News Article

Soapbox: The Nintendo Wi-Fi Disconnection Reminds Us Why Local Multiplayer Still Matters

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Tom Whitehead goes on about online multiplayer's pitfalls, like an old man

I was disappointed to learn about Nintendo switching off online play on the Wii and DS; at the time I was on a short break spending some time with my family and, funnily enough, getting ready for some memory-jogging multiplayer gaming with my older brother. Growing up playing games in co-op or hotly-contested competitive multiplayer — not really, when I was young my brother mostly won! — remains a treasured memory, and playing games with others is an important part of getting the most from this hobby of ours.

Of course in the '90s it was all offline play, with the internet an expensive extravagance that, by modern standards, was outrageously slow and unreliable. To our younger readers I'd suggest you may not have an appreciation for how different times were, simply because you weren't there; hardly your fault, of course. Smartphones didn't exist, and if you wanted to know something you wouldn't Google it, but ask people face to face, or go to a library, or find an old magazine, or just not know the release date of that particularly obscure Japanese beat 'em up.

I won't say they were 'better' times, but they sure were simpler. If you bought a game on a cartridge the content was all right there, you'd shove it into the system and play it; I'm aware this has been said before, and you may be picturing me with a pipe and slippers at this point. I also reckon that if Nintendo had a time machine — possibly phase two of the QOL platform, but probably not — it'd go back to that era when all it had to do was make a game, release it to obliging high street retailers and not worry about all this online malarkey.

Of course, my rose-tinted memories of playing games with my older brother and parents — yes, they were cool and played games with us — aren't applicable to everyone, and in fact without online multiplayer I'd rarely play games with others right now; you can play the world's smallest violin for me if you like. In recent months I've played Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate with fellow NLifers, took part in the Mario Kart 7 community night and a few months ago even played Splinter Cell: Blacklist(!) online co-op with a friend in Germany. I don't play many shootey-shootey-bang-bang games competitively online because I'm a)rubbish and would be called a noob and more offensive things and b)I don't want to.

Yet still, playing online is becoming an increasingly indispensable part of gaming, in some ways a wonderful thing albeit with the downsides of trolling and cyber bullying that can creep into some experiences. What we all need to remember, though, is that we're not in control of online gaming — that's in the hands of publishers and their partners, as the Wii and DS situation demonstrates. Perhaps the upcoming shutdown on 20th May is due to external issues with the providers, or it's entirely possible that it's a strategic choice by Nintendo, but either way it's disappointing. In truth games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl had lag-fests online in any case, but the loss of online multiplayer in both Mario Kart entries may sting more. While a decent number of us have long since upgraded to 3DS and Wii U and left last-gen games behind for just the occasional visit, there are some for whom they'll still be a valuable source of entertainment — the upcoming absence of online kart racing will be noticed.

Of course, those games have local multiplayer alternatives, and perhaps this Wii / DS shutdown — whether it affects us much or not — provides a reminder that we should be cautious of 'progress' towards an all-online world. The web and connectivity are fantastic tools for bringing people together, but they're finite in ways that physical goods often aren't. Our old cartridges and systems may stop working as they age, but that's a natural process, whereas online play can be switched off at any time by third-parties. Nintendo gamers have been relatively sheltered from this, but it's common with annual franchises that online services are taken offline after a few years, ultimately to push you into buying new products. That may be part of Nintendo's thinking, for all we know — Mario Kart 8 lands shortly after the switch off — and it was clearly Capcom's masterplan when it took Monster Hunter Tri's online Wii play away.

With Nintendo games at the moment we often have both local and online multiplayer or often, as with the riotous fun in Super Mario 3D World, local only. When local multiplayer is an option then the loss of online servers is lessened, but we are sleepwalking into a world where online-only will be a reality — look no further than upcoming FPS Titanfall on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. It'll have no single player mode (story elements will apparently be in the online component) and there'll be no local multiplayer. It's online or nothing, and it's reportedly already cancelled in South Africa due to poor connectivity in the country.

So what? It's simple, in 3-5 years, when new titles in that series have arrived and numbers are dwindling, the servers may be shut down. Titanfall owners could be left with an utterly worthless piece of software, unless the developers are benevolent enough to provide a patch that allows offline play against bots, but we wouldn't hold our breath.

Nintendo gets teased for its focus on local multiplayer, some say it's in the stone age, but we'll still be playing Super Mario 3D World in 20 years, and we may even bust out our 'retro' 3DS' years from now for a bit of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate or current favourite Steel Diver: Sub Wars for a bit of multiplayer — all while sitting on the same couch. That's assuming our download copies of Sub Wars haven't been remotely locked from our devices to force us to buy a newer version, as downloads are essentially 'licensed' rather than owned; let's hope that sort of cynical apocalypse never comes to pass.

Game companies, including Nintendo, aren't necessarily cartoon villains with no arguments in their favour — servers cost money, and when that investment isn't worthwhile they're entitled to pull the plug. It feels too early and all-encompassing in the case of the Wii and DS, however, and the only thing stopping it causing an enormous uproar is that so few games on those systems actually have notable online play. It'll be something else altogether should similar moves happen with the Nintendo Network on Wii U and 3DS in future, while war bunkers may be required for Sony and Microsoft executives should they ever apply a wholesale online shutdown of Xbox 360 and PS3. We doubt saying "the PS Store / Xbox Arcade are still available" would do them any favours.

I enjoy playing games online, and I think Nintendo should do more of it. But don't take away local multiplayer, and we should enjoy the supposedly antiquated feature — when I have the option to play in the same room with others I'll take it every time. You can't nudge someone's arm online, you can't (easily) call them questionable names for them to get the joke and laugh with you, and you can't share that almost indescribable bond that can only happen when you can hear each other's frantic button mashing. Even if I could play Super Mario 3D World online, or Streets of Rage 2 with my family a few hundred miles away, I'd rather be in the same room. It's not always an option, but it's worth the wait.

Besides, video game companies give us online play and they take it away. We have zero control over it. We can, however, control whether we find like-minded people with whom to share a couch.

Image 3 credit: Gamespot

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User Comments (81)

StarDust4Ever

#1

StarDust4Ever said:

All good things must come to an end. RIP MK Wii... :'(

That said, without online multiplayer to distract me, I may finally have motivation to complete the Grand Prix mode... ;)

GuSolarFlare

#2

GuSolarFlare said:

people and companies should try to find a balance between old and new, picking values of the past that are healthy/useful while adding the ease of modern methods. for games that aren't "single player only" having both online and offline modes should be a standard and having multiplayer for both online and offline is always welcome.

nesvc

#4

nesvc said:

Great article. The more attention brought to this the better. I will refuse to buy games that are online only.

electrolite77

#7

electrolite77 said:

"I enjoy playing games online, and I think Nintendo should do more of it"

That's the crux. Of course, keep local options but not at the expense of online. Local multiplayer is easy to set up if you're a child or a student but I'm not alone in finding that as an adult things like jobs, partners and children make it impractical. I also doubt I'm alone in having moved away from the friends I used to play games with. For some of us online is the only option unfortunately, something Nintendo really need to be aware of as at the minute their approach to online is another facet of their operation that says "oh you've grown up now? We're not interested in you".

WiiULoveSquid

#8

WiiULoveSquid said:

Great read, Thomas. Many gamer-consumers today say pretty much one main thing: Does it have online? Back in the 90s we used to ask: Is it two-player? Two options dearly important to people.

It's just a fact that launch sales primarily dictate a games direction and features. What do people want in a new game so it will sell at release? The discussion however for old games is an interesting one that can be approached from many sides like business factors to simply appreciation and the legacies that can come from that.
To compare it to film, we just may have to think of online components in video games or online only like they are theater releases, just there for a limited time until the next titles replace that experience basically forever.

Einherjar

#9

Einherjar said:

Nintendo consoles are the prime example why local multiplayer is way more intense than anything online. Nothing beats havng a bunch of friends crowding around the TV and playing Smash Bros, Mario Kart etc together.
You just cant emulate that online, with or without friends.

oreqano

#10

oreqano said:

One way this could be solved is actually by using the strengths of the Internet. When servers are at consideration to be shut down, the developers should keep in close contact with that particular community. Give them a chance to run their own servers officially. I certainly don't understand the full logistics concerned here, but there are many talented and passionate fans who have these abilities and skills. As much as I am a full believer in local play, I would hate to see "oline-only" games fade away. Take "Rust" as a proven example of how great an online experience can be. In this case meeting people in the servers is part of the fun. Not knowing if you can trust that man with the bolt action rifle who insists he's friendly. I enjoyed your article!

Dezsi

#11

Dezsi said:

This is the first time I've heard that games exist or will be existing are tied to their dedicated servers being online. That really is just wrong, and I'd hate to see gaming go in this direction.

For instance, it has only been recently that I bought games at launch — most every other time, I bought it years after they were released, because that's when I thought I wanted to spend the money on it, or maybe I found a good deal on some. Also, since I'm not a kid anymore, I don't jump into the games the instant I buy them, rather, it is mostly only after a couple of months after I bought them that I actually begin playing with them (I just like to have them, so that they are at my disposal when they need to be). So let's say that such an online-only game will be available for 5 years before the servers shut down — without anyone knowing in advance how much time the game has, of course --, I buy it three year after release, don't touch it for a long time, because I just won't have the time, and by the time I want to begin playing the game, it's already worthless data.

That's just wrong. Some may say that I have incorrect/ancient consumption habits and that everyone must come to terms with the fact that games in the future may have an expiry date just as meat does. But one of the things I love about video games is that I can revisit them whenever I feel like and have the time. None of the games I own expired; I can play every one of them on the original consoles I bought them for.

rjejr

#12

rjejr said:

I think instead of being labeled "Soapbox" you should have prefaced this one with "Lament". Maybe even "TW's Lament" :-) (Disclaimer: While I was reading this CSNY's "Woodstock" was playing on Pandora so I think it affected my mood. Go read the lyrics if you don't know them. Though you probably all know the song, its that hippie music your parents used to listen to. Followed now by Dylans "Like a Rolling Stone", also fitting).

Nice Sunday morning drinking tea read. I've been playing videogames for 20 years but never online, and a lot of multiplayer offline since I have kids, and they're tied at the hip now w/ Minecraft on PS3. Two boys 2 1/2 years apart who will always have videogames, if not much else as they're completely different. But I am glad to know they'll be able to play online multiplayer when they get older and go off to college and beyond.

One thing I didn't like about the Wii is it's lack of online multiplayer. My kid's cousins live hundreds of miles away in other stays, and they all have Wii's and play games like Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, and the kids would all love to play those games together, but they can't b/c they are offline only, so we occasionally send Wii Chat 10 seconds messages and thats it. And while I'm glad Wii U Sports Club has online, nobody else we know has a Wii U, and I'm not talking anybody else into buying 1 at the moment.

One glaring omission to me in this piece is the Wii Mini, which not only doesn't have ANY online, but Nintendo is packaging it w/ MK Wii (US). So yes, maybe there are outside forces at work here w/ the online multiplayer being turned off on Wii, but Nintendo already turned it off last year w/ the Wii Mini, which they sadly, ironically, package w/ MK Wii.

So yes, I think Nintendo deserves all the credit in the world for making offline multiplayer - I don't think we ever would have had a 4 player Ratchet & Clank w/o Nintendo - but they should still add online. It does looks like w/ 3DS and Wii U they are improving. If they make a Pokemon "toy" game w/ online and cross play on Wii U and 3DS they'll own the market, and every $ of every parent on the planet.

"I was disappointed to learn about Nintendo switching off online play on the Wii and DS;"

And finally, thank you very much for typing out "online play" rather than the shorter, and incorrect "wi-fi". As long as the Wii Shop works the Wii still has wi-fi.

Teach your children well.

Nintenjoe64

#13

Nintenjoe64 said:

Local MP is the reason I have so many great memories of Nintendo consoles. It all started with taking turns on Duck Hunt and Mario before becoming 2 player simultaneous with the SNES and 4 player with the N64. The only thing I wish Nintendo would improve upon (with the Wii U) is combining local and online. CoD on Wii U handles this fantastically. I don't want MK8 to have the same system of only one profile to be able to play at any one time. Friends much prefer to play with their own Mii with their own score rather than sharing or just being a guest. Wii U Sports doesn't fill me with confidence that Nintendo will get the online perfect for MK8. Having to switch NNID profiles at the Wii U menu just to play the game as another profile is a step back.

Ren

#14

Ren said:

Nicely written article, I agree on almost all fronts. Some of my fondest memories stem from the classic 007 (goldeneye) N64 days when local 4 player was everyones obsession.
I only see a hint of some paranoia in the part where there is mention of this "remotely locked from our devices to force us...".
That is an entirely different issue than online multiplayer and reveals the basic paranoid, 'old mans' take on all of this. The idea that publishers will retroactively lock down random titles in the distant future for unknown reasons is ridiculous, even if technically possible. It hasn't happened to date and I couldn't see it ever happening for anything but legal reasons. And if it does, so what? Part of the online experience is about speed and convenience, and in many cases costs/prices. By it's nature that's because of it's fundamental lack of physical storage, thats just how it is.
The license that we use is ALWAYS the publishers whether we have a cart or not. Surely no one will show up to confiscate the game cart if there is a legal or even promotional issue with it, but there are fundamental ways that the consumer experience is changing and that just comes with the times. Buying/keeping really old used games (that were never retailed to you) can only really be equated in a modern context with owning bootleg digital copies/torrents/roms and this is no small phenomenon, obviously. I won't take a stance on that per se but I'm just saying that if the usefulness of your 20 year old copy of Ace Attorney is at issue you just can't blame Capcom if they wanted to pull it it's their right, and the digital world means that it's likely you could still get it somewhere on the internet rather than paying $200 for it used so you can have that piece of plastic to sign and say that it's all "yours"; it means nothing, it's not yours, it never was. If either solution (ROMS, ancient carts) works for your archive in 20-50 yrs, that's great but it's not an internet conspiracy, its the changing nature of media.

Emblem

#15

Emblem said:

I brought my Wii U because i knew Nintendo would have lots of local co-op games and asymmetric mp. Each weekend i visit my brother or have friends over to play local co-op, during the week i manage to convince my partner to have some local games as well. Other than that its solo or online play on my PS4 or PC.

Without a doubt most of my enjoyment in gaming comes from local co-op and it will be a very sad day when almost everything is online only. That said to please the masses it wouldn't hurt if Nintendo made more online games, however there is no point doing tacked on modes that bring nothing to or change the dynamic of said game.

astroshamu

#17

astroshamu said:

I hardly play online portions of games. Online games you put in all this effort for it to just disappear one day. I think we should have the option to run our own servers for games. I run a minecraft server for my friends and family and since I run it I can start it up whenever. I may turn it off someday in the distant future but if wanted I can start it back up whenever

MrGawain

#18

MrGawain said:

I would suggest online play is only as good as A: How good and game is, B: the internet connection you have, C: who there is actually to play with, and D: the internet connection the other players have. If any one of these things is poor, then the game goes out the window.

unrandomsam

#19

unrandomsam said:

Local Multiplayer is ok when everyone has a console each (And TV).

It could be tons better if there was also the possibility to run a local server.

(Allowing anyone to run their own dedicated server should be the done thing.)

Hardly anybody does consistently other than Valve though. (And ironically they are the people who need to the least as they keep stuff up indefinitely).

I am not into local multiplayer where different players have different control methods at all. (I suppose it is possible but it requires so much more effort in order for it to be balanced properly that it is so unlikely to be done well that it might as well be considered impossible).

brewsky

#20

brewsky said:

Titanfall on Xbox 360 will be shut down in 2 and a half years. Guaranteed. Because Xbox Live Service on the 360 will be shut down at the end of 2016.

Why would anyone buy a game that you won't be able to play in 2 and a half years?

_Error

#21

_Error said:

BREAKING NEWS: Mario Kart 8 won't have online multiplayer. Nintendo wants to keep the SNES experience.

(just kidding :P, good article!)

unrandomsam

#22

unrandomsam said:

@brewsky Mario Kart Wii is even worse they are still selling it (From e.g the official Nintendo Store or were very recently). But they are cutting the multiplayer from it in a few months.

brewsky

#23

brewsky said:

@unrandomsam But you can still play Mario Kart Wii when the online is turned off. Once Titanfall's servers are cut, you won't be able to play the game AT ALL.

WanderingPB

#24

WanderingPB said:

My son and I play local co-op from MarioKart Wii to Wonderful 101 and online play from Kid Icarus to Pokemon X/Y…each experience is great but being able to play local co-op has its special charm and honestly its our preferred choice because like my son has told me its more fun when we're next to each other…and for that im very greatful to Nintendo

Action51

#25

Action51 said:

I barely used the online features of my Wii, and the browser was terrible.

However, I've heard that the reasons behind shutting down Wii and DS online play has more to do with decisions being made with the company that provided the service and servers on those platforms.

It's a convoluted story of companies switching ownership and maintaining particular infrastructure elements, but It appears that Nintendo was pushed to make this decision earlier then they might have otherwise...that's not to say Nintendo didn't have the option to toss more money at the aging infrastructure under new management, but they decided to instead focus on their current online infrastructure instead.

Kirk

#26

Kirk said:

It really does show why local multi-player is very important and especially so on these modern digital/online-centric consoles BUT that doesn't excuse Nintendo for the total lack of online multi-player in so many of it's games either.

Modern games that have multi-player really should have BOTH, when possible and where it makes sense, because that's the best all-round solution for all consumers and gamers.

I just wish Nintendo would understand that.

unrandomsam

#28

unrandomsam said:

@Kirk Best solution for consumers is proper local multiplayer (Link cables between systems so there is no degraded experience.) Dedicated Server. (Gives piece of mind).

Best solution for companies is turn it off at any time for any reason. Never give the customer anything to make sure that if it is no longer profitable for you then they can keep enjoying what they bought from you.

Kirk

#29

Kirk said:

@unrandomsam

The best multi-player solution for the consumers is to simply have the CHOICE between BOTH (local and online).

crazycrazydave

#30

crazycrazydave said:

Local multiplayer will always be a better experience than online for me. Even when i am playing on pc, which the games could have servers as long as the community pays for them and plays the game. Online only multiplayer is always a negative in my books without a LAN or a splitscreen option.

GalacticMario28

#31

GalacticMario28 said:

I agree that local multiplayer is more fun than online multiplayer could ever be, and I would hate to see Nintendo go with an 'online only' approach. I actually plan to play a bit of Super Mario 3D World with my family in a couple of weeks when I'm on my spring break.

While I don't think it would hurt for Nintendo to have more games with online multiplayer, I do think they should be cautious about which games will and won't have it. While there are some people who would choose local over online in a heartbeat, I think there are a lot more who, if given the choice, would choose online every time simply because of its convenience; even if local and online were options, they would get so used to the convenience of online play that they would never bother to invite friends or family over to play together locally, even if they found that more fun than online play. I believe there are some games for which online multiplayer is a necessity, like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., but other games for which local should be the only option, such as 3D World, so gamers will actually get to experience the amazing local multiplayer and not dismiss it in favor of the more convenient but probably less fun option. In short, I say online and local for some games, local only for others.

sinalefa

#32

sinalefa said:

Although I favor offline over online (in about a 90% to 10% ratio), I agree that all multiplayer games should have both. What I don't get is how Nintendo can sometimes nail the online (Mario Kart) while in other times it will be laggy (SSBB) or non existent.

What I just hope is that today's kids don't miss the chance we had (and some of us still have) to have friends around them to play games with, because they only care about online games.

I was at the theater yesterday and while the movie began I saw everyone checking their cell phones, whether 10 years ago they would have felt compelled to talk to each other to pass the time until the movie started.

erv

#33

erv said:

Well, they are two entirely different things. I agree one will never exclude the other. I love both.

Senario

#34

Senario said:

Generally agree. Local play is important to me. A while ago I wanted to pick up dead island because a zombie rpg sounded fun but upon learning there was no local multiplayer and I couldn't play with my brother I simply didn't get the game. Online only sucks.

AlbertoC

#35

AlbertoC said:

Great article, Thomas. I completely agree with various of your points.

The most important thing about local multiplayer is the friday night gatherings with friends. Smash Bros + 4 controllers + snacks = we won't sleep before 4:00a. That definitely won't be the same with online play.

brewsky

#36

brewsky said:

@unrandomsam What the main concern here is how this is handled. So Mario Kart Wii is still being sold? So what? It isn't wrong to do that. Besides, MKW is bundled with the Wii Mini that has no internet capabilities whatsoever. So it's not deception. People that get this game now are either 1) Getting it with the Wii Mini or 2) Getting this game really late and should understand that some features are not supported (like tournaments).

However, Microsoft is not involved in this whatsoever. They are not developing nor publishing the game. EA is publishing it. So EA is publishing a game for a platform knowing full well that it will be impossible to play in 2.5 years.

Look, Nintendo has made some bad mistakes, but they're not stupid. Even if the whole server thing is a rumor, do you really think Nintendo would give a four month notice for discontinuing an extremely key service? Let's at least give them the benefit of the doubt.

I know it sucks, but I still think EA is being more deceptive than Nintendo. Of course, you're entitled to your opinion. Just wanted to let you know mine.

Rafie

#38

Rafie said:

I agree about local multiplayer. It surprises me that there are games out today that don't support local multiplayer. That should be automatic in every game that has a relevant genre for more than 1 player. Online co-op is something that needs to be explored more as well. Some games have it, and some games don't.

Rafie

#41

Rafie said:

@FullbringIchigo lol Same difference here. My daughters use it for their Wii. I sure as heck ain't letting them near my other consoles either. Hehehe

unrandomsam

#42

unrandomsam said:

@brewsky If they had said 2 years ago it will shutdown in May then I think I would be more ok about it. Never realised it was EA. (I didn't even know it was on the 360 thought it was an xbone exclusive). I just think stopping selling something and then only then giving an EOL at some point in the future is a fair way to do things.

ToastyYogurt

#43

ToastyYogurt said:

I was reminded how much more enjoyable local multiplayer could be over online play when I went to a sort of "Game-a-thon" event and played some Smash 64 with some strangers. My opponents were nice and playful, and we had a lot of good laughs, like when I got really close to defeating the master player of our group, 1 life each, just me and him.... and I accidentally stepped on my own land mine and flew clean off the stage. :D We ended up getting the entire room's attention from our shock and laughter.

Almost made me want to open up a place where people could just get together and play video games. Online play doesn't give you that kind of intimacy, you aren't in the same room with your opponents, and sometimes your opponents are so disconnected as fellow players trying to have fun that they continually call others on the server names. That is, if the game has voice chat at all (I'm okay with it not being there for that reason).

That's why when I usually play games online, it's mostly because I'm alone and the alternative is playing against CPU players, i.e. MarioKart or Smash, or I'm playing online alongside friends. And I've never really gotten into the whole "Deathmatch" craze. :P

FX29

#44

FX29 said:

Local multi-player is always more important to me. Nothing beats playing games with your buddies, and having a good time.

Dark-Link73

#45

Dark-Link73 said:

I bought Battlefield 4 for the 360 for only $25 back on Black Friday, but when I found out it doesn't have local multi I returned it. One reason is because I refuse to pay for online access on my console; but most importantly (maybe because I saw and experienced the beginnings of console gaming), because to me local multi is far more valuable and fulfilling than what online multi will ever be. I rather play local and be with friends and gamily in the same room than play with bunch of strangers that at the end of the say end up being nothing but rude, annoying, hackers, glitch abusers, rage quitters, spoiled rotten brats.

Of course most players (at least on the Nintendo Network) are not like that, but I prefer actual human interaction than speaking through a mic (if that, most people don't).

AshFoxX

#46

AshFoxX said:

I have been saying exactly this since shortly after Dreamcast was discontinued around 2002. I never rely on online multiplayer for anything, I'm stuck in a reality where I regularly blow dust off games from 25 years ago, and play them with friends. As someone who always looks back, I learned the value of local multiplayer fairly early on. I don't even get digital copies (outside of steam) if I can help it, for fear the drive will fail after the servers have been shut down.

noctowl

#48

noctowl said:

In December I moved out of state from all my friends and family. Local multiplayer is worthless to me now, regardless of the good times it brought when I was a kid. Online is the only way I can play games with my brothers. So instead of playing Mario or DK online on wii u, we play ps3 games online.

Nintendo needs to get it's act together. "Mario and DK wouldn't work online" is complete bull.

DarkKirby

#49

DarkKirby said:

Look, there is nothing wrong with local multiplayer, but to say it even close to out prioritizes online multiplayer is simply not true. Online multiplayer is VERY, VERY important for many games and local multiplayer will NEVER be an acceptable substitute in comparison.

SakuraHaruka

#51

SakuraHaruka said:

Online Multiplayer or Local Multiplayer?, both have positive and negative points, now, well, Online Multiplayer has years, but it can tell it's yet something recent (a comparison of local multiplayer), however, the evolution in the games support that online multiplayer be substantial, mandatory in almost all games nowadays.
For me, if a game don't have online multiplayer, well, no problem, but, I cannot deny the fact that if some kind of games have online multiplayer, prolong their life (Mario Kart, the example most know, xD), and of course, it's fun ^.^
The important thing is that a game provides fun, no matter if that game lacks any of these multiplayer modes.

JaxonH

#52

JaxonH said:

@rjejr

Hey, I got something in the mail yesterday.... brand new DK Jungle Beat and bongo controllers ;)

Probably won't have time to delve into it for a while, but it's here. And it's on my to-do list...

JaxonH

#53

JaxonH said:

To me, online multiplayer isn't as fun, but it's much more practical. Local multiplayer is by far the funnest experience, but it's not easy to find people to play with nowadays, especially if you're not a kid anymore. I live with my younger brother, and he STILL never gets around to playing co-op with me. So yeah, I value local more, but online is really the way to go nowadays.

Granted, that's only for certain games. Platformers like 3D World and DKC, no, I don't care about having online. Online leaderboards and time trial video uploads exceed all expectations, and will do just fine for me. The only Wii U game released thus far that I feel should have had online, but didn't, was Nintendoland. In any case, I don't play online often. MH3U, yes. CoD, yes. Mario Kart, Smash and X, yes yes and yes. But that's not to say I won't be spending countless hours in the single player offline modes. And you best believe my brother WILL be playing co-op with me in Mario Kart, even if I have to strap him down in a chair to do it. Or, ya know, he could buy the game also and we could play online, even though he's in the room next to mine.

Boxmonkey

#54

Boxmonkey said:

I bet playstation will still be supporting the ps3 online for the next five years. I'm a huge nintendo fan but we all need to realise that they are so far behind the rest when it comes to online. If things don't change they won't last another generation.

MrMario02

#55

MrMario02 said:

I agree. Nowadays, everything is about online. No one bought Metroid Other M just for that reason. =/

Nintendo_Ninja

#56

Nintendo_Ninja said:

I like a combination of single player, co-op, and online multiplayer in my games. With the absence of just one of these essential modes, the game feels that it is lacking. I don't think that it is too early to shut down online services for the DS though. Mariokart DS came out in 2005 people. 2005!

ajcismo

#57

ajcismo said:

Couldn't possibly care less if a game is online or not. I know I'm in the minority on this but playing against people online lost its luster years ago. Much prefer single campaigns with the occasional local multi-player if the wife and I have people over.

mystman12

#58

mystman12 said:

I completely agree. Online is great, but there's nothing like local multiplayer. Even when the servers are gone, you can still play locally with friends. This reminds me of this one time my brother got a Need For Speed game for Christmas. He and my Dad like playing NFS together, but nope! That game only had online multiplayer. That's just stupid, and no excuse, whether it's because the graphics won't be as good on multiplayer, or because they ran out of time is acceptable in a game like that. EA never did add it in an update, either, at least the last I heard. Games like Kirby Air Ride and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon though, will always have multiplayer, no matter what happens. I mean, imagine how horrible it would be if KAR was online only. There is no way I'd still be able to play it with my friends today, those servers would be long gone. Thing is, online still would be a great addition, (In fact, the game does have LAN, but that requires extra attachments and stuff) but not a good replacement.

sdcazares1980

#59

sdcazares1980 said:

No argument about the importance of local multiplayer, but nobody is saying that having both online and local are mutually exclusive.

unrandomsam

#60

unrandomsam said:

@Nintendo_Ninja Yeah but say Amazon only stopped selling Mario Kart DS about 2 weeks ago. Nintendo was making money from it for new sales up until then. A tiny fraction of the money should be used making sure everybody (Even those who bought it 3 weeks ago) get a fair deal.

MadAdam81

#61

MadAdam81 said:

One thing I love about the gamepad is dual screen local multiplayer - of course, I like how Blops 2 allows dual screen multiplayer for online as well.
Wii U is also future proof against HDMI going obsolete thanks to off tv play.

unrandomsam

#63

unrandomsam said:

@MadAdam81 It is not a fair game though if both players don't have the same controls. 2 Gamepad's might have been ok but nothing supports it and the framerate is halved. (They could have got around that by allowing a wire as an option).

kyuubikid213

#64

kyuubikid213 said:

Of course, no one else sees this. By no one else, I mean other gamers.

Once the servers for games with no local multiplayer go off, they'll defend it to the death as I defend games with local multiplayer and no online and buy the newest game.

Really though, I'm only upset with games that don't have local, but have online. I can't play some of my brother's 360 games with him simply because they only have online multiplayer. If a game has local and no online, it's blasphemy. If it's the other way around, no one cares.

Marioman64

#65

Marioman64 said:

any game with online multiplayer only and no local multiplayer is moronic and the designers that made that decision need to be smacked very hard

technotreegrass

#66

technotreegrass said:

I love Nintendo's local multiplayer options. Of all my 360 and PS3 games with multiplayer, I can't bring any of them to my friends' houses because they're all online-only. We either play recent Nintendo games or retro games.

DarkKirby

#67

DarkKirby said:

@MadAdam81
I'm not sure how it applies the other way around but let my make my point clear. There is nothing wrong with having local multiplayer, but it is never an excuse or reason to not have, or replacement for a good online multiplayer. Fact is A LOT more people find it more convenient to play with others without having to plan and meet up in person. Games like Call of Duty (and other FPS games), LoL, Starcraft 2 (even with its DRM), didn't get to where they are by having a crappy or nonexistent online multiplayer and requiring people to meet up in real life to play together. They didn't get to where they are by intentionally preventing communication between players with stuff like Friend Codes and no chat, or policies telling people to not play games with others on Miiverse.

Diddy_kong

#68

Diddy_kong said:

To me Smash Bros. represents some of the best multiplayer out there, let alone local multiplayer. Playing that on the couch with some buddies is something that few other games can match.

Senario

#69

Senario said:

@Diddy_kong I do hope it allows for competitive play this time unlike brawl (sorry brawl lovers.)

I'm not asking for wavedashing back, that I don't care so much about. More hitstun, melee like grab system (so one grab isn't always chaining into another for only characters like brawl falco), one airdodge so you don't just spam the button and have to think about dodging(like you do on the ground). And partial landing lag canceling so slower characters have a better chance against extremely fast characters (L canceling in melee). All of these are important in their own way for Smash bros specifically.

This in no way interferes with a group of friends playing just for kicks just like how competitive Marvel vs Capcom doesn't interfere with people playing just for fun.

InsertTokenz

#70

InsertTokenz said:

Although it depends on the type of game to determine the type(s) of multiplayer options which best support the gameplay, the idyllic general solution for most games I feel should be providing local and online multiplayer with the later option granting players the direct ability to host their own servers in order to play. Official dedicated servers could be provided by the dev/publisher if they so chose, but should they ever decide to shut them down at any point, at least the players won't be denied the online option entirely.

Sure it will likely be costly and time consuming to implement, but at least players then can have peace of mind knowing the games they invest in won't suffer from diminishing returns in the overall experience, and in turn be received more favorably and maintain a more memorable lifespan.

Otherwise, just give me offline local multiplayer. I always love playing that way when I can. :)

AlexSora89

#72

AlexSora89 said:

While Brawl's Sandbag-beating online play is hardly something I'll miss, I have to say Nintendo has started to show its internet-related claws only recently, what with the Nintendo Network ID and Pokémon X and Y's outstanding online capabilities. Other than that, it still has a lot to learn from PS3 and Xbox 360. I own a 360 myself, and I have to admit that while having to pay a monthly fee (a kinda hefty one, at that) for online play is something that never fails to get my head shaking, the fact that full games are given away as freebies twice a month is a sight to behold as well. Sure, Nintendo's multiplayer is always a delight with such titles as Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, but the company's unfavorable comparisons with others' online play needn't to be glorified, either.

rjejr

#74

rjejr said:

@JaxonH - "brand new DK Jungle Beat and bongo controllers ;)"

Have your deodorant handy, you're going to work up a sweat ;-) Oh, and when you are supposed to "clap" you can just yell, saves a little wear and tear on the flesh. There was another trick for hitting the sides of the bongos but I can't recall. Maybe I'll have the boys take it back out and force them to take a break from Minecraft. They can use the exercise.

MegaAdam

#75

MegaAdam said:

I totally agree. I hate that games now aren't complete out of the box; and that hey will one day (in the relatively near future) be rendered obsolete. Sports titles these days often have their servers deactivated in little more than a year, and unpopular titles can shut down even sooner.

Meanwhile, all of my games from the GameCube era and before still play exactly as they did the day I got them. Funny that.

However, this deactivation is making me plot some epic Wii and DS online gaming in the near future.

Shambo

#76

Shambo said:

Local is often fun, laughing and quite a few great memories. Online is way more often frustrating, foul talk and -play, and stopping angrier than you were before. Or if it goes well, others start quitting. I'll have a local split-screen game over an online match, even if it's still with real-life friends.

Dark_Lucario

#77

Dark_Lucario said:

I guess I really shouldn't be bothered by this, seeing as how I rarely, if ever, play any of my games online. My gaming experience is usually a solo one and I'm just fine with that so have never really felt the need to go online and play with other people.

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