Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 30, 2017

C64 Mini

It is time for one of my favorite video game commercials. Oh yes…

It is the Commodore 64 salute! And I always take my Commodore 64 to waterslides.

The salute makes it back in the C64 mini promo. Sadly, the waterslide didn’t make the cut. Maybe someone will take their C64 Mini on a waterslide for me.

C64 Mini - hopefully they do the Amiga next

 

It costs $70!!!

“It is too much, Malstrom! OMG!”

Is it? I think the NES Mini and SNES Mini are still UNDERPRICED which is why demand keeps outstripping supply. Now, Commodore 64 games are not at the same level as NES and SNES classics, so it is hard to say whether or not $70 is overpriced or not. At least the price can come down.

Here are the games.

 

The games list isn’t the greatest, but there is one game on it that may have me buying the Commodore 64 Mini. It is one of my top 5 PC games I cannot stop playing.

Paradroid

If I had a C64 Mini on the desk where I could play Paradroid at times, maybe I might be able to beat the game. I still haven’t beaten it in over 35 years!

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Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 30, 2017

Email: PlayStation Boss on Switch

Hey Sean,

I just wanted to send you this link in case you have not already seen it. It kind of falls in line to what you have been saying regarding Sony.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-25/sony-vs-nintendo-playstation-boss-sees-limited-handheld-market

 

I just LOVE this line:

Still, the verdict is out on whether the Switch will become a mainstream device.

It being SOLD OUT since launch doesn’t mean anything. Nope! Software sales? They don’t matter either.

I am old enough to remember when Nintendo had 90% of the market during the NES Era, made movies like The Wizard, and Nintendo STILL wasn’t taken seriously. It is amazing.

But we read:

“The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand,” House said. “The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you, was the determining factor.”

Since the Vita failed, all gaming handhelds are doomed to fail. Such arrogance!

And this…

With the Switch, which debuted in March, Nintendo is betting that there’s going to be a robust market for a hybrid console-portable gadget that lets people play games in their living room or on the go. So far, it’s been a success, with sales on track with the Kyoto-based company’s forecasts and helping to add about $21 billion to its market value this year.

I love the language here. The article is actually saying that ‘Nintendo is betting there’s going to be a robust market’ for the Switch. There ALREADY IS a market for the Switch. The Switch launched since March, idiots. It is market proven already. How can you say it isn’t market proven?

“So far”, it’s been a success. Yes. “So far.” Oh, this reminds me of the ‘It’s just a fad’ when the Wii kept selling and selling.

So far, though, House says he hasn’t seen any signs of the Switch having an impact on Sony’s sales of content or hardware.

“That draws me to the conclusion that they’ve really been additive to the business in the last year or so,” House said.

Neither did the DS sales impact the PSP at first. But now there is no more Sony handhelds. There is only Nintendo handhelds.

Sony has an existential problem with the PlayStation model. It is squeezed between PC gaming and Switch, and its model depends on making use of this hardware which means ever ballooning budgets. The PlayStation simply isn’t sustainable. The ‘big TV in the house’ isn’t even sustainable. Whose to say that kids growing up on ipads and smartphones are going to go to the ‘big TV’?

Nintendo makes games for smartphones only because smartphones have replaced TV as the most commonly viewed ‘window’. Nintendo games are like ads for Nintendo consoles similar to Nintendo cartoons on TV during the 1980s.

I just don’t see how the future is on Sony’s side here. I think PlayStation’s current fortunes has more to do with the fall of the Xbox and growing macroeconomic trends. Once the cannibalization of the Xbox is over, where is Sony going to grow? It is more likely that PC gaming will cannibalize the PlayStation.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 30, 2017

Email: What did you think of Tiberian Sun

Dear Malstrom,

I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned, but what did you think of Tiberian Sun?

Regards,

Reader

Command and Conquer and Tiberian Sun have both aged incredibly poorly. There is no enemy AI in Command and Conquer! I suspect the aging is greatly due to the ‘cool elite super futuristic vision’ going on. The mechs look ridiculous. Red Alert still looks OK because we know a tank is a tank is a tank. But what is a Stealth Tank? What is a MK III that has four legs and walks around? What is a cyborg? I know what a rifleman is.

Sid Meir famously said that the reason why he didn’t put in futuristic units in Civilization was because people cannot associate with them. Command and Conquer is about futuristic units. However, and this is key, Command and Conquer design was actually during the first Iraq War where they took the military (and desert theme also a holdover from Dune 2000) to make them more futuristic and cool. Since we are distant from the Iraq War, we cannot associate with them as we once did. Add in the usual aging of the ‘voxel’ graphics, and you have a mess.

For its gameplay, Tiberian Sun was way too slow. Also, they took away the map editor (gave us map randomizer) so we couldn’t make fun hjk maps.

Red Alert 2 was designed to be much faster as Westwood realized how slowpace the gameplay of Tiberian Sun was.

I liked the Tiberian story arc. The units didn’t seem interesting. Red Alert 1, though, was very fascinating with its alternate history.

I think Tiberian Sun was seen as a disappointment overall. It didn’t get anywhere close to matching Command and Conquer 1’s appeal.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 30, 2017

World 2: Multi-Era

Above: That title screen! Those sound effects! Those graphics! It is the Apple II version of Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress. Ultima II has not been remastered or ported to consoles. It is perhaps the most obtuse RPG ever made.

Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress

Generation 2 (Atari Era)

Released 1982

How does one explain Ultima 2? How does one explain its primitive concept to young people today? By simply stating the truth: Ultima 2 is one of the most complex and convoluted concepts ever made for a video game.

When people replay Ultima 1, they do not play the original. They play the 1986 remastered version. Ulitma 3 seems somewhat conventional since it was what established many RPG conventions. But poor Ultima 2 has been forgotten by time itself. People just say, “It was bad,” and move on. Was it bad? It was a smash hit in sales. Reviews loved the game. The game sold left and right.

What I find fascinating about the Ultima series, unlike any other series of games, is that the development question is never ‘what is good for this franchise?’ The word franchise was never applied to video games then. Rather, the question is, “What is a Role Playing Game?” Each Ultima game would use a similar world with similar characters while radically rehauling the gameplay. Ultima II takes the opposite approach: it uses the same gameplay while rehauling the game’s setting as seen below.

Ultima 2 is also the first game to be sold in a cardboard box with a full cloth map and other booklets.

 

The Making of Ultima II

From Page 18 of The Official Book of Ultima by Shay Adams:

In back of the theater, the ushers pointed at Richard Garriott and several of his friends and whispered in the dark, “They’re back again!” None of the ushers, not even the silver-haired manager, had ever witnessed such a curious phenomenon, for every time the dwarf held up the map, Garriott and his friends whipped out notepads and started copying the time hole connections. After the credits rolled at the end of the film, revealing the map fully for the longest duration, Garriott and his cohorts got up from their seats but didn’t leave the theater. Instead, they stocked up on popcorn and sodas and returned right away to watch the movie over and over, scrambling to record more of the map each time it was displayed. Garriott organized such field trips to the $1 .00 matinee in 1981 until he had enough rough sketches to assemble a composite version of the time map. (Videocassette players weren’t on the market then, so he couldn’t just freeze-frame the map scenes and copy them at his leisure.)

The movie “Time Bandits” was a huge influence for young Richard Garriot. The Time Doors of Time Bandits, each of a different era of time, would shape Ultima 2.

Garriott credits movies and television with having far greater influence on Ultima than by any other media. In fact, he doubts he has even read more than 30 works of fiction in his entire life, and says Tolkien and C. L. Lewis are the only fantasy authors on that slim list. “I’m definitely a product of the video generation,” Garriott declares, “and as brainless as movies and television may seem, that’s where I get my entertainment.”

The use of the Time Door map was a key element in tying the movie together. Likewise, Garriot sought to include such a map in Ultima 2. No one had ever put a cloth map with a video game before…

“The cloth map that’s included with each Ultima came from Time Bandits, too,” he goes on, “it’s one of my favorite things. Provided in each copy of the game, the cloth map showing the continents and Time Doors eventually became the series’ trademark and is still revised and included in every sequel.” (Figuring out the mysteries of the Time Doors’ destinations became a central puzzle in II, and continued to evolve throughout the series, as they became Moongates and moonstones in later Ultimas.) “And because it’s so expensive,” Garriott exclaims, “I have to fight-even within my own company-to get the cloth map included in the box. It adds so much to the cost, that we’d be appreciably more profitable if we didn’t put it in.” It wasn’t long before similar maps started turning up in the packages of other role-playing games.

So why was Ultima 2 placed on Earth instead of Sosaria? Since it was a time travel game, Earth was needed as the setting in order to show a timeline everyone knew. The continental drift through plate tectonics was also shown in the game and would make sense using Earth.

As for the ‘Tolkien type fantasy setting’ (which wasn’t Ultima 1 and definitely not Ultima 2), the Time Doors are not ‘portals’ themselves. Nay. The Time Doors are ‘wormholes’ more similar to Stargate (which would release in the 1990s).

Ultima I was written in Basic which prevented the game from being ported. Ultima 2 would be written in assembly, but Garriott didn’t know assembly. He learned by literally writing Ultima II with it. Tom Luhrs, who wrote the Asteroids clone Apple-oids, helped Garriott in learning assembly programming language.

“Tom was the person who kind of held my hand through machine language as I started writing Ultima II,” says Garriott. “Literally the first lines of machine language I wrote were the first lines I wrote for the game; I went cold turkey straight into Ultima II-it was rough.”

Ultima II being written in assembly allowed the game to be widely ported. It is because of this that most 80s gamers remember Ultima II as being their first Ultima.

How Ultima II got a map and box

Akalabeth and Ultima I were published by California Pacific that went out of business in 1981. Sierra, which would also go away, would publish Ultima II. Garriott would reveal late that the reason these companies were dying despite having bestselling games to publish like the Ultimas was because they had the issue of spending money on ‘drugs and whores’ like many early software publishing businesses did. Perhaps the money came in too fast for them to grasp or all the workers there were too young and inexperienced.

As Garriott puts this phase of Ultima’s history in perspective: “You have to know what the industry was like at that time-besides most everything being packaged in Zip~loc bags, practically all the games were arcade game knock~offs, which from a programming standpoint took two or three months to develop. And I was already writing Ultimas that took me one to two years to develop. So I was much more personally tied to that product as to how it would be presented to the public. In my mind, I already had equated it more like having a baby than making a model. So I said, ‘Well, guys, I’m glad you’re all interested,’ and told them what I wanted. I wanted my game in a box, I wanted my game with extensive documentation, and-most of all-I wanted a cloth map. As soon as I made that statement, every publisher but Sierra On~Line dropped out. They were the only company that would stand by me and say, ‘Hey, we understand what you’re doing, and we’ll agree in the contract that you have a box and a cloth map and the whole bit.’ So the whole reason I moved to Sierra was because I wanted a cloth map.”

Ultima II was released in 1982 selling nearly 100,000 copies. In the year 1982, Nintendo would release Donkey Kong Jr., Sega would release Zaxxon, Namco would release Dig Dug and Pole Position, Midway would release Ms. Pac-man, Sir-tech would release Wizardry II, and Microsoft would release Flight Simulator 1.0.

The massive success of Ultima II had Richard Garriot make more money than anyone in his overeducated family of astronauts and doctorates; Garriot would drop out of college to focus entirely on game development.

 

The Story

After the events of Ultima I, you kill Mondain and smash his Gem of Immortality. Sosaria ruptures where the four continents break apart from the world. But where did you kill Mondain? It was the Time of Legends. This is why you needed a Time Machine to get to Mondain in Ultima I. The Time of Legends is either the beginning or end of time or outside of time. Only powerful beings have access to it such as Mondain, Minax, yourself, and the Time Lord.

One of the effects of the killing of Mondain at the Time of Legends was the emergence of Time Doors. Minax uses one to get to the Time of Legends, and she uses the place to her advantage. Being the apprentice (and lover) to Mondain, she would spend years at the Time of Legends honing her skills without the passage of time. While Mondain was essentially defenseless when you appeared at the Time of Legends to kill him, Minax builds a mighty fortress full of demons and force fields. Once protected, Minax enacts her revenge.

Like Mondain, she attacks Sosaria with monsters. But her target is the home of you, the one who killed her lover Mondain. The timeline of Earth becomes scrambled, monsters roam the eras. In 2111, Minax gets the nations of the world to attack each other with nuclear weapons. 2112 is the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.

But what Minax didn’t realize was that since you were at the Time of Legends, the rupture of time doesn’t totally affect you. Instead of blinking out of existence, you find yourself in the middle of 1400 BC.

In the mythos of Ultima II, the Earth is essentially destroyed in 2111. The survivors are using the Time Portals to go backward in time to try to prevent this incident. With them, they bring new technology to the past. The past eras of Earth are completely warped. There are spaceships and settlements on other planets in the Solar System. Those from other dimensions were able to slip into this Earth such as Lord British. The manual speaks of a story of an Orc that was raised by benevolent Humans which is why the Orcs on Earth are good and well behaved (inspiration for Blizzard’s Thrall for Warcraft?). However, no matter what they did, the wrath of Minax was too strong. The Earth would be destroyed and the evil would continue for eternity. Minax has to be slain, but she is too well protected in her fortress at the Time of Legends.

From the manual:

Thus was the name of Minax, enchantress of evil, made known. A master of telekinesis from infancy and proudly apprenticed to Mondain the Wizard at age eleven, she had grown to wield a power many times greater than that which had failed to save her master. And with that growth arose an intense hatred for the people of Earth who had brought her master’s end. Never content to merely afflict the good with evil, causing misery and pain, Minax sought to sow the seeds of evil in the good, leaving none untouched. Storms of destruction collapsed the frame work of society, and horrors once known only to those with conscience, guilt, loathing, and self-hatred prevailed against the entire Earth.

The climax of Minax’s wrath was the holocaust of 2111, in which ancient civilizations born of love of beauty and wisdom and knowledge turned upon one another and, in their vicious anger and contempt, destroyed almost all of the very Earth that had nurtured them.

Were it not for the time doors, you would likely not be here now. Only the ability to move in time enabled any living thing to survive the holocaust, so far as is known.

Since that awful day, survivors have devoted themselves to rethinking the concept of time itself, hoping to find some means of using the time doors to alter the course of past events. They have concluded that evil can emanate from a single overpowering source and that this source is Minax. And they believe there to be a chance that total elimination of a cause may excise its effects from all time, as if the past might become the future for those who step into it.

That group, which I, Lord British, chair, extend our deepest respect and admiration to you for heroically volunteering for this perilous expedition into time. Know before you go that, whether you succeed or fail, you have our gratitude and, indeed, our Love.

Minax was Mondain’s lover and only 11 years old when Mondain was slain? Retcon! Retcon! Certainly shows why Minax was so screwed up.

You, the champion, use the Time Gates in the eras to build yourself up. You fly a spaceship to Planet X. You get the Ring that negates time, the Quick Sword, and the other things you need. Then you go to the Time of Legends, get past Minax’s defenses, and then slay Minax.

Once Minax is dead, the timeline restores itself, and Earth returns to its normal course. Minax’s wrath is unknown after her death and is remembered only on Sosaria (why is this? Why does Sosaria remember and no one else? Who knows…).

Above: The map for Ultima 2.

Game Concepts

Ultima 2 is seen today as an absurd story, completely broken gameplay, and just a hot mess. But yet, in 1982, Ultima 2 was a smash hit selling 100,000 units (massive for PC games), was the darling of critics who praised the gameplay and hailed its ‘wondrous’ story

Ultima 2 was not just an open world on multiple planets (though most of those planets had nothing on them), it was different eras as well. While Ultima 1 gave us the Open World concept, Ultima 2 gave us Multiple Era concept. You could move backward and forward in time and place.

FIVE ERAS OF TIME

Time of Legends

(Just Minax in her castle of demons!)

Pangea

(The rupture of the timelines hasn’t affected Pangea much. There is a small village and a dungeon. That’s it.)

1423 B. C.

(In the new timeline, there is advanced civilization already due to the people of the future arriving in the past.)

1990 A. D.

(In this timeline, there is an interplanetary civilization. The people are egocentric. War bubbles.)

2112 A. D.

Aftermath

(In this timeline, the Earth has been devastated by nuclear war wiping out almost all of mankind and shattered continents. If not for the Time Doors, no humans would have survived.)

While Ultima 1 was programmed in basic, Ultima 2 was programmed in assembly making it easier to port. For many Old Schoolers, this would be their first Ultima because this was the first Ultima to be easily ported (Ultima 1 had to be remastered in order to be easily ported).

The gameplay is very much like Ultima 1. The dungeons are still wireframe (and completely unnecessary. You do not have to enter a dungeon in this game at all!). The world is larger.

I believe Garriott thought “What is an RPG?” or “What is Ultima?” was to be as fantastical as possible. Mixing Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Star Wars together wasn’t enough it seemed. In Ultima 2, he throws in Time Bandits and makes the setting so fantastical that it jumps the shark.

 

The Story of Ultima 2 is actually ‘wondrous’ and good

A modern gamer could play NES games and conclude ‘they suck’. But that modern gamer would be wrong. It is the modern gamer who sucks. In the same way, the modern gamer declaring Ultima 2 ‘the suck’ when sales and critics say otherwise in 1982 tell us that there is something Ultima 2 has that we do not know about. I believe it is the mythos that is unique to Ultima 2.

Allow me to demonstrate why Ultima 2 was so loved by reuniting it with its spiritual successor.

“What game is that?” asks the reader.

The early Ultima games were released in many areas (as well as Wizardry and others). Ultima was quite popular in Japan. All the ‘elder Japanese game developers’ most certainly played the early Ultimas. Miyamoto has referenced Ultima as one of several games helping inspire the Legend of Zelda. We know Dragon Quest is a simplified, casual-ized (oh, that word!) version of Ultima 3. But what of Ultima 2?

“I need another clue.”

Ultima 2’s setting had five eras:

Ancient Times (Pangea)

Early Civilization (1423 BC) [but advanced civilization is there anyway]

Present (1990 A.D.) [though intergalactic civilization is here]

Aftermath (2112 A.D.) [After the holocaust and destruction of man and civilization]

End of Time (Time of Legends. It exists outside of time itself.)

While Ultima 2 had five eras, its spiritual successor would have seven. But unlike Ultima 2, it would not have other planets to discover. The spiritual successor greatly simplified and casualized the story of Ultima 2. Only the heroes would go back and forth in time. And it would have a nuclear holocaust just like in Ultima 2 due to the evil of a single entity. Ultima 2’s story isn’t bad, it is just too complex. The spiritual successor simplifies the story and is today hailed for how ‘complex’ its story is!

The reader’s eyes pop open. “No…” the reader whispers then screams. “No!!!! It can’t be… IT JUST CAN’T BE!!!”

The spiritual successor to Ultima 2: Revenge of the Enchantress, one which I am not the first to make such a connection, is the inspiration for the game you know as Chrono Trigger.

Above: A tribute to Ultima 2.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 28, 2017

Packaging matters even with digital games

Kotaku: Switch owners care about icons

No one argues that game packaging is important. Decades later, we still talk about game packaging of the past. So why is anyone surprised that digital packaging is seen as important?

What I think is hilarious is how game companies now have to change their packaging if consumers don’t like it. Digital goes both ways, people! Physical packaging we are stuck with, but that digital packaging better be altered to not be annoying!

The ‘icon’ could become more important than the title screen now because we leave games ‘open’ and come back to them.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 26, 2017

Red Alert 1 is still amazing

You can play it for free at cncnet.com. Red Alert 1 is freeware. People still play it online!

I was one of, if not, the first host for 8 player games for Red Alert online (tricking LAN packets to go across the Internet. Thanks Jay Cotton of Kali!). While I did not make the infamous hjk map, my friend did. We were a closed bunch that played on a special server. The Westwood maps always sucked so we made our own. I would do the revisions on the hjk map.

I was playing Red Alert 1 with a co-worker recently. Needed a better map than Westwood’s crappy maps. Went to a RA site and downloaded a map that looked cool. Hahaha. I discover that it was a map I made over twenty years ago. I also did some heavy modding for RA 1 which was very uncommon back then. I saw people still ask and look for the mod after all these years. Interesting to see something you did survive the Internet after all that time.

I wonder if this site will come back to me in the future? Nah.

Anyway, go play the Red Alert 1 version from CNC NET. People play it online, and it is adapted to modern computers.

The reader asks, “But is it better than modern AAA gaming?”

You’re goddamn right!

What acting! What story! Ho ho ho! It is so much fun, dear reader. Today, games are so ‘serious’, but Red Alert 1 was serious too in its own way. But it was unceasingly entertaining.

“Shake it baby!”

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 26, 2017

Star Trek Discovery Review

Yeah, I watched it. But I didn’t pay CBS All Access to do so. Fuck you CBS!

Some people say they like it. Some people say they did not like it. But my take is that despite people saying words, they still have the unqueasy feeling that they do not know where they like it or not.

I KNOW the Star Trek fan. They do not merely ‘watch’ a Star Trek show. They relax to it. The show acts as a daily massage. They watch it again, and again, and again.

Star Trek Discovery creates a feeling of freshness simply because Mr. Star Trek Fan has never seen it before. However, this freshness feeling will pass.

I predict, long term (years from now), this show will be smelled by upturned noses who realize it stinks. So far, this is a show that could be done in any other sci-fi show or even non-sci-fi show. The rule for Star Trek writers is that the show can only be done if it cannot be done outside Star Trek, outside sci-fi.

Enjoy your freshness. I don’t think it will be good enough to keep the show re-watchable ten years from now. But it is early so we will see.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 24, 2017

Email: Re: 8-bit jank and modern AAA gaming

Malstrom,

You said:

“[…]and yet, AAA games never become classics. Have you noticed that?”

Even though I believe there are a handful like Dark Souls or Monster Hunter which may or may not become “classics” in the future due to being quite well-crafted (still, we’ll have to see), I do believe you have a point.

I feel the only way modern, overproduced AAA games like Call of Mountain Dewty could ever get embedded into the mainstream psyche is by becoming a corny internet meme.

The garish production values only make them age like milk. Instead of acting as preservatives, they only serve to make the game a lot more dated than it should be.

I’m not going to claim that all “retro” (my goodness, that word) games age like fine wine, but there is something to be said when I’d rather play classic Doom than the thousand and one CoD and Overwatch clones on the market.

We have enough data from prior generations to connect that Hyped Games Because OMG Graphics = Forgotten In The Future. In the future, all games lose graphical advantage.The game is either good or not.

One reason why I like writing about games is that I have so much faith in gamers. Despite game industry’s best efforts, gamers, in general, will not accept bad games. The 1983 Great Crash was due to the belief that the market will buy ‘bad games’. The lesson was that the market would not.

Why does the NES and SNES Mini sell like hotcakes today? It is because the games are very, very good. It is as simple as that. It is a big ‘fuck you’ to game developers (of both game industry and Nintendo) who dismiss the older games. “They were only popular because of that time period,” they tell us.

I don’t understand why gaming is so scared of the classics. By classic, I mean games that will be continued to be played by people who weren’t born when the game was released. Super Mario Brothers came out over 30 years ago. Do we have to wait until 50 years or 100 years before we can call it a classic? Or is Nintendo going to continue to say, “Bah! Who wants that old retro crap? Here is fancy dancy new 3d Mario for you. Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!”

Old Schoolers kept crying out for Open World mechanics in Zelda that were found in Zelda 1. Nintendo poo pooed the idea, and we watched Zelda franchise tank. Someone, somewhere, got their head out of their ass and went, “Hmm. Maybe Classic Zelda is loved because of reasons not relating to the time period. OMG!” They put some of those elements into the new Zelda BoW game, and then magic happens. “What is going on here?” says the exasperated Nintendo as they run around in circles.

I do really, really enjoy Nintendo’s surprise and bafflement at how NES and SNES Minis are selling TO NEW GENERATIONS.

Remember this video? It came out before the Wii. It is certainly cringe worthy, but it brings up an interesting sentiment: we hate the ‘industry’. Looking at it again made me cheer when I saw Bomberman there. Is it any coincidence Switch early adopters bought the hell out of Bomberman R? And Zelda BoW “Wow!” was a return to old school form. It was bought left and right. And what about Sonic Mania? Bought. Even Ultra Street Fighter 2 was bought.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 24, 2017

Email: MP4

If the question is if Nintendo will recognize the real definition of Metroid, then what do you think of Metroid Prime 4’s chances? One thing that worries me is that they’ll also drink the metroidvania Kool aid.

I think that playing Metroid Prime 4 safe won’t work like I think it does with Samus Returns. Backtracking in a 3D space will be looked upon unfavorably at a time when 3D open world games are so common. By comparison, 2D games are usually indie, and in the shadow of whatever game inspired the indie dev.

Tanabe has a new developer team under him, so I hope they bring something new to the table. Maybe when outlining the game they’ll realize just another Metroid Prime won’t cut it today.

I don’t have any faith in Metroid Prime 4.

So how’s that Metroid 2: Sakamoto Returns going for you guys? The reason why you don’t hear anything about it, aside from game forum specific threads on it, is the game is a dud. When hit games come out, say Breath of the Wild, you hear about it EVERYWHERE.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 24, 2017

Email: Porting Excuses

One of the implications of Bethesda porting over DOOM and Wolfenstein II to Switch is it blows away the poor 3rd Party excuse of “Switch isn’t a graphically powerful console so we can’t port our AAA title”. DOOM and Wolfenstein II are very modern graphically heavy games. 3rd Party developers really don’t have any excuse of not porting their games to Switch if Bethesda can get their games to work on Switch.

You underestimate the creativity of the Game Industry at finding excuses not to port software to Nintendo hardware.

During the Wii era, they couldn’t say ‘no install base’ or ‘no software sales’. What we discovered was that if a company tried to port a game to the Wii, the programmer would quit! They thought Nintendo hardware was ‘beneath them’. I’m serious.

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