Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2015

I might buy a Wii U for Splatoon

I’m not digging the Evil Octopus Army. It isn’t enough for the Squidlings to be memorable (which they are), the enemies must be memorable too. Not seeing it there.

But this game looks insane. It feels fresh (boy am I tired of more Mario Kart, Mario, Zzzzzelda, etc). There is this crazy backstory they are doing. What is with that 8-bit Splatoon? What is with those posters? WTF!??? This OMGWTF moment I only get from Japanese games. I got it in SPADES with Super Mario Brothers. The original Super Mario Brothers was a nuclear bomb of OMGWTFBBQ. You got mushrooms and got BIGGER? You could run on the CEILING while underground? There was a negative world? WTF is going on here!???? The game felt like the developers were on mushrooms. It was brilliant. The Zelda games I got that feeling too. You attack the NPC, and he attacks back hahahahahah. Metroid as well (though Metroid was more mystery and eerie than crazy dev-on-mushrooms). Got that feeling with Super Mario Kart (bought it at launch when everyone ridiculed me for it. Everyone thought it was a baby type game and boy were they wrong). The OMGWTFBBQ craziness of the original Super Mario Brothers has only been matched by Wii Sports. Remember that video of Iwata talking to some Japanese newswoman and he demonstrated the wii-mote during the interview by swinging it, and it occurred on the screen? The woman jumped with shock.

Nintendo says this is ‘surprise’ but it is more like ‘omgwtfbbq’. Splatoon gives off the ‘crazy devs on mushrooms’ feeling. Not as big as Mario or Wii Sports of course. I actually don’t think this game will be that big at all. It seems it will be an intense cult hit which might one day flower into a mass phenomenon some day later on.

I am very curious of women’s reactions to Splatoon. If you want Blue Ocean, get females into the shooter genre. Splatoon will not be competing with Call of Duty or Gears of War.

I require for myself six games I want to buy before I get a console (three must be out already). With Wii U, it would be Splatoon, 2d Mario Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Zelda U, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Nintendo Land, and maybe Hyrule Warriors. With game consoles going cloud and its low install base, I expect Wii U to become a collector’s item anyway one day.

And no, I am never, ever going to touch that turd called Wind Waker HD. *shivers in horror* They might as well port the CD-i Zelda games to HD if they are porting Zelda failures.

Here’s looking to Splatoon goodness… Love the theme, rock and roll, just as video games used to be about…

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 20, 2015

Super Mario Brothers 3 never ceases to impress

I actually knew some of these, but not the Japan theme in World 3. No wonder that bridge was there! Damn!

There is a 22 year old I know who told me, “Malstrom, I love Super Mario Brothers 3. I stayed up all night playing it with my friend.” But he was born AFTER the game was released. A game becomes transcendent when it can be so enjoyed by those born outside its time. That is what becomes literature and classics… works that are enjoyed beyond their era of time. Super Mario Brothers 3 just transcends the NES library and every other library for that matter. It is literally the perfect game. Any addition to it would only mar it like ‘save points’ or ‘multiple exits’ and such.

What other NES games in the library might be transcendent? Nothing on the same level as Mario 3 for sure. The first Super Mario Brothers game, the two Zelda games, and a huge spotlight on Contra. Perhaps Mega Man 2?

I’m trying to think of another console game that so outdoes its game library like Mario 3 does to the NES library in other consoles. I can’t think of any.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 15, 2015

Email: Master Malstrom… help! Why is Nintendo doing this?

Master Malstrom…

… help!

Nintendo has delivered upon us another dose of “Please Understand”, and I don’t understand why they insist on making us suffer!

The New Nintendo 3DS now has a hardware feature to make sure people do NOT avoid their glorious 3D!
We will have a Fire Emblem with a LOT of Japanese influence, after all, that’s what the western market wants!
We will have Majora’s Mask remake and we WILL understand how much of a genius Aonuma is!
We will have even more possibilities of buying overpriced plastic toys as a mean of unlocking DLC with the Amiibos!
We will have no news of Mario Maker, as 2D Mario is part of the long, forgotten past!
We will have Wii games being sold on eShop, as we did not understand them!
… and all of that without the burden of getting yet another AC adapter!

Why do I feel like Nintendo is beating me up until I apologize for not liking what they want me to like?

 

We have to see Gen 9 Nintendo handheld to see which path Nintendo will go. I think right now Nintendo is just gorging itself. It may be the last time to play in this 3d hardware so it is playing it for what it can. In the Gamecube’s final days of Chibi Robo and Odama, those didn’t point to the Wii. But we know we are in the twilight of 3DS with all the puzzle games coming out for it. Puzzle games always seem to trumpet the ending of the console. I’d say we’ll see appearance of the 3DS successor announced in 2016.

But I like the cut of your jib, emailer…

Were there any games I saw in the Nintendo Direct that I liked? Nah. Well, Splatoon still has my attention. I just want to know if I can play with bots. What is the value of Splatoon after the Wii U Era is gone? I do not want online only multiplayer!

 

 

 

 

If they are selling you Wii games online to the Wii U, then why on earth will they ever continue backwards compatibility going forward? No, they will just sell you download versions of the game. Nintendo Gen 9 home console will not be backwards compatible with Wii U buuuuuuuut you can download Wii U games for it.

I hate this because it makes console gaming more disposable. While I’m still rocking the 8-bit and 16-bit classics, it will be much harder to do this with all the download crap in the future.

BTW, wtf is wrong with the guy’s voice?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2015

Added Yoshi’s Island

Decided to buy this thinking the ‘collecting’ would keep me busy. Now I realize how much I despise this game. Getting 100% on all the levels is just…. ugh. The game, itself, can be pure Nintendo fun at times. I get tired of Nintendo trying to ‘remake’ Yoshi’s Island on modern consoles and figured might as well just buy the original and be done with it.

This is not Super Mario World 2!!!!! Ugh. This game is where Nintendo began to go wrong.

The graphics are charming but overkill. It is so saccharine it rots my teeth.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2015

Retro Collection

I will be adding a new category where I show off what new old games I buy. Why does this matter? Someone might find it useful what I think is worth buying from the past. I’ve been collecting older games for only a few months now. However, I am not a collector. I am a player. I play these games. I do not ‘collect’ them. This is why my collection is so small. 1) I actually play my games. 2) I just started.

The following is the complete list:

NES:

Hardware-

-Front loading console

-Two standard controllers.

-Gray light gun

-NES Advantage

-Wired Four Score

-NES Joystick (Quickshot)

Software- (LOL, as if the software is different from the hardware for NES!)

-Super Mario Brothers / Duck Hunt

-Mario Brothers

-Super Mario Brothers 2

-Super Mario Brothers 3

-Donkey Kong Classics

-Legend of Zelda

-Zelda 2

-Final Fantasy

-Kid Icarus

-Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

-Wrecking Crew

-Mega Man 2

-Mega Man 3

-Mega Man 4

-Shadowgate

-Gauntlet 2

-Metroid

-Contra

-Double Dragon 2

-Adventures of Lolo 2

-Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers

-Rampart

-Lode Runner

-Millipede

-Tetris

-Dr. Mario

-Boulder Dash

-Ice Hocker

-Bubble Bobble

-Guardian Legend

-Kings of the Beach

-Chessmaster

-Blades of Steel

-Pac-Man

-Popeye

 

Gameboy:

Hardware-

Super Gameboy (I have original and GBA but I prefer to use Super Gameboy)

Software-

-Tetris

-Metroid 2

-Mega Man

-Yoshi

-Dr. Mario

-Defender and Joust

-Super Mario Land

-Ducktales

-Bonk’s Adventure

-Baseball

-Boxxle

-R-Type

-Final Fantasy Legend

-Final Fantasy Adventure

-Some strange Japanese hockey game I don’t know what it is

SNES:

Hardware-

-SNES console

-3 SNES controllers

-Mouse and Mouse Pad

Software-

-Mario Paint

-Final Fantasy 2

-Final Fantasy 3

-Mystic Quest

-Star Fox

 

And yes, my SNES library really does suck at the moment. I lost many games and the console due to letting someone keep it. Now I have to start buying them back.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2015

Email: Skyrim is really, really good

Sean,

Don’t miss out on Skyrim. It has all the stuff you’ve been complaining about losing in Zelda:1. Feeling of growth — Your abilities keep getting stronger and stronger. If you crank up the difficulty a bit, gangs of bandits are quite fearsome at the beginning. Eventually, you will be hurling them from mountaintops with fierce shouts and cleaving their heads from their necks in single blows. And the growth is visible…your armor looks progressively more badass the higher in level you go.

2. Massive, interesting world — There’s so much to do. So much to see. Go anywhere, do as you like. Heck, if you don’t want to, you don’t even *have* to do the main quest. Just spend all your time hunting vampires and slaying giants.
3. Up to you how long you play. You can play for 30 minutes and clear out a tower, or you can play all day and do a major quest.
4. Not too much plot. — It’s an RPG, so of course there’s a plot, but there aren’t interminable cutscenes, it doesn’t beat you over the head with “the genius of the game god” or some heavy-handed moral message. The focus is on you, the player, smiting enemies, gathering loot, and rescuing damsels in distress.
5. Decide how you want to play. — You don’t have to spend any time smithing if you don’t want to. You don’t have to ever learn how to sneak if you don’t want to. You don’t have to learn magic. You can recruit followers. Or not. Whatever you like.
I have been a huge critic of earlier Elder Scrolls games, but this one really takes the cake. It’s very good. Best RPG I’ve played since the late 1990s.
.
I don’t diss Skyrim. At least Skyrim SOLD WELL. Skyrim is very noteworthy because it sold extremely well when the Game Industry was declaring the death of single player games and only multiplayer games can sell. Nintendo is looking to Skyrim for inspiration for Zelda U based on those high sales.
.
I really wish Nintendo would look for inspiration from Minecraft for a game. Aside from Wii Sports, the most revolutionary game in the Seventh Generation was Minecraft. Minecraft is as revolutionary as Tetris. Yet, Nintendo doesn’t seem to take notice.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2015

Email: What’s beautiful about Wind Waker?

Hello Master Malstrom

I just saw an article on Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/the-internets-2001-hate-for-one-of-the-most-beautiful-1441105533/all)

it’s basically a guy mocking people who were pissed at Wind Waker when it was first revealed and now claim fans love it. Really?! I love to look at the 2001 comments that prove the game broke the fans’ spirit so badly but how the author can claim such BS?!”The average person over the age of 13 can no longer proudly stand by all the opinions they expressed 12 years ago. In time, a person simply decides that dirt no longer tastes good. Later, one regrets the pants they wore in middle school or, further into life, feels some shame when recalling the thing they said in anger to their spouse… A dozen years later, on the occasion of the release of the game’s HD Wii U remake, let us laugh at how so many of us hated this beautiful thing when they first saw it (the original spelling and grammar of these mournful missives has been left intact)…

I am one of these people who were pissed at Nintendo for that ugly art style and honestly I still think it looks like crap. What did I miss? I just don’t get it it still looks like children’s drawings to me! If that was true that we all love it then why Nintendo always avoid to make a Wind Waker-like again even if they obviously want to do it?! And didn’t the HD remake bombed? Why the internet is convinced that Wind Waker is a classic?! They totally believe that BS!

I believe game journalists are saying what Nintendo believes. This is actually a very fascinating topic that has a long history.
.
After Mario 64, all the game journalists said how ‘successful’ Mario 64 was and, like Nintendo, didn’t reference 2d Mario as 2d Mario. It was that 2d Mario was ‘obsolete’ and 3d Mario was what there would always be. This is what Nintendo believed.
.
The biggest indicator of something gone awry are game journalists chanting that Zelda 2 was not well received by the public. This went on FOREVER until the 20/20 youtube clip by John Stossel of a story on Nintendo actually shows Zelda 2 (along with Mario 2) as ‘hotly wanted items’ and people literally driving to different states to get it. Not well received my ass. There are many people who love Zelda 2. The people who do not are Nintendo developers. The question is, why? Why doesn’t Miyamoto like Zelda 2? The game was successful. The reason why is that it illustrates that Zelda’s game design is not story and puzzles but arcade action and RPG. Zelda 2 WAS an RPG! Zelda 2 was the first Metroidvania. Many games have tried to emulate its combat, but no one I know has emulated its hybrid design.
.
In many cases, I believe these game journalists are just copy and pasting Nintendo developer opinions as ‘facts’. If Miyamoto says Zelda 2 was a ‘bad Zelda’, they will quote it as gospel because the source is Miyamoto. But if you look at the market reaction, you see something very different. Wind Waker is said, by Nintendo, to be a ‘good Zelda’. Then why wasn’t it more popular? The truth is that Nintendo, and Miyamoto, do not get to decide which games are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Only the customer gets to decide that.
.
I suspect Wind Waker HD was planned even before the Wii U was released. Nintendo assumed Wii U would be a moderate to big hit. No console company assumes their console will be a failure. Iwata said that Wind Waker would be good to ‘introduce people to Zelda’. Perhaps Nintendo saw Twilight Princess’s sales legs with the Wii and wanted Wind Waker to have that with the Wii U. And it is also true Nintendo devs get hot and bothered by marveling at Wind Waker’s graphics.
.
But here is the thing.
.
The two DS Zelda games, both being Wind Waker sequels, did not happen by accident. They were deliberate. Someone is PUSHING Wind Waker down our throats to be ‘accepted’ and ‘be good’. I love how Wind Waker keeps being declared to be a ‘good Zelda’ just like how Other M was being declared to be a ‘good Metroid’.
.
What I’m seeing from Nintendo is a rebelling of developers from consumer tastes. They wish to be selfish and make whatever they hell they want. They’d rather make Gamecubes than Wiis. So why did they make a Wii in the first place just to not continue it? The Wii was not designed to expand the gaming population, the Wii was designed to expand the Gamecube gaming population. Nintendo only made its simplistic games so people would buy 3d Mario and Aonuma Zelda. But that isn’t happening and, as Miyamoto has expressed, there is much bitterness inside Nintendo about it.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2015

Email: Maturing Customers

Hi there!

It’s been a really long while since the last time I read your blog, so I
have lots of catching up to do…

Anyway, this part in an email on the Anti-hype blog post had me smiling:

“Hell, people are now starting to flatout regard the developers of Call
of Duty as being liars because they promise to put things in their next
game–like dedicated servers–and then don’t.  They promise to balance
things–like the sniper rifles–and don’t.  They promise the game will
look “next gen” but it winds up looking the same as–or worse–than the
game before it. Because of all of this, everybody is losing faith in the
gaming industry to deliver the steak, because all they can do is sizzle.”

Technically this is nothing new – the industry haven’t delivered what’s
promised in ages anymore. But what the emailer is describing, is what
happens when your customers are getting older. Seeing the games not
living up to the hype and/or not being delivered what was promised times
too many is eventually going to turn customers away.

The industry targets the immature male as they are easy to sell the
games, but the “ever maturing” trend have been leading into maturing and
therefore more experienced customers, that eventually learn not to get
hyped over something that’s not going to be living up to hype anyway.
Back in 2006 I registered to a videogames forum that opened few months
prior to Wii release, where I have had the chance to see the kids
growing up in these past 8 years. It’s amazing how much more sceptic can
someone be at the age of 23 than he or she was at 15. The boys who were
17 back then and were going “OMG” with virtually every big budget hype
targeted them, are now saying “meh”.

In a way you could describe the situation as a tragedy of the commons,
as everyone’s top teams have been making big budget games for the
“mature” audience, while the younger audience have been getting scraps,
leading into less kids coming in as they grow up.
I remember Iwata saying around a decade ago that “it’s important to
appeal to kids”, which is true if you want to keep having customers in
the next generation too…

Up until the 1990s, games were designer based. Then, they became production based. Now, games are marketing based. When I see a game now, all I see is marketing. I FEEL the hands of tons of marketing elves creating it all.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 11, 2015

No, I am not this guy buying all the amiibos he hates

But he is right. All of Nintendo’s new characters are total crap especially Petey Piranha and Bowser Junior. Midna is the only decent new character.

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