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Nintendo Direct: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

by Alex Culafi - November 13, 2013, 10:56 am PST
Total comments: 26

They ruined you, Mario.

Well, let's not beat around the bush. Nintendo promised a Nintendo Direct today and we sure got one. There were plenty of okay announcements, a couple of great ones, one really awful one, and plenty in-between. Let's take the next few minutes to talk about what I personally deem to be the good, the bad, and the ugly of this presentation (there were other announcements besides these, but those belong in a special “indifferent” category):

The Good:

Next Month's 3DS Update: Not only does it offer the first step towards a 2013 account system with Nintendo Network ID integration and shared account balance, but it also offers the long-awaited Miiverse. It seems like tons of older games, potentially all of them, will get their own sections which is a very nice thing to hear. It wasn't a new game announcement, but this was so good that they should have saved this for the end as the big "one last thing."

Bravely Default and Professor Layton: I'm not necessarily sold on either at the moment, but seeing a couple of dates for these two sizable games makes me happy and hopeful for 2014's 3DS support.

The Bad:

YouTube: Feel free to call me wrong for not looking at this as a good thing, but Nintendo does not deserve to be praised for waiting until the tail end of 2013 to get their stuff together. The 3DS YouTube app has taken so long to release that it's incredibly difficult to even care at this point. That said, I do praise Nintendo for getting the Wii U app out from the start; I just dislike how long Nintendo took for the 3DS one.

Mario Party and Zelda: This pales in comparison to what I'm going to talk about in a minute, but I was rather disappointed with Nintendo's insistence on teasing just a little too much of these two games. The StreetPass stuff was fine, but getting into MP Bosses and Zelda characters/items just rubs me the wrong way.

The Ugly:

No Yoshi or Golf: There should have been updates on Yoshi's New Island and Mario Golf. The fact that there weren't not only stood as disappointing, but also set up questions of whether either of those games would even make March. It's true that they may have another Direct in the next month or three, but they should not have set up those questions to begin with. "We are still working on Yoshi and Mario Golf and we will have more information on those very soon." Perfect. Nevertheless, they didn't even have that.

The Closer: Their "one last thing" was spoiling nearly every exciting feature in Super Mario 3D World. New level types? Check. New insane unlockable surprise? Check. New secret content for the loyal fans of previous Mario games? Not so secret anymore! Let me mention that Reggie's insistence on giving the game a spoiler alert isn't the problem. The problem comes in when Reggie spoils one more thing after the trailer ends and uses this as the Direct closer without even mentioning that this was the end of the presentation. The problem continues when I check YouTube and my e-mail and see Nintendo casually reveals these spoilers in press materials without hesitation. The problem carries on when they reveal spoilers this severe in a world where existing on the internet guarantees exposure.

And it's not just Mario. Remember when Skyward Sword spoiled everything in its official materials? Remember when Pokémon X and Y revealed a huge percentage of its new Pokédex and content unapologetically over the last few months before release? And no, it is not my responsibility to get out of the oh-so-charitable Nintendo's way and stop using social media because Nintendo markets like garbage. It is not my responsibility to be happy with the oh-so-generous Nintendo decision to spoil major content because it makes the game more "hype." There could be other major unlockable content, but that's not even close to an excuse for revealing as much as they did. In fact, I would put money down on the idea that Nintendo has revealed most of the major surprises that game has to offer in those few minutes alone.

For all of the people losing their minds over things like a wobbly PS4, I feel justified in getting angry about the fact that a company's marketing punishes their most loyal fans by destroying the very sense of discovery that attracted many people to Nintendo's games to begin with. It's sickening, and Nintendo has effectively cancelled my pre-order as a result. Again, you can feel free to be excited about this game in spite of or because of these unlockable spoilers, but I am not.

I can’t wait until they spoil the fourth Donkey Kong Country character in January.

Talkback

Disco StuNovember 13, 2013

I have to stay off of Nintendo-covering websites and Twitter for the next week and a half before Mario 3D World comes out?  This is going to be hard.  I was enjoying the pre-release Mario coverage being limited to Worlds 1 and 2.  It meant that I could watch and read as much as I wanted without fear of losing the thrill of discovery for the latter three-quarters of the game.


Oh well.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, November 13, 2013

"It's sickening, and Nintendo has effectively cancelled my pre-order as a result. "

This isn't an overreaction at all.

HyawattaNovember 13, 2013

Don't Spoil the Fun.

The fun of actually playing this game with friends and family outweighs knowing the spoilers for me. I still don't know where the hidden warp zones are, which are arguably the most important secrets in the game.
People were already speculating hidden characters by looking at the stamp outlines anyway. I remember reading about the Luigi stuff beforehand as well. I certainly don't agree that it warrants canceling a preorder.

Luigi DudeNovember 13, 2013

Spoiling Mario games isn't exactly a new thing for Nintendo.  Galaxy 1 and 2 had most of their stages spoiled in all the trailers and material before their launches as well.  Even Mario 64 back in the day had most of it's stages shown in all the different commercials and media before release.

Of course it's not hard to see why.  Nintendo feels most people enjoy their games, especially Mario for the gameplay and so showing all the different kinds of gameplay, is the best way to market them.  Even if some of the gameplay they're showing in these trailers is major spoilers, it'll still increase the hype because it's showing things people will be excited about playing.

So even though it sucks for some people, the best way to avoid these gameplay spoilers is to go on a media blackout when it comes to Nintendo games the month before release.  They've shown in most cases for quite awhile now they have no problem revealing much of the gameplay right before the launch of their games.  At this point, it's to be assumed that any new trailer for a Nintendo game that's less then a month from release will probably have major spoilers in it because that seems to be the moment they become spoiler happy.

Leo13November 13, 2013

Come on, Really? Nobody made you keep watching if spoilers spoil it for you. Now you're going to deprive yourself of an incredible game? Suit yourself I'm buying and will love this game!

chilenozoNovember 13, 2013

what an hyperbolic reaction....

Professor ClaytonClay Johnson, Associate EditorNovember 13, 2013

I wasn't able to watch the Direct because I was at work, though I tried to sneak and watch a bit with no sound at one point. I saw the reveal of a fifth character, but didn't know the context (hidden, unlockable, etc)... Luckily I missed any other spoilers that were shown.

I have to say that I agree with Alex's outrage here, though I will still buy the game. I didn't see the spoilers, for the most part, though I would still play the games in question had I seen them. I just think that it's disappointing how casually key in-game details are discussed prior to launch. While there is more to a game than just this stuff, Alex is very correct that the joy of discovery is at the heart of many a fan's enjoyment of this medium. It seems that a game like this won't be overly helped in sales by marketing with the level of spoilers we're seeing here.

Guess I'll avoid coverage of these games from here on...

BlackNMild2k1November 13, 2013

Here is the Nintendo Direct if you want to watch it later:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mijfc0-zEgw&t=16m33s

and Youtube app should be under good.

what should be under bad is that you will lose money on your account if you switch between regions.

Quote:

"Q: I have used Nintendo eShop in different regions, and I have funds in multiple currencies in my balance. What will happen to these funds after I register a Nintendo Network ID?

A: After registering a Nintendo Network ID, you will be unable to change regions and use multiple currencies – for instance, pounds and euros – in Nintendo eShop. The funds in the currency that corresponds to the country setting of your Nintendo Network ID will remain, and any funds in other currencies will be deleted and no longer usable. Please make sure to use up any other currencies before registering a Nintendo Network ID to your Nintendo 3DS system."

Ian SaneNovember 13, 2013

Mario doesn't exactly have major story elements that could get spoiled.  It's pretty much just Mario jumping around a bunch to stop Bowser.  Story is usually the most important thing for me to not be spoiled.

For years now I pretty much only check out the initial debut trailer for a Nintendo game and then a few screenshots as it gets closer to release and that's about it.  I just find games more interesting when they're fresh and you can't rely on Nintendo or any videogame company to not overload you with every detail before release.  Marketing people don't care and we've seen a fair share of movie trailers that have the ending in it or TV ads that hype up the next SHOCKING episode of a show and then blow the surprise a second later, usually airing this immediately before the very episode starts thus making sure that no one watching the show can go in fresh.  Are Nintendo being idiots?  Yeah, but almost everyone's marketing team is just as dumb.

You shouldn't have to work to avoid spoilers for stuff that has not even been released yet.  Nintendo deserves flack for this but it isn't something that only Nintendo is guilty of.

Mop it upNovember 13, 2013

Ah, the Internet, a gift and a curse. I'll probably have to scale back my time a bit until after I play Super Mario 3D World.

Evan_BNovember 13, 2013

So when Reggie said "there's spoilers" you took that as, "there's not spoilers and I should watch this because I enjoy the sense of discovery", huh Alex.

ShyGuyNovember 13, 2013

Sounds like somebody...

...had a WEB MALFUNCTION

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

Quote from: Evan_B

So when Reggie said "there's spoilers" you took that as, "there's not spoilers and I should watch this because I enjoy the sense of discovery", huh Alex.

Did you read my post m8? I referenced that directly. I said it was irresponsible to use spoilers at all in the modern information era because a spoiler alert is pointless. More importantly, the press materials and Youtube video had spoilers directly on it without any warning and Reggie spoiled Luigi AFTER the presentation.

DjangoNovember 13, 2013

I think it was a nice direct. Nothing to drama about.  :cool;

MagicCow64November 13, 2013

Will avoid 3D World coverage until release now, but I'm more concerned about the lack of a meaty announcement here. This was their last chance to toot their own horn ahead of the full next gen press tsunami. I was hoping for a at least a medium-grade Wii U announcement, or at least an updated look at Yarn Yoshi with a release date.

azekeNovember 13, 2013

When people have to reach THAT far to find some downsides you know it was pretty good.

Kurtis the RedNovember 13, 2013

I agree and disagree.


Nintendo seems to have the wrong idea about 3D World, this game doesn't need a hype boost, it's already on numerous 'highly anticipated' lists and my personal 'must have' list.  Why they thought they needed to do this is beyond me. The 10 things we learned about Mario could have easily been the 10 things we discovered about Mario, and the world would be a better place. 


But I have to hold myself back.  I must admit to myself, that actually playing the game is the best part.  Did I need to know this stuff, no. But is it going to change my experience with the game? the easy answer is no, it's not.  Playing Mario will still be top notch, and I have no doubt I will love it. 


On a second thought, Nintendo's secret unlocks could be the tip of a very large Iceberg.  Five characters seems a bit of an odd number, who's to tell if there's not another? or a 7th? Perhaps different modes means DLC in the future, like they are currently doing for Pikmin 3, and have done of New Mario Bros 2 in the past. 


Overall, a thought invoking article...but I have to agree with those posted above, a canceled pre-order may be a bit excessive.

Because canceling a preorder and not playing a game is totally more fun than playing a game you know a little bit about. It's the mature, rational thing to do.  :P:

Quote from: King

Because canceling a preorder and not playing a game is totally more fun than playing a game you know a little bit about. It's the mature, rational thing to do.  :P: : :

No one said I'm never going to play it. Nintendo just de-prioritized it for me to the point that I dont need it right away anymore.

I think you people are the hyperbolic ones!

azekeNovember 13, 2013

Things you learn on the internet: releasing new games is bad, mmkay?

lukas85November 14, 2013

this article has no reason to exist! it's utter bad

KhushrenadaNovember 14, 2013

Quote from: Mop

Ah, the Internet, a gift and a curse. I'll probably have to scale back my time a bit until after I play Super Mario 3D World.

I did that a month ago. After they released the second trailer or whatever you want to call the trailer after E3, it totally changed my perception of the game and that was all I needed. I've since avoided anything 3D World related as I don't need any other information on this game.

I agree with the writer of this article of how Nintendo has seen fit to go spoiler crazy these days. I'm thankful that he showed restraint that they didn't in not posting any of what these spoilers were in his article. I noticed the same problem with the Mario Galaxy games. I would have watched the Nintendo Direct and had the same experience.

So, the article does serve a purpose as a warning for those who wish to avoid spoilers while still giving a quick rundown of the significiant news from the direct. I appreciate although I don't think the writer did himself any favors with the closing comment of cancelling his pre-order for the game because of it. (Although I do not see the point in ever pre-ordering unless there is some bonus given with it that you can't acquire any other way.) That has distracted from what the main point of contention really is and that is having a large sense of discovery taken away from you without getting to play and experience it for yourself.

I find the same thing with movies. There are times where I've ended up watching the last half of a movie or had a large portion of the movie told to me. As such, I put off watching the movie until much later than I may have because I already knew so much of what was going to happen and watched other things instead where I had no idea what it was even about or just had basic story details. There are some movies where by the time I had seen them, they had been referenced in so much in other works that it was more like connecting the dots of what that stuff meant and this is where it came from. Citizen Kane would be a prime example of that. It's still a fine movie but when I watched it for the first time, I also felt like I'd already seen it before. Just a wierd feeling.

On the other hand, there are times where I started watching the beginning of a movie but didn't get to see the rest and those films stay in mind. I want to finish them. They still hold my curiousity. Just today, in fact, I looked up a movie that I saw the first part of 4 years ago. I was at the dentist and flipping through the channels, I just put it on TCM because I was huge fan of that channel for many years. It was a French film that had just begun which was actually sort of perfect as it had subtitles and since I couldn't hear the audio anyways, I was still able to get the story. I watched it for 20 minutes and I was enjoying it but I couldn't exactly stay and keep watching.

I later looked up the name of it but the TCM schedule has different time zones and I mixed it up with another film. When I later saw that film, I realized it wasn't the same. At that point, from time to time, I'd still think about that movie and wonder what it was. I thought of it again today and finally figured out what it was. That's 4 years of a movie holding my interest based on its opening few minutes. There have been other movies which did that as well but didn't take that long to track down.

That's why I'm on Webmalfunction's side that if Nintendo wants to show the first 2 worlds or all the levels in them, no problem. That should serve as a sufficient amount of intro and information to make people want to seek out what the rest of the game has to offer. To finish what they have seen. Doing that for them before you even release the game is rather dumb.

Ian SaneNovember 14, 2013

Quote from: Kurtis

Nintendo seems to have the wrong idea about 3D World, this game doesn't need a hype boost, it's already on numerous 'highly anticipated' lists and my personal 'must have' list.  Why they thought they needed to do this is beyond me. The 10 things we learned about Mario could have easily been the 10 things we discovered about Mario, and the world would be a better place. 

At first I agree with this.  Why does Nintendo feel the need to do the hard sell for a Mario game?  This is the biggest Wii U game yet and anyone who actually pays attention to Nintendo Directs knows that.  But then I realized that a lot of us (like me for example) were not impressed by the game's first showing.  Although later videos have improved the game's reputation, there is still a fair bit of indifference do to the game's similarity to Super Mario 3D Land.  Hell, it still hasn't sold a Wii U to me.

While I would be utterly shocked that Nintendo would be so self-aware to realize that there was some general apathy towards this title, perhaps they feel that in this case they do need to do the hard sell.  Perhaps they feel they have to really show how great this game is to all of us that are no longer impressed with these annual Mario games.  Of course all that accomplishes is to spoil the game for the people that are interested.

The whole thing seems a little panicky, which makes sense considering how the Wii U has sold thus far and how much is riding on this game.

"Here is everything awesome about Super Mario 3D World!  See?  It's an awesome game!  It's more than just a cookie-cutter follow-up to a handheld game!  It's amazing and well worth buying a Wii U for!  Tell your friends!"

OblivionNovember 14, 2013

Sorry, but I LIKED it when they spoiled most of X/Y's Pokedex. I'm used to the days when the Japanese version had been out for months before the English release so I usually knew everything about the game before I bought it.

Quote from: lukas85

this article has no reason to exist! it's utter bad

Why?

Evan_BNovember 15, 2013

Quote from: Webmalfunction

Quote from: Evan_B

So when Reggie said "there's spoilers" you took that as, "there's not spoilers and I should watch this because I enjoy the sense of discovery", huh Alex.

Did you read my post m8? I referenced that directly. I said it was irresponsible to use spoilers at all in the modern information era because a spoiler alert is pointless. More importantly, the press materials and Youtube video had spoilers directly on it without any warning and Reggie spoiled Luigi AFTER the presentation.

How is a spoiler alert pointless? It obviously means something not known and exciting is going to be revealed.

Sounds like you and I have very different definitions.

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