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Wed 24th December, 2008

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aaronsullivan commented on Preview: Unraveling the Truth in Yoshi's Wooll...:

My kids loved Kirby's Epic Yarn, so when they saw this they instantly fell in love. Me too! We just started playing Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (birthday gift for little guy) which we are enjoying quite a bit. Whole family plays it together taking turns with Elline which is quite tricky but ends up being the best part of the game for me (besides the clay aesthetic which is so well done.

We are so saturated with platform games though! Haven't really wrapped up Super Mario 3D World or Rayman Legends which are both amazing games in their own right. Oh, and barely scratched the surface of Donkey Kong but it is the most traditional and none of us are as big fans of Donkey Kong.

Tack on the one that is probably my favorite: Shovel Knight and the Wii U is definitely a haven for platform game lovers. :)



aaronsullivan commented on amiibo tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits Bringing ...:

Will be fun to try Amiibo tap. Will probably get my kids to try some retro games (instead of just watching them most of the time) and it just adds value to the amiibo we already own. Even for me who has played these games a lot, it's fun to jump into random spots (as the Remix games have taught me. :P )



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

Thanks already have guardians. It sits unopened and hiding until they are interested enough :/. At least I got a decent sale price on it.
Sales seem coordinated across retailers:
$17.49 for guardians set
$14.99 Spider-Man

My kids loving outdoors now too. :) Mario Kart tracks and Kirby Rainbow Curse doing a little battle with it as they both arrived for birthday this weekend.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

Certainly the concept and poster are awesome. There's just nothing else you can build off of compared to what is happening with the other toys 2 life. There is no current or upcoming movie, no current interest in the book, no TV series, no toy line, no continuing stories that this was the root of. Even most adults who could remember it as a kid probably haven't thought about it in decades. :(

Skylanders is the only one that gets to be the first of its kind and build on a lesser property but get the most attention on the novelty of the toys2life concept alone.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

@TeeJay Didn't realize that, thanks. At least it is something that can be unlocked without Gold Mario.

Won't be Clone Wars so much (but maybe as ugly) because Star Wars Rebels is likely going to be featured as that's the main TV show that is running and already out. Hadn't really considered that... I personally really enjoyed that show and it will be in its second season when Infinity 3.0 arrives. Family loves that show, too. That could be tough to overcome. lol.

I hear you on the classics. You have to admit that it would be a bit of an uphill battle to market that. Perhaps Disney needs an entirely new line of collectible game and toys for adults? That way the cartoony simplified toy look would be unnecessary and it could focus on more nostalgic entries... and be more expensive.



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Mario Kart 8 DLC is a Winning F...:

Never enjoyed Battle Mode much. Still think there should be a free update with a few simple stages. That and just get it over with and make a Mii costume for every amiibo.

I like challenges, too, but really, I think MK8 should begin to wind down and make room for the next Mario Kart to feel necessary again. :)

Then, the new one...

I still want a Diddy Kong Racing style version of Mario Kart. You know a bit of exploration and adventure to gradually unlock courses. Challenges and even bosses. Maybe it would be too much change at once for Mario Kart proper and it should be a spin off, but that was my favorite Kart racing experience ever.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

I don't know if it bothers me that much. It's painted Gold. It neither adds to or takes away from any game and only matters to collectors. Let them pay for it.

As for keeping an Amiibo in its box. That should not be a thing. ;)

(I actually think the retailer exclusive part "shouldn't be a thing", though. I was just having some fun.)



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

Disney Infinity is waning here, too. But, they do like to mess around in the Toy Box still here and there. I could drum up their excitement about it if I tried, but I shouldn't have to do that. :P

I really want to see a fun creative building tool that is easy to play with but modular enough to make unique and interesting play experiences with. LBB almost does it, Toy Box has potential but is too fidgety. Minecraft is pretty great at this actually. Mario Maker looks like it will be fun to build just because of the immediacy of testing, but I've seen nothing from LEGO. To me, that's what LEGO should have, but it seems more interested in the mash-up of brands. That's cool in it's own right but I'm just not looking for that from LEGO, I don't know.

Also, there is definitely a limit to this toys for video games collecting. I just look at our Disney Infinity collection and shake my head. I think the problem has become that the Marvel toys as statuettes just aren't doing it for me. I'm agreeing with you on this more now. I like the Disney and Pixar characters because they closely match the characters and bring out their charm well. Same with my Amiibo actually. They can sit on shelves long after I play games with them. But many of those marvel figures and some of the "extras" I don't care about just make me question my purchases.

What the new Star Wars Infinity characters actually look like and how they are going to address the fun factor of the games and Toy Box in Infinity is going to determine if I care about it at all in 3.0.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

As far as shelf space goes, Best Buy is a poor example. That retailer seems to always be on the brink of folding. Shelf space and stocking is paramount at a retailer like Target and Walmart.

On Amiibo Tap, I went and edited an earlier post to add more, but basically I see it as possibly reaching kids who aren't familiar with those games. I think it's more likely to get attention than the SSB feature anyway. Not sure how it could be a "trap". It's a fun diversion and a targeted ad.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

Yeah, Splatoon Amiibo and any non-SSB IP is going to have that problem of working with fewer games. :)
Mario Kart seems to get regular updates to include Mii Costumes some of which are pretty clever. I bet we get those for another year and it eventually includes many more amiibo including Splatoon. The Tap thing helps, like you say, but we know where this is headed.

There needs to be a hub game or free download where these Amiibo can get together as well. :D The Amiibo Tap is a stopgap.

This Amiibo thing has potential to be a major net positive. I bought a Kirby amiibo to go with Rainbow Curse when I give it to my son for his birthday. The in-game bonus is just a novelty really but he loves that character, too, and I know he'll get a kick out of it. Plus, it unlocks a MK costume and he can train him up in Smash Bros one day for fun. Plus, there's Amiibo Tap coming up and who knows what else. It was just kind of a no-brainer at $13.

Incidentally, I think Amiibo Tap will get more kids to try out those retro games than just adults, ultimately. My kids play some of those already but they watch me play them more. With little short fun bursts unlocked by Amiibo I think they will be playing them instead of me.

Anyway: Alternate Cards Nintendo! Plus, restock the rares!



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

@JLPick " It's not like pressing buttons on a machine to make them is that hard" You don't seem to understand manufacturing. They build machines and assembly lines with work on figures like these often involving a human touch. When a contract is made there are agreements about the amount of time a particular thing is created. When the contract is finished that part of the factory is repurposed, rebuilt, to make something else. When you want to make something that was made before to the same spec and there is proven demand there is room for negotiation from manufacturers. On top of this, as has been noted by Nintendo, the cost of making each type of Amiibo varies widely. The rare ones are often the most intricate and I imagine the margins on those are pretty slim. Retooling and renegotiating could make margins nonexistent. Finding the right number of millions of toys is difficult, too. Retailers and warehouses don't like stock that just sits on shelves and there is a big fight for space.

Not disagreeing with you in principle. Nintendo has created a situation where parts of games are locked out by these toys and there should be an enduring way to get to that content. It's just not as simple as pressing a button to print money despite the meme.

This is why alternate cards alongside whatever other restocking they do is critical to combat scalpers.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Marketing Boss Says amiibo Expectatio...:

Yesterday, I saw dozens of Mega Man and Sonic on the shelves and Toad, too, I think. At Toys R Us in the US it looks like they are overstocked with all the more common Amiibo, too.

One big problem with this can be perception. If you only check one store all the time it feels impossible to find some. I never see Kirby at Target but there are plenty elsewhere, for instance. Retailer exclusives make it worse. Not sure most parents are willing to cart their uninformed kids to multiple retailers to find one.

I'll go out of my way sometimes to get things and I'm reasonably aware of this stuff compared to most parents, yet there are several amiibo I have never seen in person that I would have willing picked up at regular retail price if I saw one.

When the average fan can get whatever they want at the retail price with a reasonable amount of extra effort then this problem will be solved.

I'm honestly encouraged to see anyone from Nintendo acknowledge the problem. I see some progress on restocking, but the old rare amiibo seem like they are never coming back and that's the announcement I'm waiting for. A refresh of those to discourage scalpers.



aaronsullivan commented on Splatoon Producer Talks Up Post-Launch DLC to ...:

"If they want to keep interest in this game long term, priority #1 needs to be keeping Splatoon amiibo in stock and on shelves. If they can't do that, the rest doesn't matter. I know the amiibo aren't necessary to the game, but they do seem integral, much more so than any previous amiibo game."

Not sure the challenges are all that integral to the game. :/ Could be but isn't the jury still out on that? Seems like a fun bonus to me that is more robust than maybe some other games but not as huge as the Mario Party 10 integration which has an entirely different set of board games. Maybe it's similar.

Don't want to be disingenuous, though. I do want to play those already and I'll be very unhappy if it's difficult to get those Amiibo in a timely fashion for regular retail price.



aaronsullivan commented on Splatoon Producer Talks Up Post-Launch DLC to ...:

Really, really hoping Nintendo gets the amiibo act together on stock around the Amiibo launch.

One thing this article suggests is that Nintendo has confidence in this game and is going to give it special attention. Whether it turns out to be a big hit or not I expect the DLC to be more in the vein of Mario Kart where they want to revive interest in it over the next year with reasonably priced DLC.



aaronsullivan commented on Splatoon Producer Talks Up Post-Launch DLC to ...:

@thesilverbrick "as long as the DLC is an afterthought"
Yeah, people who make games shouldn't plan. Planning is bad. It's an evil scheme if you plan to make money on a game. (end sarcasm)

@Kaze_Memaryu What magical thing happens after the first month? What's the difference if it was released on the first day? Seriously asking.

@bizcuthammer "1 - It isn't something that SHOULD have been in the core game" Agreed but that is the contentious one isn't it? Just about every consumer would rather pay less and has little to no idea what it costs in man hours, risk, and actual cash to launch a game. This is why consumers base their decisions on simple but misguided places they "draw the line" like where the content that developers worked so hard on is stored (on disk, OH NO!) or when it is released.



aaronsullivan commented on Tales of More Super Smash Bros. amiibo Pre-Ord...:

It is time for Nintendo to get this right, but this article sounds like incredibly inept retailers as well. Offering compensation for ANY reason and then saying it has to be handed over to post office first? Allowing preorders to go on for so long after they were sold past the number promised by Nintendo. Those aren't Nintendo issues.

Nintendo needs to restock all rare amiibo, IMO, and yesterday. It's probably not as easy as we imagine because Nintendo obviously was too conservative and those contracts with manufacturers were probably limited. From this side, it's just money left on the table and a bunch of angry customers, though. Seems like easy stuff for a big company to fix.



aaronsullivan commented on Rumour: Mickey, Minnie Mouse and Olaf Among Ch...:

I was a bit surprised at the small amount of Disney classic characters in 1.0, but it makes sense to spread them out over multiple releases of the game. How much less classic are they going to be one or two years down the line, while these other movies are being marketed now. They are the movies that kids have been most hyped about recently, as well. It's pretty sensible even if it doesn't match up to your dream scenarios. :)

I recognized every one of those characters instantly, myself, because I'm pretty psyched that the early word on Inside Out is that it's a return to form for Pixar.

They must improve the games themselves, though, to keep me interested. The playsets. My kids lose interest in them pretty fast now. I have to push them to get them to unlock things. That's just sad. They do enjoy just messing around in the Toy Box still, though.

Also, Star Wars may be hard to resist, but like your reaction to the Marvel characters I'm not sure how well they'll fit in the Disney Infinity style of models and frankly, we have way too many Disney figurines.



aaronsullivan commented on Review: 3D Fantasy Zone II (3DS eShop):

I really liked this game on the Master System despite its shortcomings so I may have to try this out. My friend had the "roller controller" for the Master System and it worked great with this game giving precision movement so you could have a high speed. Not sure why else that controller was released and I never asked why he got it. :P



aaronsullivan commented on Interview: Choice Provisions on the Nindie Sce...:

It's a good point and probably a context I haven't really been thinking of. Simon Belmont and Ryu especially. I don't love Smash Bros. so I'm not as vested in it as others. I just had to chime in when indies were being thrown under the bus for no good reason, and even the entire platforming genre. Lol.



aaronsullivan commented on Those Yoshi's Woolly World Yarn amiibo Are Up ...:

@Volmun I like the "add powers" idea.

You know, I forgot about Amiibo Tap (not released yet, btw) and I look forward to it as sort of a goofy fun thing to do but I own most of the original games my Amiibos came from so... :) But you're right, maybe that is the only short term plan for making all the Amiibo do a little something extra.

Still, it just feels like such an obvious thing to bring all the Amiibo together into one simple game world. It would work to add value to what you have and also add excitement to owning new ones and also just plain old advertising. That said, it could be a big project that is evolving and that's why we haven't heard of it.

Or maybe it's a mobile app. :P Nintendo is in such a transitory state right now, it's getting real hard to guess anything.

I do want a Snap! game, yes. :D



aaronsullivan commented on Interview: Choice Provisions on the Nindie Sce...:

Demanding sounds so much more negative than just good-natured promotion, which is how I see it. Wouldn't you promote your character if you had made one and felt it could fit? Especially when fans are also requesting it. I never saw a petition for Shovel Knight before I wanted him to be in it.

I would only call it pretentious if they didn't have a passionate fan base but they do, or if Smash Bros. was some ultimate hall of fame and it isn't.

On the platforming genre: While the Wii U iteration of New Super Mario Bros only sold a bit over 4 million (2014) it was a small user base so about 1 in 2 Wii U owners own it, right? More sales than Super Smash Bros. Wii U at last count. New Super Mario Bros Wii sold over 28 million copies. Another 8 million from New Super Mario Bros 2. Pretty good for a dead genre.

There's more to it than you suggest: Rayman Legends, Donkey Kong Country, variations on basic platforming like Terraria, the Trine games. That goes into indie territory but very, very popular indie territory.

Besides, I'd hate to call a genre dead just because the "masses" aren't into it as much. Games are way more fun to me than following passing trends. I'd think most people commenting on gaming sites look deeper than that.

Personally I enjoy and gravitate to the less indulgent and shorter experiences of many indie games. They often make up for lack of resources for visuals with compelling game play where some larger games are guilty of the opposite and are higher risk (cost, time investment). I can understand the attraction to the big publisher games, and I quite like a big experience like that from time to time, myself. There's much more to life, though, and I like my favorite hobby to be containable. I only play a big game two or three times a year.

Oh, and Shovel Knight launched on the Wii U and is styled after NES games specifically. Some of the older folks who downloaded it on other consoles must have been attracted to the old NES style from their youth, right? That's enough to tie it in for me.



aaronsullivan commented on Ubisoft Announcement Suggests More Child Of Li...:

Really enjoyed Child of Light. I don't have time for RPGs usually, but it was just the right size. I do wish it wasn't so dour. Moody is one thing, but give me some escape in the sequel. :P

I'm curious what kind of games they are thinking of, though. Doesn't seem to suggest a direct sequel does it?



aaronsullivan commented on Those Yoshi's Woolly World Yarn amiibo Are Up ...:

They aren't that confusing to me in practice. I have no fear of accidentally writing over one.

I do like how some work in multiple games, myself. Over time now there are these fun little bonuses here and there and I've gotten the feeling of extra value out of them at times.

I've also been careful to only select figures I enjoy aesthetically as well. I stop and get a kick out of them way more than my older cheaper Nintendo figurines... except there's something about this one Bullet Bill on a stand that I have.

If the current Yoshis don't do anything with Yoshi's Wooly World I'll be surprised and annoyed. My advice has always been not to buy with any expectation beyond what you know, but I did choose Yoshi over another Amiibo because I knew we'd be buying that game. :P

I don't like the scarcity. Nintendo ran out and made no promises of more stock way too early and that created a horrible (wonderful?) scalper situation that needs to be fixed much more quickly. The worst thing about it is that games will have content available in them that I want to pay for but can't. That is frustrating.

Nintendo should really have a nice place to play with every Amiibo, too. It doesn't even have to be anything too amazing yet. Just a place for them to hang out. There are many directions they could go with it, maybe in the direction of Tamagotchi Life, or Nintendo Land, or Infinity Toy Box, or just have them sort of mingle, or hide on you in environments. Some fun simple unlocks when you have certain combinations. Seems so obvious I bet we see something in that vein this E3.



aaronsullivan commented on Interview: Choice Provisions on the Nindie Sce...:

Wait now. When did the platformer genre die out? I completely missed that.

Shovel Knight went instant classic in my mind as soon as I played through it. Subjectively, it is an NES classic, to me and many. Not to you obviously, but there are plenty of Super Smash Bros. characters that mean nothing to me. I'd say most people feel the same way about a good portion of the characters.

"They're just a bunch of pretentious little hipster games that think they're all that and a bag of shit just because they have pseudo-retro graphics."
Wait, I'm the only one who likes Shovel Knight and the Bit Trip games for the game play?

It's one thing not to enjoy the retro nature of some games or have any attraction towards some indie games, but to suggest that these developers aren't passionate about gaming and that they aren't offering something significant that others aren't is awfully shortsighted and frankly mean-spirited.



aaronsullivan commented on Unity Support Is Coming To The New Nintendo 3DS:

Cool! Unity is great middleware and not having 3DS has been odd considering it supports almost everything else (Blackberry!)

The timing is suggestive, though. Is Nintendo going to rest on the New 3DS for longer than a year, now?



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Splatoon Is a Typically Colourf...:

On the idea that this one game will lead to Wii U sales and comparing it to other releases I think very few people would buy a console for one game and the Wii U has the challenge of not having the tremendous third party support that XB1/PS4 have. Not even lackluster ports. So, there needs to be an entirely different set of games there in the place of what people would expect. That's a task no other single hardware provider is in the position of providing anymore. (Always makes me wonder exactly what happened between Nintendo and EA.)

So one key game is never going to be enough. The hope is that there is an irresistible collection that builds. Certainly feels like the big guns have already fired, though.

I've loved my Wii U experience from day one, but you are much more optimistic than I am about sales! Get me some of that Kool Aid. ;)



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Splatoon Is a Typically Colourf...:

@rjejr I like your marketing plan. Sooner rather than later would be good, but I'm thinking Nintendo will wait until Holiday season. Maybe it could make a splash with it at E3. Maybe a sort of giving in and targeting it right at PS4 and XB1 owners: "This is that second console you know you want. Let's make it easier for you."

I can dream. ;)



aaronsullivan commented on Each Splatoon amiibo Will Unlock 20 Special Ch...:

@Quorthon As I've mentioned before I've had this stance before Nintendo had any real DLC. Maybe you didn't read that, so maybe you aren't calling me a liar. Ignoring all the nonsense that distracts from the core issue here, let's use your words:
"There is content on the disk that is locked away, despite you paying for the disk.
It requires an additional purchase to unlock that on-disk content. "

Because you are actually paying for content right? I mean, you say "despite paying for the disk" but I know you don't mean just the disk (worth a $1 or two). You are paying for the game advertised on the box or online: the content. The disk is the "container". That's all. You didn't think you were buying the extra DLC so even if it was day one DLC, why does it matter if it was on-disk or not? If you did think you were buying the extra content that is an issue of advertising, miscommunication or maybe even bait and switch. Nothing to do with where the content is stored.

In a previous comment on another article someone mentioned that Hyrule Warriors had on disk DLC. I never knew that and was completely satisfied with my purchase. Am I supposed to be retroactively angered by this now because there's content on there I didn't pay for but it was on the disk? I really don't get that.

Also, I'm not arguing that Amiibo aren't locking away DLC or even on-disk DLC. Never have, not sure why you brought it up. Like you I find the scarcity there is a problem but don't care about where they store the content that is locked away. That's a non-issue. A company is offering their content and It's either a rip-off or worth the money. Let's evaluate that.

Can Amiibo make it harder to determine the "real" value for each individual? Yeah, and I'm generally against that, too. The on-disk thing is just a weird distraction people attached to a time they felt ripped off once. Pretty irrational, in my estimation.



aaronsullivan commented on Poll: Is Splatoon a Blockbuster That'll Help R...:

It would have to catch of wave of critical acclaim and maybe some e-sports attention or some new meme or something to sell a significant amount of consoles. All of that is possible, but not probable. It looks to be a solid start, though and it's always great to see a stong new IP and different type of game from Nintendo. It will help define the Wii U when looking back on it, I think.

I'm pretty excited about it.



aaronsullivan commented on Video: The Importance of Co-Op Gameplay in Mod...:

@AshFoxX @DarthNocturnal @yokokazuo
Really want an easy way to play Four Swords again. That game was so fun, but it was so hard to play with he batteries running out on the GBAs all the time that we eventually gave up. Same thing with Crystal Chronicles. We really tried but it was so hard! Never finished either of them.

They could do a GamePad version where you could steal the GamePad (in game) that would give you the ability to go into the secret areas, but then others could steal it back... I do think it will be much more possible in the next generation of hardware, fortunately.



aaronsullivan commented on Video: The Importance of Co-Op Gameplay in Mod...:

Sucks, man. Many people are in this boat, of course. Not sure I'd categorize it as something specifically in "the west" though.

Thing is, my early teen year afternoons were spent with buddies huddled around a Nintendo or Sega console just trying everything. Even the single player stuff was more fun. PC gaming for awhile meant LAN parties, too. That was such a hassle, yet at least for awhile nobody complained because it was worth it. Even if for just a couple hours of gaming.

It's amazing how the more "connected" we are via the internet but how much less intimate it all becomes. I really do recommend everybody try and find some people to play games with that are near you. Seek it out, go embarrass yourself if you have to. Life's too short to play alone (or through wires). :D



aaronsullivan commented on Each Splatoon amiibo Will Unlock 20 Special Ch...:

@Goginho said, "Noteworthy is the fact that DLC for these games [Mario Kart 8] has come - and is still to come - well after the release of the original games, meaning that the dev teams actually worked on more content to provide after the games' initial releases, and not this keeping a part of the game's day-one content locked up for us to pay extra for."

This doesn't prove anything of the sort and it shouldn't matter. If they hired twice the developers or paid Retro way more to get some additional tracks done at release and offered it all as day one dlc "on the disk" they still worked many more hours on it and paid more to produce it. Why shouldn't they charge for the DLC? Why should they keep it off the disc and make it more inconvenient?

The delay does suggest that it is taking a long time and is worth the money, and in the case of Mario Kart 8, I'd bet that it is taking this long to get it done. Personally, though, I wouldn't mind one bit if it was released 6 months ago and I'd pay the same or more for it, too. Wouldn't you feel the same? Why does it change if it was there on release day?

There are marketing reasons to spread it out this far, too. Mario Kart 8 is a perfect game to bring attention to in a big way every 6 months or so. It feels like the content isn't completed yet, but what do we know about it, really? This could all have been the marketing strategy from the beginning.

Nothing wrong with either approach except for the irrational aversion of DLC "locked on disk" at launch. The actual aversion should be to paying for something and getting less than you expected. I personally think fretting about the delivery method is just barking up the wrong tree.



aaronsullivan commented on Each Splatoon amiibo Will Unlock 20 Special Ch...:

Thank you. Another good example. I've tried a few and I still don't get how @Quorthon clings to his argument.

He says "Again, if the Amiibo triggered downloads of additional content, I'd say "go for it." "
Why does that matter? The delivery method is that important? You are forcing people to have an internet connection and wait if they have a slower one and that's magically better? It just boggles my mind.

Two serious issues with this that I hope Nintendo can overcome, however:

1. Scarcity of Amiibo is really starting to make extra content just unreachable to many with the current plan. Restocks and/or alternative cards are getting more and more necessary.

2. Those weapon rewards better be restricted to local play, or just a decorative version of another weapon, or really, really well-balanced somehow or otherwise controlled so that there are no nasty advantages in online battles.