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United Kingdom

Sun 20th January, 2008

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Kirk commented on Mattel Is Releasing Mario Themed Hot Wheels Ra...:

Now, imo, these cars are the kind of cash-in crap I don't think Nintendo should be making and/or putting its name to. They're just random regular Hot Wheels toys with Mario slapped on them, and not in a particular creative or well designed fashion either. That doesn't add anything to the Nintendo brand, or associated franchises, at all imo; it just dilutes it/them and lowers the perception of quality associated with the Nintendo name.

There's literally hundreds-thousands of ways to market all these franchises in such a fashion that the end product actually fits with them in some way and/or adds to them—Frog Suit and Tanooki onesies; Mario Kart themed real life go-karting karts and race tracks; child sized toy versions of Link's sword and shield, Samus' helmet, Super Mario's cape, Kuribo's Shoe, etc.; Super Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Metroid, etc. Anime cartoons and feature films; Nintendo theme parks; cool figurine sets of all of Nintendo's characters, like the amiibos; playing cards themed on each of Nintendo's big franchises; Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, Metroid, etc. fancy dress costumes; real life board games themed on the various franchises, done like classic D&D boards and figure sets but with the likes of Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, etc., Comics bases on all the big francise; Zelda, Metroid, F-Zero, etc. live action movies...

I get why Nintendo is going this, especially now, but there's a way to do it with taste and class. There's no need to just slap these franchises on anything and everything, even when it just looks half-*assed and forced, for the sake of a quick buck.



Kirk commented on Nintendo NX Might Be The First Social VR Platf...:

Hey; I would love it to be some kind of awesome VR headset—a VR system is the other idea I have for what NX might be, next to my hybrid home console and handheld concept that I've banged on about multiple times now—but I'm not drinking that Kool-Aid until I see the thing myself.



Kirk commented on Dragon Quest XI Is Coming To The Nintendo 3DS ...:

Looks like they've already backed out of a full commitment to those games coming to the NX. Now they're saying "It is under consideration, but we don’t have further information to share at the moment,” regarding NX versions.

Christ; it's like the Wii and Wii U third party situation all over again. I really hope this isn't a sign of things to come :-(

I'm worried about third party support on NX already, and the thing hasn't even been shown yet.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Wii U Gamers Have Been Treated ...:

@Dr_Lugae Which tells you it's not just high sales of a console the leads to good third party support either—as I alluded to earlier—even though that is obviously one of the major factors. There's clearly more to it than that, and with the Wii it clearly wasn't the sales that failed to grab the attention of the third parties because it sold a lot of units, yet third parties didn't gravitate to the system in any major or serious way. It was obviously something else in the case of the Wii that resulted in either a lack of third party support and/or a lower quality of third party support—like the combination of being grossly underpowered, which was off-putting to many developers who were trying to create cutting-edge game experiences; lacking certain standard features and services, like CD/DVD/Blu-Ray playback, as just one example; being too different from everything else on the market, both in terms of the unique control input and the architecture, which made it more difficult to develop for and port to than the other systems... With the Wii U it was almost certainly all those things too that caused problems, PLUS the lack of sales, which is why it's currently Nintendo's lowest selling home console ever.

You can't blame developers for all the issues with Wii and now Wii U too, as they have clearly shown that if you give them a system they can get genuinely excited about, invest in, and that also makes good financial sense to them, then they will support it, which they have demonstrated with the Xbox One and PS4, and even still continue to do so with the last-gen Xbox 360 and PS3.

Developers are fully capable of and are indeed still making truly great games, just not on Nintendo systems. So, again, the buck ultimately stops at Nintendo.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Wii U Gamers Have Been Treated ...:

Also; here's a point, just in response to people maybe blaming part of the fault of gamers not buying third party games, or third parties not developing games for Wii U, or whatever, for its failure:

The circumstances and events that led to the Wii U's failure are not a paradox. It is in fact possible to trace the issues back to where they all started, and even if we just look at Wii U as the starting point and don't consider previous Nintendo consoles or Nintendo's previous dealings; I think it's relatively clear the Wii U's failure rests mainly at the feet of Nintendo.

You can't just blame consumers for not buying third party games because very few games ever sell more than a fraction of the systems total install base anyway and Wii U's install base is kinda pathetic. A third party game selling less than a million units on a system with less that ten million total install base probably isn't actually that unusual. That's why having as large as possible install base out the gate and in total, as just ONE factor, is important to any console.

You can't just blame third parties for not supporting the system because it's difficult to commit to a system that is tracking low unit sales and will inevitably yield low software sales for most third party games just by virtue of the percentages. It also not ideal to have to develop your games for less powerful hardware, with an awkward development architecture; and especially when you already know it's probably going to track to relatively low sales upfront anyway. Then there's having to think about supporting random features you otherwise wouldn't have to think about, as well as maybe not being able to support some features that you know most of your potential consumers would take for granted and would be frustrated if they didn't get. As well as some other factors.

I won't go into all the details but I think the Wii U's problems mostly started at a point and time (although not all at the the same point and time) where the only real source you can blame is Nintendo itself.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Wii U Gamers Have Been Treated ...:

Pretty much every home console ever released has a handful of gems, just like the Wii U, but every single time I hear someone talk about the Wii U like it was anything other than a pretty big disappointment and basically a total flop, I just have to call bull. It has a handful of truly great games, a bunch of design niggles (in the hardware, firmware and services), almost no third party support, is looking to be Nintendo's lowest selling home console ever, and is probably going to have one of the shortest lifespans of a Nintendo home console too. The thing is just a total failure, but the truly sad part is it had all the potential in the world to be something genuinely special. With a little more foresight in certain design elements and far better taking advantage of its strengths from day one; I really think the Wii U could have been a success. Sadly Nintendo just didn't figure out how to properly take avantage of all that potential, and it's too late now to figure out that games like Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier are basically ideal for showing off how unique and compelling good use of the GamePad can actually be. This kind of stuff should have been there from day one.



Kirk commented on Video: Here's What Luigi Mansion Arcade Looks ...:

What it looks like is crap imo. There's far too much GUI/HUD on the screen and constantly popping up. Totally spoils the game as far as I'm concerned.

The idea is great. The execution—not so much.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Assessing the Odds of Super Mar...:

@Dr_Lugae That is all true—but it's not the point I was making.

The point I was making was that it's basically just living on false hope to think that Wii U is maybe going to be worthy of being crowned 'the console you can make your own games on', like it's some attribute that's special/unique to the Wii U above all the other consoles out there at the moment. In fact, imagining Nintendo is actually going to make enough games where you can create your own levels to the same kind of quality and depth as seen in Super Mario Maker, to even warrant applying such a title being afforded to the Wii U, is just living in fantasy land imo.

If any console was going to be crowned 'the console you can make your own games on' then I think Wii U would be bottom of the list of potential contenders for the crown. That was my point.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Assessing the Odds of Super Mar...:

@Nintenjoe64 The great irony is you will almost certainly see more of this kind of stuff on both PS4 and Xbox One by the end of the generation, and in fact that is already the case with titles like Little Big Planet 3, Project Spark, Dreams and even the likes of Minecraft as another example of a creation tool with near endless possibilities. Not to mention all the games on those platforms that have level editors included.

Super Mario Maker is a very simple level editor for a very simple type of game design but those other games let the users create almost any type of games and experiences they can imagine.

The saddest thing about all this is that Nintendo could and should have been there first, years before any of those other guys:

When the Wii was first announced—that's the Wii, not the Wii U—I actually thought something like this was maybe in the cards. How wrong and optimistic Nintendo proved that assumption to be.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Assessing the Odds of Super Mar...:

Well packing in the amiibos will probably help sell a few more consoles that it might not have sold otherwise. Some collectors are desperate for those things.

A price drop really is about due though.

Also, it's still a bit pathetic when you think about it; that a simple albeit fun level editor, consisting of mostly old 2D Mario games, is Nintendo's big Wii U title for the end of the year. Not that it doesn't look like a blast.



Kirk commented on If Nintendo Did Decide To Make A Smartphone, W...:

It's part super retro cool but part meh at the same time.

It's one of these ideas that you think would be awesome, until you get one and realise all the limitations and issues with such a design, especially for old school gaming.



Kirk commented on Review: Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising (Wii...:

I found the first game genuinely brilliant, apart from the CE powers near the end that were a bit too unpredictable and unfair imo. If it weren't for the powers I'd probably call it another example of basically "perfect" game design. I can't remember if I played AW2 enough to have an opinion on it. It looks solid though.

I wish Nintendo would make a new Wars game that's just like this but rendered in lovely 3D, similar in art style to that seen in the recent Ace Attourney games, yet with the same traditional slightly tilted top-down view for the main strategy gameplay. Also like how the recent Pokemon games have went all 3D but still roughly kept the same view as the classic games:



Kirk commented on The Famicom is 32 Years Old Today:

I always liked that you could properly sit the controllers on the actual console unit with the original Famicom. It's just a nice little touch.



Kirk commented on Obituary: Satoru Iwata:

@TheRealThanos I think PlywoodStick's comment in post #173 got where I was coming from.

My intention in life isn't to play social games or whatever; no matter what the situation or expectations of others; just be human and post my honest thoughts and feelings. That's the only way to be true to who I am, and it's one of the few things that as of yet is still in my control in this world/life.

Reading between the lines of my various posts and links however, I think people can see there's an honest, heartfelt, human response in there ;-)



Kirk commented on Obituary: Satoru Iwata:

@PlywoodStick Exactly; because that's what it genuinely made me think of, so it was my honest human response. My first genuine thought wasn't the need to say "You will be missed" or "My condolences to his family". It was just some reflection and remembering stuff I had written previously that I was reminded of with the news of Iwata passing; so I figured I wouldn't fake the other stuff for the sake of following the social norms, and instead I just posted true to my real and immediate reaction :-)



Kirk commented on Obituary: Satoru Iwata:

@TheRealThanos Well you see; there's 'a time and a place' but I don't follow the crowd on auto-pilot, even in situations like this. My reaction isn't one of "Well people expect me to feel bad for the guy and say something about how he will be missed, or something to that effect, so that's what I'll do". My reaction is honestly what popped into my head in response to the news and that's how I'm expressing myself in relation to this situation. I'm kinda indifferent or numb to the fact Iwata passed, strange as that seems considering how deeply important and influential Nintendo obviously was/is in my life, but it did make me think about my own mortality and legacy, particularly in relation to video games, and reflecting on that is my honest human response to the news of Iwata's passing. This is how I feel and it is what I want to say in response to the news, without thinking about what I'm "supposed" to say. No political correctness; no ill-will either; just truth.



Kirk commented on Obituary: Satoru Iwata:

Well this basically came out of nowhere :-o

I woke up during the middle of the night with a sore stomach, so I decided to go on my phone and check some gaming sites, and this new was the first thing I saw on IGN. I really didn't see that one coming!

I know this is going to sound selfish but what really saddens me hearing this news is that it just makes me think about the fact that when I die I'm not going to be remembered or discussed like this—pretty much no one's even going to care or blink twice—if my life stays on its current course of relative failure and insignificance :-(

The sad thing is that I dream of creating the kinds of games and experiences that touch people's hearts and inspire them to become a part of the video game industry, as is definitely the case with many of the popular characters, games, hardware and more that Iwata was involved with.

At least Iwata has left behind a creative legacy in his life's work, with beloved games/franchises like Kirby and Earthbound as well as obviously everything he did at HAL and Nintendo, which will always be remembered and will be talked about for years to come.

In this way he will live on forever :-)



Kirk commented on Editorial: Nintendo's Strategy Needs to be Glo...:

I personally think things start to go wrong usually precisely because companies start to think of all these different territories and consumers as somehow being different at some fundamental level—like you can't make a Japanese console and Japanese software that's also perfectly suited to Americans and Europeans too—and so they start creating multiple different business models, hardware solutions, different game divisions, and approaches that they think are best suited for each market, which just ends up convoluting and diluting things that could probably be much simpler, more cost efficient and more effective otherwise. It also probably p*sses off a lot of people when one territory gets some game or piece of hardware and the other doesn't, or stuff gets delayed in one territory because schedules get changed around to suit different markets better, and whatever else.

To me, just solving the issue of making something work well for and appeal to everyone, usually seems to work better than trying to have multiple different solutions that only work for and appeal to one group or another but not the other. I mean take a look at Nintendo's most popular franchises/games for example: the Super Mario games, Mario Kart, Pokemon, Wii Sports, Tetris, etc..They aren't particularly aimed at one specific market region or demographic. They're just well made and universally appealing games.

Now let's try to imagine how different Mario's world-wide popularity and global success would be if he looked like either this:

Untitled(Very "realistic", "gritty", "mature" and very "American" or "Western", imo)

Or this:

Untitled(Very Manga/Anime and very "Japanese")

Instead however, he looks like this:

Untitled (That's a look that can basically appeal to anyone, any age)

I mean let's consider what made the Wii so successful for example (certainly in terms of sales)—pretty much the Wiimote and Wii Sports. It's just something that everyone gets immediately and that appeals to everyone on a universal level, regardless of whether you are Japanese, American or European. Now imagine if the Wii came bundled with motion controlled sumo wrestling in Japan, motion controlled american football in America and motion controlled football (soccer, for the Americans) in Europe; with motion controllers that were designed to work more specifically with each of those sports too. I'm not sure it would have worked quite as well as a launch strategy to be honest.

To me, the best strategies and approaches often come from seeing all these markets/demographics as essentially the same and trying to create products and services that just 'work' for, appeal to and satisfy everyone universally, regardless of who you are and where you come from. It's also just a far more efficient business model from a cost and resource perspective, which is obviously a major factor too.

I think the same is essentially true of hardware, software and services.

At the end of the day though, all you really need to do is just truly 'satisfy the consumer, at a profit' and I don't see how you can go wrong.

That's my thinking on it anyway.



Kirk commented on 3D Streets Of Rage 2 Hits North America & Euro...:

It's just ironic that there's more style, charm and colour in that one screenshot of Streets of Rage 2 than there is in most modern video games :-o

If this game were made today you can bet it would be so dull, gritty, "realistic" and just bland looking, that it would lose so much of the look and style that made so appealing in the first place.

Pretty sad when you think about it.



Kirk commented on Poncho Will Bring Some Robotic Style to the Wi...:

Looks pretty cool.

PS. See here's the problem with Kickstarter these days: These guys couldn't get this game more than 40% funded on Kickstarter, even though it actually looks pretty cool, but some famous American dev or famous Japanese dev, or whoever, comes in a pitches some game largely based on their name and nostalgia and they get multiple millions of dollars in a few days/weeks. It's just a bit unfair and broken, when you think about it. And Kickstarter was supposed to be about helping the little guy with the big idea get a break and was meant to be a way allow them to create the projects they wouldn't have been able to otherwise. Yeah; right. Another system that was once good, in principle at least, now corrupted by greed. It's just lucky for these guys that they got another chance/opportunity to bring this game to us.



Kirk commented on Review: Don't Crash (Wii U eShop):

@C-Threep Yes; all of that stuff would have made it better, obviously, but that's not really the point that I think a lot of people are taking issue with.

I mean we all know this guy's doing the bare minimum with each of his games but when he's only charging $1.49 I really don't think there's too much to genuinely complain about here—as long as everything is in working condition and there is at least one game mechanic in there to speak of. There will be other developers who give you much more for that $1.49, no doubt about it, but that doesn't mean that this guy shouldn't be compensated at all for his work. I mean it's basically pocket change he's charging here.

How is any normal person supposed to catch a break in this industry and this life if they can't start off small and simple, and work up from there?

Not everyone can create the next gaming masterpiece right out the gate, or is able to afford to give away all their work for free and just hope somehow they get lucky.

Here's a guy trying to 'catch a star' and as long as he isn't being disingenuous about it then I kind wish him the best to be honest. I mean he's already off to a better start them me—in terms of making at least some money from his gaming venture—and for that I actually envy him a little bit :-o



Kirk commented on Review: Don't Crash (Wii U eShop):

It's only $1.49, for Christ's sake.

If you don't want to spend $1.49 for a game like this then that's fine—that's your prerogative—but you are in fact getting a fully working and complete albeit very simple game for that price. The price of an ice cream or whatever. It's kinda irrelevant that it's a simple game with one basic mechanic—although it's really no more simple than the likes of the original Flappy Bird, when you think about it—because it's literally costing you pocket change.

"The fact that it costs money is, in a word, ludicrous."

That is an ludicrous statement, especially coming from someone writing as a "professional" journalist.

What do you expect?

Do you think these people or this person are putting whatever amount of time and work into making these games, as simple as they are, to just give you them for nothing?!

So; they don't get to make a living for their work, doing something they maybe actually enjoy—they maybe have to go work like a glorified slave on some sh*tty Tesco till or something like that for the rest of their lives—because you expect them to just give away their creations for free?!

Totally absurd.

PS. The music IS annoying, and I think it actually would have been better if they'd went with some simple car sounds and no music at all—but that's just an observation.



Kirk commented on Video: Take A Drip Down Memory Lane With Game ...:

Well all of this is totally new to me, which is refreshing :-D

Edit: Ok; I just gave both Jerry Boy and Jerry Boy 2 a wee go and given how solid and fun Jerry Boy 2 is in its unfinished state, it's actually frustrating to see that something like this just got dropped, when it was clearly really polished and probably could have been released with very little additional work. I don't see how that's even close to a good business decision. They should actually release it now as a cool retro bonus VC title or something.



Kirk commented on Ubisoft's Former Wii U Exclusive ZombiU Confir...:

I thought this game was just ok. The low field of view* made it hard to see the level around you clearly and it always felt like you had tunnel vision, which was a big problem for me. At least that's what I think was causing the problem. I simply couldn't get into and enjoy the game because of this—that's how big an issue it was for me and how much it distracted from my enjoyment of the experience. I wonder if they've fixed this...probably not. All the GamePad stuff I really couldn't care less about to be honest.

As a note; this low field of view one was of the main issues I had with the original Metroid Prime too, although the rest of that game was pretty top notch.

Also, this is where VR is going to be great for fps games, because it has a generally pretty high field of view in terms of the physical display alone, around the 90/110 degrees mark, which is already higher than the tiny floating box that is your TV/monitor and I also presume the game being displayed in the VR headset can additionally be done so in such a way as to make the field of view seem even wider.

*If you don't know what I'm taking about when I refer to the 'field of view' then read this: