Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 13, 2017

Master Malstrom demands Switch Boob Game come to West

Above: Confirmation that Switch is the official successor to the Vita

It is on the official Nintendo channel in Japan! When will this game be localized, Reggie Fils-Aime???? Is this the reason for the HD Rumble???

Image result for reggie not my problem

Above: “Not my problem.”

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 13, 2017

Nintendo Direct for Switch

 

We knew some of these such as Ultra Street Fighter 2, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Disagea 5 (all of which I am buying). More info on Splatoon 2 and Arms.

I will buy Minecraft even digital.

And I will buy Namco Arcade because Pac-Man.

And I want that Rayman game.

Too many games!

But the game I especially have my eye on is…

Monopoly.

 

The combination of Monopoly in Tablet mode face up while using the Joycons is genius.

What is this? It looks interesting! Battle Chasers Nightwar seems to be a turn based RPG???

HOLY MOLY!!!!! Did you see that reader?

Reader: “I sure did!”

Then you know why Namco Museum may be the best game in the entire Switch library.

Reader: “It is because of Splatterhouse!”

*slaps forehead*

Noooooo. Bad reader! Naughty reader! Though, Splatterhouse is good.

Reader: “What then?”

Galaga 88! It is one of the best games on the Turbografx 16. It is one of the best games of the 16-bit era! Go read my review of it.

 

What is this!? I do not like the ship design.


“But Malstrom, where are the Western AAA games? I hear from game analysts and game journalists, highly esteemed experts in the field of gaming, that consoles can only sell with Western AAA games.”

Oh reader! You are so funny!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 9, 2017

The Atari Dad

This video is too touching not to share…

The Atari fans would stay sheltered in their wood paneled rooms with Atari shrines and point to the NES (and Sega) as the downfall of all gaming. I remember them well.

One of these is this Atari Dad. Look at his passion as he shares his gaming with his son (this was 1994!). People talk about Nintendo or Sega dads today, but look at the Atari dad! His dad has passed away, but these memories remain.

Dads, share your love of gaming with your sons. They will thank you for it later on.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 8, 2017

Interview on how Switch was made

Go read it. It is long but good.

Koizumi​: The Switch was developed in full secrecy, so although it was frequently subject to internal testing, there weren’t many chances to have a wide variety people try it out. So we were very concerned about the kind of impact it would have on the average consumer.

During the January 13th announcement, I sensed (and could see in the stats) a huge crowd on the other side of the screen coming to this page to see what I thought. I knew our good friends, the game analysts, were there (they always stop by from time to time). Nintendo was probably there too.

I still can’t believe the reaction to that announcement. The Internet exists as a cult and is very herd-like (or that many people are afraid to say something contrary). The reaction to Switch software was ‘dead on arrival’, Wii U ‘2.0’, ‘launch-line up was absolutely terrible’. Pre-orders went up soon afterward and then disappeared. Those that bought into the hardcore reaction regretted it as it became very difficult to find a Switch. For fun, I even posted emailers’ reactions before I shared my own (which was very positive). Ultimately, I think Bomberman ended up disappointing, but Zelda blew my socks off. The launch line up is actually quite good. I already have a backlog of Switch games (mostly thanks to Zelda never ending!).

What I cannot understand is why the hardcore gamers, the gaming cults on the Gaming Message Forums, who spend all their time breathing gaming, cannot see the future of gaming AT ALL. The attacks you see on the Switch now such as ‘this is an aberration’, etc. has really nothing to do with the Switch. It has everything to do with that person not believing he has no talent for seeing the future of the market.

Obviously, Nintendo has that talent or else there would be no Wii or Switch. But they have to do it in secrecy so they can’t gauge a wide reaction. No wonder Nintendo was nervous!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 8, 2017

Bloomberg: Traders think Switch will outsell Wii

Image result for most interesting man in the world

Above: Master Malstrom

Here’s the link:

Traders are sending signals that Nintendo Co.’s newest console Switch may be on its way to becoming a bigger hit than the Wii, the company’s best-selling home console of all-time.

But on the January 13, 2017 conference, the most experienced of gamers, our good friends, the hardcore of the Internet, declared the Switch was ‘dead on arrival’. The hardcore gamers missed the NES revolution, the Gameboy revolution, the DS and Wii revolutions, and now this.

But if you were reading this site at that time, you read, “Small bull, then big bull.” When Nintendo President Kimishima said that Switch to outsell the Wii, the Internet laughed. But at this site, you read that Kimishima was probably right.

Why?

The DS and Wii will never be fully understood because of the ‘casual gamer’ kindergarten explanations written by those who do not understand Blue Ocean strategy or Christenson’s disruption.

The Switch will never be fully understood by ‘analysts’ because they refuse to understand the portable gaming console market. The Switch cannot be understood without understanding the entire history and future of portable gaming.

“But Nintendo says Switch is a home console.”

It is when they sell you $60 games. Analysts have ignored the handheld market. Why? Because Sony cannot win in it. Therefore, it ‘doesn’t matter’. In the handheld market, there is only one victor: Nintendo. Sega, NEC, Neo Geo, Atari, Sony… all made competing handhelds. All failed against Nintendo.

Instead, the focus has been on the home console market which has been Sony majority but not Sony domination. In the handheld side, it isn’t even close. Nintendo has full scale domination in the handheld game market. Now, Nintendo has a monopoly. The analysts do not see that.

Since the analysts do not see handhelds, they do not see Japan being handheld gaming market dominant with home consoles declining. They also didn’t see Japan being smartphone dominated before the iPhone was ever invented. Only after the iPhone did they see smartphones.

Worse, the younger demographics are growing up gaming on handhelds like smartphones and tablets. To them, a handheld is the norm. Gaming on TV is not the norm. I see the traditional game forums filled up with guys talking about being a parent and such… They have become old. They are not the future.

With Microsoft dropping out, we have traditional home consoles with Sony and handheld consoles with Nintendo (but Nintendo’s consoles can be home consoles too). Switch is a perfect bridge console. One has a future, the other does not. I see the home console ultimately going away. I see the Switch as the future for all consoles. And Sony doesn’t know how to win in a handheld market (though that might change if Sony is forced to put all their software development onto a handheld as opposed to splitting up development on two consoles).

Can the Switch outsell the Wii? Certainly. Due to Switch’s mobile and personal nature, there will be multiple Switches per household. There was only one Wii per household. But there were multiple DS systems. I expect Switch to perform similar to DS… in terms of momentum. I do not think Switch will get to DS numbers due to different macro-economic realities.

DS had a great launch and then, after a year, blew up in Japan, few months later, blew up everywhere else.

Switch has a great launch, and I expect Switch to be in stock soon enough at stores. But then Switch will blow up again… this time with MASSIVE numbers. It may be this holiday or later.

I also think a significant part of Switch’s success are the physical cards. There is growing gaming angst over the disc-then-install-and-download method of today.

“But what about Western AAA gaming??? OMG!”

Western AAA gaming did not make Atari 2600 a success. Western AAA gaming was not responsible for the success of NES (Super Mario Brothers and Japanese games) or Gameboy (Tetris, a game from Russia and considered ridiculously primitive during its time). Western AAA gaming did not make the classics of the Super Nintendo. Western AAA gaming did not create the DS and Wii phenomenons. So why would Western AAA gaming be responsible for the Switch rising?

The real question is why are investors pouring money into AAA gaming when it isn’t bringing in the returns anymore? How can AAA gaming be considered AAA anymore?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 4, 2017

Yay to barcades!

Bring it back. Bring it all back!

Listen to this quote:

Rolfe offers a different take on the alcohol component to this new breed of arcade: “Many gamers try to remain 100 percent sober and focused on the game, especially with all these challenging classics like Donkey Kong. Maybe that’s another reason why drinking and gaming haven’t co-existed as much before. Now it’s an enterprising novelty.”

Who are those gamers who refuse alcohol because it might interfere with their Donkey Kong skills?

Those would be our good friends, the Hardcore Gamerz.

Yes, the hardcore are so amazing, so skilled, that they miss the forest for the trees. Games are to be fun, not to be an olympic sport. Drinking while playing Donkey Kong is what it is about. Someone taking their video game so seriously is a ‘stick in the mud’. It is like someone taking the card game so serious, or someone taking their golf game so seriously.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 4, 2017

Aonuma: “Damn that Malstrom!”

Disclaimer: He didn’t actually say ‘damn, that Malstrom’.

Here is what he said:

Famitsu: Making the next Zelda game might be more difficult if you choose to make it an open-air game. What will evolve open-air? How will you make future dungeons? What will the next Zelda title be like?

Aonuma: I think that, in the future, open air games will be the standard for Zelda.

 

Nintendo likes to pretend they have originally created something by changing the label. Open Air is Open World.

Now why would Nintendo want future Zelda games to be Open World?

Is it due to the critical success of BoW “Wow!”? Nah. Every Zelda has critical success.

The real reason is due to SALES. The job of first party games is to sell the hardware. Open World Zelda does that. Aonuma Zelda does NOT do that.

Even with BoW “Wow!”, you hear people say, “I like the game but those dungeons are terrible!” What are the dungeons? Gigantic puzzles. Aonuma Pets. That is what the Divine Beasts are, Aonuma Pets.

Zelda is about the Open World, not about puzzles. There may be puzzles in this Open World, but that is not why we are playing the game. If the dungeons were all like Hyrule Castle, this game would be perfect.

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

Above: Malstrom winks at the reader

What I think is fun about this were the haters of Malstrom who said, “WTF? Zelda is fine. Zelda is glorious. What do you mean that Zelda isn’t selling right? Zelda sells fine.” As I used to say, Zelda was the gold cartridge game. Zelda was so popular, so phenomenal, it had its own cartoon show, was part of a cereal, and every game company tried to copy Zelda (look at all the Zelda 1, 2, and 3 clones!). Zelda was not as popular as Mario (but then again, NOTHING was), but Zelda was a phenomenon. I remember Zelda 1 and 2 as massive phenomenons. Link to the Past… not nearly as much. Ocarina of Time was a phenomenon, but in what way? I say Ocarina of Time’s power was in being Grand Theft Auto 3 before Grand Theft Auto 3. Ocarina of Time gave the illusion of a 3d open world. Nintendo misinterpreted Ocarina of Time’s success to be about the ‘puzzles’ or ‘NPC stories’ or the ‘formula’. So with each new Zelda game copying the formula, the success of Zelda was tepid at best.

Zelda has been broken since then. The ‘good sales’ of Zelda weren’t really good when you knew Zelda could be making a phenomenon like it used to do. Zelda wasn’t selling the hardware either. Wind Waker? Poor Gamecube! Poor Wii U! Wind Waker is so great, it destroys every console it is on.

Ignoring Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past formula and focusing on Zelda 1 and 2’s formula (or LACK of formula) has blown up Zelda skyhigh. Breath of the Wild is not only selling well, it is selling Nintendo hardware. Not just Switches, it is selling Wii Us too! Wii Us are such a disaster that no one wants the hardware, and it isn’t even available in retail anymore, yet people will still go for the Wii U to get to Zelda.

“But I want more story in Zelda. This is not possible without Open World.”

WRONG. I will show you how. It has been done before with Open World and can be done so again. You must go back in gaming over 30 years. The solution is there. The recipe is already done. Does Nintendo have the courage to cook it?

I am still amazed Nintendo went ahead and was bold enough to make Breath of the Wild the way it is. Maybe it was Miyamoto climbing trees all day that sealed the deal.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 3, 2017

Email: The Sub-Five Games You Cannot Stop Playing

OK, this is the last email I will be answering for a while. So busy lately!

Dear Master Malstrom,

I hope you are still enjoying BoW “WOW!” I’ve decided, as a broke college student, that my scant money may be better spent on other amazing games. I came close to buying a Switch, but $370 for one game seems underwhelming (that’s Switch+Screen Protector+Zelda). The coming Switch games aside from Zelda sound somewhat appealing to me, but at that point, my budget for gaming for much of this year would have been exhausted.

I may go ahead and get those 5 Games Sean Malstrom Cannot Stop Playing that you listed (https://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/the-five-games-i-cannot-stop-playing/). Those were:
(1) Master of Magic
(2) Star Controls
(3) Master of Orion 1+2
(4) Ultimas
(5) Paradroid

I also bought much of the Myst series today for $8 on GOG.com. Ultima looks amazing right now, and since the new Zelda takes indirect inspiration from it, I feel it is a good substitute for the time being.

The reason for this email is because I remember several years ago you mentioned alongside the Top 5 a lower tier of games you cannot stop playing. A second 5, which I can remember you teasing that you never got around to sharing about. I am trying to find this on your website, but since the search system has made links randomized, it’s rather hard to find specific phrases in your older articles (though I find all of your posts to be rather informative and entertaining even today and hope that we can store them somewhere for posterity).

If you’d still like to share, it would be most interesting for me, the reader, to hear. You are preparing to retire from game blogging, which is sad to hear. Maybe this would be a good parting gift to us gamers alongside the Zelda articles. If you have already made this article, I apologize for not finding it and hope you might share it with me.

Thank you

 

I still agree with that list. However, it may be difficult to get into those games initially. Let’s do a quick look:

-Master of Magic-

Terrible PC speaker sound effects. Very old graphics. However, everyone keeps trying to remake this game. The reason why is that MoM sold extremely well back in the day. This game is fantasy version of Civilization. I like making tons of magicians and just mowing down everything.

-Master of Orion-

Everyone keeps trying to remake MOO but cannot match the AI. There are no space lanes here. GOG version includes both MOO and MOO 2, both are worthwhile. MOO is simpler but more macro, MOO 2 is more base building with individual planets. I prefer MOO 1. Some prefer MOO 2.

-Paradroid-

This is the apex of Commodore 64 games, and I do not know how to buy this today (it did appear on Virtual Console for Wii briefly in Europe). Just grab it on emulator. Paradroid is about your little robot guy trying to take over other robots and reconquer the space ship. Insanely hard, insanely good. Ingenious game design here. I can never crack this game.

-Star Control-

Star Control 1 and 2 are available in a package from GOG. However, you can download Urquan Masters (which is Star Control 2) for free and have it updated for today’s computers.

Star Control is a hybrid game. The core gameplay is Space War (think Asteroids but with space ship versus another space ship). Star Control 1 was combining Space War with a turn based strategy game. It is incredible.

Star Control 2 went a different way. They combined Space War with Open World RPG. That’s right. Open World RPG with space ships! The story line is as rich as Babylon 5. This game plays like Star Trek where you fly around, meet new races, blow them up, etc.

Read the manual’s backstory for this one. It is worth it.

The developers for Star Control would later make the Skylanders franchise. Paul Reiche III is genius. You have to see the dialogue in this game to believe it.

-Ultimas-

GOG gives you Ultima IV, Savage Empire, and Martian Dreams for free. I would not recommend those to a newcomer.

What is fun about Ultima is that all their game’s lore is interconnected. Playing III gives you more insight in VII, for example, and vice versa. IV gives more insight in VI, V more insight in I, and so on and so forth. This is the same game universe revisited, not Final Fantasy where everything is reset with each game.

Ultima VII (with expansion) and Ultima VII Part 2 (with expansion) is what I would recommend to a newcomer. Be warned. This game does not revolve around combat or ‘stats’. It revolves around an Open World. Be sure to read the manuals on this one. It is worth it. All this in one package on GOG is very well worth it.

Ultima Underworld I and II is another great package and worth it for newcomers. Ultima Underworld inspires Elder Scrolls and so many other RPGs today. It still plays great today.

 

Another Five

You want another five games I cannot stop playing? Here you go:

Civilization III Coverart.png

Civilization 3

I think Civ 4 does too much. Civ 5 and 6 do other things weird. But Civ 3 is the traditional Civ formula. It costs about $5 everywhere. In terms of entertainment time you get from it, it is an absolute steal. Civ 3 includes multiple expansions. There are also some mods available.

Alpha Centauri cover.jpg

Alpha Centauri

Horizontal rectangle video game screenshot that depicts a digital representation of an alien planet. In the foreground is a series of smaller screens that cover the majority of the image. The smaller screens have black backgrounds and display information about the game's current state as well as options to alter that state. In the background is a reddish-brown planetscape viewed from an isometric perspective. The planet is inhabited by small structures and life forms.

This came out right before Civ 3 did. It includes the expansion. It is a sci-fi take on Civilization. The units are modular which means you design them like Master of Orion (or game does it for you). The sci-fi nature makes this game harder to get into than Civilization, but it is worth it.

WarcraftIII.jpg

Warcraft 3

From the Bnet shop, you can buy Warcraft 3 for $10 and its expansion for $10 for a combined total of $20. The game is worth it.

The game and expansion has a long single player campaign which actually has good story going on. This entire game sets the stage for vanilla World of Warcraft. Warcraft 3 combines RTS with some RPG elements. The game has aged well.

There is still a robust multiplayer scene with Wacraft 3.

More interesting are the custom maps for Warcraft 3. Tower Defense. DOTA. These games are available within Warcraft 3 complete with AI additions so you can play by yourself if you want. There are so many custom maps that turn it into a new game. My favorite is Fulgore’s Epic Castle Siege 1.9. It is like a MOBA but two castles against one another with RPG elements throughout. I love how you can take over the fort in the center.

Unreal Tournament 2004 Coverart.png

Unreal Tournament 2004

The original Unreal Tournament also works for this too.

Unreal Tournament includes Unreal Tournament 2003. The game still has an active online base. There are so many different game modes (my favorite is Onslaught where you can pilot different vehicles in a massive battleground). There are many ways to alter your game experience by using mutators (e.g. instagib where one shot kills, double jump, everyone has a sniper weapon, etc.). This is classic FPS!

The bots really know how to move in Unreal Tournament games. Single player can play like multiplayer. There is a single player campaign, kinda, but that is not what you’ll be playing.

There are tons of free maps for this game. There are also tons of free mods that turn it into another game. You can get this from GOG.

Rogue Legacy

Image result for rogue legacy

Image result for rogue legacy

Definitely one of the best games released in the last 30 years. Rogue Legacy plays like Metroid combined with Castlevania combined with Rogue elements. The castle is randomized each time you enter. The game, during development, was called Dark Souls 2d. The game is very hard. You will die. But your next character gets to spend all your gold on upgrades. This means each character should be getting further as you keep upgrading your character. This game is very skill based. If you win, there is New Game +. Then New Game ++. Then New Game +++, and so on.

This game is as close as we’ll get to a Zelda 2 type combat again.

All these games are obtained from GOG except for Warcraft 3 which is from Bnet Store.

Starcraft + Broodwar is going to be free and you can play with those who have the remastered version. Since it is free, I would check it out when the remaster comes out soon.

Those are five more games I cannot stop playing. I think everyone should try them out. They are very accessible, very addictive, and cheap to buy today.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 3, 2017

Email: Switch User Interface and Booting

Master Malstrom,

One of the things I’ve noticed and was shocked by the Switch is how clean and fast the System UI is. Having dealt with sluggish Operating Systems on past consoles for so long, it’s so refreshing to have a console that takes literally only a few seconds to get you right into the game. There’s almost no bloat to the Switch: it gives you just the essentials you need to get started. This should be the standard for all consoles going forward.

Why do you assume this is the OS? When Nintendo puts out their online system, there may be something else entirely.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 3, 2017

Email: I’m starting to hate Shrines

They’re lazy, puzzle filled pockets of the game that break the experience. Nintendo fed us some bull about technical limitations stopping the creation of a seamless world, that BotW finally does that but those shrines take that away.

You’re right about the dungeons needing to be integrated into the world. It’s like they only got half of the game right. We shouldn’t have the good weapons and old tunics and things hidden behind amiibo’s. I can accept them as keys for unlocking stuff easily and constantly, but not solely. We should be going through 120 dungeons of various lengths and complexity to get things like the Biggorons Sword.

I really figging hate that amiibo’s are just physical drm keys. They sold keys as toys, hid content behind them and gave us aonuma puzzles instead. This game could have been far greater. it’s not bad, it’s mostly fine. It just seems like it was held back and only halfway done because of the puzzleboxes. They threw ppuzzleboxes into our glorious sandbox. Everyone loves the sandbox, but those puzzle boxes are hit and miss. Just expand the sandbox Nintendo.

 

What did you expect? This is Nin*en*o w*ere ….. *****

…….

“Hello. My name is Aonuma. I have taken over the Malstorm blog because this email upset me greatly. My puzzles are ingenius. Have you not played the masterpiece called Marvelous? It is marvelous!

“The reason why Breath of the Wild is selling so well is because of the puzzles. Everyone can’t wait to rush to the shrines. And those dungeons! Did you know that you can tilt the bird to the left or right and changes occur in the dungeon! So marvelous! Tee hee! Wait for the DLC so you can have more puzzles!”

…….

Damn that Aonuma. Every now and then, he will take over the blog like that. I wonder where Miyamoto is at….

….

Image result for virtual boy gif

……

Nevermind.

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