Sunday, June 3, 2012

EPISODE 71: "Eulogii"

The new episode is now available for view by all audiences exclusively at ScrewAttack - more updates coming, but watch all the way to the end for information on the next "Mailbag" episode.

At this point, for some reason I can't embed the video. I'll fix that as soon as I'm able, but for now follow the link to ScrewAttack.

52 comments:

MerelyAFan said...

New episode "Eulogii" wasn't bad, but its not hard to interpret its tone as lending credence to accusations of Bob's Nintendo fanboyism. "Hardcore gamers not accepting the Wii leading to stalled creativity with Nintendo and thus visionary stagnation as a whole in gaming" perhaps has some validity, but its a tough sell to much of the audience.

Incidentally the story portions were definitely at the dubious end of tolerable this time. Given how well Bob does video essays, I'm continuously surprised at his lack of skills/judgement with special effects and action sequences, especially given he's been doing these bits for some time and still hasn't seemingly gotten better at it.

Christopher said...

I got the warm fuzzies from seeing the Overthinker use newer gaming icons in his fight against the necrothinker. I've been hoping something like that would happen since the retrothinker character was introduced.

The Thought of Game Over said...

A bit tough episode to stomach. That I'll say.

I agree that the way the hardcore audience responded to the Wii, was pretty unacceptable. However, even though how much the hardcore audience are to blame, blaming them won't make the situation better. They already know that you're not somebody to trust.

For starters, most, if not all games directed to the hardcore audience, are about fulfilling fantasies with as little physical effort as possible. That is, feeling strong without ever doing something that actually makes them strong. Motion control not just defeats this purpose, but also breaks the essential immersion by lacking tactile responsiveness.

Secondly, whenever someone blames a problem one a specific individual or type of individuals, I take that statement with a pinch of salt. That someone, clearly doesn't understand the emotional motivations behind the accused actions and attitudes. If anything, observe said emotions, ask yourself why they want what they want.

This isn't the time for pissing and moaning. Neither the time for blind optimism and denial. The problem is there, but every problem has a solution.

This comment was a waste of time, since I never answered any questions.

Anonymous said...

If I release a product, shouldnt it be my fault for not advertising it right for a demographic rather than the consumers for not giving it a chance?

Sam said...

A few things:

"There is no Dana, there is only Zuul."

"You truly believe this?" "I do." "Are you willing to die for that belief?" "Yes I am." *gunshot* "'course it's not exactly plan A."

*cough* PC gaming for life *cough*

Thomas Winwood said...

Gotta say, Bob, the talkdown with the Necrothinker was painful. You needed to crib from the Dracula speech either much more or much less.

I get the impression the "ghettoisation" of the Wii was something of a self-fulfilling prophecy - the immediate reaction in gaming circles when it was unveiled was "casuals", so the people buying it tended to be casual players because the casual players weren't the ones who watched E3 and got caught up in the hype afterwards. As a result, any developer attention to the Wii was creating games which appealed to the people who'd already bought it.

Nintendo fans are a bit like Call of Duty fans: neither leaves the bubble of the series they've bought into - Nintendo tends to kill all non-Nintendo opposition in the field, and CoD players aren't on the whole the types to branch out of their chosen series because they're in it for a very specific type of game rather than a broad set of genre conventions.

As a result, the 'hardcore' audience of Wii owners (those interested in Nintendo properties) couldn't really be marketed to because you can't compete with a Nintendo product on a Nintendo console. (Go ahead. Just try and release a game a bit like Pokémon for the DS.)

Marcomax said...

I guess I better post before this comment section becomes extremely large and unreadable. Of all the points made in this video, you can all guess which one people will latch on to.

As far as the little skits are concerned, the special effects could still use work. Theirs still that problem with the effects cutting out at the top. But you know what I can't help but smile at these small segments. I can tell these shorts are fun and entertaining to produce and it shows in the final product.

For the episode, I share your sentiment as far as third parties on the Wii is concerned. Though the thing I find most interesting is the idea that gaming might divide itself into rigid groups defined as either hardcore of casual. I own a Wii and their is a clear divide between the games I play (No More Heroes, Xenoblade Chronicles) and the games the rest of my family play (Just Dance 3) not to mention how often etc. I don't really see where a middle group is between our collections. And I can assure you no one other then me will be interested in getting the new Wii U.

Anonymous said...

Heh, just noticed that bunny face worships that rabbit-god from Watership Down, the story elements of this episode in general seem to be pretty strong.

Personally I'd chalk up this generation's (and the wii in particular) failure to capitalise on their potential has more to do with motion controls being ultimately a gimmick and an evolutionary dead-end for gaming with the cultural and social aspects being largely a byproduct of this. I can count on one hand the truly great wii games that properly make use of the motion controls and I cant think of any at all for Kinect and Move. Nice try Nintendo for trying something original, but unfortunately it just doesn't work as well as traditional controls.

Also I don't think a second crash a la 1983 is completely off the cards, the gaming industry is currently in a place where a game can break a million sales and still have the developer go bankrupt and team members being laid off is a common practice even for successful games.

T4_was_here said...

This episode got me thinking.
Why do I like my PS3 more then my Wii?
After some time here is the awnser.
The Cross media bar.
Its just easyer and more fun to use then the wii's interface.
And I can customise it with Lemings and ejcet the dish before I got out of the comfy chair.
Speaking of said chair, I the type of game that really dont care what he's playing as long as it fun, cheep or will give me a easy platinum but when I play its nice to do it coverd in a blanket and with a bag of sweet and/or snack and a laptop by the side to have something to do during the loading time.
Its a bit hard to injoy that when I have to wave may arm all over the place.
But I think I will give the Wii a real try when all of its games becomes cheaper when WiiU is out.
And yes I got a bit burned by the 3DS launch so I will sit out the start off this new gen and reap the B-bin.

Keep up the work, Bob.

Twinmill said...

Let me offer some insight here.

The Wii is difficult to develop for. It's not because of motion controls, and it's not because it was a complex console. It's because it was very limited in their power, and, when developing a game, the difference in the console specs made it exceptionally difficult to make a game for all 3 systems, and, if a developer had to commit to the Wii, they had to commit tremendous resources to making a game look good with fewer polygons.

It's harder than it looks, when every single vertex has to count for the most that it can. With all games, this is true to an extent, but, if you're developing for the PS3, you have alittle more lenience. You can use that Graphite Modeling 3DS Max has to offer. You can let your mind run free, and you don't have to pause your development every 10 seconds to check your polygon count.

Yes, the PS3 had its own assembly code, and the 6 core processor was haaaaaated by the engine coders, but the new engines got around that.

So that's it. The Wii was harder to develop for. Creatively. Developers had to use alot more creativity on making the games run smoother than creating worlds. There's some amazing worlds on other platforms, and, while the Wii has amazing worlds too, they're mainly from inhouse developers.

That's another thing, the licensing.

The reason why most games conferences (E3, GDC, etc) aren't directed at gamers anymore. They're directed at developers. If you enjoy them, good, but they're not directed at you for the most part. Developers like hearing about the open endedness of a platform, and the power of it, because it means they have to dedicated less resources to the limits of the machine.

So yes, Sony and Microsoft pandered to them with their HD Graphics, and their own motion controls that were capable of sooo much more* (in the presentation), in hopes that the developers would jump all over it. It's not their job to appeal to the gamers anymore. That's the studio's jobs.

I'm not saying it's a perfect system, and I'm not saying it's not to blame. The rise of the Personal Computer and graphics cards companies meant the console manufactures had enormous competition to get IP for their platforms. Suddenly, games didn't matter, and, if all went to plan, people would see that those conferences weren't directed at them.

However, most gamers tuned in to the companies flashing all their glittery graphics, and all these tech specs, but also GLITTERY GRAPHICS and thought, OH, THIS IS WHAT'S COOL NOW. It's the hive mind's fallacy, really.

It's also why Nintendo's new platform has HD Graphics*. They don't need to pander to their audiences anymore, but, they learned from Sony+MS, and, thanks to their lack of major external IPs, decided it was time to show the developers some love and say 'hey, guys, you can develop that next big thing for us too. Final Fantasy 16? It'll run on our console, sure! No, you don't need to give us some crappy offrelease instead!'

On that note, I hope the best for Nintendo. As a company, they're not that bad, and with fierce competition, they know as well as any other hardware manufacturer the importance of developer relations. The future of gaming's actually headed for a very bright one, Bob. It's one you, nor me, probably never thought we'd see 5 years ago.

It's headed towards a future centered around the developers, not marketers, and not publishers, and that means better games as a whole.

Twinmill said...

As a side note, I usually don't correct mistakes in my comments (I usually proofread too,) but, there's a pretty big one up there.

"Suddenly, games didn't matter"
should be
"Suddenly, gamers didn't matter"

As in, suddenly, gamers weren't the main demographic.

Aiddon said...

Never, EVER show me those pictures of Clint Eastwood again. I thought I'd have a heart attack due to his sheer badassitude spilling over from them.

Anyway, I do find that a lot of developers' dismissal of the Wii and of motion controls in general to be indicative of one thing they don't want to admit: cowardice. Not being able to rely on polygon amounts nor on traditional controls scared the HELL out of them and they ran because they realized they might have to rely on something that a lot of developers have forgotten over the years: lateral thinking. This is what separates Nintendo from nearly everyone else. They can think outside of the box and create deeper experiences from less resources like no one else; there's a reason people copy THEM all the time. Other devs just seem to rely on the brute force of RAM and processors to do the work for them. The Wii did not give them that luxury. Also, the Wii's control scheme meant that they'd have to streamline the interface and have to rely on actual design in order to make the game deep enough to be fun instead of spreading things over the buttons. A prime example of this is Other M's control scheme which should NOT have been possible and yet controlled as smooth as silk and had a surprisingly wide variety of options. It's very indicative of developers becoming lazy, complacent, and most of all cowardly to change and truly different upgrades rather than just a power upgrade. It seems nowadays the only way for developers to adapt and evolve is to FORCE them to do so. Gamers share a LOT of the blame too since whenever something new and daring comes out we find dozens of reasons NOT to buy it. It's why I found people bitching for the Rainfall games to be a bit two-faced. They CLAIMED they wanted them but experience has taught that a lot of gamers like the same more than they want to admit.

As for the Wii U, I have high hopes for it. Randy Pitchford over at Gearbox won't shut up about the thing and has garnered positive attention from a LOT of 3rd parties. However, we also must be cautious that they don't just hang around for only a year or two before once again relying on "tradition" methods once again leaving Nintendo to depend on their own studios to get anything done. Still, they're not going anywhere regardless.

Aiddon said...

also, Nintendo's going to be having a pre-E3 presser talking about the Wii U hardware. Definitely something of interest:

http://e3.nintendo.com/

PadMasher said...

I get what Bob is saying but, I think he's missing the big picture. Gamers(or just people in general) respond to anything new with fear and distrust. When the Wii first came out, something new is exactly what it promised. I like to believe I'm fairly open minded since I bothered to get a Wii at lauch thinking it would be the next big innovation. The problem was it wasn't.

I'm guessing when Bob says "Hardcore", he's refering to FPS gamers and fans of ultra-violence. I get where this comes from but, those gamers aren't really hardcore. Hardcore refers to the highly dedecated gamers who are deeply involved in the medium. Pro gamers, lore trackers, etc. are the hardcore crowd. Honestly, I'm getting sick of obvious Nintendo fanboys trying blend casual and hardcore gamers together as if there is no difference simply because it helps their arguement. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE.

My mom has been thinking about getting a new Wii to replace the one we sold. My grandmother has Kinect. I wouldn't have dreamed of them playing video games until now and it's easy to understand why. The Wii, Move, and Kinect are literally pandering to these people.

That isn't a bad thing but, it's completely understandable why hardcore gamers saw casual gaming as a plague. The casual market has and always will outnumber the hardcore market. Hence, there is more money to be made in the casual gaming market which lead to the Wii's financial success. The problem is that this gives devs an excuse to put less effort into their games because casual gamers will NEVER notice. These people play 30 minutes a day for 3 months then forget the system and the games they were playing on it even existed.

Hardcore gamers are different. They the hell out of the games, get all the unlockables, get the highest scores possible, and then analyze the game afterwards. Games that cater to that crowd were virtually absent on the Wii. The problem with the hardcore titles that were released on the Wii is that many of the target audience didin't own one and on top of that, those games misinterpreted what Hardcore actually means.

Like No More Heroes. That game was repetitive, shallow, and filled with ridiculous obscure references. That's not bad but, doesn't make it Hardcore nor does being Hardcore automatically make it good. Simply listing a few Hardcore games and saying "Here, now buy these!" is one of the reasons gaming is going down the shitter. We're expected to buy anything "different" regardless of wether or not it's good.

cont.

Sylocat said...

Screwattack is now lagging out and then giving me an error message whenever I try to post a comment, and the error message just posts some bracketed code, so the error itself is no help.

Are you sure I can't post my questions here?

martikhoras said...

Its not just the past. The development stories for current day nintendo, the set ups for indie and lowlevel studio gaming. They're harsher and higher than all others.

Nintendo needs to loosen up and really try to win Western indie pc guys. As it is just getting a digital release requires so much prerequisite and outdated requirements (central studio office of such caliber) it excludes the runaway successes.

Also innovation isn't binary. Minecraft, Heavy Rain, etc. Even when advancing along the path there have been significant milestones. I say this as an unreprentant Nintendo fanboy as a consumer and fan I love Nintendo. As a company they know no honor.

I am though wondering if the new 'casual' market has been misjudged. Yes the Wii had some innovative promise and yes mainstream marketting but it was its overall appearance and price that got people into it.

Also Wii/Nintendo hasn't been as big a vehicle for Japanese game products (which have become more niche even in its own market in parts) for the Western markets. That's more the PS3 and the PSP. but its understandable that we don't have crossover, as per that episode, marketwise there is major fragmentation.

I may be, crazy I didn't believe it either, that the PC will win in the end as Console can't be maintained. The dedicated game machine may go the way of the dedicated mp3 player only mp3 players are mUCH less expensive than consoles with less value/necessity to smartphones their competitor. The smartTV or the multimedia hub/computer is what will replace it.

PadMasher said...

That's ultimately what was wrong with the Wii. It was reliable, cheap, accessible, and sold like hotcakes but, it wasn't different in a good way in slightest. Motion controls worked well for party games and rail shooters but, it really was just button replacement for any other game. TvC, SSB, Mario, etc. didn't really benefit from motion controls. It's not like this is new either. Nintendo tried motion controls with the glove and that didn't work. Sony tried full body motion detecting with the original EyeToy and that didn't work either. If anything, the Wii was successful due to marketing and affordability. Motion controls work great for certain genres but, it has no place in mainstream gaming.

To be fair, none of this justifies the aggressive Wii bashing thats been going on since its release. Gamers have a tendency to go ape-shit on anything that dares to challenge the norm wether it's Sonic going 3D, ME3 not ending the way it should, or simply encountering a different opinion. However, this doesn't change the fact that Nintendo released a system with weak hardware that ended up getting watered-down ports and redheaeded-stepchild spinoffs as a result. That isn't entirely Nintendo's fault but, focusing primarily on casual gamers did nothing to help this.

The cruel irony of this is that the way the industry is now, another crash is only a matter of time. The industry as a whole has forgotten how to appeal to consumers correctly. The Wii wasn't the only thing to get streamlined. EVERYTHING is getting streamlined. Fighting games with missing modes, shooters with shit campaigns, RPGs that play themselves (I'm looking at you FF13), and action games that boil down to button-mashing.

You know, nobody starts out Hardcore. You become Hardcore by learning more about the games and becoming more involved in games altogther. That was the beauty behind difficulty settings. You start on easy then work your way up to hard. By making everything easy, casual gamers have nothing to grow upon. They can't become the next Hardcore gaming crowd and making all games super-hard is only going to scare them away. We need balance and there's none of it right now. A game is either casual or Hardcore when it should aim to be both.

I think it's funny how we've fucked up this much so quickly and barely anyone seems to notice. I've played casual games like Angry Birds, Diner Dash, etc. that were really good and seem to have a better grasp on how difficulty settings work than mainstream gaming does. Not only that but, AAA games have to deal with big budgets and publishers who don't want to go out of business so making the same ol' shit is the only way to ensure financial security.

Until publishers are in a better position to take risk, gamers are more open-minded and critical of what they play, and devs make games that are actually good will we see any approves. Gaming isn't going anywhere but, mainstream gaming is only going to get worse at this point and no amount of gimmicky controls and high definiton graphics is going to change that.

martikhoras said...

Sorry to follow up. It may be we've misjudged the Casuals. They might just be the new generation core nintendo fans. Admittedly we're judging this on the 3DS debacle. The hordes or even fraction of them didn't follow the 3ds from the dslite so that must mean Casual Mom will abandon or not early adopt the WiiU which is like so confusing.

Adam Sessler said so (sorry I just find the idea Nintendo should abandon the Wii name and moreover that a new iteration of hyper popular home entertainment with an appended suffix is just "too difficult" for the nongamer to illustrate the patronizing contempt and idolent perspective of gamerdom as freakin' whole)

Ahem it may be that Casual Mom and so on will find the WiiU enticing buuut the paradigm change to focus on developers "core" audience will backfire with the poor thing betraying the Wii brand's identity of EVERYONE CAN PLAY THIS JOIN THE FUN ORGY.

Buuut come on that play pad can have wide appeal they just need the killer application not just program form of use and interaction and fun like Wii Sports did with the wand and nunchuck.

But. . .with this upgrade...they might be enticed but disappointed reversing, in part, the Wii reception.

Mac said...

So, I know that only G1s will be able to ask questions but will only G1s be able to see the final battle with the Necrothinker?

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of this, though not so much that thirdparty developers would want it to fail. If they wanted it to fail, they wouldn´t develop games for the machine. I think the main problem is availability, the stores don´t have a large selection of Wii games, where i come from you can hardly buy Super Mario Galaxy. And if you find Mario Kart, it costs full price... Finding non-nintendo games? good luck, hope you like shovelware, cause we don´t want to sell the good stuff!

I think Nintendo is partly to blame for this. They aren´t doing a hell of a lot to distribute the products, except for their own products where they apparently go by the Disney model, print less than we can sell, to keep the pricetag high. And ofcourse consumers, because they only want to buy the nintendo games, but mostly because they don´t know what else exists, because no one made an effort to tell them about the alternatives.

Aside from that i agree, this generation seems a bit boring compared to ps1 and 2, Sequels and reboots are everywhere and there´s not a lot of room for passionate original projects, except from the indie scene. But that´s mostly artsy puzzle and platform games. Everything in between massive blockbusters and small projects seems to be diminshed.

Sabre said...

Good vid, disagreed with bobs thought on the causes but I share the general feeling that the wii didn't live up to potential, but 2 massive flaws in his argument risk bringing the whole thing down.

1- The argument that hardcore gamers wanted the same thing as last time.

While true to a degree, Nintendo fans are way worse for this. I'd argue there is more innovation between each Halo game than there is in the entire Zelda series, which hasn't changed much since Ocarina of Time.

2- That the Wii hardcare games didn't sell despite hardcores claiming they wanted them.

The problem was these all good only with the disclaimer of 'for a wii game'. Madworld was good 'for a wii game', Conduit was good 'for a wii game', Battalion Wars 2 was good 'for a wii game'. However, compared to their peers on the other consoles, they were mediocre if not bad.

Look at Resident Evil. Umbrella Chronicles is fun, but it doesn't come close to Resident Evil 5 on the other consoles. So if I'm buying a game, do you get the ok game or the great game?

Razmere said...

I really enjoyed this episode. Despite the subject matter being a bit of a downer. The story elements of the new games fighting the old was a lot of fun! However, I call shenanigans on just putting a Portal in thin air. LOL.

Keep up the good work bob!

Aiddon said...

Also, Nintendo had their little pre-E3 presser. A snippet of what could be the next NSMBWii game popped up and there were comments in it saying something about a flying squirrel suit and baby Yoshis. Might be placeholder stuff, but it is interesting if true

Redd the Sock said...

Okay, I hate myself for recognizing Masters of the Universe dialogue in your pre battle banter.

OT: I think the casual gamer needs just as much of the blame here. We've probably all been there: we're playing something in public and get asked what wer're playing, only to have people look confused and shuffle off when it isn't angry birds or bejeweled. They took a step into a larger world and were afraid to take another, making what was intended as the gatway drug a doorstop instead. Nintendo got sales of Nintendo products and software, so screw everything else.

As such the killer app never really arrived. A few half hearted attempts maybe, but little to convice us to rewire our brains to learn new inputs, or deal with logicstical issues caused by motion conrols. This I pin on Nintendo, not us. Analog was hard to get used to as well, but Mario 64, and the promise of things to come got us to try and eventually we got it despite months of begging to use the D-pad. Lack of third party I can understand, be even Nintendo offered us a lot of "stuff on the gamecube with a new way to play".

They just didn't sucessfuly sell to the crowd that wanted more than Wii sports.

Omorka said...

I can't believe that I'm about to leave a whole comment about Commissioner Buonifacio, but here goes:

I'm pleased that Buonifacio is still a member of the Lapine faith - I'm sure it would be much easier to just write him as Catholic, and I appreciate the commitment to diversity. But El-Ahrairah is only the hero figure of the religion - the Moses, if you will, or perhaps the Finn McCool. The gods are the solar and lunar figures Frith-rah and Inle-rah (the second never really appears in the main myth-cycle stories, but his/her messenger, the Black Rabbit, does). Unless the Commissioner belongs to a particularly odd sect, he should be invoking Lord Frith's mercy, not the Prince of the Thousand Enemies.

Speaking of whom, since that name breaks down as "Elil-Hrair-Rah," which translates literally as "thousand-enemies-prince," the accent should be on the last syllable, "rah." (If you haven't watched the movie of Watership Down recently, you should at least re-watch the opening sequence with the Lapine creation myth. Awesome animation, lays out the basics of the cosmology, and pronounces all the names.)

Oh, lord. Literary geek check; I lose. Um, something else to say, something else -

Oh, yeah. I agree with the previous commenter that the effects on this one (except for Ivan) were not up to the usual level. I know you said that you had Real Life crash on you recently, but perhaps some of the repeats could have been cut to give you more time to make the ones left count? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight: Bob is surprised that a game console marketed towards people that don't have any real taste in gaming (ignorant soccer moms and senior citizens) is filled with shovelware crap aimed precisely at the lowest common denominator? Why so surprised? We're talking about a market demographic that reads Twilight novels and listens to Justin Bieber music. It's no wonder titles like Zack & Wiki and No More Heroes were outsold by random bargain-priced minigame collections.

Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less from a Nintendo fanboy who still clings to his childhood gaming icons of Mario and Zelda games and genuinely thinks that Angry Birds and Minecraft as modern gaming classics.

Göran Isacson said...

One thing I'd like to add that I haven't seen that many adress re: Nintendo being abandoned by the third party developers. Namely that the Nintendo of old that Bob describes, the one that acted all arrogant, higher and mightier than everyone else and forced everyone to play by their rules? According to several developer interviews I've read on various sites like Gamasutra, 1up, Destructoid etc, that Nintendo NEVER WENT AWAY.

People who wanted to develop for the Wii download service, and even the main console itself, were faced with WAY stricter demands and restrictions than on any other console. Nintendo was still as arrogant as ever when dealing with third party developers, and that their online structure was very clumsy to work with can't have helped the ones who wanted to work with them. I think that it's safe to say that while the audience and we the gamers may not have done all that we could, Nintendo themselves certainly didn't help matters by being just as hard to work with and under as they've ever been.

Popcorn Dave said...

Bit of a false dichotomy, don't you think Bob? You're basically saying gamers should have got behind the Wii because it was different, and the fact that they didn't proves that they just want the same old thing.

That doesn't sound fair to me - the Wii was underpowered for no good reason, and its controls were so utterly rubbish (literally broken until the Motion+ came along) that even Nintendo gave up on them. It's silly to blame the developers - the Wii just wasn't very good.

On the whole, though, you make your case well and this was one of your better videos all told. I'm glad you acknowledge that Nintendo made a lot of mistakes too, although I think it was remiss of you not to bring up the lack of new IP.

If Nintendo had put out a few strong NEW properties that had demonstrated the Wii as a gaming console, more core gamers would have taken the console seriously. Instead, we got the WiiWhatever games that barely qualify as games at all, and then the usual first party remakes-disguised-as-sequels, most of which would have played just as well on a standard controller. The message was clear - even Nintendo themselves couldn't do anything interesting with motion controls. So why would a third party bother developing for the system at all?

Jannie said...

I actually bought a Wii, so I can speak from personal experience about this hot mess.

First off the controls were insane. Some of the games required you to be effectively ambidextrous making certain games like Sin and Punishment all but impossible unless you altered the control scheme in the options or it allowed the Wii Classic controller.

And except for a few, EXTREMELY Japan-centric games like Sin and Punishment and Mad World, whose content and gameplay (to say nothing of Mad World's absurd eye-tearing aesthetics) were almost offensively strange for no reason at all when a far more grounded experience--like Vanquish, platinum game's other title--would have been more effective.

And the less said about the Conduit the better.

Granted I've never played No More Heroes but that's not because it's on the Wii that's because I refuse to patronize Suda 51 because he's a monstrously pretentious douche, much the same reason I refuse to watch a Kevin Smith movie or go to see an Ellen Paige film.

The other problem was now Nintendo allowed developers to pour more and more shovelware into the Wii without ever questioning its image. Wii Fit and Wii Sports are fine--they're stupid and childish and meant for idiot housewives and little kids but that's on every console and has been since the first Atari. The problem is that that is ALL Nintendo ever put on the system; every third party game on the Wii was a budget shovelware title that either barely or poorly used the Wiimote. They never made any attempt at trying to push the system's limits--working with Konami to make a Contra FPS or with Squenix to release upgraded remakes of the FF games or something like that. THAT would have made people rush to the Wii. But they didn't because, deep down, they didn't care.

Also Wii became a dumping ground for shovelware because NO ONE wanted to develop for that damn remote controller. It was so ungainly, so useless and broke up the flow of gaming so much WHAT possible game could you make for it. Even the games by Nintendo like Mario Bros Wii barely used it and they eventually released a SNES-alike controller almost like an apology even after they fixed some of the issues with the Wii Motion +.

The fact that the graphics held back any kind of modern developers who are primed towards HD consoles, since basically everyone has HD tvs now, and as a result it LOOKED way more archaic than it actually was, only helped to add to the idea the Wii was meant as a shovel ware delivery system. It wasn't, or it wasn't meant as such, but that's what it became because of a plethora of design mistakes and Nintendo investing in technology that wasn't there yet and may never be.

Wii's problems were borne out of laziness and the flaccid higher ups at Nintendo, and out of a controller no one could have efficiently utilized. When the best thing on your console is Star Fox 64, a game from over a decade ago, you've fucked up son.

Smashmatt202 said...

Well, obviously the 7th generation is coming to an end. The Wii U will be out soon, and from there, it'll be the 8th generation, if my math is correct. I don't think that's a bad thing, I mean, after all, we've already had 6 generations already, and while most of us look fondly on the generations past, games, or rather the potential of a game, have only gotten better with time. Least that's how I see it.

How's the GO going to get up there, anyway?

I think what Bob's saying is kind of true. This generation can mostly be described as "on big missed opportunity", or rather, a generation when new, interesting, and innovation ideas are given to people who don't give a crap about any of that... And those people are usually the ones IN CHARGE of the whole business. And that sucks.

Yeah, I remember back in the day where a game for the NES or Super NES was completely different from the Sega Genesis. Of course, these days, companies are all about cutting corners and maximizing their profits, and AREN'T about to build a new game from scratch just so the Wii can have it's port of a game.

I freaking LOVE Bob's argument about "girls like stuff that's pink". Yeah, you say that, but then you ONLY offer them pink stuff, so you don't know for sure if you only give them pink.

I love it when Bob goes back to how Nintendo used to act, because it shows he's NOT as big a Nintendo fanboy as everyone says, and that he DOES have some humility in him to admit that Nintendo has their share of problems.

Clint Eastwood, FUCK YEAH!

But yeah, in the gaming industry, it's all about what the costumers want, and the costumers want the same old thing, then THAT'S the only thing that's getting made. Hence all the FPS's, sports simulators, and all the New Super Mario Bros. games that are being made. Yeah, sorry Bob, but I'm getting a bit tired of the 2D Mario trend now, especially since there's not a whole lot going for either of the 2 new games this time around.

Yeah, gamers don't really have that much discipline. ESPECIALLY when it comes to supporting or not supporting a given thing. "Boycott" has become so overused that nobody takes it seriously anymore, because most of the boycotts are really stupid, and because most of the so-called "boycotteR" chicken out and buy the game anyway. Geez...

I remember waiting outside a Target for my Wii... Fun times.

OH, Bob mentioned Dedede! King Dedede rocks! I remember in the third episode of the Game Overthinker, he pronounced the name in a weird way, and I thought it was hilarious! XD

lol, Bob's chucking Angry Birds at the tower! XD

Don't the yellow triangular birds drop eggs as well? Why aren't they doing that there?

Creepers from Minecraft? HELL YEAH!!!

A portal gun? Where'd he get that? Also, how'd he get the other portal to show up where it did?

That mask the Necrothinker's wearing reminds me of Michael Myers.

G1? How do I join? Does it cost money?

Nixou said...

"Incidentally the story portions were definitely at the dubious end of tolerable this time"

What? Throwing a angry bird bomb trough a portal while Megaman 3 music is playing was probably the best scene from every story sequences in TGO. But then again, I am a sucker for over-the-top ridiculous tongue-in-check humor.

***

"(Go ahead. Just try and release a game a bit like Pokémon for the DS.)"

You mean like the SMT spinoffs, or the Dragon Quest Monsters (also DQ5 et 6)?

***

"It's very indicative of developers becoming lazy, complacent, and most of all cowardly to change"

I don't think third party devellopers where lazy: it's just that their core audience was made of creatures of habits, so they became creatures of habits as well.

***

"I'm guessing when Bob says "Hardcore", he's refering to FPS gamers and fans of ultra-violence. I get where this comes from but, those gamers aren't really hardcore"

The definition of "Hardcore" has changed over the years: 20 years ago "hardcore gamers" were the video game equivalent of cinephilic audiences: now "hardcore" is used to describe the video game eqivalent of the blockbuster audiences. The meaning of the word as changed over time.

Of course, when it come to Nintendo, they never had a problem with the Hardcore n°1 audience, because they never lost it: this audience became their core bastion the day they released Zelda 1, and their loyalty for the next generation was renewed the second Miyamoto said "Pikmin" at E3.
The Hardcore n°2 audience used to buy Nintendo products when Nintendo was the Video Game standart, but once it shifted to someone else, they lost the Hardcore n°2 audience.

***

"we're judging this on the 3DS debacle"

A debacle? Which debacle? since when 17 million units sold in one year is a debacle? The 3DS had the same start as the PS3: it was sold for too much, then the price went down, and it caught up.

***

"The problem was these all good only with the disclaimer of 'for a wii game'."

Xenoblade was the best RPG sold this generation, Metroid Prime 3 was the best FPS alongside Bioshock, the No More Heroes were one of the best "arthouse" game series, etc...
And while Metroid Prime 3 sold well, Xenoblade sold only 600.000 copies and No More Heroes 2 sold only around 350.000 copies.

And this is not merely a "Wii" problem: Bioshock sold something like six times less copies than Call of Duty: so the lack of success of the Wii does not come from the lack of quality games, since
1. There are quality games available
2. HD consoles audiences have already shown to sneer at the better game when it is available to them.

***

"they eventually released a SNES-alike controller almost like an apology"

Do your homework: the SNES-alike was present from day one to allow SNES and N64 games on the Virtual Console.

***

"I love it when Bob goes back to how Nintendo used to act, because it shows he's NOT as big a Nintendo fanboy as everyone says"

Come one: I've been called a Nintendo fanboy in this blog comment sections after I said that Nintendo was about to scam people with its WiiU "pro" gamepad. Apparently: predicting that Nintendo will succesfully scam millions of people by selling them a gamepad they don't need is already showing too much love.

Jannie said...

It wasn't a "present", it was an admission that you CAN NOT play normal games on the wiimote. Otherwise why release it at all?

Look at this logically: IF the wiimote was capable of ALLOWING any other, traditional way of gaming to function then there would be no need. The fact they had to release a second controller, as you say, to play SNES and N64 games shows that something was wrong with the Wii controller that it couldn't handle game input from a time when game input consisted of three to four buttons and a d-pad.

It was also a wink-nod to the fact that most of the actual gamers who owned the system like me only ever used the Virtual Console. I know for a fact that out of the three people I know who owned it, not including me, all of them spent more time with Star Fox 64, Wild Guns and Mercs than with No More Heroes or Mad World...I was the only one stupid enough to try the latter and went half-blind from it.

Like I said when the BEST games on your console come from other, less advanced consoles more than a decade old...you fucked up son.

"Come on, I've been called a Nintendo fanboy in this blog comment sections after I said that Nintendo was about to scam people with its WiiU "pro" gamepad. Apparently predicting that Nintendo will succesfully scam millions of people by selling them a gamepad they don't need is already showing too much love."

I've never called you a Nintendo fanboy, and I can't speak to what those that did meant, but frankly I could see how someone might make the mistake.

There is a difference between saying something insulting and saying it in such a way as to be nothing but incredibly flattering. That's not an insult. If saying "these guys are SOOO smart and SOOO awesome they'll make fools out of all those non-Nintendo fans trololol" is an insult then me saying "Good God, your manhood is as enormous as you are handsome, you adonis-like stallion" is an insult.

Which is not to say I don't believe you, but you must at the very least admit some affection for Corporatezilla is coloring that view of them.

Nixou said...

"It wasn't a "present", it was an admission that you CAN NOT play normal games on the wiimote."

When did I said it was "a present"?
Ooooooh yes: "it was present from day one"
As in "available"
As in "easily understandable for anyone with a modicum of fluency in english"

***

"N64 games shows that something was wrong with the Wii controller that it couldn't handle game input from a time when game input consisted of three to four buttons and a d-pad"

A Games like Ocarina of Time demand 9 buttons, not "three or four"
Also the Wiimote can handle games which demand a lot of different inputs, except devellopers bothered to do their job in only a few cases (Twilight Princess, Xenoblade, Prime 3...)

***

"It was also a wink-nod to the fact that most of the actual gamers who owned the system like me only ever used the Virtual Console"

The Virtual Console is an awesome idea which justify bying a Wii on its own merit.
Also, one of the best idea of Sony was to follow suit: the more older PSone and two games which I missed during these consoles lifetimes are available on PSN, the more satisfied a customer I am.

***

"No More Heroes or Mad World...I was the only one stupid enough to try the latter and went half-blind from it."

Considering your lack of self-awareness, I'm not surprised by the fact that you disliked satirical games poking fun at people like you.

***

"There is a difference between saying something insulting and saying it in such a way as to be nothing but incredibly flattering"

Frankly if people are too cognitively limited to miss the sarcasm when someone says "It's a brilliant way to scam people by selling them millions of things they don't need in the first place", then their case is beyond hope.

Jannie said...

"When did I said it was "a present"? Ooooooh yes, "it was present from day one", As in "available" "

Ok I misread that sentence, sue me. Are you going to address the question of WHY release it if the Wiimote was sufficient in the first place? Because I notice you glossed over that point to take a cheap shot at a minor error on my part which has no effect otherwise on my or your points.

"A Games like Ocarina of Time demand 9 buttons, not "three or four" "

And Mercs, Wild Guns and the scores of other SNES games do not.

More so that is precisely my point: no one wants to have to completely re-route the design of their game just to suit one console, which is why Third Parties fled the Wii in droves. Only a few developers have the time or money to parse the arcane bullshit that Nintendo decided was "necessary" for a god damn system.

Even in the OLD DAYS the controls between the SNES and Genesis weren't not completely different.

"The Virtual Console is an awesome idea which justify bying a Wii on its own merit."

No argument there.

"Considering your lack of self-awareness, I'm not surprised by the fact that you disliked satirical games poking fun at people like you."

People like what? Also 'self-awareness' doesn't mean what you think it means, unless it's another one of those words like 'entitlement' whose entire meaning has shifted with no one telling me.

And I wasn't referring to the CONTENT of Mad World--which by the way was a middling to below average brawler and not some grand pronouncement on gaming or whatever--I was referring to the god awful white and black color scheme which hurt my eyes and made navigating the levels difficult since everything looked identical. Used to be, back in the N64 era, they called that style "no textures mode" and it wasn't a selling point it was a code for Turok. But I guess I'm not 'deep enough' to get how that enhances the gameplay somehow.

As for No More Heroes, it's again a middling to below average brawler with unnecessary elements thrown in to pad out an otherwise starkly underwhelming game, wrapped in the pretentious bullshit that passes for "satire" in the modern world thanks to an entire generation not understanding what the word 'irony' actually MEANS. Or maybe, once again, it's one of those words whose entire meaning has changed now in which case you're gonna have to email me a newspeak dictionary because I'm totally out of the loop.

Also I was unaware that Mad World was meant as some kind of "satire" I thought it was trying to be stupid but apparently I misjudged the efforts of the creator and the nonsensical plot is supposed to be a commentary on something? I'd argue maybe if they'd taken the time to make a good, not-eye-destroying game with functional controls instead of diving deep into their grand treatise on life ("hurl enemies into a wall like darts"=biting satire of the iraq war, apparently?) then maybe someone would have bought the damned thing.

Anyway...

"Frankly if people are too cognitively limited to miss the sarcasm when someone says "It's a brilliant way to scam people by selling them millions of things they don't need in the first place", then their case is beyond hope."

Nope. I'm sorry, that's not sarcasm. And frankly I don't believe it was and I think you said something you intended to be taken literally or otherwise snipe at "the hardcore crowd".

But if you're not just covering your ass out of embarrassment for being called on some "neener-neener" chest-thumping bullshit, and if in fact it was, then you seriously missed the mark because almost no one would interpret it that way and for the obvious reasons that "this is brilliant" has never been, in any way, a negative statement.

Jannie said...

My grammar and spelling is shit up there but I think I made my points. If not then let me be perfectly clear about a few things--

The Wii wasn't a BAD system, obviously, but it was an arcane, silly and entirely miss-aimed exercise in adding superfluous bullshit to gaming that was never necessary to achieve either Nintendo or the gaming community's ends.

It's an answer to a question that NO ONE ever asked. It's all well and good to say it was "new" and "different" but that doesn't inherently mean it was a good idea or properly executed. Guns were a new, different concept but I would assume most people would agree society would have done better had that idea never made it past the alpha stage.

If all they had done was keep basically with the gamecube design (AND CONTROLLER!) and added some REAL online and the Virtual Console it may not have sold to housewives and old people as well but I absolutely GUARANTEE you the entire god damn gaming community and 99.999% of the third parties would have flocked to it and Nintendo would have been held up as conquering kings.

And hey, guess what, "let's make an actual console with online and a normal controller and throw in some downloadable games" is EXACTLY what they're doing now with the Wii U, including allowing most third parties to mostly or completely forgo the gimmick controller it's shipping with.

Surprise! Nintendo is smarter than their fanbase and learn from mistakes. Except for every adult human on Earth who could have foreseen that twist ending!?!

Nixou said...

"Ok I misread that sentence, sue me. Are you going to address the question of WHY release it if the Wiimote was sufficient in the first place?"

There are games for which the Wiimote is the better gamepad
and there are games for which the classic controler is the better gamepad.

The difference between this case and the WiiU pro scampad is that, unlike the classic controller compared to the mote, the WiiU pro has nothing than the tablet does not already have.

In one case, both controllers had their use
In the other case one controller is mostly redundant. I guess, that -assuming that it is sold for a lot less than the tablets- WiiU pro controllers can have their use as pads number 3 and 4, but I'm no fool: these are being advertised as an alternative for the tablet, it's probably going to be sold at an outrageously high price, and most of its buyer are going to be people who bought it because they could not adapt to a slighty different button configuration.

***

"More so that is precisely my point: no one wants to have to completely re-route the design of their game just to suit one console, which is why Third Parties fled the Wii in droves"

Or they could just have put an "only compatible with the classic controller" disclaimer

***

"Even in the OLD DAYS the controls between the SNES and Genesis weren't not completely different"

Except the basic Genesis controller had four buttons (A, B, C and Start) while the SNES had eight (God was it annoying to play Street Fighter on the Genesis)
Eight equal Two Times Four: that's quite a big difference.

***

"As for No More Heroes, it's again a middling to below average brawler with unnecessary elements thrown in to pad out an otherwise starkly underwhelming game"

It's a brawler which does not pretend to need the complexity of Virtua Fighter (hallelujah) yet manage to offer some of the best Boss Fights of the genre and I played too many RPGs to not chuckle at the introduction of grinding in the game.

*****
*****

"If all they had done was keep basically with the gamecube design (AND CONTROLLER!) and added some REAL online and the Virtual Console it may not have sold to housewives and old people as well but I absolutely GUARANTEE you the entire god damn gaming community and 99.999% of the third parties would have flocked to it and Nintendo would have been held up as conquering kings"

First: Nintendo did not have at the time the capacity to build a build online infrastructure: it was simply above their capacity
Second: You may have forgotten, but I do remember a lot of the "hardcore n°2" crowd bitching about the "toy-like" designs of the GameCube and its controller. Keeping it would have caused the cattle-like majority of the "gaming community" to complain and look somewhere else: where toys don't look like toys, I suppose.

Jannie said...

See I doubt this is a "scam", because it fits with this whole console's deal. I reiterate my previous theory (which, I might add, has some empirical evidence to it, however vague) I believe that all three major companies are moving more and more towards a fully digital cloud system next generation, and it would appear with their emphasis on online capability and suchlike, and streaming content to outside sources, that both Nintendo and Microsoft are in a kind of "arms race" to make it through the door first--and it is entirely possible in my mind Nintendo may make it through before their rivals.

This, and the Wii U's many, many obvious upgrades including HD graphics and a plethora of third party games tells me for some reason that Nintendo wants to court the core gaming audience more than casual gamers, because they when they phase over into the next-next step they want to hit the ground running with FULL and LOYAL support from the people who made them rich to begin with. In other words I don't see this as a scam, and I think in some ways that this is the inevitable evolution of the console more towards longtime gamers over casual gamers. They saw that they lost their core fanbase chasing a fad and before they take a REAL risk they want it back to cushion the possible fall.

So in that respect the tablet is kind of secondary to what they're really going for. Nintendo wants their erstwhile "fans" (not the Nintendo diehards but people like me who played Nintendo for years but moved away because the Wii offered little for us) to come back before Microsoft or Sony completely scoops them all up. Because some--believe it or not, like ME--would happily buy a Nintendo console, if the best games on it weren't 15 years old already.

"Or they could just have put an "only compatible with the classic controller" disclaimer"

They still would have needed the Wiimote to get the wide player base of the Wii, and mind you they still would have needed most of those people, housewives who think that Wii Fit is a "game", to plunk down 60 bucks for a game that also requires a separate controller to use. It was too much of a hassle, and frankly I doubt Nintendo would have allowed them to undermine waggle controls by tacitly admitting how shitty they are for most conventional game genres.

NOW things have changed somewhat, and most of the third parties have all but outright stated the tablet is MIA for their games in all but the most tangential respects, but back then Nintendo was still trying to push waggle and wouldn't have allowed it.

"Eight equal Two Times Four: that's quite a big difference."

I said COMPLETELY different. Less buttons making SF harder is not the same as "now shooting requires you to flick your wrists and hold A". THAT is a big difference.

Jannie said...

"It's a brawler which does not pretend to need the complexity of Virtua Fighter (hallelujah) yet manage to offer some of the best Boss Fights of the genre and I played too many RPGs to not chuckle at the introduction of grinding in the game."

It's an acquired taste, I suppose. For the record I was aware that Suda 51 was trying to mock or "make fun" of gaming but I could never figure out what and that's really true of everything Suda 51 has ever done. It's all so monstrously strange and cynical and pretentious.

No offense but if I want cynicism and satire of gaming/action movie tropes I'll play Max Payne 3 where at least it's not dressed up in some addlepated commentary on Japanese pop culture I would still give less than a single fuck about even if I didn't need a Wikipedia window open on my computer every second to parse through the references to other, better games and settings.

Also that's another lesson for would-be satirists: don't remind me of a better product you're making fun of when yours is shit. Look how "well" that went for Torque and Scary Movie.

"Nintendo did not have at the time the capacity to build a build online infrastructure: it was simply above their capacity"

Was it? I seriously doubt that, I've never seen any evidence it was. Perhaps that's the cause of all of this but really, they were a capable of downloadable games on the Wii, actual online service is not THAT much of a leap. And what they had instead was just pitiful.

It's easy to make excuses for Nintendo but they're not NEW to this or anything. Online isn't some mystery to these guys. They could have if they wanted to, they DID in the Wii U and have been crowing about it loudly, in fact the SNES had some very crude form of online play with the help of third party add-ons in the 90s, they chose not to because they were aiming for a different audience than adult, lifelong gamers.

"You may have forgotten, but I do remember a lot of the "hardcore n°2" crowd bitching about the "toy-like" designs of the GameCube and its controller. Keeping it would have caused the cattle-like majority of the "gaming community" to complain and look somewhere else: where toys don't look like toys, I suppose."

That's disingenuous. It never stopped most gamers from owning a gamecube and even still almost EVERYONE praised games like Metroid Prime for being some of the best in their genre. You can talk about toys "looking like toys" all you want but the fact of the matter remains there is a world of difference between a system having a preponderance of children's titles (which the gamecube DID NOT) and a console almost entirely being comprised of them.

And yes the cube had a silly, garish look and color scheme and yes it was unnecessarily childlike and--dare I say--stereotypically Japanese in it's "cuteness" but that didn't stop anyone from buying them, or loving the games. Didn't stop me I can tell you that.

Plus the Virtual Console was one thing even my far FAR more hardcore friends praised about the Wii and the one reason why I actually got one. If Nintendo had focused on that instead of pandering to housewives and people who never even LIKED or PLAYED video games they would have had much more success with their core audience.

A lesson they seem to have learned so at least SOMEONE in the Japanese branch of the gaming family tree is capable of change no matter how slow and ponderous.

Jannie said...

Also that tired "games are toys" bit is just incorrect. No they're not toys, they're luxury items but that doesn't make them a toy.

Breast implants are a luxury item, and more expensive too, but that doesn't make them toys. A sports car is a WAY more expensive luxury item but it's not a toy.

A toy is, by definition, a plaything for children. You could genuinely argue that when gaming's core audience was primarily children they were in fact toys but they aren't anymore.

Half-Life is not a toy. Bastion is not a toy. Fuck, Dear Esther is not a toy...it's not GOOD either but it would be needlessly insulting and silly to call it a toy. Combine that with the fact some of these things don't even HAVE physical media, and we're moving toward a time when probably NONE will and the term toy becomes even more misused and impractical.

Also toy has, and will always have, an inherently frivolous and childish connotation. You can say that this is WRONG or STUPID and for the most part, I would agree it most certainly is, but that doesn't change the facts. The very idea of a toy is that it is largely aimed at children, and since the bulk of gamers who prop up the industry today are teenagers and adults, if not the vast majority, then no they're not toys.

This becomes even more true for facebook games and casual games which are almost exclusively aimed at old people, housewives, people at work, etc--in other words ADULTS.

So no, games are not toys. And even if they WERE that still doesn't excuse some of the shit that Nintendo has pulled in the past, or make some setting or game or system or whatever inherently GOOD just because it tries to adhere to some increasingly ridiculous, garish and childish aesthetic.

Plus let's get real, we all know where that is coming from: it's some side-stepping attempt to take a swipe at games that DON'T saturate the screen with neon colors or depend on loud, obnoxious cartoon mascots to sell them or bend over backwards to be as inoffensively childlike as possible, as if those things make a game inherently better on their own, somehow.

If they did then Bubsy 3D is the greatest game ever: it can't GET any brighter and more colorful, there's a cartoon cat mascot and is marketed to little kids.

Oh, what's that?

It's one of the worst games ever made?

Well shit I guess all that crap about colorful settings and cartoon character mascots and games being children's toys is just hair-splitting over aesthetics and has no impact on gameplay or quality. TWIST ENDING!

Nixou said...

"they still would have needed most of those people, housewives who think that Wii Fit is a "game", to plunk down 60 bucks for a game that also requires a separate controller to use"

They already plucked 100 bucks for the balance board. But that not the point: if your games target the heavy gamers, they will already have bought a classic controller no matter what (either because they want to play some SNES/N64 games or because they're more confortable with it): no need to market it toward the housewives you seem to despise so much.

***

"It's all so monstrously strange and cynical and pretentious"

The whole genre, from the Devil May Cry games to Bayonneta via the God of War series, is cynical and pretentious pandering toward the power-fantasies of the Hardcores n°2.
The problem is, they either take themselves seriously (God of War), or even when they are made with enough tongue in check winks, a good chunk of their audience miss the joke (DMC, Bayonneta). No More Heroes was made in such a way that it was impossible to be taken seriously, which is its greatest virtue.

***

"they were a capable of downloadable games on the Wii, actual online service is not THAT much of a leap"

It's an infrastructure which cost a fucking ton of money and manpower to maintain. Nintendo may have had the cash, but they definitely did not have enough hirelings competent in this domain in 2006, which led them to build an online service which was notoriously clunky compared to the competition. And quite frankly, I'm not sure they have the needed manpower today (they're already saying that all online functions will not be available on day one)

***

"It never stopped most gamers from owning a gamecube"

22 million Gamecubes were sold, compared to over 150 million PS2
Most "gamers" never owned a GameCube
Most "gamers" never touched a GameCube

***

"almost EVERYONE praised games like Metroid Prime for being some of the best in their genre"

Metroid Prime, the most succesfull episode in the series sold less than 3 million units.
The Metroid Primes where indeed among the best FPS ever made
and like the GameCube:
Most "gamers" never owned a Metroid Prime game
Most "gamers" never played a Metroid Prime game

Hence my comparison between video game and movie audiences: Metroid Prime is akin to these films praised by critics and cited as exemple of stelar movie-making which did not have a commercial success on par of it critical success.
But hey: Citizen Kane bombed and The Great Gatsby flopped despite praises by the contemporary movie and litterature critics: if someone wants proof that Video Games are becoming like the more "noble" arts, here is it: the masterpieces sell less than the lowest-common-denominator-marketed mediocrities

***

"A toy is, by definition, a plaything for children"

So have claimed innumerable generations of insecure older boys who just can't bring themselves to aknowledge that they're still playing with their childhood toys even if everyone can see the obvious.

So what? HG Wells never stopped playing with tin soldiers: from his taste in childish toys he invented Little Wars and the Wargaming genre, from which Gary Gygax imagined Dungeon & Dragons, from which came console and computer RPGs, and I for one am grateful to these adult men who never shied away from admitting that they loved to play with tin soldiers.

Anonymous said...

"So have claimed innumerable generations of insecure older boys who just can't bring themselves to aknowledge that they're still playing with their childhood toys even if everyone can see the obvious."

That's one definition and back in the day it may have been the correct one, not anymore though.

Back when the companies who made the consoles also made the games and we were expected to develop an emotional attachment to them then yeah they were toys, now though? If you have an emotional attachment to the multinational who made your console then you tend to be (rightly) branded as an idiot, the idea of my Xbox 360 being a toy is as laughable as my Blue-ray player being a toy.

Aiddon said...

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

-C.S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

"a witty saying proves nothing"- Voltaire

Aiddon said...

uh, doesn't that mean Voltaire was completely admitting his witticisms were just as worthless? Though, considering the age he lived in he was probably thinking "everyone's EXCEPT MINE."

Nixou said...

In the original context:

"–Madame, madame, un bon mot ne prouve rien.
–Cela est vrai ; mais un bon mot n’empêche pas qu’on ne puisse avoir raison.
"

–Lady, Lady, a witty saying proves nothing
–That is true; but a witty saying does not mean that one can't be right

Voltaire was a satirist, and this comes from a satirical anti-clericalist play. The one saying that "a witty saying proves nothing" is the abbot symbolizing the intellectually corrupt clerical aristocracy whose role in to be ridiculed.

L'esprit est tout le contraire de l'argent; moins on en a, plus on est satisfait. -Voltaire again-
also
Ne t'amuses pas à citer à tort et à travers les auteurs français quand je suis dans la même pièce. -Nixou-

Anonymous said...

I suspect that's part of the joke.

Jannie said...

When CS Lewis was saying that the subtext there is that there ARE things that can be enjoyed at any age but there ARE also things that have a set place in your life and nothing beyond it.

I'm sure he wouldn't argue that wearing diapers is perfectly fine as a teenager, not because of incontinence but because you just feel like it. He was referring to enjoying fantasy literature not whatever bullshit Aiddon is babbling about.

And anyway even if that WERE true, even if there is literally nothing that can be discerned or described as "adult" and "childish" that STILL doesn't mean that something can be described as "inappropriate for adults/children" in other contexts. For example a fifty year old man who still enjoys using a pacifier has some issues, while a toddler watching Bible Black is also exceedingly inappropriate.

If this were not the case then pedophila would be fine because why should sex be ok for an adult and not a child? It's because in any society we accept--even if we make exceptions and even if those exceptions are subjective--that there are times and places in one's life for specific things and concepts and nowhere else.

In other words: stop making appeals to authority Aiddon.

Jannie said...

"They already plucked 100 bucks for the balance board."

And that's the problem. Someone who spends 100 dollars on a workout machine clearly never bought a Wii to play games--they bought it to use as an exercise machine. Just like the people who bought the Wii as an electronic babysitter will never spend more than a budget title costs to distract their kids for a few minutes while they watch General Hospital.

There is a difference between that an someone who would buy a $200+ game system, a $60 game and then $30 more in DLC. One of them just wants to have fun for a few minutes or lose weight and the other is buying it purely as a gaming console.

"But that not the point: if your games target the heavy gamers, they will already have bought a classic controller no matter what (either because they want to play some SNES/N64 games or because they're more confortable with it): no need to market it toward the housewives you seem to despise so much."

I don't despise them, but let's not pretend they're some kind of permanent or even reliable audience to whom you target an entire console or--as Bob seems to imply he had hopes--an entire GENERATION of them.

And you're not following me here, look: the ONE reason the Wii was such an allegedly fertile ground was because millions upon millions owned the damn thing...90% of whom apparently bought it because they confused it for either a fitness product, a babysitter, or both and therefore if you aimed your products at ONLY the gamers who bought it you'd only win over the same people you would have if you'd built the console for gamers to begin with.

"The whole genre, from the Devil May Cry games to Bayonneta via the God of War series, is cynical and pretentious pandering toward the power-fantasies of the Hardcores"

Is this going to be some new thing now? Like now we're past the "COD is the same every year!" thing because Black Ops 2 is set in the future so the new big argument against hardcore games is "They're just power fantasies!" That's the sixth time today I hear this "power fantasy" crap...what the holy shit do you think fantasy is? Do you think that Conan and Lord of the Rings and Star Wars aren't power fantasies? You think Mario isn't?

Who cares if it is or not? Why should we? And even if it WERE unique to just action games then why make a game that makes fun of that target audience and expect them to lap it up? That's why I brought up Torque--it's a movie aimed at Fast and Furious fans which makes fun of the Fast and the Furious, and then the dude who makes it gets all butthurt because it doesn't make a dime.

How stupid does someone have to be...no more how ARROGANT does someone have to be to make the assumption people want to get pissed on and told it's raining?

More so, that's not what I meant. What I meant is that No More Heroes is stupid and pretentious on several levels--none of them interesting or insightful at all. It makes no commentary on...anything really. It doesn't even try. It just throws tropes from games together in a tongue in cheek setting and then expects me to give a shit.

It's Scary Movie: the Game. And as I said, we all know how extremely well-made the Scary Movies were.

The problem is, they either take themselves seriously"

God forbid people ENJOY themselves. It's not nearly as DEEP as Suda 51.

"Or even when they are made with enough tongue in check winks, a good chunk of their audience miss the joke (DMC, Bayonneta)."

What pray was the joke? Bayonnetta didn't seem to be ABOUT anything but sex appeal and vague, incorrect references to angelic mythology and DMC seems to be about the Japanese's obsession with white-haired albino protagonists, if anything at all.

Jannie said...

"It's an infrastructure which cost a fucking ton of money and manpower to maintain. Nintendo may have had the cash, but they definitely did not have enough hirelings competent in this domain in 2006, which led them to build an online service which was notoriously clunky compared to the competition. And quite frankly, I'm not sure they have the needed manpower today (they're already saying that all online functions will not be available on day one)"

So...why not do this back then?

I'm sorry but I, for some reason, have more faith in Nintendo than you--or more precisely I get the feeling they just didn't give a shit.

And their online service was clunky because they're slow to change and obsessed with proprietary technologies.

And I think we're getting off track with the gamecube discussion. When I said, stay with the gamecube design, I didn't mean that literally. I meant if the Wii, as it was in 2006, was released with the same specs as it was but with a gamecube-like controller and the Virtual Console and some kind of real online functionality it would have been happily accepted by enough gamers to make it a real competitor in gaming, NOT just a plaything for casuals.

And frankly that's what they're doing NOW with the Wii U: keeping the previous system's general appearance, adding actual controllers, online and downloadable games. Like I said Nintendo isn't stupid, they know when to cash in their chips.

"So have claimed innumerable generations of insecure older boys who just can't bring themselves to aknowledge that they're still playing with their childhood toys even if everyone can see the obvious."

Uh, yeah, good thing I'm not an insecure older boy. What is your point exactly that we should all just never grow up and play with dolls and suck pacifiers forever? It's one thing to be in touch with your inner child but there is a difference between that and being immature.

"HG Wells never stopped playing with tin soldiers...Gary Gygax imagined Dungeon & Dragons"

And yet they also did adult things like have adult relationships and raise families and write War of the Worlds. JESUS LITERAL CHRIST, you mean you can be in touch with childhood things and not be an immature manchild?!? I'm...I don't even know anymore...my mind is blown.

Also D&D is a power fantasy that takes itself deadly serious, so it is obviously not as good as some brain fart Suda 51 shit out yesterday.

Jannie said...

One more thing about power fantasies:

They're perfectly fine and healthy and in fact every human being has them.

You mention HG Wells playing with tin soldiers, what do you think that is? That's fantasizing about being a great military commander, about having the power of life and death over those little toy men. AND THERE IS NOT A SINGLE THING WRONG WITH IT!

It's healthy and normal to have fantasies, to use your imagination and pretend to be someone else. I don't ACTUALLY think I'm Marcus Fenix when I play Gears of War but it's fun to pretend to BE someone like Marcus Fenix still. I'll never be that brave or strong and I'll never be a soldier or save the world but I can use my imagination.

That's ALL a power fantasy is--it's using your imagination. If you ever played Mario you're indulging in a power fantasy about being a selfless hero who gets the girl and vanquishes the dragon--the oldest and most well-worn power fantasy in history. Playing basketball, unless you're Lebron James, is indulging in a power fantasy about being Lebron James. If you ever played a miniature wargame like WH40K then you're indulging in a power fantasy about being an Imperial Space Marine (or Tau, if you're like me).

That's just the way life goes, everything in entertainment is SOME kind of power fantasy because entertainment is at heart about fantasy and imagination. And that is where No More Heroes and it's ilk fails--in attempting to "subvert" that concept they're in turn negating the entire purpose and basically making an argument against imagination and, as corny as this sounds, an argument against fun.

If Suda 51 thinks I should be punished for enjoying God of War then let him make an objective argument and NOT charge me $60 for it. Which is not to say that Suda 51 ever MADE an argument or that No More Heroes is anything more than a collection of broad tropes most of them from Japanese pop culture and irrelevant outside of it. And if Mad World and Bayonnetta were supposed to be parodies then so was The Room because I believe that as much as I do Tommy Wiseu (or however you spell his name) when he tried to cover his ass by saying the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, I noticed that you make a lot of videos regarding either video games being art or the strife between retro gamers and FPS gamers (to put the issue simply), but you've never done anything about the competitive scene concerning video games. Just think it would be an interesting topic.

Lee said...

Don't get me wrong Bob, I like the Wii and a lot of different Wii games, but when you get right down to it, the Wiimote even with all the support in the world wasn't really good at the one thing it was supposed to be good at, MOTION CONTROLS until the Wii Motion Plus came along and even then there was only a hand full of games that were able to take it in interesting directions effectively. Motion Controls are just less precise than buttons, that's what it all boils down to, The Wii didn't fail to deliver on large amounts of lasting innovation because gamers and third party didn't support it, really the Wii was just vastly overestimated, I'm not saying it was bad by any stretch just simply people thought it could do a lot more than it could actually do in reality.