Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 13, 2017

E3 2017

I have very little to say. It is obvious that Switch is going to sell out throughout the rest of the year. I think *some* of the games will sell, but I think everyone is underestimating the sales potential of third party Switch games such as Skyrim, Rocket League, and others.

Nintendo’s first party on Switch is, in my opinion, incredibly poor. Mario Odyssey looks terrible. I’m not a fan of 3d Mario, but even I was excited for Mario Galaxy. Mario Odyssey looks insanely boring and designed for children.

The delay of Nintendo Online Service may even be due to Switch’s good sales (thanks to Zelda). If Switch wasn’t selling so well, the Online Service would be pushed out.

I don’t see any killer apps or potential killer apps coming from Nintendo. I do think third party games are going to start stealing the spotlight. Watch Skyrim sales. Watch Rocket League sales. Watch Minecraft sales.

My latter half of 2017 purchases will likely be 8th Gen related before they get harder to find.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 11, 2017

The Big Aonuma Interview Continued

I only went through the first page of the big Aonuma interview. Pardon my haste. Let us continue onward.

First of all, I must ask you whether you ever doubted the essence of LOZ was to solve the puzzle from the beginning.

The initial LOZ or “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (AOL)” have lots of action and “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (LOZLttp)” had puzzles both inside of the dungeon and out. Did you feel that they were the things that made it more like Zelda?

Fujisawa:
To be honest with you, all I remember is that there were puzzles in the game. That’s all.

――After hearing what you said, I think the action RPG element, fighting against the enemy actually stands out more.

Folks, they are reading this blog. I don’t think there is anyone on the Internet who has really hammered the issue of ‘Puzzle Zelda’ like ‘ol Malstrom.

It is a reason why I am taking so long to write my article(s) on the Open World. Need to make sure it is right.

But here is thing. Regardless of what is said and done, look at Zelda BoW “Wow!” sales and social phenomenon. THIS is what Zelda is. THIS is what Zelda ought to do. Zelda games should create great excitement among ALL gamers, and the game should sell the hardware.

I may try doing another playthrough of Breath of the Wild but this time put all my hearts into stamina. This way, I can move around faster, and the game will be harder. I think on my original character, I got so powerful that the game got boring. I had no reason to go back after that.

Open Worlds are great. But there is a REASON why we are in that world. For Zelda BoW “Wow!”, the reason is to kill Ganon. When you can do that and have done it, the player has little incentive to be in Hyrule. This is fine as the game has to have an Endgame. I just don’t see any reason to get all the shrines and seeds. Game becomes too easy after a point.

So if we think about when it was that solving puzzles became the key element of the game. It is probably from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (LOZOOT)”.

The reason is because I was in charge of designing every dungeon in “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (LOZOOT)”. At that time, I thought I wanted to make puzzles in the game. It was not like Mr. Miyamoto asked me to make it or it was decided that LOZ was a game with puzzles and battles.

Man, what am I going to talk about now? Nintendo is already adjusting.

If I might add, for us, the act of solving puzzles is to give the players a sense of accomplishment. When the player clears a puzzle, he can feel the sense of accomplishment and he repeats it for that good feeling.

For the structure of the whole world, we used to have it with just few puzzle elements and the player could move around in the fields and in the dungeons where many puzzles are placed. However, in this product, simple puzzles are scattered [across] the field. So we thought that even when the player was running on the plains, he would stop and try to solve a puzzle if he finds a suspicious looking place or an object that looks like it’s linked to a puzzle. So we placed more than 100 “shrines” in the field and hid simple puzzles in the shrines.

OK, here’s the problem with this. What puzzles are brilliant for is to offer a form of progression that doesn’t involve combat. The puzzles don’t really offer progression because they are not truly immersive. For example, the maze of the Great Palace in Zelda 2 was a ‘puzzle’ in a sense. No one thought of it that way. It was the final dungeon. Bombing walls in LoZ offers this progression because you are not bombing walls, you are breaking open the dungeon.

Good puzzle – Following the direction of the torch smoke in BoW “Wow!”.

Bad puzzle – The statue jump and hop game right in front of the Master Sword in Twilight Princess.

Why? The bad puzzle has no immersion with the world. The bad puzzle is not truly part of the world. It feels like someone just threw it in there.

Good puzzle makes sense.

Remember the ‘lost woods’ of the original Legend of Zelda? The ‘puzzle’ immerses you more into the world instead of taking you out despite its 8 bit nature.

――Further, if the player gets to spend too much time in a huge dungeon, the feeling of exploring the Open World would get weaker, too.

I agree. We thought if the vision of exploring the Open World gets mixed with the vision of looking into the dungeon, it would be inevitable to lose the balance in the game.

So, in this game, once the player goes into the shrine, there are one or two simple puzzles to solve. When the puzzle is solved, the player can obtain an item. And then he can move on with his journey in the Open World. By letting the player experience the feeling of achievement whenever he solves the puzzle, the player can move on to the next expedition with satisfaction. That is the “joy of finding” process in this game that we want to share with others.

We need more dungeons like Hyrule Castle. Why? Hyrule Castle was further immersion into The World. The ‘shrines’ lose their immersion because they all have the same aesthetic and all say the same thing. I’m not saying shrines need to be in the overworld, I think there should be a connection to the shrine and the world. Who made this shrine? Why is this shrine here? Why aren’t the local NPCs talking about this shrine?

Aonuma talks about Minecraft and emergent gameplay.

Here is what was said here about Minecraft Alpha (!) in 2010. Eerily, the connection I made with the original Legend of Zelda and Minecraft seems to come true with Breath of the Wild.:

Here, Aonuma says:

――I must say that “MC” gets unfolded from the very beginning. It doesn’t force you to do anything, but then you realize that you are developing land and building a house from the trees that you obtained from the land. You start digging a cave and soon you can’t wait to discover the underground world. The stream of consciousness continues so naturally.

It is the same for “LOZ.” The player finds something that gives him all the different choices. That is the thing that we want the players to experience while playing games.

Actually, when we decided to make a new “Zelda” in wide open space, there were some people who said, “Wasn’t the initial Zelda like that?” So the 2D game that we just talked about was actually built on the initial Zelda, with additional elements of Physics.

 

Now listen to this, dear reader:

Actually, I never played a game when I was young. When I landed a job in Nintendo, I asked my girlfriend at that time, “What is a TV game?” And she lent me DQ1.

Oh. My. Goodness.

There are no words, reader. THERE. ARE. NO. WORDS.

Even when I think I have made fun of Aonuma too much, stuff like this breaks out. “What is this thing called ‘TV game’?” Girlfriend (who must really like his wooden dolls) says: “Here is Dragon Quest 1.”

I actually wonder if it was a real girlfriend. Maybe Aonuma was talking to one of his wooden dolls.

Of course, I knew Nintendo was making games, but I’d never played it. It’s a digression, but the next game that I borrowed from her was the “The Portopia Serial Murder Case”[*]. It was even a PC version (laughs).

So we have to blame Aonuma’s girlfriend for Aonuma being infected with adventure gaming!

So, one of the interviewers who interviewed me on the recommendation of Mr. Kotabe was Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto. At the time of the interview, I showed him the artwork that I did during university, and Mr. Miyamoto liked them. That’s how I joined Nintendo in 1998.

I thought I would be located in product package design or something like that. But I was placed in a game manufacturing department. I knew nothing about the game, so I had to ask my girlfriend what games Nintendo had made. But I didn’t even clear the “Mario” that I borrowed her and she was making fun of me saying, “You have slow reflexes.”

I give up. I cannot even write this shit.

Aonuma has bested me. I CANNOT PARODY HIM! Aonuma is BEYOND parody!!!

He gets hired to make video games when he has never played a game. And even girls make fun of Aonuma’s reflexes. “That’s what she said!” She did! She said it!

And then she gave me “DQ” and this time she made sure I played it right. I stayed up all night to play it and she kept by my side the whole time, coaching me like, “You need to go south five steps” and “Now go to the east four steps”.

What the hell!????

Aonuma needed COACHING to get through DRAGON QUEST 1???

Folks… pause the blog. Cut! Cut!

Malstrom motions to the editor. The blog is stopped. The lights come on, and Malstrom walks slowly in front.

Audience…. readers…

SIX YEAR OLDS BEAT DRAGON QUEST 1!

SIX YEAR OLDS BEAT SUPER MARIO BROTHERS!

What the…. ???

What is wrong with Aonuma?????

Yes, the puppets that I made played instruments though. Of course, it doesn’t actually play the instrument. It has a mechanism of motors and cranks. It has same moves as a when a man plays an instrument like the bongos.

OK. I’m done.

I can’t take this anymore.

This is so absurd, I think Aonuma is intentionally trolling us. His dolls are now playing instruments including BONGOS.

I can’t take this absurdity any longer. I’m walking out of this blog post.

END!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 9, 2017

Miyamoto points out that Aonuma doesn’t understand Zelda

Here’s the story.

For example, the most frequently asked question from the reporters is about that “Zelda-ness (What makes a game a Zelda game)” It’s a hard question to answer, even for us. Even Mr. Miyamoto is inconsistent with his answers; In one interview he answered, “Zelda games are unique”, and then in another he suggested, “Zelda games demonstrate growth.” I’m like, “which one is it?” (laughs)

Maybe if Aonuma would finish the Legend of Zelda, he might find out!

But in an interview, I must give an answer to every question. So I would talk about that “Zelda-ness” just as Mr. Miyamoto would describe, only to be interrupted by Mr. Miyamoto himself disagreeing with me saying, “No, that’s different,” in front of all the reporters!

Aonuma is so confused!

But still, hearing Mr. Miyamoto’s comments, I started thinking about the meaning and came up with vague ideas about “what it takes to be Zelda.” Of course, we should not get caught up in Mr. Miyamoto’s comments because it changes depending on time and place, as he said.

Aonuma still doesn’t know what Zelda is.

Actually, we made it possible to attack the obstacles with many methods in this product. In the existing “LOZ,” if the player clears the stage by going up to the wall or the foot of a mountain without solving the puzzle, then it becomes a bug. Of course, there were no stage that the player could go through without solving the puzzle in the existing “LOZ” and [any such instances were] eliminated in the debugging stage.

However, we decided that “we need[ed] no puzzles for this LOZ.” So it is okay that the player clears the stage by just climbing up the wall or the foot of the mountain.

Above: 35 seconds in… HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

I guess this product fulfills the player’s desire to cheat. However, you could say we didn’t give up on showing what was behind the mountain to the players. Until now, “LOZ” has tried to show the enormousness of the world by putting a scene where the player comes down from the wide open sky or by hiding the gaps between various places. It was all we could do at that time, but it was still a “lie.”

So, this time we really decided to make a big world and we did. Now, the player can decide, “I’m going to take this route in this vast world!” And when it really happens, they can say, “Yay, I did it!” That’s what I like about this game.

Folks, I am going to explain Aonuma-ism, and why it failed for Legend of Zelda.

Legend of Zelda is a revolutionary Open World game (NES standards) that perhaps was the first Perfect Scale type game (though caves/dungeons existed on a different plane than the overworld). As such, Legend of Zelda is a spiritual child of Ultima (as all RPGs are).

RPGs (i.e. Open World) and Adventure games have different parents and are NOT related. Go back to 1980. In 1980, adventure games were text adventures like Zork and then some graphical versions of the adventure games.

Gameplay of adventure games were: do X, then Y, then Z to solve the puzzle. There was only one way.

Open World games are ‘open’ in contrast to adventure games. There are multiple ways to do something.

In other words, adventure games required one way to go through a door. World games gave you a choice to go through the door (get a key, burn the door, smash it with an axe, blow it up, etc.).

Aonuma turned Zelda series into an adventure game series which essentially almost destroyed the franchise. Zelda is an open world game. Always has been. You start at the beginning and go any direction you want.

Now, Nintendo is a conservative company. They know they may be wrong. Despite taking out the puzzles in Zelda BoW “Wow!”, they left puzzles in there for the shrines. Nintendo wanted to hedge their bets. But they can observe how players react in Zelda BoW “Wow!”, and they know where the series needs to go now. It won’t be toward puzzles. It will be toward more ‘open air’ type gameplay.

So if we think about when it was that solving puzzles became the key element of the game. It is probably from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (LOZOOT)”.

The reason is because I was in charge of designing every dungeon in “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (LOZOOT)”. At that time, I thought I wanted to make puzzles in the game. It was not like Mr. Miyamoto asked me to make it or it was decided that LOZ was a game with puzzles and battles.

Does this sound like an apology?

I was told to “think about dungeons,” but was never told “to think about puzzles.” So what was the reason that we did? It was done because I love surprising people and I also like puzzles. So I thought, ‘It would be fun if the dungeons were full of puzzles.

And there it is. Aonuma is saying the puzzles (at least for dungeons) originated largely with him.

At first, the lead engineer suggested that we should try a simulation in 2D by applying the laws of physics, in order to organize the laws of physics in general.

――That’s a new suggestion that others never think of. (laughs)

At that time, I was confused as to what he meant(laughs). But after coming through with it, I agreed that it was a good decision. In a 2D setting, we set a fire, the fire gets spread by wind, and the player burns down the object that he intended to burn down. These activities can be achieved by changing character frames of a 2D game.

Zelda BoW “Wow!” was a 2d game first. No wonder it is so good!

Perhaps Nintendo should start all their games off as 2d games… and then leave many of them that way!!!

As a result, we simulated all the basic parts in a 2D game.

After that, we went to Mr. Miyamoto to give a presentation about the game. We were certain that a game like this has never existed before, and our hearts raced.

Their hearts raced, reader!

After our presentation, Mr. Miyamoto said, “So in the existing LOZ, the world had impacts on the object when the object was placed on the map, but this time, the object will have an impact on the world, right?”

After what hearing his comments, we realized that was what it was. And it was the truth. So when an object was placed in the vast world, the objects had impact on each other and cause various chain reactions. That was the key point of this LOZ. Mr. Miyamoto said, “Okay, I understand. So putting an object in the world has many meanings.” Then he just signed the papers.

Replace the word ‘object’ with ‘player’ and reread the above paragraphs. That gets to the heart of it.

Once you find out that you can create things, you want to create more things. The player who experiences such gimmick gets so absorbed in the world of Zelda that it is impossible to leave it. Symbolized by the signboard, LOZBOTW embraces Mr. Miyamoto’s ideas like no other 3D Zelda has done before.

With this last paragraph, I am confident to say that Aonuma still has no idea what Zelda is. Or, to be more blunt, what an ‘Open World’ is. He says BoW “Wow!” is selling because of ‘gimmick’. That sounds like the hardcore trying to wrap their head around Wii sales.

Was Zelda BoW “Wow!” about gimmicks to you, beautiful reader, or was it about being free to do whatever you want whenever you wanted in a large, open world?

Above: Aonuma Style!


I am currently in the middle of writing an article series on the Origin (heh) of the Open World in order to get to the ‘truth’ of Zelda BoW “Wow!” It is currently 65% done. Doing articles like these helps me learn so much I didn’t know before. I think many people will be surprised about the connections.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 9, 2017

Hardcore Meltdown over Switch life-span

Image result for drudge siren

………

Super Hardcore Gamer Meltdown Imminent.

Please evacuate the Internet!!!!

RUN READER, RUN!!!!

 

Image result for drudge siren

Dear reader,

Our good friends, the hardcore gamerz, have gone berzerk. They are jumping off of rooftops as we speak.

“Why is this?” asks the gentle, playful, innocent reader. “What could happen to our good friends, the hardcore, to have them react this way?”

Well, not much, as it doesn’t take much to set them off. But in this case, it was caused by The Miyamoto. I listen to the hardcore because they live in an alternative universe. I am a huge fan of science fiction, and the universe the hardcore live is quite interesting and fantastical. In this Alternative Universe, Wii was just a ‘fad’, sold only to ‘grandma’, and so on.

Hardcore have been very quiet with the Switch’s success. They can’t say Switch isn’t selling due to ‘Real Games’. They aren’t even calling Switch a fad. It’s like the hardcore don’t know what to think.

But the hardcore do listen and worship to The Miyamoto. The Miyamoto appeared before the crowds and said,

Image result for miyamoto

Miyamoto said he hopes the Switch can become even more popular in 2020 than it is today.

He also said that he believes the console could have a longer lifespan than 5 years, which tends to be the norm for a console cycle.

And with that, the hardcore went mad. Just view the comments in the story. The idea of Switch lasting longer than 5 years and selling better years from now punctured their Alternative Universe. They completely flipped out!!!

What Miyamoto is saying is right on. The market determines how long a console lasts. If the market wants the console, there is no reason to jettison the console if there is such market demand. The market may, very well, want Switch past five years.

“But… but…” a frantic hardcore gamer grasps at straws, “Miyamoto is referring to Switch as a brand. He means there will be hardware revisions… right?”

Nope. The only hardware revisions Nintendo will do will be to use cheaper components. I can see the Joycons being replaced by cheaper hardware. The New 3DS has more to do with how terribly designed the original 3DS was and how it was always in market trouble (it was if you compare it to DS and Gameboy line).

I think the hardcore truly believed Switch was a Generation 8 console to parade beside PS4 and ‘All-in-one, Xbox One!’. Switch was nothing more than a Wii U redo, to the hardcore. Whenever someone pointed out that Switch was Generation 9, the hardcore would squeal and say, “Generations are only Wikipedia invention!” No. Generations are a market invention. What Miyamoto is saying is that Switch is the Next-Gen console after Wii U and 3DS. This is why the hardcore are going bonkers.

Dos Equis Gifs to the World score the most interesting man dos equis GIF

Above: Generation 9!!!

In the year 2020, which Miyamoto hopes Switch will be more popular than even today, PS4 will be SEVEN years old. Let’s just say that will not happen. PS4 will be gone, and PS5 will be there. PS5 will go after the Switch as both will be Gen 9 consoles. The question is whether or not PS5 will resemble a Switch.

Poor hardcore! They invented the ‘casual gamers’ in order to cope with Generation 7. With Generation 8, it seemed like the Game Universe had returned to its proper alignment and order with the exception of Vita. But with Generation 9, which they deny has already started, they do not know what to think.

Greetings Master Malstrom,

GOG is having their summer sale. 1500 of their almost 2000 games are on sale. Many of the classics have deep discounts.

Of the Five:
Master of Magic
Master of Orion 1+2
Ultima Series

Of the Sub-Five:
Alpha Centauri
Civilization 3
Unreal Series
Rogue Legacy

Only one that is not on sale is Star Control. However, Starflight 1+2 is on sale.

Even Giana Sisters, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Blood, and Wing Commander are on sale. As well as a bunch of others.

I’ve been watching sales at GOG like a hawk ever since you gave me the secondary five, and this is the biggest and best deal I’ve ever seen.

Thank you for inspiring the love of classic PC gaming. I even have a couple of my friends playing Ultima and Alpha Centauri!

There is so much good stuff here. What more can be said?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 4, 2017

cats

Once upon a time at Nintendo, during the development of a game, the Nintendo employee got filled with anxiety. To relieve his comrade, another Nintendo employee emailed him pictures of kittens to soothe and calm his co-worker. Upon hearing this, President Iwata bellowed, “You should not use company email for cat pictures!!!”

Saddened by this, and knowing E3 creates the largest anxiety in gaming companies, I, Master Malstrom, have come to save the day with our little tradition. Before every E3, I put up pictures of kittens to soothe and help the poor overworked Nintendo employees. Nintendo’s email system will not be filled up with kitten pictures. Now, Nintendo employees can come to the Malstrom page and get their kitten fix by viewing the cat photos.

This year we are doing videos! *meow*

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 4, 2017

I can’t play Zelda BoW “Wow!” anymore…

Hey! There’s still stuff to do with Zelda! So I fire up the game, wander around, and find a potential location for a shrine. I see that Goddamn Bird Playing the Accordion so I just turn off the game and walk away.

What is the point to Zelda’s endgame? I am already overpowered. How much overpowered should I be? There’s no villain except maybe lynels. Game is boring now.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 4, 2017

Email: The Coming Storm

 

I wanted to air my thoughts before the upcoming E3, and see how it stacks up with reality.

The HD port of Monster Hunter is interesting. One: it, along with Splatoon 2, will create and satisfy the local handheld multiplayer constituency in Japan. It also puts eyes on Pokémon and Nintendo’s online services.

Sun and Moon’s art assets were designed to scale to HD very well; an HD port (or 3rd version) has already been heavily predicted. Sun and Moon are more Twilight Princess than BotW for the series, benefiting from the hype of PoGo just as TP did from the Wii, and both had genuine attempts to reform the series bogged down by story and hand holding. Pokemon the single player JRPG, Pokemon the customizable, emergent, non-linear JRPG, is not as healthy as it once was. However, Pokemon the Social JRPG, the versus RPG — Pokemon the Anti-MMO –, that is healthier than it has ever been. That leads into Nintendo’s online service.

If MHXX and a Pokemon HD, along with MK8D, ARMS, and Splatoon release before or near the release of the paid online service, Nintendo will have no problem getting people to subscribe. The Cross play of MHXX and possibly Pokemon HD means that subscribers have no fear of paying for a service only to find that no one’s online. MHXX therefore won’t flop. Successful multiplayer games releasing before the service means players will find their beloved online games held hostage. I think Nintendo will get away with it even if the service’s features are lacking.

Nintendo’s E3 conference will begin with Super Mario Odyssey. We’ll get a hint to if BotW is indicative of a grand Lapsed Gamer strategy, or just a fluke. I think SMO will just be a good 3D Mario game, however. I don’t see the return of Mario Mania coming from it. Maybe Nintendo has another Mario up its sleeve though?

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say we’ll get a Metroid game, but it won’t come from Retro. Reggie has pretty heavily implied we’ll get one, but I have a hard time seeing Nintendo okaying such a long development period for an IP that has never sold extremely well. On the other hand, if such a game was meant to be released a year or so ago but was delayed before it was released to become a switch title, then Federation Force would retroactively become less confusing and insulting.

 

We’ll get a Metroid game via Retro, though I wonder if Metroid Prime Collection will be remastered.

We’ll get Smash 4 on Switch.

Mario Odyssey will be Nintendo’s game of the show.

Skyrim will make a big showing on Switch.

Square-Enix will show some stuff. I am hoping for a Switch version of Dragon Quest Builders. Octopath or whatever it is may be shown more.

Above: Looks way better than Western AAA gaming…

Xenoblade 2 will be shown.

I think there will be a First Party game for each month concluding with Mario Odyssey (a November release?).

I hope Pikmin doesn’t show because Pikmin needs to die. Unfortunately, Pikmin 4 will be shown.

Still waiting for Star Tropics 3. Where is it, Nintendo? Nah, just joking. If Star Tropics was made like Breath of the Wild, oh boy. Hey, why not use BoW “Wow!”‘s engine for Star Tropics 3? But Nintendo doesn’t understand. Since Link can jump in BoW “Wow!”, it would work well for Mike. But Star Tropics isn’t ‘anime enough’ for Nintendo in JapanLand.

I don’t really do predictions. I think the first party titles will be the second act of their launch line-up. If you like Nintendo’s launch titles so far, you will like what comes next. But Odyssey will be the star of the show.

I am more interested in the third party showings. Probably too early to see the Switch ramifications for third parties to appear, but they are bound to appear. Especially the indie ones.

This was the 3DS E3 preview. What should be noted is that 3DS, like Switch, launched during March. How much can a E3 show to a console just launched?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 4, 2017

Email: Will ARMS be a breakout hit for the Switch or a flop?

Hi Malstrom,

I wanted to talk about Nintendo’s upcoming fighting game, ARMS.

I’ve been noticing that ARMS seems to be gaining a lot of favorable responses, especially from those who have had a chance to try out the game.

I know your initial feeling towards the game was skeptical, but has that view changed in recent weeks, or do you still feel that ARMS will be a weak performer on the Switch?

 

Let us define ‘weak performance’. I complained about Aonuma Zelda and called them ‘weak performers’ despite Aonuma Zelda games selling consistently several million. Observers would scratch their head and wonder why I would say Aonuma Zelda is not selling as Zelda should. Three issues with Zelda that I don’t think the observers saw was the phenomenon, competition, and larger market.

Let’s start with larger market. Someone saying Halo is a ‘more popular’ game than PONG because Halo sold more than PONG is someone who is an idiot. The macro-economics of the 1970s were very different than the 2000s. The population size was different too. Also, there is the warm market versus cold market element. PONG had cold market because no one knew what a video game was. Halo did not have that problem. Halo also had a market who knew what the FPS game is. It was a warm market.

Look at phenomenon. Early Zelda games created a phenomenon. There was Zelda cartoons, Zelda cereal, clearly Zelda was big in consumers’ imaginations. You never saw Aonuma Zelda create such a phenomenon. The only thing about Aonuma Zelda was where it fit into the timeline which that trend started after Ocarina of Time (where Aonuma was confined to making bad dungeons).

Look at competition. The reason why Aonuma Zelda has no competition (aside from Okami which bankrupted the company that made it) is because Aonuma Zelda is terrible and doesn’t bring in the money. Zelda 1, 2, Link to the Past were cloned and copied despite them having a colder market. Link to the Past appeared on the SNES. Gee, what other RPG or action-RPG was on the SNES? I couldn’t even list them because there were too many. But go to the N64, you have a hard time naming any RPG or action-RPG outside of Ocarina of Time. Its near monopoly helped sell Ocarina of Time.

Now let us look at Breath of the Wild. We see the phenomenon. We see people buying hardware to get to the game (be it Switch or Wii U). Right now, Breath of the Wild has no same-console competition so I am curious to see its sales once Skyrim appears on Switch. Breath of the Wild is an actual Zelda game. Aonuma Zelda is Aonuma spin-offs (which are strangely chained to Ocarina of Time since Aonuma can’t seem to make something that stands on its own and sell well).

I don’t think Splatoon was a ‘big hit’ though people disagree. You want to see a ‘big hit’? Look at Overwatch. Spaltoon is nothing compared to Overwatch. Worse, Splatoon seems stuck in a certain demographic of younger players… mostly Japanese. Nintendo games are supposed to be for everyone.

Personally, I find nothing appealing about ARMS aside from its production values. Cue the music.

Woahohohooohhooh oh oh oh woaohohohohohohoh….

Join me reader.

Reader sings, “Woahohohohooohhoho oh oh oh woaoohohohohohoh!”

Very good, reader.

“Thank you.”

The game fucking creeps me out. The slinky arms just makes me hate all the characters. ARMS is bubbling with the anime, and Twinkette or whatever the pingtail girl is for the Otaku. The characters don’t seem interesting or original to me.

What is ARMS? It is boxing. Sports is a game of adrenaline, of even masculinity, a type of ‘must win’ attitude. ARMS makes me cringe. I would feel embarrassed to be seen buying ARMS due to it being anime flavored with Otaku Girls in it.

Worse, I passionately despise ARMS because ARMS is not about ‘new IP’. ARMS is about DESTROYING a beloved IP: Punch-out.

Punch-Out is the video game version of Rocky. Punch-Out drips with testosterone and is a great game, a classic. Punch-out is hilarious with its stereotyping of crazy boxers you must defeat.

Above: Decades from now, no one will give shit about anime ARMS like they do Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!

Nintendo used to make games with masculinity. Mario was a blue-collar worker being a plumber. Zelda had Link being a badass with sword and shield killing nasty monsters. Punch-Out! was Rocky. Metroid was Alien. Nintendo even made a game about duck hunting. Yes, Nintendo made a game where you HUNTED ANIMALS. Nintendo would never make these games today. The only reason why they are made today is because of sequels. Nintendo doesn’t know how to make games of such content.

A big, big problem is NOA. NOA being in Seattle has created a culture of latte drinkers who actually thought the Wonderful 101 was going to be a killer app for the Wii U (hahahahaha). NOA wouldn’t bring over Xenoblade until a customer revolt was at their hands. NOA is completely divorced from American culture. Thank goodness Retro is in Austin and not Seattle. Austin is closer to the American mainstream than Seattle.

I want a game where I feel like a man. I don’t think ARMS will deliver that. Punch-Out delivers that.

ARMS will sell, but it will sell to anime fans and Otaku.

If people want multiplayer fun, they will pick up Smash or Mario Kart. ARMS is just WEIRD.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 3, 2017

Email: Sony’s Next System

 

The Unreal Engine on the Switch has done more for third party Switch support than we will ever know.

Here’s another way to look at Nintendo hardware.

On home consoles, Nintendo used to do “MORE POWER” type tagline for their hardware. However, this stopped when Sega dropped out of the home consoles. Nintendo never did MORE POWER anymore.

Nintendo’s history of handhelds had a straight design… with the exceptions being the DS and 3DS. What else is in that exception? Sony as a handheld competitor. With Sony out of the handheld space, Nintendo returns to the straight design of a single screen and less doodads.

Is it all correlation and coincidence? I don’t know. Something to consider.

Sony’s ‘advantage’ is their leverage of being an entertainment company. Sony throws in its movies, music, etc. all on its game systems. Sony was crippled in the handheld systems not because of Nintendo but because of Apple. Apple made the video iPod and then iPhone. The smartphone revolution destroyed Sony’s handhelds. It did not destroy Nintendo.

I see Sony in a tough space. Aside from Nintendo leveraging handheld side to work for them in the home console space, Sony is directly competing with PC gaming. Add in the growing irrelevance of the television in the living room, Sony needs to get out of a shrinking hole.

I’d like to see PC gaming disrupt Sony’s home console for a change.

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