch-line up is better than the majority of most console’s launch line-ups.

When I look back at the Wii, I really remember Wii Sports when other people were around and Twilight Princess at night when everyone had left. And most of all, I remember the Virtual Console. To me, the Virtual Console was the killer app of the Wii.

We know the Wii’s launch line-up was successful for the Wii was sold out in the US for three years.

I suspect the Virtual Console had a huge role in that. To those who disagree, look at how the NES Mini is STILL sold out today.

The Wii wasn’t just about Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Nintendo first party juggernauts like 2d Mario and Mario Kart. The Wii had the killer apps of almost every past console on it. This is extremely compelling software.

Remember Malstrom’s Stool. The best console library has three legs like a stool. One leg is for new games (Wii Sports), second leg is for sequels (Twilight Princess) and the third leg is for classic games ported to the system (Virtual Console). All three together create a juggernaut console.

With the NES, everyone forgets that so many of the NES games were classic games of prior generations. Donkey Kong was not new in 1986. It was a port of an old arcade game. All the computer ports to the NES like Manic Mansion or Shadowgate were of older games on the PC. Pac-Man and Galaga ports were essential to the NES success and, to this day, Nintendo makes sure they are with the NES Classic Mini or on the Wii Virtual Console.

The question is, will Nintendo realize they need those old games on the Switch? What is Nintendo’s plan for the Virtual Console on the Switch?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 2, 2017

Is Kimishima insane?

In the Nikkei interview, Nintendo President Kimishima expects the Switch to sell the same amount as the Wii due to its unique hardware proposal. Is Kimishima insane?

I’m laughing at all this. No, he is not insane. I think Nintendo is sophisticated enough to not tell us the exact truth. And he keeps reiterating how 3DS will run parallel with Switch, how Switch is not successor to 3DS.

Switch is a handheld hybrid. Switch definitely has handheld properties. Just as a family of kids, there are multiple Nintendo handhelds, there will be multiple Switch systems in that household. This is the difference between the handheld and home console. And we know there will be more Switch hardware iterations like Nintendo does with their handheld line. There will be Switch Mini or Switch Big or whatever.

Wii sold 101 million. DS sold 150 million. 3DS sold 65 million.

If Switch is selling like a handheld, selling as many as the Wii would not be that difficult. Switch would have to outsell the 3DS which won’t be hard since 3DS started out in the hole. Switch is already selling out pre-orders.

Switch sales forecast is being misplaced due to not putting in context the handheld factor. Nintendo is, I believe deliberately, trying to shield this by insisting that Switch is not the heir to 3DS.

Kimishima is not dumb. No one on the Nintendo Board is dumb. I think Nintendo knows the handheld market will buy up the Switch. Hell, it is Japan after all.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 1, 2017

Nintendo Switch is ‘dead on arrival’

Never forget!

Switch extended super bowl ad. Oh noes! Nintendo going to go third party.

Go analysts, go!

Piers Morgan:

The Switch is an evolution of the Wii U, but eminently simpler in form factor and broadens the use case for a home and portable console hybrid. As a result Nintendo’s Switch is likely to banish the painful memories of the poorly selling Wii U, which to date has only sold 13.4 million units since its launch in 2012. We currently forecast 4 million Switch sales in 2017 although this may be revised in the coming days based on the earlier than expected launch date and likely stock availability through the year.

Super Data Research:

Nintendo is de-emphasizing physical cartridge sales. The cartridge system for the Switch is based on the 3DS more so than the Wii U, suggesting that digital distribution will play a bigger role for the upcoming platform. Consumer generally find it is easier to expand the memory and download titles directly to the device than having to carry all of their games separately.

To the contrary, most Switch users will only buy software on cards.

Serken Toto:

Third, Western third-party games are boring: Who cares about FIFA on the Switch?

hahaha

And now for our favorite analyst: Michael Pachter. Oh yes.

January 17, 2017

Pachter Says:

Nintendo apparently believes the Switch could help it turn the tide.
Pachter, however, doesn’t see it that way. He first took issue with the Switch’s $300 price tag. At that price, the Switch’s price will match the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and he noted that retailers will often discount those devices to even cheaper prices. He believes that Switch needs to be a “more affordable alternative to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One” in order to be successful. Since it’s not cheaper, Switch could be in for trouble, Pachter argued.

Fortune: “Nintendo Switch Could be in trouble”

 

January 26, 2017

Pachter Says:

Saying that the price was “ok” given the technology that is packed into it, he praised the software line-up but warned that Nintendo needed to make sure that they could maintain momentum moving forward with both first and third-party support.

I think that Switch is priced ok. There is a lot there for the $299. It’s slightly less expensive than the Wii U was at launch. I think that the control scheme, the tablet, the docking station and the ability to play on [the] television is more intuitive, more kind of normal gaming controls than we had with the Wii U,” he shared in this week’s Pachter Factor episode on SIFTD.

Pachter: Nintendo Switch Will Be Successful

 

Image result for pachter is always wrong

I think some of the analysts are beginning to just copy and paste parts of this blog for their notes to investors. Hilarious.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 1, 2017

The Myopia of Generations and Handheld Blindness

There were two reasons why the conventional analysis of the Wii was so off: Myopia of Generations and Handheld Blindness.

Myopia of Generations

What does this mean? It means everyone was unable to see the full breadth of the video game generations. They were tunnel visioned in seeing only last generation and making patterns based on that generation. Gamecube sold worse than N64. Therefore, Wii would sell worse than Gamecube.

But what is the relationship of the data to the generation? What we find is that there is little correlation of consecutive generation and sales performance. I am certain that analysts of the 1980s dismissed Sega’s ‘Genesis’ because the Master System did so bad. Then, they hailed the coming success of the ‘Saturn’ because the Genesis did well. Each generation is its own space with its uniqueness in time and macro-economics. The marketplace of 1986 is very different than the marketplace of 1996 or 2006 or 2016.

It should be argued that the Gamecube was a worse disaster than the Wii U. The reason being is that the Gamecube existed among above average to good macro-economic currents. The Wii U had bad macro-economic currents.

Nintendo designed the Wii to be different than the Gamecube. “But it uses the same architecture! OMG!” I am referring as a product offering. The Wii was based on the NES. It had the NES controller style. The marketing was picked up from the Atari Era of showing people being happy playing games.

There was no interest in the generations. There was no interest in the games. How the hell can you analyze the upcoming generation without knowing prior generations and understanding the games?

It is the failure of quantitative analysis and the triumph of qualitative analysis.

A similar occurrence happened with the 2016 presidential election. I ask very smart people, why did you trust the analysis from the Nate Silver 538 site? The answer was that these ‘smart’ people saw only the quantitative parts, the graphs, the charts, and it made them feel they were looking at something technical. Those trained in political science and history made a more accurate prediction (there are various stories of a professor’s ‘model’ or two constantly picking the winning candidate).

What does this have to do with the Switch? Once again, history is replaying itself. The analysts get tunnel visioned and look only at the last generation: Wii U. But what about the Wii? Oh no, they still don’t know what happened there so they keep ignoring Generation 7. What about the other generations? No answer.

The failure to analyze all eight prior generations worth of data is why they will be wrong about Switch. Dead on arrival my ass.

But let us move on to…

Handheld Blindness

What is this!? Before the Wii came out, the DS skyrocketed and began selling out in Japan and America. Would the success of the DS transfer to the Wii? It is not a bad question to ask. However, the analysts SCREAMED a response:

“NO! Handheld and console markets are DIFFERENT.”

Note how generations are never different. In Analyst World, Sony wins every generation. The generations prior to the PlayStation do not truly exist and are The Land Before Time.

In the Handheld Market, one thing is true: Nintendo Wins Everytime.

When you look at the home console market, you see different winners and losers. But in the handheld market, there is only one winner every single generation. Every generation! Since the 1980s! It is amazing! Incredible! Business books should be written on this. And yet, video game analysts do not seem curious about it.

During Generation 7, the DS came back and ultimately outsold the PSP due to expanded market gamers (non-gamers and lapsed gamers). This trend carried over for the Wii as well.

So what does Handheld Blindness have to do with the Switch?

The Switch is a Nintendo handheld. Analysts having orgasms comparing the Switch to the Wii U are forgetting the 3DS. Despite what Nintendo says, the Switch is the heir to the 3DS and the handheld line. Nintendo continues the 3DS because Nintendo is not Sega. Sega went out of business because with the floundering Saturn, Sega ceased supporting every other non-Saturn system cutting off tons of vital cashflow where Sega products were selling in distant places in the world such as Brazil. 3DS is still supported because it prints money. NES and Wii were still around because they printed money. Wii U did not print money so Nintendo got rid of it.

The 3DS is interesting because despite being such a spectacular handheld failure for Nintendo, Nintendo was able to turn it around and make it a profitable console.

The reason why viral marketers highlight, spotlight, and genuflect before every quote of Kimishima saying the Switch is not removing the 3DS is to eliminate the reality of the handheld market away from a possible future Switch market trajectory.

The Switch is like Link in Link to the Past and stands on the crossroads of two mirror markets: handheld and home console. Any analysis of the Switch must take in account both handheld and home consoles. Comparisons needs to be made of Switch to 3DS more than Wii U.

 

Switch will have no competition in the handheld market!!!!!

This is a first for Nintendo. Gameboy saw competitors. Gameboy Color saw competitors. Gameboy Advance saw competitors. DS saw the PSP. 3DS saw the Vita.

Switch has no handheld competitors. None!

This is huge.

“But Malstrom,” you say. “What about smartphones? Haven’t they destroyed any viable handheld dedicated console market?”

No. This stupid answer comes from our analysts which nothing stops them… not even their contradictions.

Why is 3DS hardware going up? “Pokemon. Duh.” Software. Software drives the hardware. But tell me, brilliant commentator, is Pokemon on smartphones?

*The reader gulps.*

It is! Pokemon is on smartphones! What about Mario? Is Mario on smartphones?

*Reader doesn’t answer. Reader is scared.*

It is! Mario is on the smartphones.

Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing will soon also be available on smartphones. And yet, the 3DS hardware demand keeps rising. How is this possible if the IP is available on smartphones? Clearly, Nintendo’s strategy of using apps as a marketing tool to get smartphone users into the dedicated hardware is working.

“This has never been done before! This marketing of the Nintendo IP to non-dedicated console mediums?”

But it has.

 

Image result for nintendo power

I don’t think the Game Industry understood the Nintendo cartoons and Nintendo Power. To quote Yamauchi: “Nintendo believes in a market: OUR MARKET.” The reason for Nintendo Power and the cartoon shows was, ultimately, marketing the IPs. The Game Industry incorrectly thinks it was just merchandising. All of this was useful to gain console momentum.

Nintendo doesn’t view smartphones as competitors. If they did, they wouldn’t be writing software for them. Instead, Nintendo views smartphones more as the TV of today. It is the screen everyone looks at.

Smartphones are to handheld game consoles as PCs are to home game consoles. PCs can play games too, but no one considers PC gaming a competitor to console gaming (unless you are Microsoft and Sony which puts out crappy PC hardware to connect to the TV and declare it a console). Iwata even began to use this comparison too.

When you view Switch from the context of the handheld market, there is nothing but optimism. First of all, Switch has no competition. This means all the handheld console game software will be coming to Switch. Since handheld gaming is biggest in Japan, that means all the Japanese third parties. Second, the 3DS became a success despite the ‘omg I can’t believe its not 3d!’ weight on its back of the 3d lens in the hardware AND competition from the Vita (whatever competition it may be). How is the Switch going to fail without any crappy hardware like the 3d screen or the Gamepad from the Wii U? And with NO competitors?

People still haven’t figured out that Switch is also the successor to the Vita. Switch will get all of the Vita software pipeline. “But Vita isn’t popular!” It is in Japan.

So for this generational transition to Gen 9 we have:

HANDHELD MARKET:

-Switch (Monopoly)

.
HOME CONSOLE MARKET:

-Switch

-PlayStation 4 (over 3 years old)

-Xbox One (Over 3 years old)
“But what about PlayStation 5? OMG!!!”

PlayStation 5 will come out. But it will be little more than a gigantic GPU connected to a TV.

The software I see isolated here are the AAA games. They NEED the ‘power’ of the PS4 or PS5 to run. But indie games do not. Handheld companies do not.

Switch is in a better position than people think. Now that Nintendo has announced the pre-orders were good and that they will be ramping up production, people are regretting they didn’t pre-order and fell for the anti-hype of ‘DEAD ON ARRIVAL’.

But there was one voice that defied all that crap. “No. Switch will be successful.” Good ‘ol Malstrom had to set it right… again. Even my email box was full of people screaming about how terrible the Switch is and how Nintendo was doomed.

While the Switch will be unto itself, the closest console’s trajectory I can compare it to would be the DS. DS launched well with solid hardware (even though it got revamped, people loved how DS had the SNES button layout finally). The DS launch software was quite pitiful. But it was all turned around and the rest is history.

3DS was also turned around. But the 3DS started out in a much deeper hole.

Switch will be small bull to big bull.

Nintendo has a 100% win rate of their handheld consoles being successful land outselling their competitors. Do you really want to bet against that? There is a decent probability that Switch will be the dominant console of Generation 9.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 1, 2017

Japanese anime is best served with high doses of masculinity

In the 1980s, the two anime products that punched through into the West and made it big were:

Akira  (start at 2:30)

Robotech

Both of these are vehicles of unmatched masculinity (in its day). You can just see the testosterone dripping off the Akira video. War. Violence. Macho stuff. This is what made anime cool to the West.

But Japan does not realize this. They keep going for cute, for pastels, for chibi. Is it more than a coincidence that Nintendo’s classic games that are best received are the most violent and aggressive of its Nintendo stable?

Games like…

Related image

Above: “Hi! I’m Metroid. I am loved in the West but not in Japan!”

Image result for zelda 1

Above: “Greetings! I am Zelda 1. There is much fighting and combat in this game. Scary!”

Related image

Above: “Salutations! I am Super Mario Brothers 3. Evil is represented in my game! You have to go against nasty airships, tanks, laser spewing lazers, and armies of hammer brothers that march around the map. This is the LEAST cute Mario. It is the BEST Mario!”

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 1, 2017

America’s political volcano has not yet erupted

What you are hearing now are the early tremors. People think this day or that day is the explosion. No.

The political pressure has been building up for over a decade from the conservatives. They had no representation in Republicans and Bush so they voted Democrat in 2006 and 2008 (the new Democrats came from conservative districts). But they got no representation from them especially after the ACA (Obamacare) despite electing a Republican in a special Massachusetts senate election to stop it. They make a Tea Party to primary Republicans which, over a few election cycles, ended up culminating into their representative and champion: Donald Trump.

I can tell you with certainty that Trump hasn’t even begun yet. He is actually lying low and will wait until his cabinet appointees are approved by the Senate. Only then will he let it rip. THAT will be the volcanic explosion. Watch.

“How do you know this?” Just do. BTW, Trump’s re-election slogan in 2020 will be: “Keep America Great.” It is already trademarked! From MAGA to KAG. You’ll see.

“What else is he going to do?”

He is going to re-write the definition of American citizenship. This is where it is all going. Trump is the Tea Party president, and these are interesting times.

Normally, midterms for the party just out of power tends to be good. But these are not normal times. In 2018, the Democrats will not win back the House. They need to flip 3 Senate seats to take back the Senate. Only one Republican senator is up for re-election in 2018 in a state Clinton won (Nevada). Meanwhile, Democrats have five senators for re-election in states Trump won.

2020 will be a referendum on Trump. I honestly don’t know who the Democrats will put up against him. Bernie Sanders? The governor of New York? They don’t exactly have a large bench. If Democrats do not get control of various states, they will be further gerrymandered. In the next few years, there is an actual possibility of the Democrats becoming a marginalized party for a generation. But then again, history has told us to expect the unexpected in these matters.

Again, I do not think Democrats/liberals understand at all this enraged electorate. These are not the Reagan cheering conservatives of the past who want to ‘reduce the size of government’. Those conservatives no longer exist. During the Obama administration, perhaps after Obamacare was passed on Christmas, that no longer would conservatives ‘reduce’ government. No. They would keep the power centralized and then use it as a weapon to absolutely destroy the existence of liberalism. The co-existence of liberals and conservatives is over. Both now seek to eradicate one another.

Looking online, I see liberals still focusing on Trump-the-person where they should be looking at the decades long movement that crested with Trump (e.g. the Perot voters of the 1990s). Take a look at this video published almost right before the election. Sure, it is another Pepe video, but note the satanic tone, the ‘we are the devil’ line, and all. While they are trolling, there is a scary intensity that can be sensed. This is an electorate that saw that election as an existential one to their nation (and future ones as well).

“What are you saying?”

I’m saying that we have never seen a phenomena like this in our lifetimes of an electorate enraged. This isn’t an explosion, it is a shifting of the tectonic plate. Obama, himself, noticed this as he remarked in 2016 that he thought this bubbling up of political pressure would stop and die down after Palin. Instead, it kept rising and found Trump. Trump was not their political candidate, Trump is their murder weapon. Some places like California and their sanctuary cities are saying they will resist. The political element behind Trump is all too willing to arrest state officials and apply force. “But Speaker Ryan says…” Congress cannot stop Trump from doing this. You only burn through political capital when you do something the public doesn’t like. From the few pollsters that weren’t invalidated during the 2016 election (PPD), Trump’s approval is rising. Courts will try, but not even they will be able to stop this eruption. (People are beginning to notice the Trump Curse.)

What we’re witnessing now with Trump’s recent immigration orders is just a trial run. The big stuff will appear once Trump’s cabinet has been voted by the Senate and is in place. Then, you will see the eruption. How much pressure there is in the mountain remains to be seen, but there will be lava everywhere. No matter how it goes, people will be talking about these events for the next hundred years.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 23, 2017

Email: What happened to your retirement?

Maybe the Switch is bigger than we thought?

I’m procrastinating doing other things.

The secret to Malstrom is that I figure things out through writing. Writing exacts thoughts. And in the middle of a post, new thoughts emerge that would never have if I never started writing the post in the first place. There was much to figure out about the Switch.

The viral marketers against the Switch also piss me off. “Where are the Western AAA games? OMG.” As if those are the only games. Apparently, Switch has to have the same identical games as the PS4 and Xbox One in order to succeed. It makes no sense, but that is the mindset of the Game Industry. And they get more and more absurd. There is much to be worrisome with the Switch (such as the odd online plans), but it is easy to detect a hostility coming out of nowhere for this system. It’s a good sign. They’re scared of it.

To give you an idea of what is like to be a Malstrom, when the Switch had its big show, there was a MASSIVE crowd looking at this site. It was way, way, way beyond the regular readers. They were there looking for a qualitative assessment of the Nintendo system. That crowd is made up of many in the game industry, investors, and even analysts. Even Nintendo was watching.

I have become the Nintendo groundhog. Every six years, everyone tunes in to see if Malstrom sees Nintendo’s shadow and if it will be a sales winter for them. They can’t say I am a ‘fan’ as the entire last generation I’ve been kicking Nintendo. I do not worship Miyamoto. I don’t even like the flagship Nintendo properties of modern Mario and Zelda.

It is quite something to have so many people value what you are going to say. It took a decade to build up that type of reputation, and I’m somewhat sad to let it go. I’m standing in the rubble of Generation 8, smile, and then hold up the Nintendo flag. Something I haven’t really done since 2008. Switch will be a success. Small, then bigger.

The next big moment will be when we all have Zelda and Switches in our hands. Then E3. Then the holidays.

Now it is time for me to go away for a while. Go listen to this cool music of Octopath. It sounds so much better than your typical AAA gaming!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 23, 2017

Email: This video got me more excited for Zelda than any other.

It’s actually all the way from July, and their concern is the technical aspects of the game, but you can hear how they gush about the game.

They describe it as a “systems-driven” open world. If the rest of the game is even half as good as what Nintendo has shown already, than this is easily Game of the Year 2017.

 

When Nintendo made Twilight Princess, they spent a ton of money to make that game’s engine which they planned to reuse for other games. The only other game I know they reused that engine for was Link’s Crossbow Training (haha). I imagine there is another plan in place here.

I wouldn’t mind seeing another Zelda with this engine on the Switch. Or another new IP. What if a Metroid game was made using this engine?

When you look back at Nintendo games of the past, they all had fantastic physics systems and world systems. Super Mario Brothers had such an interesting physics system that you could keep hopping on a turtle shell to get 100 lives. I loved using the downward thrust in Zelda 2 to keep bouncing off my opponents. Metroid had a great system where we were doing stuff like bomb jumping.

Zelda BoW “Wow” is also ditching the puzzle solving for problem solving. During the testing of Ultima 6, there was a ‘puzzle’ where you had to cast a spell called telekinesis to use a level on the other side of a grilled gate. Warren Spector was laughing at one tester as he tried doing something different. He took control of Sherry the mouse (one of your team mates) to crawl under the gate and active the level that way. The fact that that other solution worked floored Spector.

Puzzles don’t work in Zelda because all I do is go to gamefaqs or wherever and just get by it. It is a waste of my time. All I am doing is trying to figure out what the developer wants me to do. The game is playing me. Now it feels like I am playing a game. I should be able to try different things that may get the same result. Thankfully, the combat has been improved too.

Could all those years of bashing ‘Aonuma Zelda’ have provided feedback to contribute to these changes? Whose to know. This looks like the most interest modern Zelda yet.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 22, 2017

Email: Could The Virtual Console get a physical release on Switch?

Hi there Sean,

You’ve been mentioning how Nintendo is focusing on lifelong gamers in your last few posts. This got me thinking: could we get physical VC games on the Switch?

Let’s take a look.

Nintendo right now is staying mum regarding VC on Switch. Reggie says that we’ll have to wait until closer to launch. What a lot of people have taken from this, is that the VC will be an afterthought like with the Wii U. But considering what we know already, I’m not so sure.

Afterall, Nintendo has been investing in older games more recently. There is the fact that Nintendo launched a SNES VC on the New 3DS last year, which still continues to get new releases. There is the NES Mini obviously. And now we know that the VC on Switch will have online multiplayer (which can’t have been cheap to setup!).

The above makes me wonder why Nintendo is spending so much money on its library lately. I mean, VC has been an absolute trainwreck so far. Enough that it has driven plenty of customers away. Spending money on it would seem a waste when customers feel so betrayed that they stop purchasing your games. Nintendo has even signalled to be aware of this when Reggie recently said about the NES Classic:
Did the surprising, to you, demand for NES Classic open your eyes to understanding the popularity of classic Nintendo products in this day and age?
Fils-Aime: […] I think that incremental demand is what surprised us. Because again, how many times have you purchased the original Super Mario Bros.? We thought that the consumer that already had a Wii or a Wii U and had purchased those games once or twice already, we didn’t think that they’d buy the NES Classic. And they did.
Obviously you’ve already looked at this from the side of Nintendo committing to lifelong gamers, but that interview does raise the question what they have planned for the VC. After the succes of the NES Classic, a physical VC line up doesn’t sound to far fetched. Nintendo probably realises that it can easily make back the investment this way.
Keep in mind that Nintendo has made work of releasing digital titles for indie developers as well. But also their own digital titles have been getting physical releases on 3DS. (NES Remix, BoxBoy series from the topof my head).
Thought it might be interesting to consider.

 

Why hasn’t any VC games been announced on the E-Shop yet? You’d think with the sparse launch line-up that Nintendo would be eager for us to give them our money. We knew what some of the initial VC games were for Wii before it launched.

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