News Article

Nintendo Super Guide Mode in NSMB Wii: The Details

Posted by Damien McFerran

The infamous "Kind Code" could ironically mean tougher challenges

Nintendo's proposed "Kind Code" has had chins wagging for quite some time now, but few people were sure of what it actually meant for gaming. Some jumped to the conclusion that it would make games too easy, while others maintained it was merely a guide that would only help frustrated players.

The uncertainty is now at an end because website Kotaku has been given a demonstration of the new feature by Nintendo. Although it's certainly going to make things easier for casual gamers, it seems to have resulted in an unexpected side effect - it looks like Nintendo is actually going to make its titles harder because of this feature, as Kotaku reports:

The levels of New Super Mario Bros. Wii I saw today seemed harder than those of the last side-scrolling Mario platformer, New Super Mario Bros. on the DS. Super Guide does appear to have given Nintendo license to make the new game tougher and may provide the relief some players need to get to the end of the latest Mario world-hopping adventure.

The system seems to work by offering players that struggle to beat certain levels a lifeline; in NSMB's case, if you die 8 times then Super Guide becomes available, and your character falls under the control of the computer. You can then allow the CPU to finish the level for you, but if you're feeling confident you can reclaim control at any time.

You can read the entire report here. One thing is for sure: this could have interesting repercussions for the world of video gaming.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (55)

Strofan7

#2

Strofan7 said:

Haha didn't think about that LTTF! Interesting point.

Either way I think this sounds like a positive! If you dont get it on 8 tries you obviously need a little help...

Bass_X0

#3

Bass_X0 said:

There's been a number of games I never beat just because I could not defeat a particular level or boss.

Dazran303

#4

Dazran303 said:

Cant wait for this game! I need it now! Probably get it for Christmas! Oh the magic of playing a Mario game at Christmas! :D

V8_Ninja

#5

V8_Ninja said:

Interesting. Harder levels because of the "Guide Mode", or the "Guide Mode" because of the harder levels?

Token_Girl

#6

Token_Girl said:

I like this, Mario and Zelda games have been getting easier it seems. A 2-d mario platform should be tough, so you can't just play it through in one go and there's some replay value. Good news in my book!

Rawk_Hawk

#7

Rawk_Hawk said:

Just like BassXO said there are many games that I quit because a level or boss was so frustrating. I think Nintendo is trying to reach a balance in games. They know some gamers want a stern challenge and they know others get turned off if they can't finish a certain level. So I think this helps give people an incentive to finish through their games.

vherub

#8

vherub said:

I like it, nice way to balance difficulty.
I would think game guides are fine. They are focused on item collections, secrets and walkthroughs. Most of the time when a game is too tough/frustrating, you know what to do, you just can't time it precisely.
You don't need a guide to tell you to jump over the fireball, avoid the spikes and stomp the goombas while avoiding lakitu's bombs, you just need to do all that properly.

Stevie

#9

Stevie said:

After all the negativity shown towards this new feature I am glad to see that actually it is going to benefit everyone, not just dumb down games to appeal to a wider audience.

As for guide companies I think the internet has already done its damage with sites like Gamefaqs.com offering free guides.

Ren

#10

Ren said:

Frankly I would be annoyed by even the option that it could actually take over for you and finish a level, thats just laziness. Sometimes part of video games is just about persistence but then if it lets them make some harder games again I'll be all for it if thats what it takes.

Rapadash6

#11

Rapadash6 said:

I wonder how this feature will work for games like Zelda and Metroid? I mean, will it find Heart Pieces and Energy Tanks for you, or just progress with the item upgrades you already have? I'm sure this'll be a great feature for a lot of people but I personally prefer to play through my own games thank you very much, and if I do need help, I'll just refer to a text based guide to simply steer me in the right direction.

theblackdragonAdmin

#12

theblackdragon said:

i like the idea that it's only available if you die eight times in a row. that way it really knows if you're actually struggling to beat a level.

Machu

#13

Machu said:

This is better than I could have imagined, trust Nintendo to find the perfect balance. I will never use it myself as I'd rather face the pain, but very glad this feature appeals to both crowds, wahoo!

JayArr

#14

JayArr said:

I have never quit in the face of a challenge .....never! I am so dissapointed in this.... When I was young and wanted to beat Ninja Gaiden I had to walk 3 miles and it was up hill both ways!

A-SWE

#15

A-SWE said:

Yay, now the games can play them selves and we dont have to do anything :D

Well, if it means more challenge for us experienced gamers im all for it :)

Knux

#16

Knux said:

So NSBW is actually going to be difficult because of this? Awesome! I won't be using the Super Guide feature, so this game will at least be challenging. :)

BulbasaurusRex

#17

BulbasaurusRex said:

I don't like this. I would much prefer easier levels that I can beat myself than let the CPU beat the harder levels for me.

I'm by no means a casual gamer, but I don't have as much skill as a lot of gamers, so whenever "challenging gameplay/levels" is mentioned in game descriptions, I know I'm not going to be able to beat the game without cheating, plus, whenever multiple difficulties are given, I usually prefer the easiest one (or occansionally the next highest), even after a lot of experience with the game. So, I don't want more challenging levels in Nintendo games. Sure, I can use the help system, but it's no fun to let the game beat itself. I'd prefer beating the game with cheats over that option.

HiroshiYamauchi

#18

HiroshiYamauchi said:

I can say that i'm a experienced gamer but i'm not too persistent when it comes to beat hard levels or bosses, if it become too frustrating i usually just let it go and play another game. I think this Guide Mode is very interesting.

SuperMarioFan1995

#19

SuperMarioFan1995 said:

Is this true???? 80 levels and a Guide Mode????

And the game will be much harder than the DS one without cheating, right?

Jave

#20

Jave said:

I like the fact that it only activates after losing several lives on a single level. At least that way new players can still try on their own, while experienced players probably won't see it.

ASDFGHJKL

#21

ASDFGHJKL said:

I knew this meant harder games.
I like that it activates after losing 8 times though/

pixelman

#22

pixelman said:

That is a brilliant system. I don't see how anyone can be annoyed with that. And 80 levels? Yeehaw!

SuperMarioFan1995

#23

SuperMarioFan1995 said:

I have 2 questions though. First how come they made the DS version a lot easier and that they are going to make the Wii sequel alot harder for gamers?

Starwolf_UK

#24

Starwolf_UK said:

Huh? I thought it wouldn't beat levels for you kind of making it like what happens when you die in Guardian Heroes Advance on the GBA (you could sell your soul to the devil and if you did you would become unable to die but couldn't gain any EXP and the game would end after the current stage so you use it to learn patterns and the like which will help you make progress but not actually progress).

But it beating levels is probably for the better plus I can avoid feeling patronized by using it selectively to skip parts I have trouble with.

Still this bit made my laugh:
the first Luigi run that I was shown ended prematurely when Super Guide Luigi died halfway through the level
I love it when demos go wrong.

derk711

#25

derk711 said:

i am not sold one bit... it's just a disappointment... make games hard. that's it. no hand holding please.

MrPanic

#26

MrPanic said:

Told you guys games would get harder because of this, I said it since the beginning.

I greatly approve higher difficulties in Ninty games, let's hope Galaxy has this system too.

Ren

#27

Ren said:

I guess I can see the appeal. if it means harder games, great.
@Bulbasaurus Rex
Your point actually made me reconsider, because I WANT harder games, but even in the extremely hard parts it sounds like this system would allow it to take over, even if just for a second to get past a hard part and then regain control; it seems like the best possible system you could have to please everybody and still maintain the control we all want. I don't think they're implying that you should let it play entire levels for you, but that you let it guide you just for the short bits that your stuck on and then you jump back on. If you're less a less skilled gamer, what more could you ask for? You can still do the harder levels mostly yourself.
As long as it can be easiily disabled after the 8-tries if you want, then it seems like it could be an ideal system for everyone.

warioswoods

#28

warioswoods said:

I think this could really be a brilliant solution to the problem of difficulty levels. No one wants to select the "easy" difficulty for their game file, and split the challenges up accordingly, but some people will get frustrated and give up, so why not give them a way to continue past the hard part rather than shelving the game indefinitely.

It's sort of like playing a difficult point-and-click adventure game, where you can get stuck on something minor (just can't find the right item or combination!) and completely lose your motivation to keep trying. In that case, you look up a walkthrough to solve your issue, but with a platformer you just need your little protagonist to make it through the tough spot.

Lotice-Paladin

#29

Lotice-Paladin said:

The obviously replayed The Lost Levels and thought "Ah! Maybe we could assist the player with this idea!" and created this. It's always good to know that you are covered...like insurance :P.

Objection

#30

Objection said:

Seems like this is mostly a counter to so-called "chokepoints" and thus I am in favor of such a feature, especially if it is done right, which it seems to be with NSMBWii...

Bakajin

#31

Bakajin said:

Sweet—anything that leads to harder Mario games I am all for.

Hmm, I think maybe it's time to boot up SMB2j and die a bunch of times.

MetalMario

#32

MetalMario said:

What's the point of a hard game if they give you help? I say meh. Can you turn it off?

orlick

#36

orlick said:

I'm sorry but Nintendo is smart as hell.

They are ALWAYS thinking outside of the box and making crap like this - how cool was the 2nd hand in Mario Galaxy? And this is even more cooler.

Starkiller

#37

Starkiller said:

The idea of making the computer control your character is, I think, absurd. Even if you're a less experienced gamer, you still wouldn't want the computer doing the dirty work for you - it feels like cheating! For those who do struggle, how about giving infinite lives or temporary invincibility instead?

AVahne

#38

AVahne said:

A.W.E.S.O.M.E! I won't be using the help guide but making the games harder? nice move Nintendo, especially since players from all 3 consoles are saying games are getting easier

Kid_A

#39

Kid_A said:

Sounds cool to me. If it means Nintendo makes their games more challenging then I'm in!

warioswoods

#41

warioswoods said:

8 does seem like a rather high number of required failures. I'm sure many less-talented gamers will throw the controller down after falling in a pit 5 or 6 times in a row.

@Diddley

In the linked article, they noted that they died all their 5 lives, continued, then died several more on the level, and that counted. So, it seems like 8 failures on a level period, whether or not you hit a Game Over screen in between.

BulbasaurusRex

#42

BulbasaurusRex said:

@Ren - the problem is, if this game is going to be even harder than the NES/SNES Mario games, then by the time I get halfway through the game or even sooner, I'm not going to be able to do much of anything without the help system for the rest of the game. Maybe the later games are easier, since I haven't played 64 or Sunshine, and I've only played the beginning of Galaxy (I hate those ever-changing camera angles that make me play sideways or upside-down over half the time), so that they're just going back to the difficulty of the earlier games. In that case, it wouldn't be so bad. Basically, I'd prefer a game that's a little easier than SMB1.

luigiman2

#43

luigiman2 said:

Sometimes, I stop playing games because the next level is so hard. Now, Nintendo is finaly fixing that problem!

ToneDeath

#44

ToneDeath said:

There should be an option to turn the feature off completely, and/or some sort of reward for using it less.
Still, although I had my doubts, this is starting to sound more and more like a good idea to me. Now players can see all of the game they've paid a hefty sum for, while for those that want it there's a bit of the challenge factor missing from too many games these days.

Games that seemed to be on autopilot was something to lament; now we have a game that IS on autopilot, and we can rejoice. Trust Nintendo.

Aviator

#45

Aviator said:

But, if you use it, take control, then die again. Does that mean you have to die 8 more times for it to become available?

dgold

#47

dgold said:

So I can just WATCH the game, without actually being bothered to press buttons and move around? That could be very awesome and relaxing. Kind of like a game, that is a movie. This is better than Motion Plus or Natal. This is like, Motion Free.

CanisWolfred

#48

CanisWolfred said:

I can honestly say I'll need this...I honestly suck at pretty much every Mario Game out there, except for Super Mario Sunshine, which also happens to be one of the few Mario games I actually like.

Bass_X0

#49

Bass_X0 said:

I couldn't be bothered to do the rollercoaster boss so thats where my game ended.

FantasiaWHT

#50

FantasiaWHT said:

The ultimate in laziness - now you don't even have to expend the fraction of a calorie it takes to press buttons!

CanisWolfred

#51

CanisWolfred said:

I'm surprised people are so worked up over a game having an option to make it easier. You don't hear people complain this much when other games have an easy mode. Suck it up, people, it's not like you're forced to use it!

timp29

#52

timp29 said:

Hahah, what if the 'guide'/computer controlled character can't beat the game?? lol
Does this mean that the game is totally preprogrammed and has no enemy AI?? :(

StarDust4Ever

#53

StarDust4Ever said:

Although this sounds like a good idea, it opens up a whole new caan of worms. Expect to see a lot of deliberate suicide/death abuse :O As the faithful fanboy I am still getting this game. I just hope they don't "dumb down" Super Mario Galaxy II B-)

I had read about this Nintendo patent a long time ago. The game reacts to the user's playing style to adjust the difficulty accordingly. This ramped difficulty curve could make speed-running the game exceedingly difficult, or for lazy players who just want to cheat and enjoy the cinematic visuals, the game could most likely be beaten easily by using the half-donkey approach of deliberately playing very badly :P

Either way, abusing the smart/dumb AI engine in game could make for some very entertaining youtube videos :D

retro_player_22

#55

retro_player_22 said:

Didn't Nintendo had this feature a long time ago, in a game called "Tetris Attack?" In that game you could potentially had the computer play through all your puzzle opponents for you while you write down the passwords after each one and cheat your way to the final level. I mean I was able to reach Bowser in VS. Mode in Tetris Attack in the Super Hard difficulty using the CPU feature, of course I didn't get the ending but I did get the password to face him for real to earn the real ending.

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