Tuesday, March 3, 2009

EPISODE TWENTY: "An Open Letter to Nintendo"


Ben said...

Interesting... having only just realised that YouTube has stopped sending me notifications of replies to comments, I only just read your reply to a comment about Sonic in decline, and how you were going to make the upcoming episode... Coincidence? Probably.

Anyway, yeah, I actually really like the fact that you're a bitter golden age fanboy most of the time; makes the videos just that much more informative and interesting, like being told stories on your granddad's knee. That is a compliment.
As for the issues you highlighted, it's a pity that the little golden stamp don't mean as much as it used to, but the thing to realise is that these decisions are probably made by marketing executives, and no matter how great a company is, the marketing is always going to be evil. Did you see what happened to that game Winter? Six guys made an amazing tech demo for a rebirth of the survival-horror genre and publishers loved it when they were shown it, but every time the marketing division said it wouldn't sell. Obviously We Cheer does.
And more innovation in Nintendo sagas would be nice - I want a Majora's Mask version of TP, or maybe Wind Waker (depending on which style is more creepy), but as for Mario, I'm not sure. Galaxy set a new standard in terms of platforming, practically revitalising an entire genre in one game. It's gonna be hard to top.

DraginHikari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Shovelware rarely takes any shelf space since it rarely sells. And preventing 3rd parties from releasing the games they want to release was one of the reasons why PS1 stole so much 3rd party support from Nintendo. And people have different standards in videogames, forcing someone's standard on everyone else is only going to hurt gaming in the long run.
As for Zelda and Mario go, I personally hope both series would return to their roots. Zelda 1 and 2 is still without a true sequel and we haven't seen a new 2D Mario on a home console since SNES.

DraginHikari said...

Removed my previous comment mostly due to asking about the voice which you already stated before in another video. Jumping to conclusions is bad for you XD

Anyway onto the video. Unfortunely that appears to be the nature of current marketing. Not in the sense that somehow the mainstreaming is going to kill anything but more the overall view of how easily people are offended by anything now that they hurl insults and remarks at anyone to suggest that something they dislike may have some merit.

As far as the seal of approval goes, Nintendo once was far more restrictive on their control of third party developers as far as what could be released and how often something could be released and it didn't always go over well for them. During the intial years of the NES, Nintendo had many fallouts with developers and even some lawsuits due to the claims that Nintendo held too much control. Some would say some of this ended up factoring into Nintendo's loss of developers during the N64 era. Kind of ironic now that they have least strict control of any of them...

Clayton Jones said...

i know it's already been covered, but man, the accent is really hard to get used to. maybe if it wasn't for the fact that your old, apparently affected, nasal nerd voice comes out about 40% of the time still... but it does. which makes your accent sound like a put on. not saying it is, but i would recommend go one way or the other- all accent or no accent like before.

looking forward to the sonic episode.

Blake said...

TOO SHORT! Other things I would have listed as a Nintendo fan:

Yeah, you're a family company... but you can't make ONE M-Rated game? Just one? Give me a break.

I'd like to see more new franchises. Sure, a new Metroid, Zelda, and Mario every few years is necessary, but I can't believe you can't come up with a brand new blockbuster franchise. Idea: how about making a new mature styled RPG for once (and NO... I do NOT consider Zelda to be an RPG; it's an action/adventure game).

PUBLISH WINTER. If you don't want to make mature games, at least get some good ones that are being made out the door... or just let Sega get all the glory when Conduit and MadWorld drop.

Finally, about the accent... because we all get to have an opinion on it.... it just doesn't sound like you. I don't do MovieBob stuff, I'm a Game Overthinker kind of guy... and I know what the Game Overthinker sounds like... this episode... just wasn't him. It was close... and if you had done it this way the whole time... heck I wouldn't know the difference. But switching now... even though this may be more like you... it sounds a lot less like THE Game Overthinker.... if that makes sense.

Looking forward to the next one for sure!

FoXeD said...

Man, Legend of Toadstool would be, I guess... interesting. But you know what would be cool? A new 2D Mario akin to Megaman 9. Fpor WiiWare. New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Also, cameos would be nice, too. Especially if they want to launch a new franchise. At any time, people.

Nintendo has a ton of games, but when one doesn't sell, they don't try to continue the franchise. I'd play Geist 2. I'm sure if they made it good, they could sell Geist 2.

Anyways, my complaint with Nintendo is tunnel vision. They're working the casual gamers market, they're working the nostalgia factor, but they're not bringing anything else new to the table. Once casual gamers want to make the jump, they've... got nothing to jump TO.

Also, I want more games I'm interested in. Obviously, I'm biased towards new content that's a little more than casual.

Anonymous said...

Blake, I'd say leave the M-rateds to the third party. Nintendo gets to keep their rep, and still make money off of..god help me...Mad World. (I'm probably the only one here with clean shorts over this one. Like I care. :D ) It works out for all parties involved.

While I liked Sonic Heroes (see Mad World comment), something does seem to be missing from the franchise, but it will be interesting to see a POV other than X-Play's. (Speaking of someone who is getting a fanboy stereotype.) I, however, still want a Wii!

Am I the only one who heard a bit more of an accent in this video?

Anon said...

Dude... I heard that the next Zelda game would involve a character that's not really a reincarnation of Link, but he thinks he is, or something like that. Also he would have a voice, black hair, and be a bit more muscle-like. I'm pretty sure about the thing on the first sentence, but the second sentence one... I'm not sure of. I'm glad they're making a Zelda game to be different.

Also... I would like to see a fucking team-up of Mario and Link. A game, not Smash related, where they use their game physics plus combined team attacks sorta thing.
Eh... but that's just the fanboy in me talking, that game will probably not exist. :(

Blake said...

The problem is bw that nobody really seems to be wanting to take a chance on the Wii with M-rated software that's done in a way that will appeal to "core" gamers. Trust me, I love Mario; Mario Galaxy is my favorite Mario game ever and if they ever tried to take all the childish fun, color, music and let's face it, magic out of that franchise to make it rated T or M, I'd be the FIRST one... well... maybe second behind the Overthinker himself... on Nintendo's door to protest. I think it would be nice for Nintendo to put something out there that's rated M that rocks... that sells a million copies so that they can say "There you go 3rd parties; it can be done,"... though then they'd probably say it could only be done by Nintendo and then we're back to square one.

I appreciate what you're saying though and maybe if MadWorld (how DARE your shorts be clean!! :) ) and The Conduit both sell, Sega we'll be able to stand up and say "Told you so,"... and Nintendo won't need to do anything other than continuing their blockbusters.

Oh yeah.. and where the hell is a new Star Fox and F-Zero????

Mark said...

wow, so the accent is hear to stay! sort of like you came out of the closet, so to speak.
I'm with you on the "seal of quality" - it's like nintendo "learned their lesson" after the limited 3rd party support of the N64, and has gone WAY to far the opposite way.
I think, as many other posters have mentioned, that a lot of things ride on madworld and the conduit. If they sell well (and they're good) that will prove something to sega, nintendo, and the rest of the industry. If not, that may be the end of it...

Kyle said...

A Brawler on the DS would be SO great. When I have friends over to play Rock Band, there's always people bringing their DSs for Animal Crossing or maybe LOL. A Brawler would so take over our group.

FtheTM said...

Hey Bob, just curious, any reason you left your accent in this one?

Mr. I said...

Huh... what was the last M-rated game that Nintendo had direct involvement with? All that's coming to mind is MGS Twin Snakes. Do we really remember that in either the Nintendo or Metal Gear communities? Other than an inferior clone of MGS, nope, not really. Ninty just doesn't pour out the M-rated content well. Remember how little Nintendo promoted Conker's Bad Fur Day? I mean, that's probably for a good reason - squirrels with chainsaws automatically look awesome to little Billy watching - but Ninty just isn't really comfy with it at the moment. They just don't really know how to cater to it, and can't really make the next Master Chief or Gordon Freeman because of it. It just isn't in their genes (see how I retconned the MGS comment there? Oh, never mind...)

Nintendo's great at innovation, but it's rather bad at taking what the other guys make and turn it into their own thing. I mean, just look at the Smash Bros. Brawl roster. Each and every series represented, with the exceptions of Donkey Kong Country, Sonic, and MAYBE Pokemon if we're stretching it, were founded on original ideas and concepts specifically designed for new audiences. And heck, even DKC and Sonic had different concepts to make them fresh (DKC is also the best platforming series of all time, but that's another story).

Enter comment about no great DK games since SNES here.

Enter whining about the accent here.

Now, while Nintendo does go overboard on nostalgia a bunch of times... this really seems like a good thing. Did anyone get Kirby Super Star Ultra? Remember Revenge of the King mode? It took the original concepts of Spring Breeze, threw in some insane level design (well, insane for Kirby - work with me here), reflected on the original hard mode of Kirby's Dream Land, threw in a nostalgia boss, and even parodied the Revenge of Meta Knight segments with an even greater passion than the title would suggest. Aside from playable King Dedede mode (which would feel a lot like playable Bowser in a mainstream Mario platformer - yeah, that's a delicious thought), this is probably the best thing Nintendo could've done with KSS. Sure, the extra two arenas and the "play through the entire game, only as Metagame Knight" mode was nice, but Revenge of the King showed us what nostalgia can really do - evoke great memories mixed with new level design for a package that can appeal to everyone while hooking new fans and old. While Nintendo has tried to do this quite often, it's not demonstrated as nicely as in Revenge of the King. So Dedede... thanks. Nintendo, take note of the penguin, he's done something rather spectacular.

Anyway, going on, I... guess I just didn't really like Sunshine. Nice game, sure, and neat mechanics, too. However... wouldn't it just be possible to simply, y'know, revamp the series instead of giving Mario a sword or sending him into a spaceship (neither of which really sound like that much of a stretch - darn Paper Mario and its ever-expanding implausibility combined with such delightful gameplay and script that it makes me not care in the least (I mean seriously, Grubba made putting Mario in a fighting ring make SENSE)). Just look at the huge gap between Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3. There's a distinct difference between the two games - they just FEEL different and seem to HANDLE different. Both feel like unique experiences, rather than the SMB3-to-SMW or 64-to-Galaxy transitions. Just plop Mario in a 3D world, forget about gravity, add one single, progressive story to follow on a linear path while collecting the 120 Power Stars that just happen to be on the way and increase Mario's capabilities to make an easily-accessible Bowser's Castle easier. Just look at all of those changes - a more linear progression to a singular and simple goal while eliminating the collection elements in favor of simple progression in a linear world based on a similar formula, but separate from the tried-and-true collect-a-thons that were so present in the N64 era.

So... yes. Small tweaks, baby steps, those'll be the key.

Anonymous said...

Already said this on YouTube but it begs to be said again:

HEY! Don't knock We Cheer!

I really mean that too. I've played alot of garbage on Wii, but We Cheer is NOT one of them. Infact, it VERY MUCH impressed me being one of the few Wii games that really required physical movement. The learning curve is steep, but once you get it, it's awesome. Infact, I think it's one of the best games on Wii.

I even went so far as to import it's Japanese counterpart (Happy Dance Collection) and rent All-Star Cheer Squad just to be sure it is indeed the king of Wii rythm games, and it is. Yes it even beats out it's own Japanese equivalent. So much so infact, that We Cheer is going BACK to Japan at the end of the month! Seriously.

I am even preparing a big two part special on We Cheer vs every other rythm game on Wii for my show that no one watches too! But until that's finished, just watch this:
Yes, that's me rockin' the Footloose on Hard Mode (yes the second video stream is a little out-of-sync). I am totally serious about We Cheer being awesome.

All I'm saying is not to be so quick to judge. There actually are afew gems in the sea of crap on Wii and unexpected ones at that.

Racewing said...

I've heard these complaints time and time again from longtime Nintendo fan friends, so there's really not much I can say here. You at least represented them in a decent, non-raving manner, which is something I'm not used to these days.

...We Cheer, however, is actually one of the best Wii games no one will ever play due to its outward image. Don't worry, it's okay! It took me weeks to accept this, too!

We're probably going to have lots to talk about next video. The problem with Sonic these days is more his outward image to (usually older) fans than anything related to actual game quality. (That is, at least since the dark days of 2006.) He's actually going through something similar to Nintendo as a whole.

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