Monday, December 3, 2012

SPECIAL: "Memories"

A little something different, on an occasion of some sadness:

54 comments:

Looking Down The Crionics said...

Wow, I can't believe Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger didn't get Nintendo Power covers.

Anonymous said...

I know I keep asking this, but I really hope you'll do an episode on Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight, and your thoughts on what effects is may have on the industry.

Sabre said...

Anon- I don't see why it would have any impact. There are game jams all the time. Bethesda does them after they ship a big game. Alot of the free updates to skyrim like arrow kill cam and kinect support were first implemented during a game jam, then polished up and put in the game proper. There are also ones like the 7 day FPS that Wolfire of Overgrowth fame took part in that resulted in the game Receiver. They are often streamed live given that are made in a short time span.

Bob- Being a Brit, I don't care about Nintendo Power. I didn't hear about it until the internet. As such, I have to ask a dumb, obvious question that people don't seem to want to answer. If Nintendo Power was so awesome and vital to gamer culture, why is it being shut down due to lack of sales? Wouldn't every Nintendo gamer have a subscription? Hell, even most of the nostalgic gamers who are morning it's loss haven't read it for a decade.

Off topic, but look at the game retail chain GAME. Recently, it was under threat of being closed. Being so poor they couldn't afford to stock Mass Effect 3. At the time, people were morning the loss of this old giant and how it was a tragedy ect. But the truth is, the GAME of today is not the GAME of the PS1 and PS2 days. It was dying because it had changed to high prices, poor customer service and an obsession with second hand games.

Point is, did it go bad? I still see gaming magazines and buy them occasionally. Apparently that doesn't happen with Nintendo Power.

Anonymous said...

Bob that was amazing. The honesty you showed in the camera in the beginning, I don't know if you were reading from a script.... but if you did it didn't come off as if you did..... which made it seemed more honest.

Don't be afraid to let out an "uh" during your more serious Game Overthinker episodes. To me, a video with you taking normal pauses and saying the occasional "uh" or "um" makes it come across as alot more honest.

You also looked sharp with the clothes you chose for the beginning. You could tell that you actually cared.

Nathan Lickliter said...

I was never the biggest Nintendo fan. I didn't hate them, I was just a bigger Sega fan. Genesis, Game Gear, Dreamcast, that sorta thing. Still, I remember who psyched a friend of mine and I got when we heard that the first Resident Evil was being released on the DS.

Alex Frieden said...

Couldn't get video to play

Anonymous said...

@Sabre

Nintendo Power actually has (or rather HAD) a subscriber base of almost 500,000 at the end of its run. This is not out of line with subscriptions to other gaming magazines (Game Informer notwithstanding, back to that in a bit).

The reasons the magazine are ending really have nothing to do with sales or subscriber numbers, but more of a result of what's happening to print media in general. Newsweek is also ending print publication after decades despite having subscribers that are 4x the size of Nintendo Power's.

There is no REASON for Nintendo Power to exist, in Nintendo's eyes. Everything the magazine was created for, gamer education, previews, exclusive in-depth previews, cheat codes, strategies, etc. have all been categorically destroyed by various internet entities, (GameFAQS, direct demo downloads, youtube, etc.) leaving only the exclusive previews which are available for free on the internet before even the subscribers to the magazine know. To to answer your question, the magazine didn't "go bad," it simply became of little use despite it's quality. One thing to note is that the reason Nintendo Power is being fondly remembered is because they were never known for their critical reviews, despite recent attempts to make them relevant. Even former Epic Games director Cliff Bleszinski said it best that Nintendo Power was the one magazine that you could count on to accentuate the positive aspects of ALL games, even games that were probably bad, because acerbic, caustic, and hit-driven controversy weren't around in the pre-internet days.

The print magazine is ending on a high note before it enters a full existential crisis, which is sort of the same way the comic Strip Calvin and Hobbes left the scene.

Really the only gaming magazine with any sort of impressive number is Game Informer, with over 8 million "subscribers." And the reason for the quotes is because this magazine is foisted on every single customer at every single purchase, and is included with a loyalty membership that earns 10% off purchases. How many people actually read the magazine? Who knows, because it's one of the worst ones ever, even according to a lot of its subscribers.

Lone Rogue said...

I love seeing that Hybrid Heaven got a cover. Also, anyone else think Tarzan looked naked in that one cover?

Also, you probably thought Pokémon got the most covers because you are so used to seeing Mario you didn't even think of him.

Anonymous said...

Game Informer is GameStop's magazine, BTW.

Sabre said...

Nathan Lickliter- Yeah. The DS version is the best version of the original game imo. Better even than the gamecube remake.

Lone Rogue- I played Hybrid Heaven. I don't know why no one has ripped off it's fighting system, particularly when MMA was all the rage (and still is to a degree). Fighters Destiny is another game with an interesting fighting system.

Sabre said...

Oh, and thanks anon, for the lengthy explanation. Though if what you say is true, then it makes me wonder about the game magazines that are out at the moment. If this is the start of a trend, or if they hang around.

Pat said...

@Sabre

Just about every magazine (not just gaming magazines) will die out within a couple generations, if not sooner. The ones that will cling on the longest will probably be fashion and gossip rags since their audience is not typically very tech savvy, so they'll probably keep reading physical copies until they die (although the popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and the desire for its audience to be able to read it discreetly got a lot of this particular audience to familiarize themselves with e-readers). But when those readers die, there won't be a new generation to replace them, since the problem ALL publishers face is that just about everyone in the new generation (even in lower income families) is computer-literate and has access to some sort of mobile device, so there's really nothing the publishers can do to attract new subscribers unless they go digital.

So even publications with a decent subscriber base know which way the wind is blowing and they can either wait until sales plummet or they can start transitioning now while they can afford to take their time and do it right.

Another problem, however, is that digital publications have yet to really catch on in a significant way. While they haven't failed by any means, on the Internet, these publications have a lot more competition. Before, these publishers had the advantage of infrastructure. Sure any Joe Shmoe with a printing press could make a magazine, but getting it in stores was hard without the right resources, which meant that big publishers only had to worry about other big publishers.

In the age of social media, however, the popularity of a particular site is dictated solely on how it resonates with its audience. Your survival is dependent on whether or not people will see your article or video or whatever and then decide to share it because it's particularly funny or insightful or interesting or shocking. It's not easy to establish this sort of audience, even if you've been in the publishing game for decades and even if you have limitless money to invest. Unless you can convince people to read and reblog it on Tumblr or Twitter or Facebook, no one will notice it.

So publishers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Their island is slowly sinking, and they know they ought to build a boat and sail off while they still can, but they're not sure if they'll even make it to dry land if they try.

Anonymous said...

@Sabre: Pat said it best about all printed publishing... but Nintendo Power was necessary. Kinda ushered in the era of game-specific magazines... well, outside of things like magazines with pages of code to type in and save to get free-ware games to your COCOII or something like it, anyway. but all Eras end... and with the net becoming the focal point, it is coming to the end for print magazines. Gamers just tend to be tuned into the online world, so for us, it's coming faster then most.

@Bob... this is the end of an era, but Im not exactly sad to see it go. This is one of those places where the future looks bright and damn near limitless. Nintendo did well by us, but it's time they pass the torch to the next generation of writers. They are doing so, if you ask me, with real dignity.

- Megabyte

Anonymous said...

@Sabre: Double Fine didn't just do a game jam - they pitched ideas to the public. If more developers did that, especially those notorious for franchise games, who knows what new, creative titles would be developed?

Sabre said...

Anon- There is no way to say this without sounding like an elitist arse hole, but the public are idiots most of the time.

A perfect example is Resident Evil. After RE 1 and 2 were smash hits, people have been complaining about the controls, the camera, the limited inventory space, ect. The reason the big gun crazy moments in RE were fun was because you had 2 hours of living on rations leading up to it. The games had atmosphere and horror. It was the build up to the explosion that made it so exciting.

Now look at RE6. A game that has 2 thirds of it as a cover based shooter. All because of the public's demand for more action, more ammo, more in line with Gears of War.

Look at the negative reception of Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 (the game itself, not the ending) where all the things people loved about the originals was stripped away to appeal to a vocal public. The forced in multiplayer that exists because the public demanded it.

Silent Hill has gone down the toilet for similar reasons. People wanting the SH2 lighting to strike twice, and doing so through pyramid head cameos and other references rather than an interesting story.

Dirt 2 was made obnoxious because Americans don't like rally, as summed up well in this review. http://youtu.be/qiuprDgbDKI

Left 4 Dead turning into a rage filled vs game because the public demanded competitive play over the games main co-op mode.

Nintendo keeps remaking the same few games over and over and over because that's what the public wants.

And these are just the ones off the top of my head. Not to mention all the MMOs and JRPGs that are the same as each other.

You can take feedback and criticism from the public, certainly. Torchlight 2 is a better game than the first one due in part to people asking for stuff, such as multiplayer. However, basing your ideas, and asking them about everything, you will just end up with never ending sequels and a generic sludge.

Payday is a good example of what can happen if you resist the public. It has a reputation as a pretty good budget FPS. It's a co-op game like Left 4 Dead, but didn't cave to pressure to add a vs mode.

The souls series going on to be famous among gamers despite requests to make it easier.

Again, not saying you should always ignore the public, but letting them dictate what a game should be, is a bad thing.

One last thing to note. The Double Fine thing was a game jam. It's a week or 2. You would not trust a big project to the whims of public opinion.

Anonymous said...

@Sabre

"Nintendo keeps remaking the same few games over and over and over because that's what the public wants."

This is probably why they do. Even the most ardent of the subscribers to the "Nintendo only makes the same games" meme rarely notices when Nintendo actually does try a new IP. Even when they invest in Xenoblade Chronicles or Pushmo or Wonderful 101 or Elite Beat Agents or Hotel Dusk, they never seem to get credit, and instead get more unthinking cries from people who, ironically, can only set their vision to Mario when it comes to Nintendo.

Furthermore, to say the games are "the same" also takes a lot of mental gymnastics as well. In fact only New Super Mario Bros. seems to ever get any real direct criticism that has any merit, as that game quite literally used direct assets from NSMB Wii. NSMB, NSMB Wii, and NSMB U all have different gameplay modes, features, and levels for the single player, and each has increased multiplayer capacity, including things that are firsts for the series and things that are firsts for the industry. And it's mostly because a bunch of snooty elitist gamers looking to make games "art" ironically judging a book by its cover and passing by games simply because they see a few plebeians enjoying themselves.

SMH.

Anonymous said...

LOL surprise surprise, Sabre doesn't like popular opinion. Probably because of his furry and otherkin roots. He must have been persecuted every day with shouts like:

"Why don't you go home and yiff some more, freak?!"

and

"Do you prefer a wolf or a cat fuck you in the ass?"

One day his struggle against the sheeple will be over and he will be on top.

One Day.

Omorka said...

Let me guess - that's a still shot on the HeroThinkers because otherwise RetroThinker would be a blubbering mess at the end of it? (Either that, or confused about all the parts that came after his time. How does *he* feel about Pokemon?)

As someone who was and still is pretty much a PC gamer only, let me assure you that even post-Pokemon there are more Mario covers than Pokemon ones.

Oh, man, the two Earthworm Jim covers. Whatever happened to Earthworm Jim? Why isn't he a big nostalgia property? Is it just because his creator is a douchenozzle, or is there some other reason?

Nixou said...

"Even when they invest in Xenoblade Chronicles or Pushmo or Wonderful 101 or Elite Beat Agents or Hotel Dusk, they never seem to get credit, and instead get more unthinking cries from people who, ironically, can only set their vision to Mario when it comes to Nintendo."

More importantly, these games tend to not sell very well. The most involontarily funny -but revealing- exemple comes from Xenoblade: when Nintendo did not announce an US release, some self-proclaimed experts claimed that this game was a "certain multi-million seller": the game eventually sold 300.000 copies in North America.

This problem touches other developpers as well: since the market for "AAA" games is dominated by consummers who play it safe by going for the famous and well marketed franchises and noisy "hardcores" who are the video games equivalant of people watching only blockbusters yet proclaiming themselves The Only Real True Cinephiles™, every big developpers will try to maintain profitability by giving these crowds the same soup. The smartest developpers will then use their profit to finance experimental projects, hopefully finding ways to please people outside the dwindling "hardcore" crowd.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @3:59: Nintendo made smart choices publishing titles like Xenoblade, Eternal Darkness & Hotel Dusk. But here's the thing - they only PUBLISHED those games, they didn't develop them. I'm talking about developing original ideas in house. Break away from the Mario/Metroid/Zelda/Pokemon mold and create some new IPs.

And I'm not just suggesting that Nintendo could benefit from this practice. There are a lot of other developers that rely too heavily on franchises (Treyarch, Ubisoft, ect). Plucking talent from within the company and getting them to pitch original ideas can only help the industry in the long run.

@Sabre: I was talking about pitching ideas to the public, not letting the public dictate every aspect of the game. Sorry if I wasn't clear earlier.

Sabre said...

Wait. P-100 is Platinum isn't it? None a Nintendo game? They work more with Sega than Nintendo?

But even counting that, that's a total of 1 game, 2 if we count Eturnal Darkness that they also published, but didn't develop. (there might be more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head)

The ones you list are pretty bad. A generic JRPG, a puzzle game, a bland point and click game, and a rhythm game.

Yep, clearly classics for the ages, 1 release for every dozen Mario games.

Sabre said...

Omorka- Partly because, as you put it, he's a douchenozzle, but also because they haven't made anything since the 3D game that has a reputation for being bad.

There was the TV show that was awesome, but Mr Douchenozzle hated it. It eventually got a DVD release in Australia or something.

Yamato-san said...

Honestly, while you find Castlevania 2 to be underrated, I feel the same way about Shadow the Hedgehog. I mean, I don't think the game was perfect, or even remotely great, but I found it fun all the same. After playing Sonic Heroes, I'd argue that it was a slight improvement, and let's not even get into the crap that was about to come (Sonic 2006 and Sonic Genesis). Overall, a mediocre Sonic title from the poor hedgehog's dark ages (or rather, his second dark ages, lest we forget post-S3&K pre-Dreamcast "classics" like Sonic Labyrinth and G Sonic combined with lack of a proper Saturn title), but hardly worthy of being bottom rung material.

Nixou said...

"Nintendo made smart choices publishing titles like Xenoblade, Eternal Darkness & Hotel Dusk. But here's the thing - they only PUBLISHED those games, they didn't develop them."

Yes, and look at the developpers: one is owned by Nintendo, one filled for bankrupcy, and one has been unable to keep up with the hardware arms race/pissing contest, and produced, what, two mediocre games in the past seven years (another evidence that this "processing power über alles" mentality is killing the industry). Not much an incentive for developpers to start pouring tons of money into experimental new IPs.

***

"Plucking talent from within the company and getting them to pitch original ideas can only help the industry in the long run."

And if the people in charge of big developpers thought a little more about the long term interest of the industry and a little less about the short-term profits of their own company, this idea could work, but here's one painfull truth about capitalism:
Most businessmen are morons physically incapable of making a rational long-term-based decisions
This is an universal constant as unavoidable as gravity, natural selection and global warming. You may find some well known game designers and even a few CEOs who are aware that the industry needs to allow new ideas to flourish before a excess of bland products suffocates it, but even these CEO will have to deal with stupid stock holders at best and equity firms managed by business-school drop-outs basing their decisions on abstract formulas for "profit maximization" they don't even understand at worst.

***

"The ones you list are pretty bad. A generic JRPG, a puzzle game, a bland point and click game, and a rhythm game.

The best RPG this generation, proclaimed "generic" by someone who most probably did not even touch it. But I suppose it is to be expected from the fountain of wisdom who declared that military shooters were misunderstood innovative masterpieces.

Also, note the snobish dismissal of many games merely because of their genre: Puzzle Game? Rythm Game? A Real True Gamer has no need for such plebean toys!

hevendor said...

I wish I could watch this video. The video player is not working, just loading.

I hate the internet...

Sabre said...

Nixou- Why are taking to a scarecrow? ...Oh, I see. It's a straw man.

But seriously. Normally I ignore insults because, well, they are meaningless and there is nothing to reply to. However, these I have to address

"The best RPG this generation, proclaimed "generic" by someone who most probably did not even touch it."

I tend to ignore such praise for JRPGs because ALL OF THEM ARE CONSIDERED AMAZING BY JRPG FANS.

But ok, let's try this.
Is the plot a emo teenager has his village destroyed by a big bad dictatorship/monster. He is the only one who can use the gods weapon, and goes on a quest with his childhood friend who fancies him but is to stuborn to admit it?
Does the combat system claim to be innovative and skill based, but is really detemined by stats and filling up power bars? Bonus points if it has a stupid name like "Active linking system"
Some minor gimmick to claim it's amazing, but ultimately has little to effect the game other than busy work?
Do people go on and on and on and on, and generally treat the player as an idiot?
Does it go on waaaay to long?


"But I suppose it is to be expected from the fountain of wisdom who declared that military shooters were misunderstood innovative masterpieces."

Erm, when did I ever say that? The only thing close to that is when I say military shooters have more variety and innovation than Nintendo games. Different weapons, different stories, different locations. The only military FPS games I describe as truly innovative are Cod4 and MW2m which were amazing and innovative in there day, which is why they are copied so much. Remember, back then, it was all WW2 shooters where the lone American GI storms the Normandy Beaches.

Nixou said...

"I tend to ignore such praise for JRPGs because ALL OF THEM ARE CONSIDERED AMAZING BY JRPG FANS."

I am not a "JRPG fan". Of course, since in the past I used sales figures of JRPGs to argue that JRPG was still a commercially succesfull genre, I've been called a "JRPG fanboy", despite the fact that I also complained about the bland/generic JRPGs selling so much more than the good/imaginative ones. Using Math and being a discriminating consummer are most certainly devilish signs which prove that my views are to be ignored on principle, amirite?

***

"Is the plot a emo teenager has his village destroyed by a big bad dictatorship/monster. He is the only one who yada yada yada"

You could play the game and make your own opinion.
Of course, while it looks like the game is playing it safe at the beginning most of the plot is revealed late in the game, and it contains some clever jabs at the power fantasies around which so many RPGs are built: so chances are you're going to go from smug to hateful as you play it anyway.

As for the battle system, it is a mix of a puzzle and cooldown period managment. And since maxing out a character's skill barely dent its cooldown period, trying to grind one's way out of trouble without actual skill is a recipe for disaster.

***

"Different weapons, different stories, different locations"

Different siliconned performers, different postions and combinations of gentials, different rooms for the fucking...
I'm sorry: We're talking about porn, here, right?

Sabre said...

*sigh* See, this is why I've taken to ignoring you. You don't have an argument against the actual points, instead you just use sarcasm, name calling, and talking out of your arse, as if anyone is fooled.

Chances are you are so pathetic that you will can this a 'win' and feel all smug and superior having 'pwned' that 'hardcore', 'gun nut' or whatever this weeks label is for anyone who disagrees with you.

Aiddon said...

actually Silicon Knights' problems were due mostly to the arrogance of Dyack.

Jannie said...

I never understood why people describe shooters as "gun porn", as if that has any kind of substance as either a description or an insult.

Even if it were true, it makes no baring on if the games are innovative, or interesting or if they're well made. Most of the melodrama period pieces that always win Oscars are "scenery porn" but that doesn't mean they're BAD.

And even then, what does "gun porn" mean? Like what would even be the criteria? It uses guns or they play a pivotal role? Well then so is Contra and Mega Man. Or is it they're military shooters? Well again, so is Contra, so much so it is named after the Iran Contra Scandal! I'm tempted to say it's like when movie critics call a movie "loud" in that it's just a term of derision with no actual meaning independent of the insult itself--as if any movie is "more louder" than any other with modern speakers.

If that's the case it's a term that's less than meaningless since it's so far divorced from any kind of definition as to be purely arbitrary. I could just as easily say that Star Fox is "gun porn", it fits what little criteria exists. I guess Mario would be, what, "disturbing animal skin porn" then?

But anyway...

JRPGs suffer from the same problems that a lot of Japanese stories (anime, games, movies) suffer from is that the Japanese either only know how to tell one or two stories or they seem to be fixated on them to the point of farce. You see this in anime with the constant retread of "I'll start a war so big everyone will hate me and therefore unite against all war" plot which is basically the go-to anime/manga plot. Now, I guess Japan has some "stuff" to work through about war, ok fine, but that doesn't explain why JRPGs seem to be some odd combination of survivalist literature and militant atheism...

Think I'm joking? Quick test: get a random assortment of JRPGs, remove the character names, now ask yourself this, how many of them basically boil down to "lone survivor of some cataclysmic event must eventually meet and kill a god".

Just for a random example BOTH Final Fantasy 7 and 10 have this exact same plot. Literally, the exact same plot. A blond boy survives a military attack (both involving a massacre by the villain), both of whom meet a vacuous, demure bimbo with magical powers (Aeris and Yuna) and end up realizing they're not "real" people (one is some kind of ghost even) then go and fight a god and kill him. Then somehow the world basically resets itself.

Here are some I chose at random, just flicking through wikipedia: Xenogears, Chrono Cross, The World Ends With You, FF Tactics, Mother 3.

That one game, whose name escapes me the one project rainfall was all about, Omega Sword or something...that has basically the exact same plot. Right down to the "oh noes war! Hey, you're not real! Now go kill god!" bit.

Even some of the Persona games, easily the LEAST stereotypical thing to come from Japan EVER, have most of these elements save a few--e.g, I'm pretty sure in the majority of them you have to fight and kill a god as the last boss.

Jannie said...

Xenoblades. That's the one.

And I'm not saying these games are "bad" but what I am saying is if you have the gall to say that, for example, all Halo games are identical or all Gears games are identical you should at least have the courage to admit all JRPGs are LITERALLY identical--not just "identical means I hate it" but as in "plot points can be switched interchangeably without effect on the narratives".

By comparison, the story arcs in Deus Ex 3, Mass Effect 3, Marrowwind and Fallout 2 (chosen literally at random) are so wildly different in terms of plot, setting and characters as to seem more like separate genres despite the fact they're all "just" RPGs.

Though I will say this, Squeenix manages to make their characters look less disfigured than most Bathesda games...but that's less an element of JRPGs and more an element of "competent art team".

Anonymous said...

Truth be told, I'm surprised that gaming magazines have survived as long as they have. Out of all the print magazines being superseded by internet publications, I would have thought that gaming mags would be the first to go. Especially when you consider that your typical gaming mag reader is going to be tech-savvy.

Nixou said...

"I never understood why people describe shooters as "gun porn""

We do that because blindingly obvious and because it's fun to watch the fans of the genre get all defensive when it's pointed to them: it's like watching a vaudeville, when the husband found with his pants down starts playing the outraged innocent and exclaim "How Dare you doubt my spotless morality!"

It just never gets old

***

"Even some of the Persona games, easily the LEAST stereotypical thing to come from Japan EVER"

Bunch of highschool kids discover that they have superpowers and must save the world while learning to deal with their hormons

That's "originality" according to Jannie
I rest my case

Twilight_Crow said...

Wow Bob, tou hit the feels hard, and I have never read Nintendo Power. But, still, so much history on those covers.

It makes me wonder: How long until my country's official Nintendo magazine dissapears as well?

Aiddon said...

off-topic, Rich Moore, Sarah Silverman, and John C. Reilly talk about a Wreck-it Ralph sequel. And yes, Moore REALLY wants Mario:

http://moviehole.net/201260257exclusive-reilly-silverman-and-moore-on-wreck-it-ralph-2

Jannie said...

"We do that because blindingly obvious and because it's fun to watch the fans of the genre get all defensive when it's pointed to them"

When WHAT is pointed out? What are you even talking about?

"Bunch of highschool kids discover that they have superpowers and must save the world while learning to deal with their hormons"

I'm sorry but what? Have you ever played Persona? That's not even a remotely close description of the story...also I never said it was "original", I said it wasn't as stereotypically steeped in Japanese story telling conventions, tropes and cliches as most JRPGs.

By the way I love how offended you are by what I said yet accuse me of being "defensive". I'd say you're being a hypocrite but I doubt you're doing so purposefully since you literally did it a few sentences apart.

Jannie said...

"Truth be told, I'm surprised that gaming magazines have survived as long as they have. Out of all the print magazines being superseded by internet publications, I would have thought that gaming mags would be the first to go. Especially when you consider that your typical gaming mag reader is going to be tech-savvy."

To be honest I never really understood the reason why people feel this need to "replace" print media with the internet.

I get the convenience obviously but it seems shortsighted to me. Then again I still read newspapers so I'm a fucking dinosaur.

I never really got Nintendo Power a lot, I know most people don't even remember what "EGM" was (technically is, but whatever) but I mostly read that and Gamepro. I do feel bad about it from a nostalgic standpoint. That being said Nintendo Power was always mainly just the propaganda arm of Nintendo so it's not like anything of HUGE value was lost, but something of SOME value is now gone.

Really I feel worse for the employees who I'm sure will be tossed aside now.

Nixou said...

"I'm sorry but what? Have you ever played Persona?"

The truth is, I started using Parallels so my Mac could run the PSone emulators and programs necessary to make the fan translation of Persona 2 work.
And, the Persona series is all about high-school-kids with super-powers: the first episode starts in a classroom, the second episode starts with a teacher asking the protagonist about his goals when he leaves school, number 3 & 4 start with a teenager transfering into a new school.
Oh sure, then the series (well, mostly the second episode) found clever ways to twist the familiar background (rewritting reality with the power of Urban Legends? Now that's a sweet trick), but at its core, it's still the stories of super-powered highschool kids. And it's especially grating in the later episodes which forces the player to watch them go through their school life daily routine.

***

"also I never said it was "original", I said it wasn't as stereotypically"

I said it was not stereotipical, so now that someone pointed the stereotypicality of the plot, I will take advantage of the fact that he used a synonym to keep on pretending that this stereotypical story is not-stereotypical because, hey, this guy used the word "original" to talk about the stereotypicality of this story: man I'm sooooo clever

***

"By the way I love how offended you are by what I said"

Watching some halfwit gifted with limited intelligence, low wit and negligible erudition ending up by ways of nepotism, sycophancy or plain dumb luck in a position of power: that's offensive.

Watching someone playing dumb because they prefer to look like the village's idiot rather than aknowledge some venial sin like the enjoyment of very swallow shooters or a preference for Western RPGs built around basic power fantasies: that's merely annoying.

Redd the Sock said...

Jamie

Gun Porn as an insult term has a lot of roots in guns for a long time being seen as a metaphorical penis extension. While just about anything gone into with excessively needless detail can be called porn in the same manner, guns will probably always have a negative connotation due to their purpose being killing. In video game circles, there can be a certain wonderment in how they are one of the few things where realism can be demanded (whereas we don't mind if an RPG's sword breaks the laws of physics and even encourage it), but moreover it's used a lot out of frustration that games that emphasize [realistic] shooting experiences over anything else overshadow other genres.

Admittedly, the western end of things can mix up the established trope a little more than the Japanese, then again Japan has been an interesting case. Almost 2 decades of recession have left a lot of businesses in a permanent entrenchment strategy leaving companies not just unwilling but unable to do more than please the fanbase. More importantly however it's based on something of an object lesson. The 80s and early 90s saw a period where any anime could get green-lit in the hopes of making a Nasuicaa or Macross level hit. They came out with a lot fewer Totoros and a lot more MD geists and Dog Soldiers (and other crap even the MST3K gang wouldn't touch). Poorly managed risk led to failure which led to risk aversion that still haunts a lot of japanese entertainment industries. I'm hard pressed to say if that's for better or worse. I like innovation and some good stuff came out, but I've seen some films that make me clearly understand why one wouldn't want to let a director go apeshit on a vanity project instead of being forced to listen to the focus group.

Anonymous said...

Another OT question for Bob: what are your thoughts on "The Walking Dead" winning game of the year at the VGAs? Think this will give graphic adventure games more credibility?

Sabre said...

Anon- Wasn't the VGAs completely discredited by Doritogate, and giving an award to the walking dead despite a large fan backlash over how horrible the ending was, and the fact ta game built on choice didn't factor in any of them?

Meh, not like anyone cares about the VGAs any more. People barely care about the game BAFTAs, despite being more respected.

Redd- I think you have it wrong, kind of. It's not about maticulous detail specifically. The reason there is x porn, x being torture, gun, scenery, ect. is because it's an indulgence.

Like sex porn, the core idea is one where you jump to the indulgent parts with other elements just serving to get you there. There's a SFDebris review where he goes into the subject in detail. It might be the Repo Genetic Opera review, though I'm not sure.

Anyway, reguardless. If we use your definition, then Jannies criticism still applies given the focus on Mario using animal suits to get his powers.

If we are using my definition, then it kind of works, though it's necessary. As the designer of Goldeneye, you know, that classic Nintendo FPS that doesn't say anyone who enjoys it is into NRA gun porn jingoism, was giving a lecture about making the game.

He said that the reason there was so much focus on guns, as well as being able to shoot pointless things like glass, lights, hats, ect. was because the gun is always on screen and is the players only means of interacting with the world.

As such, any good FPS, Bioshock included, will have a large focus on guns, and the details of those guns. Guns are vital to a FPS in the same way smooth control is vital to a platformer or story to RPGs.

So, people such as Nixou and Bob, who don't like FPS, or blame them for all the ills of the world, can look at this one consistent thing, and write off the entire genre and people who play it with one broad insult.

Even then, is assumes the an interest in guns makes you a bad person.

This is why having a new set of guns in a FPS is as big of a deal as a completely different set of suits for Mario in every game, maybe even more so because in Mario you are not in a suit the whole time.

Nixou said...

"Gun Porn as an insult term has a lot of roots in guns for a long time being seen as a metaphorical penis extension."

Gun porn exists because of the similarities and links between power fantasies and sexual fantasies. Comparing guns to cocks' extensions is anther consequence of it, not a cause. And calling military shooters "Gun porn" is not an insult: it's a diagnosis.
In a way, that people may be squeamish about aknowledging their own power fantasies is to be expected: no one wants to admit in public that they enjoy the fantasy of being the biggest, meanest bully in town.

***

"Almost 2 decades of recession have left a lot of businesses in a permanent entrenchment strategy leaving companies not just unwilling but unable to do more than please the fanbase"

Two decades of recession? Where did you take that from? Cable news punditry?
For the love of God: look things ups before talking about these.

Anonymous said...

Just a few things to note about this comment section.

Sabre has called Xenoblade Chronicles a generic JRPG, and Jannie has said Persona 4 "wasn't as stereotypically steeped in Japanese story telling conventions, tropes and cliches as most JRPGs."

It's pretty obvious Sabre hasn't played Xenoblade Chronicles and Jannie hasn't played PErsona 4, or has a warped opinion about what is "Stereotypically Japanese"

They're schoolkids dealing with school shit and then get superpowers and then there's a lot of fanservice and you end up fighting a dude with better super powers AKA god. It's hard to get more JApanese than that. Hell there's evena damn Anime about the game. How much more Japanese can you GET?

Also, more unthinking anti-JRPG sentiment "You fight a god! Every time!" Yeah, and you fight an evil wizard in every Western RPG. How many RPGs from the west pull that shit?

It's like when America and Japan both read the Lord of the Rings, America thought Saruman the White was the better villain and Japan thought Sauron was the better villain.

And instead of this difference being celebrated, when get snooty divisiveness. Excellent.

Also, I don't see what's the difference between Nintendo publishing a new IP when they themselves didn't develop it. IT's a new game from Nintendo. Who cares if it's one of those wholly owned subsidiaries that made it or not?

So NOW the criteria for "Nintendo New IP" has to come from EAD itself? Talk about moving the fucking goalposts. Guess Nintendo never will get credit, eh?

Jannie said...

Nix I have no clue what you're going on about, what is this about "nepotism" now? Is that a dig at me, or Sabre or what? Because I work at a fucking Wal-Mart dude.

Also, what exactly do you want me to say? I simply DON'T AGREE WITH YOU, you may think everything I like is "shallow" and about "power fantasies" and bullying but I DO NOT so I'm not just going to stroke your fucking dick and tell you you're right when you've given me no god damn reason to do so.

Get this through your fucking skull: just because you and Bob and a few other people really, really, REALLY love Nintendo doesn't mean everyone else does. Nor does it mean that all they think about is killing people and raping women or whatever goes through your head about me. It is entirely possible for people to simply NOT LIKE what you like without them being inherently insane or evil.

And frankly, you're one of the reasons I've grown so sour with Japanese games over the years, the obsessive and fanatical fanbase who CAN NOT accept that anything remotely different exists. The games themselves are fine frankly but people like you, with your constant insults and delusions of superiority and, frankly, bullying is indicative of almost the entire damn fanbase.

It's the same fucking thing with people who used to argue over "dubbing" and "subtitles" as if, somehow, having a schoolgirl say that love is a physical energy that can kill demons in English or Japanese with English subtitles made a huge difference.

It was cute for about five seconds when I was 12 but now it's old.

Jannie said...

"Also, more unthinking anti-JRPG sentiment "You fight a god! Every time!" Yeah, and you fight an evil wizard in every Western RPG. How many RPGs from the west pull that shit?"

That's not even remotely true. Wizards appear precisely nowhere in the Fallout series, or the Mass Effect series, or the Deus Ex series, or Borderlands, etc etc.

It shows up almost nowhere in most games outside of Ultima in fact, and even then Ultima broke up the standard by having you fight a super computer and a Great Old One at various points.

Elder Scrolls usually has you fight something like a king or the like, who may or may not have magical powers, and ironically in one of them (Marrowind) you actually DO fight a god.

"It's like when America and Japan both read the Lord of the Rings, America thought Saruman the White was the better villain and Japan thought Sauron was the better villain."

I'm not even sure what this sentence means...are you saying that Final Fantasy etc are based on LOTR? No, no it isn't, most JRPGs are based on Japanese myth. Even the not-entirely-standard ones like Xenoblades and Persona draw heavily from Japanese myth cycles and religious concepts.

I'm almost entirely sure that none of these games have anything to do with LOTR. The original Final Fantasy was mainly just an "excuse plot".

"And instead of this difference being celebrated, when get snooty divisiveness."

I find it ironic you think I'm being "snooty" when I'm the one whose been accused more than once of wanting to have a bigger penis through gun ownership.

Which frankly surprised the hell out of me, since I wasn't aware I even had a penis.

Anyway, I wasn't taking "it has an anime" into account when I said Persona was less stereotypical (not NOT stereotypical) than most JRPGS, but I'm not even sure if you were being serious or not.

What I meant was that Persona seems to actually try and address some of the asinine metaphysical stuff that is used as the underpinnings of most JRPGs, anime, etc. Like I said, schoolgirls using "love" as a power source to kill inter-dimensional creatures. About 99% of Persona is a send up of that whole concept. It's basically a parody but played seriously.

Lucky Star does a good job of this too.

And stereotypical and unoriginal are not the same thing: that's why we have "racial stereotypes" but this doesn't mean they're "unoriginal people". It means something that is largely built around tropes and cliches, while unoriginal means something derivative.

Redd the Sock said...

Sabe

The term porn in this case really applies to the extent of the indulgence relative to the need. When you pick up a sword in Skyrim you don't give a shit as to how it's made, or the finer points of technique. You ask if the thing does more damage than what I currently use, and if there's some cost to using it and leave it at that. Mario's suits are all about differentiated functionality. Each does something unique, so if you want to do that you wear the suit. Something like the later metal gear solid games on the other hand give you more pistol and assault rifle options than needed with differences not as easy to notice in a game designed around NOT killing things. These all come off as needless and redundant and as such come off as he rantings of someone that wanted to brag about how much he knows about guns.

And in and of itself there isn't much wrong with that. I mean, I admit hating cycling through endless pistols in the hunt for my sniper rifle, but I'm a minimalist in that regard. We have car porn, mech porn, historical data porn, nostalgia porn, ect, and I think we all have an area where no matter how unimportant we appreciate the little details. (heck how many of us would be gung ho for wreck it ralph if it had been a literary bad guy and characters from books in the library not video games) Still Nixou's issues with power fantasies aside, he isn't wrong that it's one stigma guns haven't been able to shake which can be why even games like Doom, Bioshock, or Resident evil with small batches of differentiated weapons can't escape a negative use of the label, whereas mario wouldn't be wrongly described as a one man hero that stomps or incinirates an army of foot soldiers that get in his way without attention being drawn to all the goombas and troopas he effectively kills on route to the end.

Heck, what is RPG grinding but the endless slaughter of animals and criminals? It does seem unfair to single out guns as the violent things.

Sabre said...

While I agree on the point, I do disagree with how you got there.

Having not played MGS part 3, I can't say if the rifles are different. Even subtle differences that might go unnoticed by people who don't regular FPS games can make a big difference. I'm not a car or racing game buff, but I know the difference between FWD, 4WD, RWD, gear ratios, the importance of good brakes and other stuff. However, I sometimes see people who just go "What looks fast" or "What car has the highest top speed".

This is not to say this is the case with MGS, but if someone like Nixou looks at a CoD game and just sees all the automatic weapons as the same and redundant, then that could be due to his FPS play is, for lack of a better word, unrefined. As mentioned, some Halo fans weren't happy with a minor change with how the recoil worked in Halo 3, something that I personally didn't notice.

Jannie said...

I can understand what you're saying Redd but to be honest I have no reason to believe that is at all what Nixou meant.

I said it before, but he seems to use "gun porn" the way movie critics use the term "loud": it's a catch-all for "stuff I dislike" with no qualifiers. It's a purely subjective concept the way he uses it (i.e, as a pejorative, plain and simple) and carries no degree of nuance or deeper consideration like "porn is about indulgence" or "there are many kinds of 'porn' this one applies to x-series".

Jannie said...

Also "deconstruction" is the term I was looking for when I said Persona is like a parody but serious, but I blanked out when I was writing that and I couldn't remember the word.

It's like a deconstruction of the usual tropes associated with both Japanese sci-fi and high school dramas.

Endarire said...

I believe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (AKA Zelda 3) would have made for an awesome end music. I rewatched the ending on YouTube and cried. Hard. A lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JU0C_l4aac

Endarire said...

I believe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (AKA Zelda 3) would have made for an awesome end music. I rewatched the ending on YouTube and cried. Hard. A lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JU0C_l4aac

Gareth said...

"And now I live and now my life is done" ~ Chidiock Tichborne

Tim said...

Bob,

Thank you for your homage to this great legacy.

In recent years I have not purchased any Nintendo Power magazines. However, I remember them significantly growing up, and it felt very nostalgic and a bit solemn watching all the old covers go by with my favorite games of all time. The whole time I was growing more and more melancholy, anticipating what the final cover would be.

Then I lost it.

I started bawling. Seeing the cover of the iconic, first issue remastered was too much. Gaming and Nintendo in general has contributed greatly to who I am as a person. It helped me cope through the depressing times of my adolescence, and seeing the journey of Nintendo Power coming to an end really hits home.

Thank you Bob. Thank you Nintendo Power.

Smashmatt202 said...

Nintendo Power has ended... Anyone interested in Nintendo Force? The guy who makes Brawl in the Family is doing comics and art for that magazine!

You know, since the AVGN did an episode about Nintendo Power, I wonder if he made a video about it ending... I haven't visited Cinemassacre.com lately, so I'm not entirely sure.

Gosh, those were some cool covers... My first issue of Nintendo Power was BECAUSE of a cover... I forget which issue it was, but it had a LOT of characters on it, and it had previews for Super Mario Sunshine and stuff.

I think Howard and Nester weren't in Super Smash Bros. because they were part of an American magazine, and the game was made by a bunch of Japanese people. I would totally flip my shit if the next Super Smash Bros. actually acknowledged American (or European) exclusive characters and stuff! PLEASE do it, Nintendo (and Masahiro Sakurai)!

It's weird, I remember Bob saying Simon's Quest is underrated, yet implied that Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a bad Zelda game... You know, he should follow up on that in an Overbytes episode!

So Bob STILL doesn't get Pokemon. That's a shame, though I don't resent him for it. Though I don't recall a time were Nintendo fans and Pokemon fans were divided, though I guess it makes sense, since if you were a fan of Pokemon, you weren't necessarily a fan of the games or video games at all.

I love Super Smash Bros. BECAUSE of all the Nintendo characters in it, INCLUDING Pokemon.

...THERE! At 8:27, THAT was my first issue of Nintendo Power! I forgot when and where I dropped off having a subscription, though now I kind of regret it...

Oh man, those covers starting after that made me feel SO nostalgic! Except the Lord of the Rings one, I don't remember that one... Probably still have it. It's weird, as a kid, I was NEVER into ANY kind of live-action movie, I was only interested in cartoons back in the day. It's different now, but still, kind of have a soft spot for cartoons.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is still my all-time favorite game, BTW.

I guess I'll never be able to relate to Bob's resentment of Pokemon stealing a lot of Nintendo Power covers. Eh...

Well, that was great all the same... Gave me mixed feelings, honestly.