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Wed 24th Dec 2008

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aaronsullivan commented on Two Wii U Hits Are Included in TIME's Top 10 G...:

Nintendo. Lessons are: feed your retro-core-gamers. Feed your creative gamers. Let your younger developers go mad with new game designs fueled by their own histories of gaming.

Also, challenge: turn award winning games into sales somehow.



aaronsullivan commented on Level-5 CEO Talks About Bringing the Company's...:

For my own enjoyment of console gaming at home with a shared screen I hope above everything else NIntendo solves the problem of having totally separate devices to develop for. It needs to be so easy to port between the "console" version and the "portable" version that few developers would pass up one for the other. Not to mention, it would be nice if it didn't feel alien to develop for if a developer was used to PS4 and XB1.

A tall order, but much of the work has been done already with the two hardware teams being combined. That key decision came too late for the 3DS and Wii U, but Iwata's decision to merge teams and increase collaboration may pay off for decades to come.

Doesn't necessarily solve the similarity to other platforms though. :/



aaronsullivan commented on Video: Gaming Historian Pays Tribute To The La...:

Quite an inspirational life. He's very missed.

The Wii U section is probably just as it should be, but it feels like EA is missing in the equation. Sure, Iwata takes all the responsibility and maybe that's rightly so, but someone needs to leak the details on that EA debacle soon.



aaronsullivan commented on You Can Now Buy A Replacement Wii U GamePad On...:

Well, I'm not as bullish as you for this being any kind of confirmation, but I'm still hoping there is some truth to all of that. Very much looking forward to finding out about the whole NX plan.

Nice sleuthing on the earlier GamePad availability or, in this case, lack thereof.

Hey that Bucakroo reference works two ways. 8th dimension, but also, If you say it like that reporter did. 8-Dees. 80s! Perfect!



aaronsullivan commented on Video: New Hollow Knight Trailer Shows Off Som...:

Looked to have so much potential at the kickstarter and now it looks like it might be beyond expectations. Really great work for just 3 people and could fill a 2D Metroid-sized hole, even if it fills it with a smaller square peg.

@rjejr Y u hate pixel?! This is one area where we widely diverge in taste. I prefer all of the bare pixel graphic styles of Mario far above the new one when playing and making levels in Mario maker. Fast paced side scrollers are just less taxing and can demand more precision when the art style allows for clarity. The new style is nice, but it's almost offensive how the backgrounds and doodads all clash and mix together.

I get it though. Abstraction through blocks is limited and was built on technical limitations you'd rather leave behind. And I do appreciate all the other beautiful abstractions games have come up with on modern tablets and smart phones and high-res screens to accomplish the same purpose. I wish Nintendo would embrace that in a game or two, but 3DS wants you to see every pixel even if it is in 3D. :/

All that said, this is great and I'm glad it's not pixelated. It has an almost Hayao Miyazaki-eque look to the animation. A bit anime, but not the popular homogenized junk, just an aesthetic that embraces expressing form and motion through minimal, but carefully considered line work.

I'm going to have to buy this game. I just hope the themes and content aren't too morbid.



aaronsullivan commented on The Man Responsible For Sega's Blast Processin...:

@Splatburst @Action51
I remember true rivalry emerging after the Genesis advertising campaigns. I had owned Master System and NES, the Genesis and SNES, then there was PC games, too. My friends and I would try different games on everything and trade and have sleepovers when one of us got something the other didn't.

I did not understand what was happening when people started badmouthing one or the other. It was weird. When I had less time to commit to games and Sega started releasing new consoles fast and I was split up by distance from my friends I saw the attraction of convincing yourself you weren't missing out because you couldn't try them all. I would just kid around, but people took it serious. So childish, really.

Still, I'd really enjoy when my friend would visit from out of town who was always keeping up on the systems I didn't have. So much fun to try all the different flavors of gaming. Spiteful advertising and internet hate trains really do a disservice to the hobby as a whole.



aaronsullivan commented on Live In The UK? You Could Find A Sega Mega Dri...:

Even back then, the controllers for the Colecovision it was a low point compared to Atari 2600 joysticks. The side buttons are your main buttons and they are horribly squishy. I did like how great the graphics were compared to 2600, and have nostalgia for a couple games, but that knob on top doesn't read rotating, it's just a joystick. Better than Intellivision's horrendous circle pad thing. Thanks for fixing home consoles, Nintendo!



aaronsullivan commented on EA CFO Explains Why the Company Doesn't Make W...:

This statement he made is too simple to make anything of it. There are obviously more factors than current user base. It's at the core though, so fine.

Lately EA has been publicly making statements like it, however, that display a lack of passion for games. All companies exist to generate money, but not all companies lack passion for what they do. Witness their reason for making no games support virtual reality. Sure, it's the most exciting potential for new gaming experiences but there's not a big enough market there yet and may not be for a long time. That's why EA won't pursue it at all for now. It's not untrue. It makes sense from a money-only perspective. It also reveals a soulless company.

The EA portion of the presentation at the initial reveal of the Wii U showed some passion and excitement about new opportunities to use the GamePad (at least one great one with madden and drawing plays) and the online.

Something broke. No clear evidence it was Origin, but a complete turnabout happened and it undeniable hurt the perception of the Wii U.

You see a lot of uninformed emotional outbursts about EA and especially EA vs. Nintendo, here, but even with the information and rational thinking it's discouraging to see such power being thrown around without consideration of gaming and gamers, but just the bottom line.



aaronsullivan commented on Editorial: Linkle May be a Clunky Introduction...:

@JaxonH I've always thought male and female twin Links would be fun for co-op or even cool single-player puzzles. Or just team up with Zelda instead of saving her.

I think with Legend of Zelda the opportunity for an awesome female character has always been: you can play as Zelda. It's sort of a duh.

All that said, female Link would be fine with me, too. I've never thought it was the same person. Especially Wind Waker does a good job of setting up the recurring legend and how he fits into it there.

Marketing-wise, however, there are some old Zelda fans who've abandoned Nintendo but are still waiting for a new ultimate game and they'll be expecting male Link to be reimagined in an awesome way. If they are worth targeting, Link should probably remain male.



aaronsullivan commented on Parent Trap: Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival ...:

Well, it's an interesting direction Nintendo has taken here. It's a more passive experience, but Animal Crossing has always been an unskilled collecting/social game and there is a type of dedicated "gamer" now that watches Minecraft mod videos and Twitch for more than they actually play.

There's something to this. I think the backlash is against not just this game but that entire trend, maybe. Of course, there is an angst about certain games not making it to the console (that I also have and is one of the reasons I hope NX fixes this and comes quick.) Why couldn't we get an Animal Crossing proper on Wii U first. Right?



aaronsullivan commented on Square Enix Confirms Details of Gorgeous Final...:

Well, I know it frustrates you. I just don't see a big problem with 2 weeks. I also don't see a significant number of people even briefly considering buying a Wii U just for AC:aF. And if they were and were savvy enough to look for sales, why does it matter if they wait for BF? So people wait 2 weeks... people who are paying attention to online announcements.

Most people are going to see the Black Friday ads and the price ($250 in places) with those games in the bundle. It will work to get attention and stir up desire or it won't. People who take Black Friday seriously aren't buying much now anyway.

Anyway, Nintendo also perplexes me with their marketing choices many times. I chalk some of it up to a company run from Japan that doesn't really understand global tastes and markets (Free-to-play and micro-transactions are the bomb in Japan) and yet keeps the reins tight on their Western counterparts. Certainly, big mistakes have been made on both sides of the pond, but I'm just not seeing this particular decision as a big deal, myself.

The problem is that there isn't a bundle scenario that could hit $199 or less. I really think Nintendo is missing that up-sell mentality that works so well around here at least. You need that low-priced version to pass up in order sell the higher priced one. Put up a console with no games, knowing that most will go for the bundle version anyway. The people who want exactly what they want can then spend more money on games. Win-win. But no.

Not sure who decides all that though.

Love that Splatoon has been given the pack-in treatment.



aaronsullivan commented on Square Enix Confirms Details of Gorgeous Final...:

@rjejr right.

279 is the suggested retail price, retailers have unfinished plans when ND was made, and it's better for consumers to see the $250 in BF ads than see that $279 price as a first impression of the bundle. That's the point I was trying to make anyway. It seems like the bundle is debuting on BF too, so why she the higher price first?



aaronsullivan commented on Square Enix Confirms Details of Gorgeous Final...:

@rjejr Wait... so now you want dates and you want them to stick to those dates?! This is the game industry, you can't have both. Actually, when you get both you get a product that isn't finished. Just ask Batman, or that Assassin.

I didn't think the BF thing was a problem at all. I think it was just respecting the retailers choosing different bundles for BF. Plus, finding out you can get it for $250 is better than seeing that $279 price, in my opinion.



aaronsullivan commented on These Are Nintendo's Black Friday Hardware And...:

@kevin74 @MacAdam81
The Wii tanked in spectacular fashion after Wii U was showcased the first time. It was already on a downward trend but then everything just died. Even from Nintendo. I don't think Nintendo wants that severe drought again... as it's already in a drought as far as console activity goes. No, I expect Nintendo to stretch out its Wii U releases even if it means delays and HD ports by other companies to keep interest going a bit closer to the new console announcement and release.

You could look at what has happened this year and the dates we are seeing for next and argue this is exactly what's happening.

3DS looks like a dumping ground for pent up RPG titles. No care is being made to spread those out. That indicates to me that 3DS is on its last legs next year as well.

Bah I have more arguments but no time at the moment...



aaronsullivan commented on These Are Nintendo's Black Friday Hardware And...:

$250 on Black Friday with SSB and Splatoon. Guess Nintendo is putting off a permanent price cut until 2016. All I can say about it is: "look, effort!"

Side by side with PS4 and XB1 deals I think it is going to be just enough to not look completely embarrassing.

So, the ? is entering my mind: Will NX be released by end of 2016? I still think it will happen, but seeing Nintendo sort of keep a schedule of releases going for Wii U is just enough to make me wonder and probably enough to keep the general gamer feeling okay about committing to Wii U. To me, that says Nintendo is doing a decent job here. Until E3, that is.



aaronsullivan commented on Square Enix Confirms Details of Gorgeous Final...:

@rjejr And how about all those release dates! Over and over. It was like someone saw your rants. Pretty solid overall, but no price cut on Wii U! Acknowledging a special Wii U bundle specifically for Black Friday is something new though, isn't it? So that's sometihng.

I don't know what to think about 3DS and NX. All these releases are great but watching all those 3DS game on regular screens just hurts. Good games on horrid screens. THe market has moved way on. Maybe this is dumping all the 3DS games to market before the transition starts.

I just feel like portables plus console = NX. It's all speculation, but I see them working closely together in every way and it would be weird to separate them for a year. If it is all jammed into a portable that is still a competitor to 3DS. If it's just a console... I just don't see that. Maybe.



aaronsullivan commented on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Is Rece...:

Now that proper HD versions of the video are propagating maybe the knee-jerky among us can get over it. It looks beautiful to me and the textures are crafted nicely. (I especially like the fabric details.) edit: oh, a good video is right in this story now!

@rjejr The game is not old enough to redo the geometry, in my opinion where it makes a huge difference in old early 3D classics like FFVII and Ocarina. But if you expected redone geometry (I didn't!) you'll be disappointed.

Again I'll point to the fact that there is much to learn about this game still, but at least we now know it looks immensely sharper and more detailed than the original.



aaronsullivan commented on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Is Rece...:

You need to go to the optomotrist stat.
If you think the screenshots in this article are from the same video Nintendo just showed us you do need an update to your prescription.

Maybe you are looking on small screens from far away? I really don't understand. You post a video which, first of all, is stupid as it's incredibly lossy but it also shows the opposite of what you are saying. Low res textures on the Gamecube version and super sharp detailed textures (not an upscale pass) on the left.

I also recently played the game and the jagginess in edges and textures was quite clear throughout on a large screen and while I hated the compression artifacts and washed out nature of the video (and, yes, @xenocity I'm aware of YouTube settings) this was clearly the newer version and tremendously sharper.

@amiiboacid brings up a very good point, too. If you want to see how much the compression damaged the visuals, look at the section on Splatoon and compare it to the real game. It's insane how bad it looked.



aaronsullivan commented on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Is Rece...:

It was clearly the HD version to me. It has textures that are far higher resolution and the jaggies aren't there. I think people are comparing this video with how they remember the old one not any sort of reality. It looks like the upscaling is very well done as it matches the original style very closely just sharper. And no it isn't some auto upscaled textures.

They probably should have shared a few more features, but the other nice things: interface elements smaller and in less obtrusive. Whether it has any wii remote support or not, the game shown is using a regular controller going by the interface hints. There are more details coming later. There are more changes. Something must be stored on the Amiibo to transfer over and the other amiibo do something as well. It won't be completely bare bones.

Still, what is it with Nintendo posting official videos with horrible compression? I get that the direct is streamed. That's fine but where's the prisitine versions of these videos? It's very important for an HD remake to not be full of compression artifacts and a tiny, flat, muddy, compressed color space. :/



aaronsullivan commented on Minecraft Wii U Edition Has Been Rated By PEGI:

Talk about stealing the thunder. This is probably the big reveal and the unannounced game for Wii U being held back for the Nintendo Direct. But, hey, it's still pretty great and we'll probably buy in as my kids are minecraft nuts... and... maybe something new with Amiibo is in store, right?



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Badge Arcade is Pinned Down For a 13t...:

Maybe in practice it won't be too bad as others are pointing out you can get plenty for free, but it's on top of the already questionable themes that makes me cringe.

It's easier for me to scoff, too, because I don't really enjoy using my 3DS. Spending time looking at the awful screen to "enjoy" my expensive themes and badges is pretty low on my list of free time activities. For some it's a treasure and this will appeal much more, of course.

Don't spend money on this kids!



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Badge Arcade is Pinned Down For a 13t...:

Yeah, they can be fun. And I admit I skimmed right over the free tries part which I don't usually do before commenting (though that video sure makes it seem like it's for practice only). What made me comment was the Twilight Zone nature of people excited about throwing away more money on the backgrounds of a 3DS. On a site where DLC, paying for fully built parts of a game, gets the torches and pitchforks raised.

After my comment it went on and on but the dissenters came out and made me feel better.

When you can do a search for any one of these characters in google and pick your favorite picture and with a program like Microsoft Paint do the same thing... it's sort of insanity.



aaronsullivan commented on The Next Nintendo Direct is on 12th November:

@JaxonH @rjejr
Contain yourselves! Nah, be excited. You deserve it.

Me? I think It will be a modest Nintendo Direct. I hope it has some charm. Maybe one biggish announcement of something unexpected. And by unexpected I mean by the general Nintendo fan. So, Twilight Princess HD qualifies.

Anything Zelda would be welcome and exciting to me and I don't see why not at this stage.

I'll settle for feeling like Nintendo Directs are going to continue to be something to look forward to.



aaronsullivan commented on Cybernator Creator Talks Destructible Environm...:

Loved this game, but the Genesis "Target Earth" (Assault Suit Leynos) was actually much better, in my opinion. The graphics were smaller and simpler, but learning how to get the highest points and earning and trying all the weapons was a much deeper experience. Plus, the space in which you could jump around and the time you had to aim while jumping and falling gave a nice skill curve to take advantage of. Target Earth was very hard, however and like Herzog Zwei earned horribly reviews from magazines that didn't take the time to figure the games out. (For me, it was discovering the continue trick in Target Earth that made adjusting easier.)



aaronsullivan commented on Site News: Nintendo Life Turns 10 Today:

@rjejr We liked Pirates. I'm pretty sure Pirates, Guardians of the Galaxy and Empire were all by the same team within the studio. Oh, and you have to finish the Hoth part!

The branding is The New Apple TV, I think (sometimes they mention 3rd vs. 4th generation, too). No Amazon Prime app on it yet and Amazon won't sell competing streaming devices on its store anymore. Not sure whose fault that really is. I think Amazon is resisting Apple's terms and trying to make their model of buying videos/movies mixed in with free Prime stuff. I'd recommend it if you were in the iOS/Apple ecosystem, otherwise many of the advantages are lost. It scrubs (fast forward rewind) better than any other streaming services I've used, though. Voice features are nice, too, but it's just getting started. It seems like it was built to support a new subscription service that still hasn't been settled yet, too. I'd look again next update. This whole TV transition to on demand stuff is still a mess.

I've heard good things about the Echo. I was listening to a podcast and it was funny how there is a growing list of things people can't say, like "Hey, Siri", and "Alexa" and "Xbox on". One guy quipped, "It's disturbing that I have to be careful what I say to avoid disturbing all the robots in the audience."

On amiibo and NX, I think there is a 0% chance that it won't have an NFC reader.



aaronsullivan commented on Editorial: Nintendo's Release Date Quirks in N...:

It seems intuitive that each release could be better directed towards local markets, but releasing everywhere at once is just the way to go now if it is possible. Too many benefits to ignore.

That said, it would also be nice to have more voice in Nintendo games and that's just going to make the translating and voiceover work more expensive and complicated.

Not easy, just necessary.



aaronsullivan commented on Site News: Nintendo Life Turns 10 Today:

Let's keep this off topic for a minute:
LEGO Dimensions is just completely off our radar for now. You'll have to let me know how it goes. We have so many games and...

I scored an Apple TV (4th generation) because I'm an iOS developer and the kids are enthralled with their iOS games on the big screen. We could watch people play Alto's Adventure for hours. Simple but beautiful and addictive. These little games are more fun when you can share them. Go figure. Would be true of all those 3DS games, too, Nintendo!

Anyway, we get our online dogfighting fix that Star Fox probably won't give us from a silly paper airplane game, AirWings I think, on Apple TV (that you can play along with other devices).

The performance isn't competitive with Wii U exactly (the Disney Infinity trial game is problematic) but that will change year after year pretty quickly as they update these. However, for people who have iOS devices in the home, the Apple TV games are already working together with them. It's like the vision of NX without the control sticks and buttons. A weird and interesting entry in the competition for entertained eyeballs.



aaronsullivan commented on Site News: Nintendo Life Turns 10 Today:

@rjejr I remember when emoticons first started emerging into general "netiquette" and teaching about it in class. Easily taken for granted or shrugged off but SO necessary for anything resembling regular conversation. Especially with you @rjejr.

Haha, still ugly. Oh well. You probably aren't as frustrated with me in how the cinematics are force-skipped the second time you play the best missions in the Empire play set. We have to work on storage/display this year. Our usual space is overflowing and it just looks like a mess. Disney Infinity's biggest sin is the way Marvel has been treated. To me, those are far worse looking than the others but worse, the play sets are the most boring and drab. It really made all the advances in 2.0 feel meh. Only Guardians of the Galaxy rises above this problem (and the new Captain America figurine).

Can't speak to Skylanders except that with a movie in the pipeline you aren't going to see the game subside any time soon.

I'm pretty happy with amiibo and how, as far as gaming goes, they sort of gain in value over time.

I'm totally on board with your ideas about a mixed-up adventure game with amiibo because I really tried to like Smash Bros. again this time and it just doesn't do it for me. Kids kind of went through the same thing.

Anyway, I've always imagined the amiibo game 3D, but 2D could be great.

So... this is an NX game, right? I mean, what better way to get all those amiibo owners who never bought a Wii U to get on board and even Wii U owners who are skeptical of NX. Sure, Zelda, but a real home game for all your amiibo would be a nice value proposition for a pack-in. Not to mention an up-sell opportunity for those with no amiibo!



aaronsullivan commented on Site News: Nintendo Life Turns 10 Today:

Thanks for the site and thanks for the look-back. I remember peeking in on this site early on along with a couple others, but Virtual Console Reviews offered something essential and unique. Glad the history was explained clearly there as it was all a bit foggy.

The content on the site attracted a great community which made it easy to stay. Looking forward to whatever new features are coming to the site, but I'm sure said community will have much to say about it! Be nice, community!

I came from the Virtual Console Reviews site as well. What a great decision it was for them to merge like that.



aaronsullivan commented on 1993 Kirby's Adventure Interview Reveals Cut C...:

Kirby is not necessarily "named after' the lawyer.
Kirby could have been named after the vacuum.
NoA had a list of names. Kirby stood out. NoA could have put Kirby on the list because of the vacuums and we don't know if Kirby was chosen because there was a lawyer that worked for them.
Just saying.
This is how inaccurate stories start from facts (like the MIyamoto Sakurai arguing over pink mentioned above)



aaronsullivan commented on Super Mario Maker Developers Talk About the Re...:

@Mogster Very few Mario stages I enjoy take 3 minutes. Not sure what you've been playing. Auto-levels?

I don't actually see the Zelda dungeons particularly more time-consuming to build. While rewarding puzzles will take more time to consider, you aren't concerned with every little jump and fall scenario. Just like Mario the more complex and interesting you want to make it the more time it will take. If you want to create Level 1 in The Legend of Zelda, it would take about as much time as creating a simple stage in Mario. Zelda takes longer clearing rooms, etc. than running through the content. You get the idea.

Playing them does take longer, but the notion of sizing up a level and skipping it quickly doesn't have to be different in Zelda. If there are 50 or so dungeons designed by people that take the same necessary items and give the same reward as described in my post above, you could just skip one and try another.

You are right that the average Zelda level is going to take longer to finish, but that's not the whole story. Again, I addressed this above.

The idea is not so easily dismissed for me, anyway.



aaronsullivan commented on Super Mario Maker Developers Talk About the Re...:

Zelda Maker is quite possible and has the potential to offer great fun. The problem is in the community and the immediate fun from gameplay. Even in lousy levels it's fun to just spend some time jumping around in Super Mario games. You can always improve or sharpen your skills even on stages that aren't particularly good.

Zelda's gameplay mechanics aren't quite as immediately rewarding.

The way I look at it, though? That's just a new game development requirement. Find the joy in playing Link and make sure players can get at it in poorly designed stages.

Besides, you can offset this a bit by enticing the greater public to buy the game with not just the infinite possibilities but a pre-made adventure. I'm sure many Mario Maker owners are just playing and have only tinkered a short time with the level creation. Just shift the balance towards those players a bit more in marketing to help boost sales.

Anyway, that's to help with the clear differences people have brought up. The technical side of building needs to be fun as well. I think that's much easier than some make it out to be.

I feel like I wrote this before, but you could choose the load out Link must have to complete your "Level" and what the rewards will be (with limits). The game could even suggest possibilities as a challenge to the designer. What builds up is a database of dungeons that can be placed into a larger adventure for players.

That's just a start, but I'm just trying to demonstrate that it's not only possible but has the advantage of motivating some designers to try different things.

If it were up to me, it'd be a brand new iteration of 2D Zelda at the same time as covering all the familiar 2D Zelda bases. The focus would be on inventing a super-fun player experience in that perspective at first...



aaronsullivan commented on Activision Blizzard Has Just Opened a TV and F...:

@Kirk @Einherjar
Disney has this down, right? Star Wars is a well-known franchise but it still saturated every medium of entertainment there is generating excitement about the tentpole movie release.

Nintendo doesn't have to run the movie/tv studios itself, probably, but it does need a division to handle it and get the ball rolling much faster. The danger isn't just that games don't sell as well it's that IP like Mario and Zelda are mostly forgotten in a sea storm of content from the IP of competitors.

The good news is that Amiibo, and the Nintendo World Championship ideas are on the right track in this way. It suggests Nintendo sees the ongoing issue. That along with evidence that Nintendo was considering movies and TV in a concrete way. As with many Nintendo plans, faster would be better.



aaronsullivan commented on Star Fox Zero Website Has Fans of amiibo and O...:

There's a plausible scenario where the delay opens up an opportunity to work with a portion of the Splatoon team to get something up and running. Maybe even as a barebones mode to meet the new release date with a plan to keep updates coming (this time not "on disk").

Not impossible. Not likely.

For the 2016 NX believers, Star Fox VS. could be an early game building off of Star Fox for multiplayer; online and otherwise.

There are so many unknown factors we just aren't able to account for, though. Honestly, it would be nice to see more than some desktop backgrounds first.



aaronsullivan commented on EA Will Evaluate "Any And All Opportunities" W...:

The gist of what he is saying is good for possible support of NX. He sees games as continuing projects that reach across all relevant hardware. This is a lesson from their success in leveraging mobile.

As far as what happened with Wii U. Nothing is confirmed but it was not "let's see how it does" and then they pulled out. It was "let's dump what we have and move on" before it even launched.