Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 22, 2018

Email: Thoughts on Lambo

Hello Malstrom,

Just wanted to drop some thoughts (as well as some things I’ve noticed) about Nintendo Labo

-First, there is this weird cult around this game. If you criticise it, fans come out of the woodwork and say how you’re “cynical” or “you don’t understand because you’re not a parent.” It’s like these people have some weird emotional investment in the game.

-On the above, I think Nintendo’s fans (or cultist at this point) have not really interacted with other people who aren’t loyal to the company. I remember seeing a post on Reddit how the commentor was “disappointed” in everyone criticising Labo. Posters commented telling him to fuck off and that they don’t like Labo and didn’t buy a Switch for it.

-I’ve also heard a lot of the cult of Labo mentioning how this product will do sooo well because schools will buy it. As someone who has dealt with School Districts, I can say that will never happen. Other STEM toys (as you pointed out) are cheaper. A school would have to spend $300 on the system and $60-70 on Labo. An administrator or principal would never approve it, not least for it still being a video game system.

-I also see a lot of people saying that Labo will be a big success because Nintendo’s stock went up. I think they forget that Nintendo’s stock fell when the Switch was announced. Investors aren’t a good judge of value (GoPro’s rock-bottom stock is a great example of investors getting it wrong)

-I don’t get why Nintendo needs to make a product specifically geared towards children. Children, at least since the NES, aren’t resistant to video games and have very low time preference. There is no reason to make a product specifically geared to them. Heck, games that are popular with children are ones adults liked too, link Minecraft and Call of Duty. In fact, the whole reason Nintendo made the Wii was because the pool of young boys was shrinking. Nintendo was selling to adults. And all of Nintendo’s major markets are seeing population decline. Why does Nintendo need to appeal to kids now? If Nintendo really wants to appeal to children, just put out Pokemon. At least then you might get some adults playing it (as evidenced by Pokemon Go).

-Just my opinion, but perhaps Labo is proof Nintendo doesn’t get why people like the Switch. What sold the Switch was not 1-2-Switch, the joy-con demo, but Zelda. If you look at sales, 1-2-Switch hasn’t done that well. Its about to be outsold by ARMS and could be outsold by Xenoblade (which could turn into a cult classic with how people are surprised by how much they liked it after writing it off). After Labo, maybe we can finally admit that the reason games like Nintendogs and Wii Sports did so well is because they were just good games.

-Lastly, I think the people who are going to buy Labo are not kids but childlike dads. They are going to buy it for their kids because “the kid will like it,” but its really for themselves. I think this also explains why it shot up on Amazon so fast. These child-like Dads are scooping it up. Normal parents will buy something cheaper for the kids and with less breakable parts.

Thanks for letting me give you my thoughts. My assessment is that Nintendo will drop these ideas in year 3 or 4 when it becomes clear that the Switch is selling due to the usual suspects and not due to tech games. Nintendo has the fastest selling system in the US and it’s due to make a good Zelda game. Image what would happen if they can just make a good 2D Mario. The old guard at Nintendo seem to have this idea that “unique ways to play” sells systems. Switch flies in the face of that.

Here is an emailer who knows what is up. The reason why is because he remembers the Wii was designed as reaction to the demographic issue of Japan (population shrinkage), and he remembers that Nintendo investors actions do not correlate to market reality.

Speaking of Nintendo investors, I have actually gotten email from some of them. Most of the Nintendo investors are dumb as shit. Look at some of the Investor Q/A for some laughs. When Pokemon Go made it big, the investors all pounced on Nintendo. Nintendo had to make a statement that Pokemon Go would only create a marginal boost for the company (i.e. people coming to buy Pokemon games). Pokemon Go wasn’t Nintendo.

Don’t look at what the investors do. Look at the financial statements at the end of the quarter. That is what matters.

Two big things no one seems to factor when they analyze the Switch.

First, the macro-economics have changed. We are no longer in a recession. The US is in an economic boom, and other countries (such as Japan) are competing with the lowering of the US corporate tax rate. This is sparking booms throughout.

The issue isn’t whether something sells well or not. The problem is that everything is selling. Except 1, 2 Switch. Labo selling doesn’t even mean much these days. EVERYTHING IS SELLING.

I have been ignoring the press releases of ‘Switch sales are so awesome’ because they tend to be very dishonest. Switch is a hybrid Nintendo system. Switch outselling the Wii is meaningless because the Switch is a handheld, not a home console. Even if the Switch outsold the DS, that wouldn’t mean much because the DS also had Wii to contend with. Switch just has the already obsolete 3DS. It is not that Switch has to sell Wii + DS numbers to be a success, but one has to take BOTH handheld and home console into account. No one is doing that.

A better metric to analyze Switch success would be “What is the household penetration of percentage for the Switch?” This would account for…

-Population growth

-Multiple hardware being sold to the same household (3 kids having 3 Switches for example)

This isn’t being done because there is no interest in analysis. There is only interest in a parade. “Hail!” “Hail!” “Hail!”

Switch has many things going for it.

One, it has the handheld market ALL TO ITSELF. DS had a competitor. 3DS had a competitor. Gameboy Advance and Gameboy (later) had tough, tough competitors like the Game Gear. As a handheld, Switch is alone. The Vita market and PSP market is inherited by the Switch.

Strong macro-economic winds are pushing the Switch. They are also pushing the PS4.

The reason why I remain skeptical about Labo, aside from a marketing juggernaut pushing its sales, is because there is no gaming precedent for it. Wii Sports had precedent (NES sports, arcade motion games, etc.) Wii Fit had precedent (Power Pad, Dance Dance Revolution, etc.).

Labo has more in common with Wii Music, game-wise, than anything else.

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Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 21, 2018

Email: Thank you for World of Origins articles

Hello Master Malstrom,
I never imagined how much influential the Ultima games were to the history of videogame. Japanese developers should be more thankful for borrowing so many ideas, creating dumbledown But they are arrogant enough to admit where they got their ideias. Your site’s becoming a hub for historical registry about videogames. When the game industry start trying to rewrite the history about games, we will use your site as proof against their lies. Haha

About the Lambo thing, I have nothing against it. The question is what’s behind it. It remembers the Wii U. A single year was enough for Nintendo to turn in arrogant mode again. Probably the team responsible for Lambo is the same that created the amiibos. If it was a cheap product made with cardboard e stimulate kids creativity it would be ok. But no. Nintendo arrogantly considering themselves geniuses the same way they did with Wii U decided to charge a high price thinking people will go crazy with their new toy.

They are doing restricted demonstrations in the next month. One adult has to be accompanied by a kid. Since these YouTube celebrities are so brilliant, I wouldn’t doubt if they went to adoption houses taking a kid with them to have access to the event. After recording their stupid videos they would through the kid anywhere and if someone finds out, they simply ask sorry. This social media thing is full of crap.

Regards

I need to write the conclusion for the Worlds of Origin. It is difficult because Garriott has become so dislikeable lately (you’ll see with his quotes).

Some people ask if I was going to write something about Chris Roberts or such? That is what a less interesting gamer would do. However, as the Most Interesting Gamer in the World, there is another ‘thread of articles’ similar to piecing origins of various genres/ big game events.

What is very sad is that all this stuff said about Ultima used to be common knowledge. This is why you hear the quotes from the big guys at Bethesda and other companies say what they say. The problem is that a new generation of gamers appear with new generation of game journalists. Just as in Asimov’s Foundation series where Humanity expands so far into the galaxy that they forget where the location of Earth is at, gaming is expanding so far that we are forgetting its origins.

“Oh yeah?” says petulant reader. “What about the 1970s? The 1960s? What about the 19th century, Malstrom? Haha, what about the Medieval Period? What about the games of 956 BC? You have much to go!”

Now you’re just being silly. We are not going to go through the Roman Empire and Chinese dynasties just to find out where some video games came from.

A new series is being planned and written now about an extremely influential company and group of developers that no one talks about. And yes, like before, the story starts in the early 1980s and weaves through time to the present where even mighty Nintendo was heavily influenced by their success… and you have no idea who they are.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 21, 2018

In Malstrom’s World, there are only SIX ZELDA GAMES

How many Zelda games are there? Only six.

There is the original Zelda:

Legend of zelda cover (with cartridge) gold.png

There is Zelda 2…

Zelda II The Adventure of Link box.jpg

Here is Zelda 3…

The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past SNES Game Cover.jpg

Zelda 4… (The handheld Zeldas like Link’s Awakening are like little spin-off games of their own.)

A sword and shield—the latter bearing both the three triangles of the Triforce and the bird-like Hyrule crest—are positioned behind the game's title.

The shocking Zelda 5 where the game is about a massive war. There are some strange spin-offs called ‘Wind Waker’ and ‘Twilight Princess’ and ‘Majora’s Mask’, but those are all now treated like the CD-i games.

Hyrule Warriors NA game cover.png

Zelda 6 came out just recently…

An image of the Breath of the Wild's boxart

“Did you just erase Aonuma from Zelda’s existence?”

Who is this Aonuma? Anyway, the Malstrom timeline is the best timeline! Zelda franchise is better this way!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 21, 2018

Email: Hyrule Warriors vs Fire Emblem Warriors

In theory I should hate FEW. I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game, the
character selection is bland, it often looks like a Gamecube game
(complete with awful lighting, low-res textures, and armies that
blatantly pop-in), and the story/worldbuilding is some of the worst I’ve
seen in a video game.

But a few things stand out to me. I think Fire Emblem works better than
Zelda when it comes to creating a war setting, due to Fire Emblem being
about kingdoms and tactical battles. I also love the ability to order
friendly units around, and with the weapon triangle and other weaknesses
and resistances to consider, it adds a bit more to the tactical element
of the Warriors series. It even made co-op more engaging as we discussed
the most efficient path to carve through missions.

That’s about it. I’m already getting bored because the heroes mostly
play the same, but I still need a sizable roster leveled up so that I
don’t get screwed over by the strength/weakness system. The game also
makes you grind out character bonds if you want the best upgrades, which
feels like excessive grind.

You’ve played both HW and FEW. What are your thoughts? How much more
engaging was HW to you?

I need to play FEW more. Honestly, I need to turn off the voice acting in FEW and turn on the Japanese voice acting. The voice acting in FEW is cringe-worthy. At least in Japanese, it sounds… ‘exotic’.

The Zelda universe is more fun, but FE Warriors is more evolved on the gameplay.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 21, 2018

Who does a business work for?

Who does a business work for?

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Investors

Those three have to be happy. The most important, of course, are customers. But employees need a reason to keep working for you, and investors need a reason to put in money.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 21, 2018

Emails: Labo

Here are some of them:

Will you hate me for saying I like Nintendo Labo, Malstrom?

Sorry to be so upfront about it but this Labo thing just SCREAMS ‘Yokoi’ if you know what I mean. I don’t see this doing gangbusters, but it is giving me big vibes of the quirky DS games Nintendo brought out like Electroplankton and the like.

For the first time in life I’m feeling left out at not being a kid anymore. Is this what life is going to be like from now on?

Maybe I need to get me some kids…

More:

Honestly Lambo is dumb and will probably be quickly forgotten like the E-reader, The Gameboy Camera and the Power Glove. It wouldn’t be the first weird idea from Nintendo.

At the least, it’s something cheap. Meanwhile Sony is trying to push VR that isn’t taking off and MS had to deal with the massive failure of the Kinect. Though it would be funny if Sony and MS suddenly wanted to make their own cardboard box peripheral but boasting 4K graphics. Lol

More:

Dear Malstrom,

I agree with you about Labo. The Switch hasn’t even been out for a full year, and Nintendo is already starting to go in the wrong direction. Will Labo move hardware? No way. Even worse, it sends people the wrong message about the Switch. Remember the first Switch trailer showing all the young adults playing the console? The message conveyed was clear: The Switch is not a kiddie console. But Labo conveys that the Switch IS a kiddie console. This is a mistake, and it shows that Nintendo is more focused on “creativity” and being “different” instead being the best. And the prices of $70 and $80 for cardboard is just ludicrous. At least with the Wii we got plastic peripherals! This is going backwards in every way imaginable.

More:

I can’t figure out where this junk will end up first, the bargain bin or the recycle bin. Never have I seen a product so unappealing in my life. Nintendo never seems to understand their market. Really? With the new Labia setup you can insert your joycon into all sorts of folded cardboard pieces…the jokes sell themselves…

What happens when johnny leaves it on the couch and squishes it, or mom uses it to pack up some antiques and stick them in the basement?

Jesus Christ time to sell my stock. Why can’t they just make fucking games? What was wrong with Wii Sports? Nintendo should just change their slogan to

ANYTHING BUT WHAT YOU THE CUSTOMER WANT

More:

Greeting Master Malstrom.

I’m still holding out my judgement on labo. I mean, there is the off chance that the software is good, and they could potentially be something really cool for kids. But if the software is wii-music-ish then it’s a rip off and potentially damaging to the reputation of the switch.

Why I’m waiting is because Nintendo is going to be holding demo events for families in New York and San Fransisco. Personally I’ll wait until reactions from those come out before I make my final judgement.

Regards
Longtime reader

More:

The resetera forums are filled with adulation for this. Anyone who does not agree is an immature internet edgelord.

More:

Hey there!

Nintendo Labo..I seriously didn’t expect this. I wouldn’t go as far as to be so critical of it. But on the other hand I really don’t know who is really gonna buy it. Will kids go wild about it? I don’t think so but then again I don’t know kids very much. Personally I like the idea and it’s intriguing but that’s it. I won’t spend money in such a thing.

I agree with you that this looks like a desperate move to “showcase” the amazing features of the joy-cons, more properly the HD Rumble and IR camera. I don’t think this will be a hit. Heck, I doubt we’ll be talking about this in a year. This looks like the new Virtual Boy: intriguing, too expensive and forgettable. I may be wrong but I wouldn’t bet for it.

On another note, your Wii U posts make me want to play Hyrule Warriors again. I was going to play it along another game I haven’t played since I got it, Batman arkham knight and I got addicted to HW instead haha.

More:

Hello Malstrom, I’m guessing that this is a post parodying Nintendo haters/product dismissers? Lambo doesn’t seem like a crappy product for crappy customers to you? Cheaper stem products do exist, but their complexity and the work required to reach the enjoyment pay-off can be great. I can already see how my younger child would enjoy Lambo and how it could potentially open the gate to go upstream to programming and making robots and tinkering around with devices like a Raspberry Pi or Uzebox.

At one point in time we didn’t think that a souped up bathroom scale could do much. A mini-sports game collection with tech demo vibes also sent people into a frenzy about how Nintendo was doomed. I also have fond memories of playing Anticipation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifzU2aeSaIQ) and V-Tech Series (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb5Im7lwc6g) with my parents as a kid. Lambo seems like it could potentially channel that sort of interaction and play, kind of like an anti-Gyromite and anti-ROB despite it appearing to be fresh versions of that concept.

We also don’t understand the software/games yet. Nintendo has shown off enough to dismiss it outright or to praise it yet. I think it’s worth it to at least keep an open mind about it and to see what comes of it. Although from what I’ve seen so far, there are definitely interesting ideas. Whether it’s any fun will depend upon how the ideas hold up in actual gameplay in realworld environments.

The applications of this for future games is exciting. It’d be nice to have a decent enough pedal and driving wheel experience in a good racing game. If Nintendo and their partners can make simple games that offer the experience of full, fat peripherals at a fraction of the cost I’m down for it. I’m up for a House of Dead or Resident Evil that gives me the feel of a gun, even if what I’m holding doesn’t properly use it. That jump from holding a presentation laser pointer to a mock gun for a quarter of the price works for me. Red Steel 3 or Shadow Warrior 2 with a gun in my right hand and a sword in my left appeals to me. Adding simple physical feedback to a mock drumming setup with this idea works. Using the Switch as a music sheet stand for an expanded Rocksmith while connecting a real guitar and amp or a cardboard piano/keyboard sounds like a win to me. There’s so much win/potential available with this idea to count it out just yet. It’s just all going to depend upon how it’s actually used beyond Nintendo’s initial toe dip.

More:

Sorry Malstrom, Labo is Blue Ocean in the world of consoles. You missed the ulterior motive of Labo. In a world where parents are not buying entertainment boxes for their kids and buying them tablets for the so-called “edutainment” purposes, Labo fills the void for crybaby children and frustrated husbands. We all know the kids scream and cry that they need a tablet “because of school” when in reality it’s because of games. Labo fills the void in the console world for children to scream and cry to buy a Switch and use the “edutainment” excuse of Labo to really end up playing Minecraft, Zelda and Mario.

Frustrated husbands are taking their kids to Maker Faires to get out of the house for the weekend. Take kids to Maker Faire, drop off the kids and hit up the homebrewers at these same Maker Faires. Look at the growing attendance:

Buy the kids a Nintendo Labo kit, spend a couple hours on a Saturday with the kid, “Yeah honey, I’m building the cardboard experiment with the kids! Bring me a beer from the fridge while you’re at it!” Once the kids get bored, press the home button and start a new adventure on Breath of the Wild or venture around Skyrim. Look like the hero to the wife, get her to bring you beer and spend your Saturday afternoon playing Zelda and Skyrim. An Xbox or PS4 cannot give you that experience.

More:

I think it’s something novel, a throw-away idea. Did you see what I did there.

Throw away? Cardboard? Haha.

Leave it to folk to 3d print and mold actual plastic toy parts.

We haven’t seen the software yet.

It’s cool, maybe not $70 cool, but something interesting.

I bet they only include a download code coupon for the software. Haha!

More:

Will I buy the toy kit? No.

Will I buy the robot kit? No.

Will I buy a cardboard flight stick for $10? Maybe.

What interests me is the thought of cheap modular peripherals. The Joy-Con IR camera means that these peripherals matter more than the Wii Zapper or Mario Kart steering wheel. It allows new buttons to be made without the use having to buy a $50 controller

More:

Price is right losing horn
http://www.youtube.com
This is the sound that comes up in my head when I think about a fail. Like the Mets losing a ballgame to the Phillies 10-0.

Labo is sooo fucking stupid its on the level of Scott Gimple having Carl Grimes killed off on The Walking Dead so as to further the SJW feminist cultural narrative by having his sister character “Judith” replace him as the show’s “future” when Rick finally dies/is killed off.

Labo is sooo fucking dumb it makes Carrie Fischer’s floating through the vacuum of space in The Last Jedi (like Marie Poppins floats through the air) almost come across as an intelligent and well thought out decision by the film’s creators in comparison.

Malstrom I tell you these clownish/idiotic/hack decisions of late on various entertainment mediums are akin to adding trains, motorcycles and robots to Zelda, something we BOTH know will never happen in a million years eh old buddy? H’yuck, h’yuck’ h’yuk!

Oh wait…

Ugh. ;-/

Anyway I’ve actually seen Ninten-tards defending this cardboard idiocy on Reddit and Youtube.

Man you’d think if there were any justice in the universe all of these nerds/viral marketers doing this would suddenly have a literal clown rush in to their vicinity and smash a fucking pie into their stupid faces right before supergluing a large red BOZO nose to their idiotic mugs.

I’ve had it up to here with these hipster fruit damage controllists and gutter delusional “change mongers” who constantly behave like contrarian turds simply because they care more about being perceived as different than other people because they think it makes them look cool instead of standing up for taste and common sense by telling the truth which is cardboard cutouts are fucking stupid and Nintendo should be made a laughing stock by the entire gaming community for trying to get away with this horseshit regardless of the price point they are attempting to gouge us all with for this shovelware.

Whether $70 or $7 this Labo is shit and no one should buy or support Nintendo for it.

I never thought they’d EVER manage to top Wind Waker or the Pikmin games in idiotic decision making processes but I now stand corrected Sean.

I now stand corrected.

More:

Say what you want about Labo, at least it’s better than VR.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 17, 2018

Lambo is trash

Lambo is not ‘Wii Era’ software. Wii Era software was incredible software such as Wii Sports and Wii Fit.

Lambo thinks it will be very profitable because it is using cardboard. Despite this, the game costs $70+!!!! For crappy software and cardboard!!??? Will the cardboard even last a year?

“This is for kids…”

There is no ‘this is for kids’. There is only ‘this is for everyone’. That is the Nintendo mantra after all. This is actually for the hardware engineers to save their jobs because the Switch software is not using the Switch ‘special hardware’.

What should be discussed are the STEM type toys such as the robots you can program and all that cost significantly less than this and do more. Lambo cannot compete with those STEM toys.

Lambo is garbage.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 16, 2018

Email: Cuphead: A Casuals Perspective

Hey, Maelstrom, pardon the lengthy e-mail but I kinda just want to get Cuphead off my chest, I played Cuphead to the start of the second isle, I did enjoy it mostly and yet I never went back to it, I’ve thought about why. You’d think that I’m the perfect target, a mostly old-school gamer whos into cartoons, I tend to play fast-paced games that demand sharp reflexes so its not like I’m expecting your typical indie snooze fest, yet its been months and I havent picked up Cuphead again, why?

For starters, hearing the same song over and over upon each death got old fast, old-timey music does not go well with repeated restarts! The sound effects, while “historically accurate” I guess, could be better too. They’re simply not very clear compared to say…the original Mario, a more functional mindset would have helped here.

The arts nice, even if Cuphead suffers from “bean grin”, a purely modern aesthetic often found in TV cartoons (Gumball, Stephen Universe, Gravity Falls). Given the much praised animation I am disappointed in the lack of death animations, especially when I’m going to be dying a lot! Yes it is hand drawn and inked like ye old cartoons, so why not make a cool web-cartoon instead?

The gameplay I’m really not that keen on, save for the occasional “Run and Gun” you mostly go from boss to boss, and unlike most old-game bosses their patterns arent always consistent, on top of that the screen area suffers from “SNES-syndrome”, where the sprites are too big and its zoomed in too much, rarely are you given enough room to dodge projectiles. Then theres the parry mechanic which I never liked, rarely used, and it doesnt work half the time anywho. Its just needless mastery, something for the experts to brag about.

The Run and Gun bits feel like an afterthought (and from what I know, they were), the levels are short with no checkpoints and enemies are just dropped in hap-haphazardly, theres enough on-screen stuff that it can get distracting, and the art doesnt exactly help in this case either to be frank. In these levels its just poor design that makes the game more difficult than it should be.

The game is hard, it doesn’t have a real “difficulty curb” as much as constant dips and hills as if the game were designed out of order or something. One minute you’re fighting the overly-long Popeye boss and the next you’re fighting a fairly easy robot. I cant stress how long these boss fights are either, they really go on for too long and no doubt add to the difficulty, you can tell that the devs wanted to show off their art skills here at the players expense. The games not as hard as “journalists” make it out to be

From a mechanical stand point the game could be better, it hogs up a whopping 11GB! For a Unity based side-scroller no less! For comparison, Half Life 2 takes up roughly 5GB despite being a semi-realistic FPS. Shovel Knight takes less than one gigabyte, heck Mario Odyessy only takes up near 5-6GB! Cuphead isnt even that long of a game either, nor does it exactly have complex physics involved (if any), all of that memory goes towards the art. The game slows down at times as you play it and the controls arent entirely perfect, but still, 11GB for whats basically discount-Max Fleischer animation meets Contra.

If one wants a “retro cartoon” platformer I have to recommend Mickey Mania instead, it has a neat first level that progressively goes from B/W to color, the level design is miles better, and its typically cheaper to boot on top of being an actual physical game. Cuphead has better music I will admit, but you wont be restarting each track constantly in Mickey Mania.

Cuphead does strike me as a ‘gimmick’ type game. They use a well done gameplay mechanic (Contra style) plus gimmick (art style) and that is about it.

Remember Clay Fighter for the SNES? Reviewers went wild over the graphics, but the game was so gimmicky. Street Fighter 2 style plus art style.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 16, 2018

Impressions of Bayonettas and Steamworld Dig/Heist

I have physical copies of these games on the Wii U. You, the gentle reader, will never get physical copies of those games on the Switch. Too bad.

Bayonetta is a very weird game that is more sizzle than steak. There is a reason why Bayonetta cannot sell.

Steamworld Dig has flaws, a rather wordy and boring beginning, but is very addictive and hits the SNES ‘sweetspot’ of gameplay fun. The question is… is it replayable? Hmm….

If you were reading any other page, such reviews would already be out. However, these games stay in the oven longer. I prefer a longer gestation period to determine value, not ‘drive by’ review posting.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 16, 2018

Why the reviews?

“Isn’t this about game business? What do games have to do about game business?”

Um, everything. The business of gaming is games. A console succeeds or fails due to its games. *cue curtain*

I have been bothered by the reviews on the Internet from message forums and Youtube channels. Most of these reviews seem to be a ‘fly by’ type review. They play the game really fast and then exhale a ‘review’ from those few play sessions. Rarely do you see reviews for games that have been tumbled around in your life. It seems to be ‘receive game from publisher’, ‘play game fast’, ‘review game fast’, ‘move on to next game’.

As a consumer, I do not buy games to ‘move on’. I buy games to keep playing them.To me, the primary value of a game is that it keeps calling me back. Over the decades, I have noticed some recurring patterns of such games…

-They have excellent controls.

-They have strong, crisp, above average sounds. (Nolan Bushnell points to sound quality as a chief factor in selling games. Early Blizzard games such as Warcraft or Diablo or their console games may not be graphically impressive at the time, but the sound quality was unreal and unmatched.)

-They have a strong *frungy* element. [Haha, it made urbandictionary! Frungy is to ‘inflate imagination’ such as in Lord of the Rings briefly mentioning all these ‘legends’ but never going into them pointing to a bigger universe. An 8-bit version of *frungy* would be the blue background of Super Mario Brothers suggesting a world instead of a black background found in prior games. The blue background has no gameplay purpose whatsoever but triggers the imagination.]

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