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United Kingdom

Sun 20th January, 2008

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Kirk commented on Star Fox Zero Delayed To Achieve a "Platinum F...:

Which, imo, vindicates all the people calling it out for lacking in quality (in multiple areas).

It desperately needs more polish, in almost every area from what I've seen, and, imo, they really need to get rid of the GamePad and motion based aiming on the Arwing missions. It's fine on the tank and the drone thing—it actually makes sense there—but I think it just seems totally forced and gimmicky on the Arwing sections, and I am not convinced in the slightest that it wouldn't be better to just be able to play those sections in classic Star Fox style.

I believe the way Nintendo has used the GamePad's unique features in games like Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier is absolutely the right way to show off and use it. The way Nintendo/Platinum is forcing the use of the GamePad across the whole of Star Fox, however, in what is often a very gimmicky way, is entirely the wrong way to show off and use it, imo. It's basically exactly the same problem I saw with Nintendo Land too—it showed off the GamePad in mostly all the wrong ways but totally didn't show off much that was genuinely reflective of just how cool it can actually be when used properly, and how much it can actually enhance and add to the stuff we already love about video games.



Kirk commented on The Pokémon Company Sues Fan for Copyright In...:

So sad that this has happened. I know these companies can't really just let anyone monetise their products and characters but I feel like this really was just a case of a fan embracing something he loved, based on what the article says anyway, and ultimately doing more good for the Pokemon franchise than harm. It's fine if the Pokemon company wanted to stop what he was doing, but to then also go and fine him, like he was trying to pass-off his work as official and use that to profit from someone else's work or something like that, just seems like a real douche move. I'm not sure his actions were that sneaky (I mean, he even clearly labelled the thing as unofficial), and I'm not sure it does the Pokemon company any good to come down on him like a tonne of bricks. Although, as is the case with these media reports, you know quite know if you're getting the full picture.

PS. If he's not fighting them simply because he can't afford a lawyer, then my advice would be to not hire a lawyer. He can fight them and handle all the legal stuff himself, as far as I'm aware. I did this when Warner Bros tried to oppose my Trademark registration under grounds of "passing off"—and I won. I didn't have to pay a lawyer a single penny, although, I did initially try to use a lawyer but he actually wanted to me to pay £2,000 just for sending a couple of initial letters to Warner Bros. I never replied to him again, and, after him trying to contact me a couple more times (and me simply ignoring him entirely), that was basically the last I ever heard of that.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@aaronsullivan Yeah, to be totally fair, there are actually some very cool ideas in Nintendo Land. I just wish Nintendo had either went down the whole Wario Ware route, and really just made a whole bunch of really simple, quirky and fun mini-games, which didn't even try to pretend they were anything more (so people wouldn't really go in with unrealistic expectations), or they really went all out and made all the Nintendo Land games something that really would have blown people away. I mean, taking the F-Zero game for example, they really could have made that a whole lot less "casual" and gimmicky. It was basically a 5 minute throwaway time waster—and it's made even worse by the fact that fans are desperate for a proper new F-Zero game.

Personally, I think an all out Wario Ware Game (with just loads of really fun and quirky mini-games, which showed off all the cool GamePad stuff in a really carefree, nonsensical, playful and non-judgemental way) AND a couple of fully developed versions of some of those Nintendo Land games (like close to AAA quality), at launch, would have really be a great way to go, along with Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier.

It didn't necessarily have to have all those games day one but I think it needed that kind of stuff in the launch window at the very least, along with a couple of genuine system sellers out the gate.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@aaronsullivan Well, I think it says a lot that one game done right, Super Mario Maker, has already received far more critical praise and success (if we ignore the fact Nintendo Land is a pack-in game, so it's obviously had more "sales" to date) than an entire compilation of mini-games starring most of Nintendo's big mascots. As well as showing off how genuinely cool the GamePad can be, more so than any other game on Wii U to date.

All the asynchronous stuff is cool but it all still feels very gimmicky and forced for the most part, imo. So, I don't see it ever really being a system selling feature (same applies to games that try to get you to use the GamePad screen and TV screen at the same time, like that Metroid mini-game, and Star Fox Zero, imo). Now, I think if the Wii U could support 4 GamePads, with each player having their own custom screen, then that could have genuinely been a system selling feature, and possibly even paradigm shifting. It also still allows both asynchronous gameplay and gaming where each player can play using both the TV and the GamePad, but it really takes the concept to it's full potential.

Nintendo Land just wasn't the game Nintendo should have been using as its "flagship" launch title for Wii U, obviously.

To me, all the stuff Nintendo did right with the Wii U is undermined by all the stuff it did wrong, as I see it, like the frustratingly limited range that means the potentially awesome ability to play it anywhere in the house isn't quite a reality for many people; the annoyingly short battery life; the limitation of only being able to use one GamePad on the system; the lack of power in the console relative to the competition and just general gamer expectations for the times; the lack of a genuine system selling flagship game at launch; the lack of analog on the triggers (which just stops it being perfectly in line with the controllers on other systems); the lack of basic media capabilities that most gamers expect; like CD/DVD/Blu-Ray playback; the slightly higher price than many people expected and wanted; the lack of third party support, which is partly directly attributable to all those other oversights...



Kirk commented on Nintendo Attempts to Show the Fun Side of Anim...:

It will probably sell pretty well, just because of what it is and all the amiibo and card collectibles type stuff, but I don't think that means it's even close to what most people really wanted to see from a new Animal Crossing game.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@aaronsullivan The problem with Nintendo Land, as I see it, was that it showed off all the actual gimmicky stuff that you could do on the GamePad, rather than any genuinely compelling and paradigm shifting stuff you could do on the GamePad.

I know I don't care about tilting the thing to clumsily aim a bow in some Zelda mini-game. I don't care about playing a really bad tilt controlled F-Zero mini-game that's not even close to the kind of F-Zero game I really want. I don't care about swiping on the screen to clumsily aim a shuriken at targets, like I'm playing some casual 99p mobile game. I'm also not going to get particularly excited about a tiny little hub area, "land" my *ss, with only a couple of points of interest after the first few mins wandering around. To me, it was more the kind of simple mini-game collection that should have been sold as a cheap, casual, party title, with a free Wiimote or whatever, much like Wii Play was on the Wii. That's the only way that any more than a handful of people were going to give a sh*t about this game, from what I could see.

Nintendo Land just fell short of the mark. For any gamers who actually care about genuinely responsive and accurate controls in their games, and depth too for that matter, which is probably quite a high percentage of gamers in general and definitely most of the hardcore Nintendo gamers, I think it was a major fail. It wasn't a terrible collection of games, if you're cool with casual, party, throwaway stuff, but Nintendo Land just went about everything all wrong, imo. It wasn't anywhere near compelling enough to get more than a handful of real gamers excited, and it wasn't simple, elegant, and instantly obvious enough to get all the Wiimote loving casuals from the Wii generation excited either, like Wii Sports was. It simply wasn't the game to sell Wii U systems in particularly strong numbers to any particular group of consumers. Launching with Super Mario Maker would have been about ten times as effective, it's just a far more compelling concept for most people likely to pick up a new Nintendo console in this day and age, and imo that's just one of a bunch of experiences like this that I think Wii U should have launched with.

Wii U could have been a paradigm shift in the industry, based on the way I think of the system and its unique GamePad (and what I would have done with it), but Nintendo just dropped the ball, big time.



Kirk commented on Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection Is Back,...:

This book looks gorgeous, and happy to see it's actually getting made. It honestly looks like a work of art itself.

Also, those old box covers are better looking than 99% of modern game box covers, which is a bit sad really.

I only wish I had the money to buy a copy of this.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@Fillupmycup Yeah, that might have helped. I think the real problem with the Wii U as it exists, however, was not having a system selling and system defining game at launch. That would have given it the head start it needed to at least not fail basically right out the gate. It might still have lost ultimately, like the N64 did next to the PS (and the N64 launched with the sublime Super Mario 64), but at least it would have had a chance.

The Wii U has so many issues that just have a couple of great, system selling and system defining games at launch probably still wouldn't have saved it, and I think the lesson to learn here is that Nintendo needs to get a lot more things right next time around, and one of them is at least launching with a few games that show you exactly why you have to buy this new console basically day one.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@roboshort Yeah, with the Wii, Nintendo nailed it better than basically any console in existence, in terms of having a launch game that actually shows off perfectly what the console is all about (which is doubly essential when your console is based almost entirely around one core gimmick), and that is actually a genuine system seller. I personally liked Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 more as launch games but Wii Sports is no doubt one of the most important launch titles in existence. Also, I think packing in a system selling and defining game at launch really is the way to go.

Nintendo totally dropped the ball with the launch of Wii U. It did the same with 3DS too.

I really hope it's learned its lesson but precisely because it did exactly what you said, and f'd up even after it seemed like it had learned its lesson with the GC, I'm not entirely confident it has.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@VeeFlamesNL "What the Wii U needed was games that used the GamePad in a way no other console could, not just games that make it easier to draw, make Mario courses, or create things. Key words, :not just"

Well that is exactly what those games [experiences] do—you can't even come close to drawing/painting properly on the other consoles and you can't intuitively drag and place stuff on the other consoles with simple touch or stylus based input either—and I think what Wii U needed is a whole bunch of games [experiences] like Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier at launch.

If Wii U had something like the Mario Artist series built into it and available for all Wii U owners to use for free out-the-box—much like how Microsoft is now basically giving all Xbox One owners Project Spark for free (and that doesn't even come close to what I'm talking, especially when you consider the Xbox One doesn't really have an ideal input for such a creation tool, and Wii U absolutely does)—I think it would be winning the console war right about now.

If Nintendo had a console where all users could freely and easily create images (drawings and painting), animations, 3D models (which could be used as assets for games), music, simple videos (using the GamePads camera, and maybe some video editing tools that work with the touchscreen and stylus), and even the likes of full video games, all using the extremely intuitive input of the GamePad (and its touchscreen and stylus), and then upload and share them with all other Wii U owners—maybe even being able to charge a small fee for their creations too, if they chose to (so an entire ecosystem could exist around these user creations)—as well as just share them online via sites like YouTube (in the case of videos); I think it might have had one of the most successful consoles of all time.

Note: Nintendo could have given all of this a very "gamey" spin too, so it feels like you're actually playing and having fun with all of this stuff—in the same way Super Mario Maker is both a pretty awesome Super Mario level creation tool but also a fully fledged game in its own right.

If you combine that major USP with all Nintendo's great first party games, and whatever else is appealing about Nintendo's systems (like amiibo and all that jazz)—and a few other little tweaks to the system here and there—it could [would] have been pretty much unstoppable imo.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

@VeeFlamesNL I'm saying this with the understanding that games like this (Super Mario Maker, Art Academy: Atelier) were basically extremely obvious examples of how to show off the GamePad, as far as I'm concerned. Games, or games/experiences very much like them, that I personally would have had prepared for the launch of Wii U—if I was running Nintendo.

And I want to make this very clear: I mean that I actually did indeed think about this kind of stuff long before the Wii U even existed. Such that I think Nintendo should have too, and REALLY should have had the foresight to realise that this was exactly the type of software the Wii U needed, day one. Creation based software that takes full advantage of everything that is great about the GamePad.

AND . . . I also say this knowing that the reason I thought of this stuff LONG BEFORE the Wii U even existed . . . was because Nintendo itself showed me the blueprints for such "Play, Create, and Share" type game experiences in the first place, which were/are pretty much perfectly suited to the GamePad:

I'm saying that Nintendo itself came up with the idea of entire creation suites back in the days of the N64 DD, including one called Mario Artist: Game Maker (which most likely used loads of Mario assets too), and the fact it didn't have the nat-level intelligence to realise this is EXACTLY the kind of stuff it should have had on Wii U at launch, probably even built into the system directly (which it would have had if I was in charge), is just totally mind bogglingly sp*zmodic to me.

The Wii U didn't need to be a flop, not the way I see it, but right now it is a total and utter flop by most people's accounts—and, imo, it's all Nintendo's own fault. Nintendo has done some pretty f'n moronic things with the Wii U, and not even managing to release a few titles at launch that genuinely showed off the Wii U GamePad in all its true glory—and, no, Nintendo Land wasn't one of those games/experiences I'm talking about—was one of the most moronic things of the bunch.

Do you get me?



Kirk commented on First Impressions: Taking A Shot At Fatal Fram...:

This is one of these games that I see as barely even registering on the radars of the game media, retailers, and gamers, as little as a few days after launch.

It's certainly not the kind of game that's going to make anyone outside of a few hardcore fans give a sh*t about Wii U, as far as I can see, and regardless of it being a decent enough experience for what it is.



Kirk commented on Super Mario Maker Back on Top in Japan as 3DS ...:

Now, just imagine how different things might have been if Nintendo had actually had a few games like Super Mario Maker available during the launch of the Wii U—games that actually show off exactly what's so cool and unique about having a GamePad with a touchscreen and stylus...

Nintendo, the company that constantly goes on about how games sell hardware, couldn't even figure out that if it really wanted to sell Wii U units it probably should have had a genuine system selling game (or two, three, four...) at launch that actually showed off why people should want to play this thing.

Here's hoping its actually learned it's lesson for its next console, because the dropped the ball in this particular respect with quite a few of its recent platforms for a couple of generations now—with the Wii being the one exception.



Kirk commented on Video: Genesis Power Team Volume 2 Has A Disti...:

@WaveBoy Yeah, I basically agree, but I've recently realised that for many years I never gave the Megadrive enough respect for what it did do well.

Speed, for example. And I'm not just talking "blast processing" either. The higher default speed of the CPU, 7.67Mhz of the Megadrive vs. the 3.59Mhz of the SNES, really did make a difference in many games. Using something like Streets of Rage vs. any of the Final Fight games for example: You can see the Megadrive is just superior at pushing more sprites on screen at once, and without any slowdown. With Streets of Rage 2 vs. Final Fight (any of them), I think it's something like up to 5 bad guys max on screen on Megadrives vs. only 3 on SNES. (many baddies on screen in Megadrive beat 'em ups)

This extra processor speed under the hood really helps improve the experience in certain types of games, shmups for example, which on the Megadrive generally ran rings around those on SNES in terms of the general amount of action, explosions and particles going on, and moving background "layers", without slowdown.

Go really study games like Streets of Rage 2 and Thunder Force 4 and watch how much stuff the Megadrive is throwing around compared to the SNES, such as layers, total sprites and also explosions and stuff, without any slowdown. This kind of thing was actually a lot more prevalent than I ever realised back in the day, and I certainly never gave the Megadrive enough credit for what it did do well.

SNES did more layers of parallax by default, 4 vs. the Megadrive's 2, but the Megadrive could do an effect where it basically adjusted each horizonal line on the fly and this allowed it to create a kind of parallax effect that was used in countless games to great effect but was rarely seen on SNES. Thunder Force 4 again being a great showcase of this, with levels that look like they sometimes have up to 8 layers of "parallax" or something like that. (check out all the layers going on here)

What I realised recently was that the SNES did all the surface level graphics better--the really obvious stuff like the amount of colours and cool visual effects like transparency--but the Megadrive actually did a lot of stuff under the surface really well, which actually helped its games in ways that maybe aren't quite so obvious, if you're not paying attention.

So, while I still think the SNES was the better system all round, and in some ways very clearly, I still like to give the Megadrive its fair due too.



Kirk commented on Video: If You Want to Beat The Legend of Zelda...:

@Senario Well that doesn't change the way I personally think of them. If I see the words "speed run" then I'd like to see the guy actually playing through the game in the fastest time and showing off their skillz—not just skipping through most of the game. It doesn't really mean much to me when someone just hacks and cheats their way through a game. I mean, why not just literally hack the game and skip right to the end? Now THAT would be a fast "speed run", right? The fun for me personally, IS actually seeing the game—generally the whole game. If the particular game happens to be tens of hours long then so be it. I'd just watch it in sessions, or maybe just not watch every single second of the playthrough if it's going to take tens of hours. The main point here, however, is that I actually enjoy watching people playing and completing games with great skill, but not so much just exploiting an unintentional bug/glitch to basically avoid playing most of the game.

It's like when I see a tool assisted world record completion time of Super Mario World, or whatever game. I simply don't even count that. A world record, for me, should be how quickly someone actually plays through the game, using their actual skill at beating the levels and overcoming the challenges that were intended to be completed as per the actual original game design. What's even more frustrating it how hard it is to actually go and simply find the world record completion time for Super Mario World without any tools or glitching involved.

Go try it...

Now that is very sad, that I can't even find a proper/official world record completion time for a game like Super Mario World without a crap load of hassle. In fact, I'm still not even sure I've actually found it to date. It's so convoluted and confusing just trying to figure out what is the genuine world record speed run of the game without using any tools, bugs/glitches, or whatever.



Kirk commented on Preview: Fabulous Fashion and Questionable Gam...:

Sadly, Nintendo seems committed to churning out more and more of these "B-list" games these days, in order to bulk up the ever shrinking games libraries on its systems, and to make up for the growing lack of third party support.

I REALLY don't think this is the solution to the bigger problem, and it's something I've been worried about for some time now.



Kirk commented on Video: If You Want to Beat The Legend of Zelda...:

Personally, I only really like speed runs when's it's done without using any bugs/glitches.

I like to watch someone playing through a game using pure skill, but to me, cheating kinda defeats the purpose—even though, in many cases, these speed runs still require a level of skill that's beyond 99.9% of gamers.

I just don't think using a bug to skip a massive chunk of a game is really showing off how good someone is at actually playing through a game, and it's that skill, the mastery of the controls, puzzles, challenges, gameplay, enemies and bosses, etc., that I like to see personally.



Kirk commented on Retailers In North America Merge Wii U & 3DS L...:

@SanderEvers In my opinion Nintendo actually should just call it's new system the Nintendo Entertainment System 2 (NES2), or the New NES, or something like that. If it were me that's what I'd do, and then I'd just increase the number with future consoles. Much like Sony has been hugely successful doing with the PlayStation brand.

Nintendo has NEVER came up with a better and more appropriate name/moniker for any of its consoles than Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)—it does exactly what it says on the tin.

With it's next console, if the games still come in physical boxes, I might even be tempted to use the iconic red as default on the boxes too, instead of say the grey/white of the Wii or blue of the Wii U. Ya know, give everything one cohesive look and really burn that Nintendo red into people's minds.

Like this kind of thing: Untitled



Kirk commented on Retailers In North America Merge Wii U & 3DS L...:

I like this. I like the fact it's going back to the classic and iconic red logo (even if it is inverted, which, actually, kinda looks better here). I like that it makes Nintendo's brand much more visible in these stores, rather than just disappearing in among the PlayStation and Xbox stands, which tend to have more space dedicated to them. I just like that it reminds me of the Nintendo from the 80s and 90s, when it totally dominated. Yeah, I like this.



Kirk commented on Editorial: Nintendo is a Toy Company, and That...:

If Nintendo is currently a toy company—that's now how I see it—then it needs to become a proper and full-blown entertainment company, imo. I'm talking along the lines of Walt Disney, with video games (both software and hardware), movies, animations, comics, board games, toys, multiple Nintendo stores around the world, theme parks, etc.

That's where I would take Nintendo.

PS. There was in fact an official Nintendo document that I saw recently, some lovely graphical/visual corporate report or something (probably even linked on this very site), and it specifically stated that Nintendo saw itself as an entertainment company (currently focused on video games), and has done so for as long as it's been making playing cards basically.

Edit: Here ya go: (which I found in this article:

"Aiming to be a World Leader in Entertainment" - Nintendo's corporate strategy since1889, and then repeating the word "entertainment" countless times in relation to its ongoing business strategy/goals.

It's basically an entertainment company, its own words, that is currently focused primarily on video games—that's now planning to expand into some weird QOL type thing, but still with one eye focused on the "entertainment" aspects of fitness, or whatever.



Kirk commented on BeautiFun Games' Megamagic: Wizards of the Neo...:

I think some of the superficial presentation stuff betrays that this game really doesn't look or "feel" very 80s at all, imo.

Take away the cartoon cutscenes, and the sound (the voice over and 80s music), and it looks very much like a modern indie RPG/RTS type game. I mean, right off the bat, I think if they were trying to capture that 80s look and feel then they should have used proper pixel art at least. The high res artwork in the game doesn't 80s retro at all.

Note: If it actually is pixel art, then it doesn't look like it in the video.

I WISH it really did feel like a classic game from the 80s but imo it doesn't.



Kirk commented on The Retro VGS Wants To Revive The Glory Days O...:

I love the basic idea—I've often thought about something like this myself (not that I have any means to do so)—but I feel all the little the specifics of the design will limit it's appeal to only the most dedicated of gamers.

I know they had to use the old Jaguar moulds and stuff, from what I read, but I'd rather this thing were like the size of a Apple TV (and just as sleek), the carts where simple cards like those you might have found on the PC Engine (in fact, I'd love to see the console be about the size and shape of the PC Engine), and I wish even the controller was a tiny bit slicker (although that's not too bad).

Still, this looks pretty cool and I'm there's some people out there who are going to love it.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Digging Deeper With Shovel Knight: P...:

"Overall, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, provides an experience that's easily equal to, if not better than, the original game that it remixes."

Well, if that's the case then that's just genuinely brilliant.

Yacht Club Games is probably the developer I have the most respect for in this generation.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Star Fox Zero's Delay Could Be ...:

Now, I don't think having Super Mario Maker at launch would have set the Wii U on an entirely different path in and of itself, but I do think having a few games like Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier at launch, possibly even bundled in with the system, really would have shown more people what was so compelling about the GamePad proposition out the gate, and I think that could/would have definitely helped. Ultimately though, I think the Wii U had/has so many problems that go beyond just a lack of games that show off the GamePad to its fullest, and it's all those issues combined that I believe led to the Wii U's failure.

Nintendo has a lot of lessons to learn going forward with the NX, and I just hope it has learned them.

Lesson 1: If your console doesn't have some genuinely compelling software/services day one, that really show off what's so awesome about the machine and why people need to own it, then you're probably already off to a bad start.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Star Fox Zero's Delay Could Be ...:

There's been a couple of good games on the Wii U—I'm really enjoying Super Mario Maker right now for example—but overall it's just been a total disappointment for me personally.

There's just so many things Nintendo got wrong with this system, and one of the most important things they messed up was having a couple of genuinely great, system selling games at launch that fully showed off the unique features of the Wii U GamePad in all its glory.

I honestly think things could have been so different for Wii U with just a little more foresight on Nintendo's part, and a few tweaked knobs here and there.



Kirk commented on Miyamoto: Star Fox Zero Has Been Delayed, "I A...:

It needed it.

Personally, I'd remove the dual screen control from the Arwing sections as it just looks totally forced and gimmicky (it's fine with the tank though) and polish the graphics a whole lot more.



Kirk commented on More Than A Million Super Mario Maker Levels H...:

@LavaTwilight The problem is that they ARE being rated. That's how they popped up on/near the top of the list, or so I presume.

It's like people don't know sh*t level design when they see it—and actually think it's fun to just die over and over, and over, on levels that are just totally unfair and frustrating, and genuinely badly designed in many cases.

Not my idea of fun.

I don't really enjoy any of the troll levels or the Kaizo Mario type stuff, and I find the Rube Goldberg machines boring for the most part (although impressive to watch one time).

I like well designed, fair, and fun levels, but, ironically for a Mario platformer (which generally have the best platforming levels in the world), those are pretty hard to find here. lol

At least this shows why proper, fully developed, Mario platform games will always have a place, even with awesome creation tools like this available to consumers.