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Episode 237: Shiny New Toy

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jon Lindemann, and Jonathan Metts - April 3, 2011, 1:01 pm PDT
Total comments: 53

Some of us have 3DS, and all of us have your provocative emails. Are Nintendo fans too negative about Nintendo?

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With 3DS now available around the world, it makes a perfunctory debut in New Business. James sucks at Street Fighter and frowns upon Ubisoft's lackluster port of Rayman 2, while he and Greg are both enjoying PilotWings Resort. Greg also provides an update on the Japanese Virtual Console and gets very excited (as he should be) for Mega Man X. Jon has been sick lately, but he does bring a report on the PS3 Move Sharpshooter, a high-quality cross between the SNES Super Scope 6 and Wii Zapper. Jonny caps the segment with his thoughts on Beyond Good & Evil HD, and the validity of comparisons to the Zelda franchise.

After the break, we get into somewhat serious territory with an email about negativity among Nintendo fans (particularly your devoted RFN crew). Why are we so critical of Nintendo, and is there anything that still excites us? Further adventures in Listener Mail take us through enhancement devices like Game Genie and Game Shark, one fan's impressions of 3DS and its launch titles, and the unusual backwards-compatibility feature of 3DS.

Finally, we've selected the next RetroActive game: Legend of the Mystical Ninja! This bizarre, fun SNES classic is available everyone on Virtual Console, so we hope you will consider playing along. Join the official forum discussion and let us know what you think!

This podcast was edited by Greg Leahy.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their newest album, Done with the Devil, directly from the record label, Amazon (CD) (MP3), or iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Additional music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is copyrighted to Nintendo, and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

TurdFurgyApril 03, 2011

I usually listen to this here but, today I'm gonna listen to it on my 3DS. :)

That's pretty awesome.

pookyruneApril 03, 2011

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LittleIrvesApril 03, 2011

You know what would be amazing?  If you could take 3D pictures and use them as the images for each section of RFN (I don't know the terminology), and when listening to RFN on your 3DS, the 3D image would show up on the top-screen.  That would be amazing.  Make it happen, Greg AKA Editing Wizard.

It's funny, I just posted this morning on the 3DS discussion topic the same thing James did regarding seeing my computer monitor and the false effect of 3D on text for my screen.  While I find it funny overall, it makes me wonder if my eyes focusing on the 3DS screen a certain way is bad for my eyes :-/

happyastoriaApril 03, 2011

Is it just me or is this whole generation kind of sucky? The only games I fully enjoyed were: SMG 2 (never played the original), Oblivion, and Demon's Souls. Every other game has been pretty meh these last couple of years. In fact, I can count with one hand the amount of games I finished this generation. The Wii doesn't have that many games, but the ones it does have are more interesting than what the HD systems offer. For instance, Lost in Shadow offers a nice little experience.

Retro DeckadesApril 03, 2011

happyastoria, I have to agree with you about Lost In Shadow. I just played through the game these past two weeks, and I actually enjoyed every minute of it. I clocked in around 13 hours. I think it's a game Greg would enjoy (despite not being incredibly challenging) and I know he has expressed interest in the title. Maybe he has already tried it. I think it's a good swan song for Hudson.

As far as the question about negativity on RFN, there are a couple of reasons why I don't perceive it as such. Comparatively, I have to say that the RFN podcast (and other NWR podcasts) is the only one these days that actually gets me excited about Nintendo games. To begin with, RFN actually talks about Nintendo games, which is more than I can say about so many others. I would rather listen to someone negatively critique a game instead of put up with ignorance. Secondly, I appreciate the critical nature of the podcast because it is informed and the crew justify their reasons. Whenever someone on another podcast says that a game sucks without proceeding to tell me why they think so, I want to turn it off.

While the podcast may take a negative turn once in a while, I think there is much more to like about the discussion itself.

happyastoria, it's very sad that you have enjoyed so few games considering that you apparently own all three major consoles. I think it has been a very good and quite interesting generation, especially with new avenues opening for smaller games to fill in gaps left by big-budget releases. I might not feel that way if I owned any single consoles or only played PC or handheld games, but I'm quite satisfied on a multi-platform basis.


Edit: I just realized you could have played Oblivion on PS3, although it was released much earlier on 360. Still, even 2/3 consoles would give you pretty good coverage on interesting games this generation.

happyastoriaApril 03, 2011

Lost in Shadow accomplished what Limbo couldn't. You really do get a sense of isolation when playing the game. It's funny, I made a strong effort to only play that game at night.

happyastoriaApril 03, 2011

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

happyastoria, it's very sad that you have enjoyed so few games considering that you apparently own all three major consoles. I think it has been a very good and quite interesting generation, especially with new avenues opening for smaller games to fill in gaps left by big-budget releases. I might not feel that way if I owned any single consoles or only played PC or handheld games, but I'm quite satisfied on a multi-platform basis.

Jonny, there are -no- games for the PS3. I regret buying that sorry excuse of a gaming machine - what a waste of money. The Wii is fun and the 360 has a lot of interesting games, but none too interesting that I can finish. I exaggerated how many games I finished, but it wasn't many; I can tell you that for certain.

The DS is a different beast all together - it may be the best system ever- and I'm optimistic the 3DS will do the same.

happyastoriaApril 03, 2011

Quote from: OneTwenty

happyastoria, I have to agree with you about Lost In Shadow. I just played through the game these past two weeks, and I actually enjoyed every minute of it. I clocked in around 13 hours. I think it's a game Greg would enjoy (despite not being incredibly challenging) and I know he has expressed interest in the title. Maybe he has already tried it. I think it's a good swan song for Hudson.

As far as the question about negativity on RFN, there are a couple of reasons why I don't perceive it as such. Comparatively, I have to say that the RFN podcast (and other NWR podcasts) is the only one these days that actually gets me excited about Nintendo games. To begin with, RFN actually talks about Nintendo games, which is more than I can say about so many others. I would rather listen to someone negatively critique a game instead of put up with ignorance. Secondly, I appreciate the critical nature of the podcast because it is informed and the crew justify their reasons. Whenever someone on another podcast says that a game sucks without proceeding to tell me why they think so, I want to turn it off.

While the podcast may take a negative turn once in a while, I think there is much more to like about the discussion itself.

Don't get me wrong - I love this podcast. RFN may be the best gaming podcast ever! What I love is their honesty. No BS is involved in this podcast what-so-ever. I would echo everything you just said, OneTwenty.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)April 03, 2011

I'm fairly sure I said this in the Talkback to the episode with the Wii Report Card feature, but to re-iterate:

There's no denying that the Wii's release schedule has ebbed and flowed throughout its life cycle. There's no denying that the Wii has to deal with technical problems that the HD systems do not. Yet the Wii is the only console I own (unless you count handhelds or the PC). Why? I thought about that and the answer came to me almost word for word as Greg said it: "Nintendo makes the kind of experiences I like with more frequency than anybody else." In fact, I could go beyond that and say that many of the upper-tier Wii exclusives in terms of quality, both from first and third parties, would probably not exist without the Wii. They've created a culture around the platform where it's okay to put a 2D game on a disc, it's okay to not to have bleeding-edge graphics but rather a style that's artsy and unusual, it's okay to be quirky and experimental, and it's okay to resurrect game designs that died in the 80's or 90's. On the PS3 and 360, where publishers take the 'follow the leader' strategy and the emphasis on production values is huge, you would never see these kind of titles - at least, not at retail.

So yeah, the droughts are not pleasant, and the online infrastructure is sub-par, but overall, I'm happy with the Wii.

happyastoriaApril 04, 2011

What Jonny said about Galaxy, Sin and Punishment, DKCR, etc. Is the same exact thing I would say about Red Dead redemption, Call of Duty, Halo, Killzone, Uncharted (how can a game so pretty; be so boring and uninspired?) etc.

He his right about Dead Space though- a game with no originality what-so-ever was a pretty fun and engaging experience.

KDR_11kApril 04, 2011

Using a color gradient between pixels IS interpolation. Interpolation means taking two points and calculating values for the points in between from them. Using a straight color gradient is bilinear interpolation.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusApril 04, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

Using a color gradient between pixels IS interpolation. Interpolation means taking two points and calculating values for the points in between from them. Using a straight color gradient is bilinear interpolation.

I think you may have misunderstood what Jonny was saying with respect to this issue. Jonny was making the point that a DSiXL does not have the same visual "softness" of the 3DS when running original DS games (despite having massive screens) because it does not have to use interpolation as a 3DS does (due to the resolution difference). He then described the interpolation process by referring to the creation of colour gradients--i.e. he did not say they are two different things.

When someone's jumping around from what one device does to what another device doesn't do and so on, it's easy to infer something different from what's being said than what was originally intended, but having edited the episode I can tell you that Jonny seems to be already well aware of the point you raise here.

KisakiProjectApril 04, 2011

@ Johnny

I doubt Pikmin 3 will be on Wii.  It will likely be stillborn given the Wii's situation.  I bet Pikmin 3 will be 3DS with AR support.  It would generate the most hype and likely sell more copies.  It probably wouldn't be hard to take whatever Wii planning they have and move it over.  But maybe I'm just hoping.

I wasn't sure of the ghosting was just me in Pilot Wings.  I guess everybody else notices that.  Its annoying.

About AR support. After the show it hit me I missed one OBVIOUS AR style game.

Greg mentioned Chosoju Mecha MG as a game that could put its control scheme down on the bottom screen and make use of the shiny and now unencumbered top screen. We listed a few other options as well.


I should have thought of it then, but Custom Robo is amazingly perfect for the 3DS.



Controls on the bottom screen skinned to look like the remotes players in the game use
Top screen 3D battles
AR cards used to create the arena and the bots on the ground (remember the custom robos are actually quite small)

It's so stupidly perfect that it has no chance of happening.

KisakiProjectApril 04, 2011

I loved Custom Robo on GCN.  The DS one was kinda meh.  I doubt Nintendo will bring this franchise back but we can hope.

Plus I think 3D depth would make the controls alot better.  There definitely issues with the others.

Really the thing that killed me about the DS one was the fact that everyone online had illegal parts so unless you beat the single player there was no point to going online.

Custom Robo is a two-button action game; mapping controls to a touch screen-based control panel would drastically change how the game is played and probably what kind of game it is in the first place.

I never played the GC version but I absolutely loved the DS Custom Robo. I don't care how they do it as long as they make one for 3DS.

noname2200April 04, 2011

Enjoyable show as always, especially the discussion about negativity and positivity.  I guess that might explain why my own reaction to the Wii's library is so different than what most bloggers write, since by and large I actually like a lot of the games I've played on the system.

In any case, James mentioned having difficulty with the jetpack in Pilotwings, especially when it comes to momentum and height.  One thing that would remedy much of that is to remember that the jetpack has several intermediary settings, so you don't have to just go up or straight.  I usually just hold the stick about 3/4 of the way up, which results in going perfectly straight without losing any altitude.  The second key thing is to stab the hover button whenever your momentum's carrying you too far, since it's extremely effective at arresting all your movement (perhaps too effective, but then the jetpacks and planes are way too easy in this game for my taste).

One last Pilotwings related note: there's supposedly a pretty sweet bonus if you get a perfect score on each stage, unlocking the bonus vehicle for use on any level, so there's added incentive for score attack fans to shoot for perfects.  It doesn't make up for the lack of wind, or the inexplicable removal of skydiving, but it's something.

jimwood27April 04, 2011

Thanks for the good words, gentlemen.  Kicking cancer's ass gets difficult from time to time and its nice to hear good things.


I definitely should have used the word 'skepticism' instead of 'negativity' because it is the much more appropriate word to describe you guys.  I felt you defended yourselves quite nicely and very even-handedly, what I expect from your discussions.  What I didnt expect was James leading the positivity train but I sure loved it.


As for Pikmin 3, I cannot wait for this game.  And it had better be for the Wii.  The pointer capabilities would shine with that game.  I dont know why people would want to deal with a 100 Pikmin and any enemies all on that tiny screen at the same time (though it would look cool).

I agree with James that it's good that Nintendo learned their lesson about the supply issues on the Wii and ensured that that isn't a problem now with the 3DS, but I'm afraid all the people criticizing Nintendo for not being able to sell out all their launch inventory may mean they won't do that again.

NinSageApril 04, 2011

Another great episode, guys.  Listening to RFN is my favorite gaming-related-but-not-actually-gaming activity.

Responses to this week...

1. Agree with "Jim" completely!!  Oh my goodness, buddy.  It's like you spoke my mind.  Shameless plug, there's a website linked in my sig whose small but awesome community is composed of people who don't really feel the same negativity you inquired about.

2. I don't know if the crew just didn't want to burn bridges, but I was interested in someday hearing their take on why nearly all other gaming media treats Nintendo as if Miyamoto ran over their cat.  Also*

3. I completely understand about the nerves, etc surrounding the PAX panel.  It's been discussed in other threads and as far as I'm concerned everything is AOK in regard to that discussion.

However, I wanted to draw attention to the "if PAX had been a month later" concept.  This is an issue that I feel Nintendo faces much more frequently than they should.  In other words, it seems like the general media gets down on Nintendo, then Nintendo does something cool which pleasantly surprises them, and then a week later the media is back to "so? that was totally last week, bro. from now on Nintendo is dooooooomed!"

*I understand people have been let down by Nintendo in many ways over the years.  But it seems like ALL companies make mistakes, and Nintendo is the only company that never gets forgiven about it.  Sixaxis? RROD? Heating issues? Outrageous price tags? The PSP Go? The coveting of the expanded audience.  .... they're allll distant memories, right?  Historical anecdotes with no modern relevance.  Yet, I don't have to go back more than 3 days to find a major gaming media site making "waggle" jabs.

4. It's true.  Third party support on the Wii has not been as strong as on the HD twins.  No one seems to have trouble blaming Nintendo for this - no HD, clunky friend codes, less horsepower - my god, how can 3rd parties be expected to make a good game under these awful conditions?!?!

Yet, no one finds the courage to hold 3rd parties' feet to the fire about putting their top tier games on the Wii.  SF4 can run on the 3DS but not the Wii?  RE4 was brilliant on the Wii, but RE5 is out of the question?  Given RE4, the Dead Space Wii game couldn't POSSIBLY have been a 3rd person shooter? Really?

In fact, whenever 3rd parties DO put quality games on the Wii, they are bombarded with "why isn't this on the PS3/60?"  And that is considered a completely legitimate question.  For a while I was closely following interviews with HighVoltage about Conduit 2 and I gotta say they fielded that question in EVERY interview.
I bet third party games would perform better at market if the media didn't make each quality Wii game seem like such a tragic waste until an HD port might smile down upon us!

5. Totally agree with Greg on long-standing companies and their choice in game content.  The saddest part is (and also the biggest the reason why Nintendo still rarely ever has me worried) is that when these companies DO try to bring back classic franchises or classic approaches to gaming, the result is often some grotesque deformity of the original.  To paraphrase from The Monkey's Paw: "Bionic Commando was caught in the machinery!"

NinSage, I don't know if you are a new listener, but we have spent years castigating third-parties for sub-par efforts and outright absence from the Wii platform. When companies do release quality Wii games, they often fail to support them with marketing or PR.


However, it is ultimately Nintendo's responsibility (and of course, in their corporate interests) to attract third-parties and provide them with a platform on which they can be successful. I think it's quite telling that most of the major third-parties have devoted the bulk of their resources and their top creative talent to other platforms. Even though creating an HD game is far more expensive than developing even a top-tier Wii game, they expect sales to be so much better on those systems that the added costs will be more than justified.


Nintendo has created a console that is much cheaper to develop for than its competitors, and it has the largest userbase by a good margin. Yet third-parties still prefer the market conditions on other platforms. We can complain, call them cowards, call them stupid, or whatever, but they follow the money. This is ultimately Nintendo's problem and, on some level, Nintendo's fault.

motangApril 05, 2011

I am so looking forward for Mega Man X on the VC. I remember playing that game a lot back in the mid 90s, and one particular thing I liked about that game was the haduken secret. It was hard to get, but once you have it, that meant you can pretty much kill anything with just one haduken fireball.

Hadoken instructions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S_hflJUDTc - This was always kind of fun, but it stunk that you couldn't keep it and had to get it all over again after a load from the password.


Shoryuken also shows up in the X series. It's evil to get it X2. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCiOAWW4Ljw&NR=1

FZeroBoyoApril 05, 2011

I wouldn't really say I have "faith" because I don't really have standards that any game developer has to live up to. As long as the final product is good, I'm fine with that. Twilight Princess, for example, was hyped for its release but nowadays, many people are quick to dismiss it for being a bit bland. While I agree with its set-up, the game itself is quite good and I still enjoy it. 3rd parties get a lot of flak and sometimes rightfully so, but there are still some very good 3rd party games on the Wii. As people say, "You just have to know where to look."


And of the two 3DS launch titles I picked up, Street Fighter IV is the one I'm enjoying more although Pilotwings is still very good. Certainly looking forward to more of what Nintendo has to offer us with this thing.

NinSageApril 05, 2011

I'm a relatively new listener, only been about 6 months now.  But please keep in mind that I was speaking about the media in general and definitely not focusing on you guys.  Any disagreements I've had with your perspectives are like a paper cut compared to the gaping shotgun wound left by the rest of the gaming media.  Your quote was used as an example of general attitudes.

So, back on topic, I completely understand your "follow the money" theory, I really do.  However, I don't know that I can name even one or two games that PROVE that theory.  Can you? I'm asking honestly and if you can, I will gladly acknowledge it.

Again, was SF4 put on the Wii? Was RE5? FF13? Bioshock? Deadspace? Fallout? Metal Gear?

And why is that? Do the games really need HD to be worthwhile? Can 3rd parties really not figure out the Wii's horsepower like Nintendo does?

RE4? Nearly 2 million in sales for an old game.
MH3? Best selling console game in the franchise.

I'm using sequels and "franchises" because, for better or worse, we are living in an era where over-hyped sequels are the cash cows.  A lot of those games I listed are not necessarily the games I'd like to play, but I'm sure they would have done a lot for the Wii's reputation as a viable platform for third party success.

But no, the Wii gets TvC, RE rail shooters, Crystal Bearers, Extraction and the guy from Bethesda calls the platform a "toy."  Then these guys complain when the sales aren't top notch? I know you agree with how silly that is.

So yes, it is Nintendo's responsibility, and their problem if 3rd parties take their ball and go home. But I'd really like to know what Nintendo could have done differently.  If they hadn't gone all blue-ocean in the hardware sense, they might easily have gone the way of Sega when another equally-powered, equally-pricey machine landed them in 3rd place... again.

But nothing said 3rd parties couldn't ALSO get in on the low cost, high creativity gaming. Unfortunately, a lot of developers (and members of the media, and gamers) equate polygons and pixels to creativity... and they should know better.

EDIT: Boom Blox was a new IP, a Wii exclusive, and demonstrated how to make a quality Wii experience without crazy polygons and HD graphics.  The game sold over a million units.  How do they follow up this success? By releasing a "better" game (less than?) a year later and calling it "boom blox BASH PARTY."  In other words, they aimed squarely at their own foot and popped said cap.

From a PR perspective.....

I think Nintendo's biggest problem, then, lies not in the hardware but in public perception.  Nintendo shot out of the gate with fun, colorful, family-friendly accessible games and the media couldn't stop lashing them bellowing "where are the 'hardcore' games?"

So then we get a 2-yr stream that includes NMH2, TvC, RS2, NSMBW, SMG2, MH3, Kirby, Metroid, DKCR ... and still the Wii isn't even mentioned when The Bonus Round and Adam Sessler discuss 'hardcore' gaming.  It's like Nintendo delivered what the media asked for, but the media was too proud to acknowledge it.

It still amazes me how all Sony and MS have to do to maintain their "keepin' it real" image is pump out dudebro shooters, sprinkle in a dash of Uncharted/AssassinsCreed, and all those missteps I mentioned earlier disappear from memory.

Lastly,

Maybe I don't give Nintendo enough flak for their online capabilities? I think I must just have strong internet here because I have had an equal amount of disconnects/lag playing PS3 as I have Wii.  The game-specific friend codes are sinful.  But the quality of the online has never been an issue for me.

PlugabugzApril 05, 2011

Errr did someone delete my post?

oops wrong one LOL i put it in 236 not 237.

This is James' fault.

gojiraApril 05, 2011

Random thoughts after listening to the episode. 

Unfortunately Okamiden doesn't control any better with the circle pad.  And with the placement of the stylus, I prefer playing the game on my DSi.  It looked fine on the 3DS however. 

It's been years since I played Megaman X, but I don't recall it being particularly difficult.  I've never beaten a mainline Megaman game, but I beat that game no problem.

MMX is arguably easier overall, as a direct consequence of the grinding element that I mentioned on the show. If you're willing to spend five minutes filling Sub-Tanks, you're going into battle a lot more prepared than is usually possible in a traditional Mega Man title. Also, the enhanced mobility gives you a lot more options for avoiding enemies and their attacks. To balance that, the platforming and boss battles in MMX are considerably more difficult than in most traditional Mega Man games.

farnhamApril 06, 2011

I dont agree with the notion that Gamecube was better then the Wii in terms of software.

It had almost no thirdparty support after 2003. Only Ubisoft, Activision and EA put their multiplats on it and those were normally not that great. In terms of japanese games there was definately much less going on then on the Wii. Sure Capcom put REmake, RE0, Viewtiful Joe and RE4 on the system and there was Tales of Symphonia, MGS TTS, FFCC and Baten Kaitos from Namco Bandai and Square Enix. But there wasnt much support beyond that.

The Wii had less multiplats but got some unique exclusive software from western publishers like Boomblox, Anno Create a New World, Rabbids Go Home, Redsteel 2 (wont count 1 because that was crap), da blob, a boy and his blob and dead space extraction or golden eye. Sure the number of multiplats is not as strong but if you think about it that was the same on the GC. Japanese Thirdparties however have greatly improved their support i believe. We had games like Muramasa, Little King Story, Trauma Team, Monster Hunter Tri, Silent Hill Shattered Memories, Rune Factory Frontier, Sakura Wars V, Fragile Dreams, Super Robot Wars Neo, 428, Chocobos Dungeon, Sonic Colors, Dragon Quest Monsters Battle Road Victory, No More Heroes 1 and 2, Dragon Quest Swords, Taiko no Tatsujin, Tales of Graces, Mad World, Tatsunoko vs Capcom, House of the Dead Overkill, Zack and Wiki, Okami, RE Chronicles series, the very best version of PES etc.

In terms of first party support there is no way to argue that the Wii lineup is way stronger then the GC lineup. GC had Zelda WW and TP, Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart DD, Pikmin 1 and 2, Luigis Mansion, Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime 1 and 2, Fzero, Starfox Adventure and Assault, Paper Mario 2, Eternal Darkness, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Konga, Mario Tennis, SSBM, Wave Race, Fire Emblem PR... and thats about it. Lots of games were, while being good, dissapointments overall (Wind Waker had a great Look but was shallow in terms of gameplay, Sunshine had a neat Idea and features some of the most hardcore platforming levels but had a lot of flaws, Mario Kart DD had a nice Idea with the character swap system but it was low on content, Starfox... eh)

The Wii had Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, ZeldaTP (and soon Skywardsword), Xenoblade, The Last Story, Fire Emblem RD, Excitebots, Excitetruck, Punchout, Wii Sports and Resort, Wii Fit, Wii Music, Wii Party, Kirby Epic Yarn, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Donkey Kong Country returns, Smash Bros Brawl, Metroid Prime3 and Triology as well as Other M, Animal Crossing City Folks, Mario Kart Wii, Super Paper Mario, Wario Land Shake it, Sin and Punishment 2 and Endless Ocean. The big hitters delivered really well (Zelda TP is the best 3D zelda in terms of dungeon design, Mario Galaxy is considered the best of the series, NSMBWii is the best 2D Mario -and i played SMB 1,2,3 and SMWorld as well as Yoshis island- with an excellent multi player option, Brawl had the most content a game ever could have etc) And a lot of new stuff rolled in (Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Music, Endless Ocean, Xenoblade, The Last Story, Punchout, Excitebots and Truck)

The Wii lineup is way more varied then the gamecube one in terms of quality and quantity.

farnhamApril 06, 2011

Regarding the Gaming Media

I believe it is pretty clear that the gaming media in general is not very nintendo friendly.

It probably has to do with the PR strategy that nintendo has (no information ever until E3)

But i believe a lot comes down to fanboysm. I see a lot of gaming journalists that are total Fanboys of specific platforms and get no flack for it whatsoever. But if you are a nintendo fanboy you will get discredited in the second as a kiddy that knows nothing about games. There is only two major gaming journalists i can think of that are relatively friendly towards nintendo and dont get ignored instantly, jeremy parish and chris kohler.

Most people don't know this, but Adam Sessler is a Nintendo fanboy from way back. I don't know how he feels about the company lately.


And of course, there's our own Billy Berghammer! You've also got Dan Bloodworth at GameTrailers, Michael Thomsen at IGN/EGM, etc. So there are more out there.

NinSageApril 06, 2011

Yea, musta been waaaaay back since I started watching G4 about 5 years ago and I don't think Sess cares much for Nintendo now.  I think he likes it more than the rest of his colleagues.  But that's saying very, very..... very... little.

His reviews have had such winners as "for the next few minutes, let's pretend we care about the review of a Wii game" and in his entire Soapbox about what the gaming industry might do to turn a profit, Nintendo was (iirc) not mentioned ONCE.  That's a glaring omission.

What role does Dan Bloodworth have at GT? Can't say I've seen his name mentioned.

In the end the true blame for the lack of quality 3rd party exclusives lies with the consumer base of the Wii.
No, not us Nintendo devotees, but the “casual” market who Nintendo catered majorly to, and it’s not like I blame them, because it brought them massive success in hardware sales.  Not only that, but Nintendo will also make bank on their software sales, because Mario is a known commodity by now, so everyone that owns the system looks to the Mariokarts and New Super Mario Bros for their extra games if they get anything outside of Wii Sports and Carnival games.

The problem is that these casual gamers will buy somewhere around 2-4 games, while people like me (and I assume you all as well) buy in the 10’s & 20’s of games.  Because 3rd party developers believed they could sell a “core” product to the casual market and rope them into “serious” gaming, we were given a few projects like Madworld and No More Heroes.  If I recall correctly, neither had stellar sales, which gave these developers more of a reason to think there is less incentive for them to produce “serious games” for it, so you see things like movie-tie ins, games based off game shows, PS2 & PSP ports, & dumbed-down versions of PS3/360 games.  This is done by them for the same reasons you see spoofs like “Meet the Spartans” and “Vampires Suck” come out: make a game for the least cost possible, and then even if the game sells very little, it’ll still be a success because it made a bunch of money on such a small cost. 

From a business perspective, it makes more sense for these 3rd party developers to sell to PS3/360/PC owners, because they will develop it for the weakest format and sell it on all of them.  The last attach rates I saw showed that these system owners buy more games on average than the Wii owner, which developers take as proof that there’s more likelihood that the game they release on these systems will have a better chance of selling.  Because of the hardware limitations of the Wii, they cannot be included in this process because it would take effort to “dumb-down” the graphics and gameplay to deliver a similar experience.

In our defense:
Although that’s my perception of why 3rd party developers neglect the Wii, it doesn’t mean I agree with them.  If these developers were able to sell to the PS2 successfully, then there’s no excuse why they can’t do the same with the Wii.  This is one of the few times I’ve seen a system with the highest installed base have the least compelling set of 3rd party games.  Although the system isn’t as powerful, the development costs should be much less than HD games, and you would think this would compel developers to work on quality titles on a smaller budget for the Wii.  As an example, I can’t believe it would be that hard for Rockstar to make a GTA game at least comparable in quality and scope as the PS2 versions.

Bloodworth is a producer at GT; he writes a large portion of their reviews and also cuts together the video clips for them (which are then narrated by a professional voice guy). He's also a regular on the GT podcast.

Kytim89April 07, 2011

Whatever anti-Nintendo bias that exisists within the industry makes me realize the importance of a site such as NWR. The people who run this forum have a critical eye on Nintendo, but this is not because they hate the company, they just want what is best for them. It seems to me as though some in the gaming media industry might look upon Nintendo as living past its due. What I mean by this is that Nintendo's golden years was in the early 1990s and since that time they have fallen from the lime light. Yes, they arre the market leader for this current generation based on sales of consoles, but is there any other reason to beleive that they have regained their standing in the market in terms of third parties wanting to work with them?

NinSageApril 08, 2011

The 3DS is a Nintendo console, right? I'm pretty sure the 3rd party issue has nothing to do with Nintendo.

But, as discussed with the Wii, it was a brand new pool of water, and verrrrry few 3rd parties had the nerve to do more than dip their toes in... let alone cannonball.

Chad SexingtonApril 09, 2011

So, I've been lurking this thread for the past week and looks like not very many people enjoyed the Game Genie as much as I did (or its just drowned out by all the anti-Nintendo talk).

SFII + Game Genie Air Moves was amazing.

"What system?  What game?  What code?" 

Anyone else?

:-\

Quote from: Chad

So, I've been lurking this thread for the past week and looks like not very many people enjoyed the Game Genie as much as I did (or its just drowned out by all the anti-Nintendo talk).

SFII + Game Genie Air Moves was amazing.

"What system?  What game?  What code?" 

Anyone else?

:-\

I never owned one, but my friend did when we were about 12/13.  We usually used them for infinite lives cheats so we could see the end of games that seemed impossibly hard at the time for NES.  He also got a game shark for PS1 for things like unlocking all the secret cars in Twisted Metal.  When we got PS2s, it didn't seem like we needed one because I remember the cheats usually being added as either rewards for completing tasks or just as additional things to toy around with, like GTA having spawn tanks or flying mode.

Fun to tinker around with, but to be honest I was never that enthralled with them. 

My favorite GameShark memory was with the Action Replay on the GameCube, which I used to unlock all the NES games in Animal Crossing, including the hidden ones. Now that we have the Virtual Console it's a lot less cool, but I had a lot of fun with that, including watching my friend play through all 32 levels in Super Mario Bros. without dying.

KDR_11kApril 10, 2011

Gaming itself was built on the back of the casual gamer, the Atari 2600 created the casual gamer and the NES cultivated even more of them. Yet now casual gamers are seen like some new plague that's killing gaming when they are really the foundation of gaming.

Weren't we all casual gamers when we started? I know I couldn't afford more than 3-4 Game Boy games in a year (one for birthday, one for christmas and maybe two for cheap on flea markets) and because of that I wasn't very experimental with my game purchases. It wasn't all Nintendo games for me though, back then we'd have major third party titles on the Nintendo systems that got our attention just as much. Mega Man, Nemesis (Gradius games published by Ultra), etc.

You know what we had back in those days? Game guides! One might say the internet makes them useless as you can look up hints on there but that's really not true, they aren't walkthroughs as much as marketing. They wouldn't show more than the first few levels for most games, enough to justify the purchase and get our imaginations fired up but not enough to really solve every riddle. And most importantly they covered a huge variety of games, almost all of which we never owned or played. That means we'd know about games without knowing anyone who played them and could see their content without a demo or a purchase.

Quote from: Chad

So, I've been lurking this thread for the past week and looks like not very many people enjoyed the Game Genie as much as I did (or its just drowned out by all the anti-Nintendo talk).

I used to have a lot of fun with Game Genies, creating interesting codes, like strange levels for Super Mario Bros. One code I made for F-1 Race on Game Boy uncapped the nitro speed limit. It was like playing a whole new game, with all new time trial scores to beat. Another I made for Terminator II on Game Boy, for some reason worked on my Game Boy (circuit board model DMG-01-01), but not on my friend's (DMG-01-03).

adadadApril 10, 2011

Quote from: NinSage

in his entire Soapbox about what the gaming industry might do to turn a profit, Nintendo was (iirc) not mentioned ONCE.  That's a glaring omission.

Just to pick up on this point specifically, it sounds like you're imagining a bias where this is none. While I agree with you that much enthusiast press does to some extent appear to marginalise Nintendo coverage, and I too greatly value this site, why on earth would you expect Nintendo to be mentioned in a piece about certain sectors of the games industry achieving profitability? Did you forget that Nintendo are a ridiculously profitable company at the moment, not to mention that they are conservative enough to ensure that it's not feasibly possible for them to bleed money the way we've seen Sony and Microsoft bleed? In other words Nintendo are home safe and dry. How on earth does that make for a 'glaring omission'? There's nothing to say about Nintendo in that regard, unless you're looking for a self-congratulatory slap on the back - "Hoozah, the Ninty fans win again! Fans win because the company wins!". Quite clearly the discussion is aimed at both hardware manufacturers and third-party developers who are struggling financially. That's the barrier of entry if you like. No need to be upset that your company of choice was turned away at the door to this particular discussion.

RazorkidApril 10, 2011


Great podcast guys!  I used Game Genie at a friends birthday party for the first time playing Faxanadu on the NES.  Infinite gold was the business  :cool; . 


On the issue of negativity on the podcast, I rarely agree with Johnny's opinions or tastes in games, but I respect his arguments and he always backs them up with sound reasoning.  This is one of my top 3 podcasts that I look forward to weekly (Weekend Confirmed and Giant Bombcast being the others) amongst the 10 I listen to.  They talk about Nintendo and Nintendo related things both as fans, but also as critics and leave the asshattery out of their reasoning behind said critiques.  I have no problem with people disliking Nintendo, but these guys are the only ones who ever seem to give good solid discussion behind each critique.  Kudos gentlemen as no other podcast seem to be able to do the same amicably and professionally.

Quote from: NinSage

I'm a relatively new listener, only been about 6 months now.  But please keep in mind that I was speaking about the media in general and definitely not focusing on you guys.  Any disagreements I've had with your perspectives are like a paper cut compared to the gaping shotgun wound left by the rest of the gaming media.  Your quote was used as an example of general attitudes.

So, back on topic, I completely understand your "follow the money" theory, I really do.  However, I don't know that I can name even one or two games that PROVE that theory.  Can you? I'm asking honestly and if you can, I will gladly acknowledge it.

Again, was SF4 put on the Wii? Was RE5? FF13? Bioshock? Deadspace? Fallout? Metal Gear?

And why is that? Do the games really need HD to be worthwhile? Can 3rd parties really not figure out the Wii's horsepower like Nintendo does?

RE4? Nearly 2 million in sales for an old game.
MH3? Best selling console game in the franchise.

I'm using sequels and "franchises" because, for better or worse, we are living in an era where over-hyped sequels are the cash cows.  A lot of those games I listed are not necessarily the games I'd like to play, but I'm sure they would have done a lot for the Wii's reputation as a viable platform for third party success.

But no, the Wii gets TvC, RE rail shooters, Crystal Bearers, Extraction and the guy from Bethesda calls the platform a "toy."  Then these guys complain when the sales aren't top notch? I know you agree with how silly that is.

So yes, it is Nintendo's responsibility, and their problem if 3rd parties take their ball and go home. But I'd really like to know what Nintendo could have done differently.  If they hadn't gone all blue-ocean in the hardware sense, they might easily have gone the way of Sega when another equally-powered, equally-pricey machine landed them in 3rd place... again.

But nothing said 3rd parties couldn't ALSO get in on the low cost, high creativity gaming. Unfortunately, a lot of developers (and members of the media, and gamers) equate polygons and pixels to creativity... and they should know better.

EDIT: Boom Blox was a new IP, a Wii exclusive, and demonstrated how to make a quality Wii experience without crazy polygons and HD graphics.  The game sold over a million units.  How do they follow up this success? By releasing a "better" game (less than?) a year later and calling it "boom blox BASH PARTY."  In other words, they aimed squarely at their own foot and popped said cap.

From a PR perspective.....

I think Nintendo's biggest problem, then, lies not in the hardware but in public perception.  Nintendo shot out of the gate with fun, colorful, family-friendly accessible games and the media couldn't stop lashing them bellowing "where are the 'hardcore' games?"

So then we get a 2-yr stream that includes NMH2, TvC, RS2, NSMBW, SMG2, MH3, Kirby, Metroid, DKCR ... and still the Wii isn't even mentioned when The Bonus Round and Adam Sessler discuss 'hardcore' gaming.  It's like Nintendo delivered what the media asked for, but the media was too proud to acknowledge it.

It still amazes me how all Sony and MS have to do to maintain their "keepin' it real" image is pump out dudebro shooters, sprinkle in a dash of Uncharted/AssassinsCreed, and all those missteps I mentioned earlier disappear from memory.

Lastly,

Maybe I don't give Nintendo enough flak for their online capabilities? I think I must just have strong internet here because I have had an equal amount of disconnects/lag playing PS3 as I have Wii.  The game-specific friend codes are sinful.  But the quality of the online has never been an issue for me.

Perfectly articulates my thoughts about the majority of gaming media's perception of Nintendo.

Not agreeing with Jonny's opinion is perfectly normal. They're usually wrong.

ShyGuyApril 11, 2011

James deserves an applaud for that.

NinSageApril 11, 2011

Adadad - I'm sorry, I don't follow your logic.  It wasn't a topic addressing who needs help, it was about what was being done right and it completely ignored the one company making all kinds of money. How is that not anything short of ridiculously incomplete journalism?

Razorkid - I do what I can, friend. ^_^

CericApril 18, 2011

If you choose the right path in Quest64 it was super simple.  I personally was frustrated with the game then I restarted and went down a different path.  Eventually I got to the end and I literally killed the last guy with my cinnamon roll of power and he couldn't hurt me.

Honestly I haven't seen this super softness everyone is talking about on the 3DS and I've been going back to play different DS games.

Please pledge to you local NPR.  Greg the All Powerful demands it.

The effect of the softness depends on game. In a heavy sprite game, like Disgaea DS, it is VERY noticeable. In a more polygonal game it probably isn't.

CericApril 18, 2011

Quote from: Crimm

The effect of the softness depends on game. In a heavy sprite game, like Disgaea DS, it is VERY noticeable. In a more polygonal game it probably isn't.

Hmmm... I'll have to dig out a more sprite style game.  On a side not the Speakers seem to be a lot better for Elite Beat Agents.

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