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Sun 20th January, 2008

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Kirk commented on Anniversary: The Nintendo DS is Now 10 Years Old:

I remember when I first saw the fugly beast of a system that is the DS FAT. Shock at how cheap and crap it looked...and they actually released that as a proper retail unit! I cannot even believe Nintendo let that pile of sh*t out the door. Thank Christ someone saw fit to redesign the system a bit down the line and give us the DS Lite, which is arguably the greatest looking handheld unit Nintendo has ever put out there. What a contrast from sh*t to stunning.

Happy Birthday-ish to the DS Lite. Go burn in f**king hell, DS FAT!

PS. Nintendo REALLY should be ashamed for letting that DS FAT be an actual retail unit. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that everyone at the company knew it was a fugly looking brick and the only reason it was allowed to see a retail release was because it was in the cards from day one to milk us all a little bit down the line with a proper redesigned model, one that actually looked good, which Nintendo knew fine well virtually every sane person would rather have. To me, you don't treat loyal customers like that. You make the best product you can at the time, that people will actually be genuinely happy and satisfied with, and trust that you'll always be able to make an even better model down the line because of natural advancements in tech etc. You don't intentionally build something basically as cheaply and fugly as you can knowing fine well everyone that buys it is only doing so because there's no other alternative and then plan to get them all to re-buy the same system again in the near future but this time with the design it could and should have had all along. It's basically a kind of blatant planned obsolescence. That's just wrong and everyone at Nintendo knows it. It's not the kind of business practice I respect.



Kirk commented on Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Wii U):

Ok; listen up Nintendo Life staff...

If your experience with a game isn't complete enough that you're having to inform us the review is missing details on major areas of the game and you've not been able to give the game a final score yet then maybe you shouldn't label this simply as a "Review" on the main link. Maybe you should call it something like "Partial Review" or "Unfinished Early Review" or whatever.

When I click a link labelled 'Review' I don't expect to come in and be told that you've not played a fundamental component of the game and then to see that there's currently no score. That's like watching a p*rn video with a huge chunk of footage removed in the middle and that cuts off just before the money shot :-o

Just saying.



Kirk commented on Video: Someone Has Built Mario Kart 8's Mute C...:

And here's the key point...

This GENUINELY looks far more fun than it's equivalent in Mario Kart 8, despite the huge graphical difference and whatever other additions in Mario Kart 8 etc, and that just makes me wanted a properly realised current-gen F-Zero game even more.

Why can't I get a new F-Zero that captures the magic of this game?!



Kirk commented on Wii U eShop Title Meme Run Seals Approval To R...:

PPS. No one here knows, understands or comprehends, that if I had my way the original Wii would have had an in-built feature that would have basically been the equivalent of a free App Store and it would have been filled with Wii user created content just like this (created directly on the actual console itself; everything from artwork and videos to full video games), that could also be uploaded to the Internet for everyone else to appreciate too, with maybe a couple of genuine gems and potential Internet phenomenons to be found in among it all.

Just like the App Store, Steam and many general Internet sites that let users upload any manner of user created content, it could have been a genuine Revolution (pun intended).

I was so far ahead of the game that it's not even funny that I'm sitting here watching stuff like this skint :-(

Although; that game is still kinda funny, as bad as it clearly is!



Kirk commented on Feature: The Wii U is Two Years Old, But How's...:

Yeah, I've yet to fall in love with a single aspect of the system.

It's not bad and there's definitely some fun to be had, particularly with a few of the games, but nothing about it screams of brilliance or magic to me and that's genuinely disappointing from a Nintendo product.

With consoles like the SNES and N64 it felt like almost everything about them screamed of brilliance and magic, be it the games, controller, graphics, whatever, especially the SNES which I basically can't fault in any area, but I just don't get any of that from the Wii U. It feels like Nintendo has designed everything about it to be "just enough" and little more.

I want to be blown away. I want to feel that classic Nintendo magic and I'm not just talking about finding it in one or two of the very best first party titles on the console but in pretty much every aspect of it.

Nintendo has a long way to go to make the Wii U achieve anywhere near the overall truly satisfying experience I want and expect from it.



Kirk commented on Video: Nintendo Releases Two Snappy amiibo TV ...:


It's funny because I already took issue with the transparent plastic stalks on some of the original demonstration figures, which all things being equal weren't that bad, so these are really fugly to me, with the fugly coloured chunks of plastic on some of the models and the slight drop in quality of the actual models themselves too. It's a wee bit of shame the final models couldn't have at least matched the preview models and ideally that Nintendo couldn't design these models in poses that didn't require any additional plastic supports at all, like both the Disney Infinity and Skylanders figures have already managed.



Kirk commented on Interview: Curve Studios on the Unique Charm o...:

"The more eShop titles there are, the better it is for everyone"

That is not an absolute truth.

At some point there's a danger there might be so many eShop games that only the biggest and most established names and franchises will get noticed, pushed to the top of whatever filtering options exist, and then all the other tiny unknown developers will simply get no exposure at all. That's not exactly giving the consumer a fair representation and fair choice of the titles available on these stores and obviously it's not great for the vast majority of indie developers.

If that doesn't sound correct then go to the Google Play Store and type Smash Doors into the search box, that's the exact name of one of my games, and then see where it appears on the list...

Try the same with Santa Saga, another one of my games, in the iOS App Store...

If these services weren't so bloated then all logic would dictate that if you typed the exact name of one of my games into the search engine then it would immediately appear at the top of the list but there's just so many Apps now that even typing in the exact name doesn't guarantee you'll see what you are specifically searching for.

Sometimes just adding more and more and more isn't always better for everyone.

PS. I love how all the simple elements of this game, from the simple gameplay and very basic graphics with some cool lighting and shadows to the charming voice over and lovely music, all add up to what looks like a pretty great indie experience. It's amazing how much you can do with basically so little, if it's done well.



Kirk commented on Resolution Doesn't Matter With 2D Games, Says ...:

As long as you're using actual clean pixels with solid colours, the engine isn't blending between colours and that if you're scaling the game you're ideally doing so by some factor of two, so the pixels don't get stretched or distorted from their natural state, then it makes no difference what resolution you're running a typical 2D pixel based game at.

Games like the original Super Mario Bros or say Yoshi's Island will always look stunning as long as you're not scaling or blending the pixels in such a way that it actually conflicts with those type of simple, clean, pixel based graphics in the first place. Filters for example often slightly ruin the look of these games.

If you're game looks something like Donkey Kong Country on the SNES however, where it's not actually clean individual pixels but more of a blended and rendered type of look, then it absolutely matters what resolution you run the game at, what scaling you do and what size of screen you run it on imo because the larger your screen gets and the lower the resolution, the more that's just going to look blurry and sh*t. It's probably partly why Miyamoto was never that fond of DKC's visuals in the first place; because he could tell even then that they probably weren't going to age particularly well going forward.

2D isn't the real factor here. It's about having that very obvious pixel art vs a more smooth rendered look. It's when you're trying to do lots of complex patterns and blend into lots of different colours and stuff, especially with games that are trying to look all "realistic", that your game can start to look crap if you're running it a too low a resolution on too big a screen. It just so happens that many 2D games still use old school pixel art, which generally scales brilliantly, whereas most 3D games go for a more textured and rendered look.



Kirk commented on Exclusive New Nintendo 3DS Features Teased For...:

I have to admit that after having watched a direct comparison video between the original N64 version and the 3DS version there's been more visual improvements made than I first thought. Hopefully the final game has even more improvements beyond just the visuals and ultimately delivers on everyone's expectations.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:


Well I don't like a white controller with blue buttons but that's just my particular taste. I'd rather go for something like this:

Not the Mario Club one, don't particularly love the look of that either (it's the white and blue again that doesn't quite work for me), but the other three are lovely.


Edit: I thought your link pointed to the white and blue controller. My bad. The main point I was making wasn't about the colour however but the functionality and features of the controller.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:


Then why on God's Earth didn't Nintendo just make the controller you linked the official Smash Bros GC style controller* (and put it in black with the white Smash Bros logo)?

There's no reason it couldn't have still released the GC controller adapter too for any people who want to use their old legacy GC controllers to play Smash Bros Wii U but at least this way its brand new Smash Bros themed GC style controller would actually have some use and worth beyond just playing one single game.

*Without the need to plug it into another controller to work. You should also be able to use it either wirelessly or wired via USB.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:


It's certainly a much better solution than just re-releasing GC controllers with a Smash Bros logo on them, which require an additional external adapter to even work with the Wii U but even then only in one specific game, imo.

Note: I don't like the particular colouring of that controller (I prefer the more traditional GC colouring of the buttons etc) but the basic design would have been the right way to go for this whole "it's perfect for Smash Bros" legacy style controller imo.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:


Yes. Basically; this GC styled controller should have been a fully functioning Wii U controller that could be used on ANY game in either wired or wireless mode and not only that but it should have included the extra shoulder button and the Home and Select buttons too.

Nintendo could also still have the GC controller adapter option available for those people who specifically wanted to use their own legacy GC controllers and at least then any limitations in compatibility etc would be somewhat understandable.

Nintendo's overall controller solution at this point is a total convoluted mess but to unnecessarily limit any new controllers that are primarily intended for use on the Wii U, as is the case here, is just compounding the issue even further.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:


No, I'm talking specifically about this new Wii U compatible Smash Bros themed GC controller. Not old GC controllers. This Smash Bros themed GC controller for Wii U should have been designed to work fully across Wii U without any limitations and without the need for other additional hardware. Creating a GC adapter so people could use any old GC controllers they already own is a whole other issue.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:


The point here is that we should be able to use this controller directly on the Wii U system, either wireless or wired (just like the Xbox One controller), without any extra adapters and it should also work with all Wii U games as well as Wii games and Virtual Console titles too. As we should with any/all the other Wii U compatible controllers in fact and if we could then there simply wouldn't need to be so many controllers to cover all the bases in the first place.

Nintendo's controller solution at this point in time is utterly f'n ridiculous, totally convoluted and potentially very expensive. It's an utter joke and I've been saying this since the Wii, which already had too many different controllers with various unnecessary limitations and compatibility issues etc, and it's even worse now.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter:

I find this all a bit absurd.

It's a Wii U compatible GameCube controller that requires an additional adapter and currently only works with Smash Bros Wii U plus you have to use another controller to get into the game in the first place and out of it again at the end of a play session...

Seriously; WTF?!



Kirk commented on Splatoon's Japanese Twitter Account Inks Out a...:

This game is coming together nicely. I'm still not sold on the overall visual style they are going for, still a bit too "Nickelodeon" for my tastes and the main characters still don't have that immediate universal appeal imo, but it's at least well done for what it is. Could end up being a surprise hit for Nintendo. Just wish they'd tweak the overall look and feel to something that doesn't look so much like a shiny, plastic, rendered, Nickelodeon cartoon. Maybe you just have to see it in person or something to really appreciate the specific look and style of it. It's definitely growing on me though and I've always liked everything about the overall game outside of the particular visual style.



Kirk commented on Review: Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade...:

This is a situation where I can't quite figure out the best solution to the problem.

If Nintendo simply goes back to only letting select games on its systems then it loses out on the next potential Angry Birds, Minecraft or Flappy Birds mega hits as well as compounding the fact that it already has less third party support than the competition but if it lets just anyone churn out crap on its systems then it just cheapens the entire experience and undermines the quality standards we've all come to expect from Nintendo's brand, which is one of its few remaining core values and what attracts many gamers to Nintendo's platforms in the first place.

I'm not sure of the best way to go here but just letting any old crap on its system doesn't feel like the answer to me and that's coming from a guy that's making these really simple indie App style games himself.

At this rate we're going to start seeing buggy, virus infected and Ad riddled games/Apps on Wii U before too long.

There's got to be some way to exercise genuine quality control while still letting the indies easily develop games for the system, without just letting any and all crap on there.



Kirk commented on Video: Nintendo's Wii U Holiday Commercial Kee...:

A bit meh but I'm sure it will sell about ten new systems to the same people Nintendo's been trying to unsuccessfully peddle the Wii U to for the last almost two years.

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." - Henry Ford



Kirk commented on Table Top Racing: World Tour Dev Isn't Sure Ab...:

Well here's one of those situations where Nintendo simply cannot win.

If it doesn't make great first party games like Mario Kart 8 then no one will ever buy the system (with Wii U the first party games are about the only reason to buy the system at this point) and that in turn means no one will ever support the system, which in turn means no one will buy the system. If it does make great first party games it has developers like this saying they won't support the system because they're basically scared of the competition from those first party games or whatever (They're scared Nintendo is scared or that it won't be interested?), which leads to many people not buying the system because it lacks third party support, which in turn leads to less third party support because no one is buying the system...

My suggestion to Nintendo here is to just do it like it was done in the days of the NES and SNES: First of all; create truly compelling hardware that everyone actually wants to buy and that all the developers are excited to support in the first place and then support it yourself with a constant stream of the best first party titles in the industry. Then you'll get those initial sales because you'll have a great system with compelling first and third party titles out the gate, which will bring in the customers, which in turn will bring in more third parties, which will bring in more consumers...

The real issue with the Wii U was creating a system that right out the gate really only appealed to fanboys and basically nobody else imo, be it the more "cool" and "hardcore" gamers, broader entertainment consumers or developers and publishers. Nintendo shot itself in the foot day one with the Wii U imo and it set in motion a cycle that's nigh-on impossible to escape at this point, unless it creates the next Wii Sports or Pokemon level of phenomenon or something truly huge like that, which realistically is unlikely to happen.

PS. OF COURSE Nintendo would be interested in this game coming to Wii U and especially now of all times but also just any time really. If it's a great game then why the hell would you seriously imagine that Nintendo or any company wouldn't want it on their system?!



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The amiibo Range Grows, Yet Key...:

At this point I'm pretty sure it's going to work just like this:

You will have multiple game/franchise specific figure sets, just like the Smash Bros figures we have now, and there will probably also be Super Mario Bros ones, Mario Kart ones, Animal Crossing ones, Pokemon ones, etc. You'll use these figures primarily on the game that they are associated directly with (that means they'll access both the reading and writing part) and you'll additionally be able to use many of those figures to varying degrees in multiple other games too but just to open up some basic extras like character costumes, maybe new vehicles, special weapons and almost "micro-transaction" stuff like that.

That's pretty much how I see this working.

It means Nintendo really is onto a potentially huge cash cow, just imagine how many "duplicates" of one particular character they can ultimately have across multiple sets, and it means there's probably going to be a lot of people spending a lot of money if they really want to keep up with this whole amiibo fad.

"what seemed like an altruistic platform to expose the money grubbing of other NFC toy franchises": I think that was just good old fashioned naivety on the part of all you chaps and dames at Nintendo Life lol

It's probably nowhere near as bad as some of us are fearing but it's going to a lot more expensive than some of us realise(d).



Kirk commented on Nintendo Reveals 11 amiibo Super Smash Bros. F...:


I expect you probably won't see this kind of thing fixed until they move onto a set of figures for a whole other game because I presume they are now stuck into making any new Smash Bros amiibos all fit with their in-game trophy designs.



Kirk commented on Nintendo Outlines Confusing amiibo Save Data L...:


But it would if Nintendo decided to release an Amiibo set specifically for it, or any other games in the future, and simply added the code into the game(s) to work as such.

Mario Kart doesn't have Amiibo writing support at the moment, as far as we know, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. It probably won't but it certainly wouldn't shock me to see a Mario Kart specific Amiibo set with all the characters sitting in karts (would be a big hit no doubt), that maybe lets you create special character specific ghosts or open up unique character specific tracks or whatever. It's a great way to extend the life of the game even further, say six months down the road, and it's exactly the kind of thing Nintendo has been talking about regarding extending the life of its game etc.

I wouldn't be surprised to see specific Amiibo sets for basically every major Nintendo franchise to be honest. Christ, if I were running Nintendo that's exactly what would happen. It kinda just makes sense given the whole business idea behind Amiibos.



Kirk commented on Nintendo Outlines Confusing amiibo Save Data L...:


I'm now kinda thinking the point is you're not supposed to keep switching Amiibo's like that and if Nintendo comes out with a new set of Amiibos specific to say Mario Kart or Animal Crosing for example then they expect you to really go out and buy those game specific Amiibo as your main set for that particular game, rather than wiping the Smash Bros data from your Smash Bros Amiibos just to use them fully with Mario Kart.

So; you buy your Smash Amiibo set for Smash; your Mario Kart Amiibo set for Mario Kart; your Animal Crossing Amiibo set for Animal Crossing. and you use each of those sets primarily with the game they were made for but you can also use them just to open up some simple extra bonuses in a bunch of other games too, without having to wipe them.

Nintendo's going to be selling a lot of different Amiibo sets for multiple different games if this is the plan and it's going to be great for Nintendo's bottom line but potentially very expense for the more avid Nintendo gamers and collectors :-o

It's probably not quite as bad as I might have feared, in terms of complexity, but it's probably also not quite as simple and ideal as I might have imagined in the first place either; although, to be fair, I guess if I were paying attention I would have realized that this was the plan along because Nintendo did basically say as much from the start. I actually kinda did know this what how it was going to work but for whatever reason I didn't want to see it fully :-o



Kirk commented on Nintendo Outlines Confusing amiibo Save Data L...:


This is the problem; it's not exactly clear how it all works when we have to start thinking about multiple games and multiple sets of Amiibos that will use the same Nintendo character but maybe in a slightly different guise and pose; like if there's a Smash Bros specific Mario Amiibo (the current fireball one), a Mario Kart specific Mario Amiibo (maybe in his Kart) and a Mario Golf style Amiibo (probably with his golf club) for example.

At the moment the way I'm now interpreting it is that there will be sets of Amiibos specific to a particular game and you'll basically store the main data for that game with those particular Amiibos and then you can additionally just use those Amiibos with some other games in a limited capacity to open up some small extras that don't really have any direct affect on the Amiibo itself (it's internal save data) .

THEN on top of that there's this kind of confusing and blurry idea that you maybe might still be able to use game specific Amiibo sets, like the Smash Bros one, fully with other games too but you'll have to wipe the Smash Bros specific data first to do so, at which point it becomes really confusing because your Smash Bros Amiibo is now really used as the main Amiibo for some other game.

It's a little bit confusing.



Kirk commented on Nintendo Outlines Confusing amiibo Save Data L...:

Ah, classic modern day Nintendo.

Tells you the figures work with multiple games, which they do, but if you use the figure on a different game you'll lose all your data from the other game so it kinda makes the whole multi-game thing a bit of a hassle. I expect there will be a lot of people who end up wiping their save data by mistake, unless it's made really clear during the scanning process etc exactly what it happening (although some people will surely still mess up), and I even think there might be a few people who will go out and buy duplicates of the same figure just to try and get around stupid limitations like this; which is great for Nintendo but not really great for the consumer.

It's probably my fault. I should have seen something like this coming.



Kirk commented on Nintendo Reveals 11 amiibo Super Smash Bros. F...:

Damn those fugly plastic supports and what's with the plastic at the end of Ike's sword being the same colour as the sword itself. That really should have been clear. This kind of sloppy quality of finish is disappointing but in all honesty it doesn't surprise me that much coming from modern day Nintendo. The figures aren't too bad overall, some are even pretty nice (the few that don't have any supporting plastic), but going that extra mile really could have made all the difference imo.



Kirk commented on Video: The Top 10 Mario Platformers, As Select...:


Apart from Mario being a baby stuck on Yoshi's back for most of the game, as opposed to an adult that runs around separate from Yoshi for most of the game as in Super Mario World, and the fact you can throw eggs using an aiming system; it's a Mario platformer.

It's basically just Super Mario World where you can't get off Yoshi's back and Yoshi spits out eggs rather than fireballs or shells.

It's called Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island for a reason and sure it's not a straight up Mario platformer but it shares more in common with your average Mario platformer than the stuff it does different.



Kirk commented on Video: The Top 10 Mario Platformers, As Select...:


Well, given what you have said; tell me where you believe it's flawed?

I mean even I prefer the new controls of games like Super Mario World and obviously the graphics in games like Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island are far more beautiful examples of sprite art, etc, but I can still objectively look at Super Mario Bros and basically see it's near flawless for what it is.

Basically; I fully believe that if Super Mario Bros were released today on some digital service for the very first time by some unknown indie developer; I expect, as relatively simple as it is, that is would garner near universal critical acclaim and would become a modern indie classic.



Kirk commented on Video: The Top 10 Mario Platformers, As Select...:


There is an element you're missing though and it is that while things have changed, Mario's jump physics for example, and new stuff has been added, just lots of various stuff, the original Super Mario Bros is basically flawless in and of itself and you can pick it up and get absorbed into today just as easily as the day it was released.

Seriously; when I start playing that game I find it almost impossible to put down and I'm one of those people who's always preferred the controls and jump physics in the likes of Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World far more than the original.

Some people might prefer the jump physics of the newer Mario games, I certainly do, or whatever other stuff but that doesn't detract from a game that is basically flawless for what it is. I don't think you could say the same of New Super Mario Bros 2; although I've not played it so I might be wrong but going on the other New Super Mario games, which I have played, I think it might not be up there with the best classic 2D Mario games.

What I would say however is that Super Mario World is definitely a superior game to Super Mario Bros and any of the "New" Super Mario games but SMW is basically perfect in its own right and also improved over the original in every single way too, so that makes perfect sense to me.



Kirk commented on Video: The Top 10 Mario Platformers, As Select...:

Both Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island better be near the top or the list is bu..u..ull.

Personally, I'd put them at the top, along with the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros 3.

The 3D Mario platform games like Super Mario 64 and Galaxy etc are all great too, Mario 64 is especially a seminal watershed moment in the entire history of gaming (never mind just the Mario platforming series), but not a single one of them has matched the all round perfection [for all intents and purposes] that the best 2D Mario games have reached.

Edit: Happy to see Super Mario World is at the top, no complaints with that from me at all, and I expect Yoshi's Island would have been up there too if more people had actually played it and especially back in the day.