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United Kingdom

Sun 20th January, 2008

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Kirk commented on The Last of Us Fails to Overtake Yokai Watch 2...:

The whole industry is bizarre and unpredictable right now imo. PS4 is obliterating the competition in the west yet in it's homeland it's losing to the Wii U by quite a large margin and the Xbox One still isn't even out there. I would honestly never have expected any of that to happen looking forward just before the two new consoles launched in the west.



Kirk commented on Mario Kart 8 DLC Coming In November, Features ...:


The standard game IS complete (well, ignoring the lack of proper battle arenas, but that's more about a slightly stupid design decision than the game missing content) and this is really just more extra/additional content coming out at a later date.

What you are complaining about is kinda like saying F-Zero X on N64 was "incomplete" because Nintendo decided to add a vehicle and track editor later on via the N64 DD expansion pack.

In this day and age you just can't reasonably expect every single game to be forever locked as it is from the second it's released and that's it (like it was back in the glory days of the NES and SNES era for example). I think that's a case where you are actually being the unreasonable one rather than the other way around.

As long as the initial game feels like a full, complete and satisfying product (whatever game it may be) then I certainly don't see a genuine problem with some good DLC coming down the line at a slightly later date (as long as that DLC is handled with respect too).



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:


I was actually going to say that I'm not entirely sure/confident that's going to be the case going forward because I just get the sense that modern Nintendo is a little bit less about crafting everything to the highest quality standards and more and more about making as many 'whatevers' as cheaply and quickly as possible, even if it means a little drop in overall quality.

So far I've not really noticed it in the hardware on the whole but I've noticed that it seems to be the case more and more with things like the firmware and overall presentation and quality of the menus and user interfaces in it's systems and that's maybe the first sign.

I guess the more complex everything gets, the more all the little details (that I think are often the most important thing) get overlooked.

I've also noticed it with some of Nintendo's recent collaboration projects too, where imo it seems to be being a bit haphazard with how it's letting other companies use it's characters and visa versa. Sometimes that extra "Nintendo" layer of polish just seems to be missing imo.

Still, overall, the standard is still generally very high for the most part.



Kirk commented on Mario Kart 8 DLC Coming In November, Features ...:


I can't fathom why you would consider this a bad thing, other than it meaning they're probably not going to bother with separate games in the likes of the F-Zero franchise going forward but they weren't doing that anyway so that's hardly a loss at this point.

I'd love a new F-Zero game but if Nintendo simply isn't going to bother giving us one then I think it would be a great idea just to make a single Nintendo Racer going forward and let us select between different franchise characters, different courses and even different racing styles. It would mean cutting down on the amount of time and resources required to make two totally separate racing games/franchises, which means Nintendo can work on more new games in other franchises etc, but still give racing fans a little bit of everything they're craving for from a Nintendo racing franchise perspective.

Given that there seems to be no signs of a new F-Zero game coming down the line I actually hope they add a whole bunch of F-Zero themed courses and even a whole bunch of the F-Zero cars too. Assuming/presuming there's no new F-Zero game coming down the line of course...

A Nintendo Racer could be exactly the right way for Nintendo to go going forward, if it's handled right.



Kirk commented on Mario Kart 8 DLC Coming In November, Features ...:

Well this is way better than the Mercedes DLC but two things...

1. At this point Nintendo might as well just do a proper full Nintendo Kart/Racer imo, which I would have absolutely no problem with whatsoever.

2. This Blue Falcon DLC means either they're doing this because there's no F-Zero in development for Wii U, which means this is just a token gesture for all the frustrated F-Zero fans out there, or there is an F-Zero game in development and this is a little nod to that (which I would be so happy about). Sadly, I expect it's probably the former.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:


Yeah, Nintendo has always made high quality hardware.

I've basically never had a Nintendo system fail on me; other than one face button on my SNES controller that became a bit sticky after many years of play and one should button on my DS Lite that became a bit sticky after many years of play.

I think those are basically the only issues I ever had with any Nintendo machines ever.

Even my N64 analog stick(s), I had 4 controllers, all worked great after years of use and apparently those aren't supposed to hold up all that well.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:


Yeah, mine was a UK SNES.

I'm a bit anal about tidiness and stuff anyway so I guess just keeping things clean in general maybe helped by making sure it didn't get dusty, covered in spills, gather smoke fumes (since I don't smoke) or just sat out directly in front of the window all day or whatever.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:


I regrettably sold my SNES to Game or Gamestation (or one of those stores) a few years back but I recall even after having and using it regularly for probably well over 10 years it was still in perfect condition.

I think I either got really lucky with a later production run or maybe it just never got any direct sunlight or something (and I don't smoke either) because that thing looked lovely till the day I basically gave it away (I got a few pounds for it).

I miss my SNES...and my "watermelon" N64...and my black GBA SP...and my black GC...and even my Xbox...but not my original FAT DS

Boy, I got rid of a lot of great machines and would you believe all they got me was SOME of the money towards a new DS Lite (another great machine in it's own right though), if I recall correctly (although I might have bought a Wii around the same time too) :-o



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:


I think it should actually have both.

What it should do is a quick dirt cheap version, practically free, that lets you access every single game as a simple ROM emulated version, on whatever device you own (as long as it makes sense for it to be on said device; so no games where the controls couldn't actually fit on the device for example), and then also have these proper updated VC versions that it trickles out at regular intervals and you can either upgrade from your basic ROM version for a small upgrade fee or buy them fresh as VC versions only and get any benefits that come with that (such as digital manuals and whatever else they're offering with these new Wii U VC versions).

IMO that's probably the best way to do it and satisfy everyone.

Of course, that's just too sensible for Nintendo to likely even consider.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:

Hey, even if we do end up playing old retro games in some kind of futuristic VR cyber space, we'll almost surely still be playing with controllers and buttons but the controllers will just be simulated inside the VR space. So you will see a virtual representation of you holding the controller in your hand and pressing the buttons and sticks with your fingers and thumbs etc, or if it's an old arcade game you'll see a virtual representation of the arcade cabinet in front of you for example*, with probably some kind of force feedback or maybe even still some kind of physical control device that you hold in the real world that helps with the simulated experience. So basically, you'll almost certainly always be playing these old classics in some way that is pretty close to the original experience :-D

*Ready Player One has a great representation of how I think we'll likely be playing old retro games in the future in this whole VR experience:



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Argument For And Against Re...:

Look; the only way I even play retro games these days is on my PC or Mac (which by the way still tends to be a better experience than any officially available method imo) and there's many reasons for this. One of them is that I wouldn't give Nintendo the money it's asking to play these 20-30 years old retro games as I simply think they're overpriced. I most likely wouldn't be buying these games on some home console anyway, unless they were dirt cheap and actually offered the superior experience bar none (which currently isn't the case). So it's not like Nintendo is really losing money here, certainly not in my case, because 99.9% of the time it wasn't going to see it in the first place. At least this way these classic games are still getting played, enjoyed and appreciated by me and I'm still talking about them positively in places like this. Is that really so bad?

Maybe if Nintendo actually worked harder to figure out a way to get me back on board again this would be a different post...

Anyway, it's not like you can't just play many of these games directly online and for free in what is apparently a totally legal way (see link below):

Note: If posting a link to an apparently legal (see link below) NES emulation site is against the rules then please just delete the link but like I say, this is apparently being done within the rules of the law (see link below).



Kirk commented on That Shocking Pokémon Announcement Was Arcade...:

Looks ok-ish but they need to work on those graphics and make them look more like a modern HD version of the classic Pokemon "toon" style that the franchise is actually known for (and that it's perfectly suited to and actually looks great by the way) rather than something that looks like an early/mid last-gen game with kinda generic looking graphics imo.

Also, I'd also just love it if Nintendo finally got it's act together and made an actual full home console Pokemon RPG game in the same vain as the recent 3DS games, I mean basically identical, but in glorious 3D HD.

Note: If this Pokemon Tournament eventually comes to Wii U then I'm sure there'll be lots of Pokemon Tournament Amiibo figures too which would be cool...



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Wii U May be Best as One of...:

I can't afford one of these systems never mind two.

So if I'm ever going to get a system it needs to be the one that gives me the most bang for my buck and surely that has to be one of the two systems that has both great first party support and third party support, is a Blu-Ray player, has cutting edge HD graphics, basic MP3/MP4/AVI/etc playback, has enough built in storage space to do me for a while, has things like cross play etc etc etc.

And THAT's Wii U's biggest issue; it lacks virtually all of those things. So unless you're a one trick pony and all you really care about is Nintendo first party games, or you have money to spare, it's just not the likely choice.

Hence the slightly pathetic situation Wii U is in right now...



Kirk commented on Poll: Which Is The Best Super Mario Platformer?:


Yeah, this is exactly what I'm trying to do.

I'm trying to answer that question "The Best Super Mario Platformer?" based on the here and now, rather than "The Super Mario Platformer I like/d the most?" or "My first Super Mario platformer and therefor the one I hold dearest" or whatever.

Super Mario 64 is one of thee most important, seminal and influential video games ever created (it was truly brilliant and genuinely great fun it's day), no one but an ignorant idiot would even bother to argue with that assertion, but it's not truly and timelessly special by today's standards (although, it's still actually very good imo) and that's because unlike some of the very best 2D Super Mario platformers, it simply hasn't aged or held up anywhere near as well.

Classics like Super Mario World or Yoshi's Island are however entirely comparable to a modern beloved indie masterpiece like Shovel Knight imo and if they had been released alongside that game for the first time ever, today, on the eShop, without us ever having even heard of "Mario" before hand, then I believe they would be similarly praised and in some ways probably even more so.

To me, that is the key difference between relatively great games and games that are of truly enduring, timeless genius and brilliance irrespective of time and THAT to me surely has to be how we ultimately objectively define and rate those games that we like to label "Best Ever" in whatever category and genre etc.



Kirk commented on Poll: Which Is The Best Super Mario Platformer?:

I actually wish there were two slightly different polls that people could vote in two different ways on;

1. What is your favourite Super Mario platformer?
2. What is the best Super Mario platformer?

I believe there is a massive difference between the two questions because while I think it's totally and utterly fair for people to choose something like New Super Mario Bros or Super Mario 64 as their favourite Mario platformers, as random examples, I don't think it's fair to say that objectively they are the best Super Mario platformers and certainly not by today's standards; which goes for many of the games on this list. While games like Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island are so brilliant that even in today's gaming market they would hold up basically perfectly imo (Imagine them being release as brand new hitherto unseen eShop indie titles for example and the kind of reception they would receive even today...) I don't think anyone that's actually being objective could say the same about Mario 64 for example (imagine it being released on the eShop now), despite it being TRULY mind blowing and brilliant in it's day and one of thee most important, influential and seminal video games ever.

I mean I don't think any modern reviewer would particularly praise Super Mario 64 for it's graphics, be it the low polygon models, blurry low-res textures or level pop-in, for example (even when being considered as an indie title). Or it's slightly clunky camera by modern standards. The gameplay is generally still fine, even by today's standards, but it's not really anything that I imagine any modern reviewers would be particularly praising of either to be honest. It was truly brilliant and truly stunning for it's time, truly, but that was a long time ago. Unlike with Mario 64 however, if you gave a modern reviewer a copy of Yoshi's Island, having never seen or heard of it before, and told them to review it even by today's standards, I believe it would still receive basically universal praise and critical acclaim. Of course most of these games would have to be considered and reviewed in the same way as modern indie titles because obviously they can't even be compared to typical modern AAA releases and are far more in line with modern indie games anyway.

So, imo, any game on this list is of course worthy of being your personal favourite Super Mario platformer but only a handful of the games on this list are actually genuinely worthy of such a title as "The Best Super Mario Platformer", now, today...and this will only become ever more clear in a further 20 years too imo.

I voted for Super Mario World as "The Best Super Mario Platformer" because regardless of it maybe being my personal favourite or not (Depending on the particular day, it swings between Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island and sometimes even Super Mario Bros 3 from the Super Mario All-Stars collection), I actually think it is objectively thee best Super Mario platformer (along with a few other titles on this list that could arguably be considered similarly) and I genuinely believe that's beyond subjective personal opinion and not only relative to it's time either etc.

Of course, regardless of what is the best Super Mario platformer of them all, either subjectively or objectively, the most amazing thing ultimately is that basically all of these Mario platform games, spanning something like 30 years, are actually all genuinely great games in their own right and that's the truly impressive feat here imo.



Kirk commented on Video: The 10 Best Zelda Games As Selected By You:

We could argue about the exact order for all time but the fact the pretty much every single Zelda game is genuinely brilliant, to the point that almost every single one of them could arguably sit comfortably atop this list, is the real genius here.



Kirk commented on Ubisoft Executive Talks Up Super Smash Bros. a...:


I think all of this "shifting public perception" stuff is an illusion that only hardcore gamers who come on gaming websites every day would even perceive.

The general public gives as little a sh*t about Wii U now as it ever has imo and I don't think Smash Bros is going to change that. Maybe Amiibo has a slight chance but only if Nintendo absolutely nails that whole approach and given Nintendo's track record of late I wouldn't put money on that happening to be honest.

I'm just not very optimistic about the Wii Us future and Nintendo simply isn't doing enough to turn that around imo.



Kirk commented on Poll: Which Is The Best Super Mario Platformer?:

It's one of the 2D ones, I personally voted for Super Mario World (SNES) although Super Mario Bros 3 (specifically the All-Stars version) and Yoshi's Island are up there too, but I'm sure many of the younger gamers will vote for one of the more recent 3D games.

Consider this; if say Super Mario 64 was released today as a brand new hitherto unknown eShop indie game, exactly as it is, what score and acclaim do you think it would get...? If Super Mario World was released today as a brand new hitherto unknown eShop indie game, exactly as it is, what score and acclaim do you think it would get...?



Kirk commented on Ubisoft Executive Talks Up Super Smash Bros. a...:


And I'm sure most Wii U owners and indeed Nintendo itself are hoping for a similar situation at this point in time because Mario Kart 8 certainly didn't address the systems current state of floppage particularly effectively and it's running out of tricks if Super Smash Bros Wii U doesn't do much better.

Next, Amiibo...



Kirk commented on Ubisoft Executive Talks Up Super Smash Bros. a...:

People need to start waking up and smelling the coffee here.

Super Smash Bros Wii U will sell in decent numbers and I'm sure Wii U sales will spike for a little while but in the grand scheme of things it's not going to make any kind of major impact, just like Mario Kart 8 hasn't changed the Wii U's fortunes in any truly significant way either.

It's going to take more than a few decent games each year to suddenly turn the Wii U into a truly compelling system and indeed a success.

Ubisoft basically dropping all meaningful AAA support going forward, or so it seems, is the bigger news here because that's the kind of thing that's going to have a big impact on continued Wii U sales in the future, more so than churning out another Just Dance game or saying Super Smash Bros Wii U might make any kind of difference and that it could be "magical".

That's the cold hard truth that a lot of people need to start waking up to.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: A Virtual Console Revival Could...:

Nintendo should have nailed the pricing for this day one and by that I mean made them much cheaper across the board.

There's so many stupid issues, such as the overly high pricing in general, the lack of Wii U VC games, the lack of most of the other retro systems that saw support on the Wii VC, the clunkiness of having to play Wii VC games via the legacy mode, the lack of proper unified accounts and things that could/should have brought like cross buy/play using one copy of the game...

Nintendo is just dropping the ball left, right and centre on countless things like this that it really should have nailed imo and imo if it did nail them, at least much sooner if not day one, then the Wii U would be doing much better right now as a result.



Kirk commented on Wii U System Update 5.1.2 Takes Stability to A...:


They would most likely do that by default, as that's generally the point in having a "Like" system in these comments sections in the first place?


Or maybe lump a few of them together as a well as add in something a bit more meaningful along with the "stability" too.



Kirk commented on Wii U System Update 5.1.2 Takes Stability to A...:


I don't want that kind of silly favouritism crap on this site, thank you very much. I get enough of that forced social and behavioural conditioning silly on virtually every other site as it is. No good actually comes of it in the slightest. All it does is make some people feel like second class citizens when their posts get pushed to the bottom as some random, who only says what everyone wants to hear, gets voted to the top.

Let's just leave it the way it is and give everyone an EQUAL chance to have their comments viewed without only the suck-up jerks rising to the top.



Kirk commented on Wii U System Update 5.1.2 Takes Stability to A...:

"Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience."

Love off, Nintendo, and actually give us something worthwhile in some of these updates for once...

There's SOOO much you could add and improve to actually make the Wii U a far more compelling and satisfying entertainment console all-round but No; all we get is more and more "stability".



Kirk commented on Ubisoft Clarifies Reasoning For The Crew Skipp...:

Well at least this actually sounds like a real/legit reason. It also shows once again one of the big flaws with Nintendo's whole approach with the Wii U, being basically last-gen tech/architecutre and under-powered etc, that also goes towards the argument that the issue(s) with Wii U's lack of third party support really isn't just lazy/stupid developers but that Wii U is fundamentally just not a great choice for putting their games on, however you look at it (be it the architecture or the sales or whatever). In other words; it all comes back to Nintendo again.



Kirk commented on Beautiful Limited Edition Super Smash Bros. 3D...:

Not quite feeling the grey tone image on red. Looks a bit like trying to save some pennies on colour printing or whatever to me. Like when they'd print old game discs, GC as I recall, in only two colours or however many it was.



Kirk commented on Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack Poses...:

Maybe it's just me but this feels wrong.

It feels like everything that's kinda evil and exploitive about this industry rather than any of the good stuff.

I get the same feeling I did with things like Guitar Hero where that series and all the consumers just got milked to death until it finally imploded.

I don't like when companies treat their brands and consumers like that; just exploit as much out them while you can and don't give a second thought to what that means down the line.



Kirk commented on Video: Behold the Sheer Majesty Of The Backlit...:


Ok, I actually thought the newer modded backlit screen might be better than the Light but I wasn't sure. Good to hear it's a genuine and clear step up. I never knew the Light was expensive online and I've not used either the Light or original Game Boy in quite some time so I can't really remember how they both feel in the hand. I just presumed the Light would have been a bit better to hold but I guess maybe not. Sounds to me then that this is an all-round pretty good solution :-)

PS. On a SLIGHTLY related note: I just spent about 12 hours straight the other day playing Warlocked for the GBC and it's still a brilliant little RTS game. It's amazing how you can still pick up some of these old games years later and they're often more fun than half of these big AAA modern games imo.


Well just based on the Nintendo Life article images/footage and the images of the Light that I found online I figured they two solutions looked pretty similar but obviously in real life there's quite a bit of difference between the old Light solution and the new GB mod solution.



Kirk commented on Project CARS Shows a Tremendous Graphical Upgr...:

Three observations...

1. Clearly it's technically improved in quite a few areas.

2. Except all the hills on the far distant horizon of the water are now inexplicably gone for whatever reason, which is the one thing that looks like a step down.

3. And also, despite it clearly being technically much improved it's somehow ended up looking a bit more "gamey" and less realistic, which I'll briefly cover/address below, and in the case of a game that's obviously going for hyper realism seems a bit counter productive to a degree.

I'm all for the improvements but maybe put the distant hills back in and somehow fiddle with the textures just a bit to maybe stop everything looking like it's possibly displaying too much "texture" and vibrancy in the colours regardless of the distance from the camera, or whatever it is (maybe it needs a bit more obvious drop off in the sharpness, colour/vibrancy and lower contrast on distant objects and a bit more [soft focus and blurring] depth of field or something), to bring back a bit more of that "realism" again that for some reason the older build seemed to actually have more of even though it's clearly less technically accomplished.

That's about all I'd have to suggest but other than that it's looking very nice.



Kirk commented on Video: Behold the Sheer Majesty Of The Backlit...:

Nice but I think I'd rather just look for a Game Boy Pocket Light on eBay or something:

Now; if they could mod an original Game Boy Pocket Light to maybe improve that screen even further then I think that might be the best overall solution using the superior Game Boy model (seeing that it's smaller and more portable/practical) and the newer improved backlit screen over the original Game Boy Pocket Light's screen (I would presume).

Also, they need to add the option to choose separate colours for the d-pad and buttons once you start picking custom colours.



Kirk commented on Wii U System Update 5.1.1 is Now Available:


My point is that most of the updates have added very little of any genuine worth for the most part.

Nintendo should be pushing out some big new compelling features in these updates, like the basic MP3/MP4/CD/DVD playback, proper unified online shop accounts and some actual meaningful TVii integration in the UK, as I mentioned.



Kirk commented on Wii U System Update 5.1.1 is Now Available:


I don't see the relevance.

The point I was making was that these updates are mostly worthless from the end consumer point of view in terms of actually adding any features and services that we give a sh*t about.

Yes, there's the obligatory fixes and "stability" increases but what about Nintendo actually adding some meaningful stuff we want too, like the various features and services I mentioned for example...



Kirk commented on Hyrule Warriors DLC Floodgates Opened with Alt...:

The Twilight Princess art style is the weakest and fugliest of the three imo. It's a shame the whole of Hyrule Warriors looks to be based mostly on this look and style unfortunately. Somewhere between the classic Ocarina of Time art and more recent Skyward Sword art styles would be ideal...which I guess is roughly what they are going for in the new Zelda for Wii U.



Kirk commented on Adventure Mode Details Revealed for Hyrule War...:

This game looks ok but it clearly lacks that final layer of polish and execution that the best Nintendo games have.

For example; the sprite graphics is this Zelda adventure mode that's based on the look of the original Zelda game actually look worse than the original NES game. Seriously. What's with the stupid clumsy looking outlines around the characters that just ruin that lovely clean bold aesthetic of the original sprite graphics?

Overall this games look OK but it just needs more polish in almost every area imo.

They mentioned how you battle alongside other ally soldiers and then the first thing I saw was footage of multiple ally soldiers just standing around looking gormless while a battle supposedly rages on around them. That's just lazy programming or whatever.

There's a bit of fogging and some pop-in of the scenery at times which just looks cheap.

The overall look of the graphics, the main visuals style, is of that dated "rendered' look that is imo the least visually appealing of all the styles they could have chosen.

There's a mesh of retro and recent graphics that just look a bit mix n' match at times and not in a way that looks coherent and that actually adds to the game.

Nothing looks particularly terrible but nothing looks particularly great either imo and that's the game's biggest problem; it just looks ok.

Nintendo needs to do more than this and Zelda deserves more.