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United Kingdom

Mon 15th Apr 2013

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Maustallica commented on Nintendo Is Sorry That The Wii U's TVii Servic...:

I can understand the delay in bringing the service to Europe. EU and UK TV services and viewing culture is pretty different to what exists in the US, so I'm assuming Nintendo has found there are more hurdles than expected in translating the TVii model across, and aren't willing to dedicate that much time or resources to developing it, when they have much bigger priorities to focus on when it comes to Wii U...

...but if that's the case, then for God's sake, get rid of the button on the dashboard. Its presence there is becoming something of an embarrassment, a constant red reminder that Nintendo have fumbled the development of their console's core media services. A button on the main home screen that does nothing but bring up an error message, more than a year after launch? As examples of poor planning go, it's almost as bad as having a typo on the main options screen. Nintendo just need to nix it for now and bring it back when/if they ever manage to get TVii working over here. If not, it's easy to visualise a scenario where that remains a vestigial, unused feature in Europe throughout the entire console lifespan, and that really WILL be an embarrassment. :/



Maustallica commented on Talking Point: Moving To Smartphones Is Not Th...:

This is a great editorial, Mr Whitehead, one of your best!

The key point is that a move into the smartphone market COULD be a success for Nintendo, but it's far from the sure-thing home run a lot of analysts seem to suggest. There are some big numbers floating around the mobile market at the moment, but there's also a certain unstable Wild-West feeling to the whole thing. This is an extremely new frontier for gaming, and I'd argue that the market is still in the process of coalescing; as such, we're seeing fluctuating performances from even the biggest companies, fleeting trends and some boom-and-bust economics governing things. It feels like the dotcom industry in the mid-90s, and I'd wager we're going to see as many spectacular failures as huge successes over the next few years before things stabilise.

What guarantee do Nintendo have that they'd be one of the success stories? I can't see much evidence for it. The mobile market seems completely alien to their sales models, business principles and software design ethos, and I would imagine they would have a hugely difficult time adjusting. And crucially as you say, any move into that market would be a one-way trip - once they've started releasing their content on mobiles for mobile prices, it'll be a stake through the heart of their current handheld business. There'd be no going back; it's an all-or-nothing bet, and I can't see any compelling reason for Nintendo to take it, at least not right now.



Maustallica commented on The YouTube Wii U App Update is Now Live:

As with most people, my one and only question is: is the app better than (or even as good as) viewing YouTube on the Wii U browser, which is pretty much the best way of viewing YouTube ever? If not, I can't see the app - which I deleted two days after getting the Wii U - getting re-installed on my system.



Maustallica commented on Professor Layton's Final Adventure Can't Quite...:

@Peach64 I wouldn't get your hopes up about Mario 3D World getting to number one. Pikmin 3's number two debut came during an incredibly slow week for the UK retail market - to put it in perspective, it finished second to Minecraft on Xbox 360, which even at the time was a weeks-old release of a months-old disc release of a years-old game. Nintendo's figures have shown that there haven't been THAT many Wii Us sold since then, so I wouldn't be prepared to put money on a 3D Mario (which have never historically sold as well as the 2D games anyway) seeing off the challenge of Call of Duty, GTAV, Assassin's Creed, FIFA and the rest.

Who knows, though; maybe it'll surprise me.



Maustallica commented on David Jaffe Is A Massive Fan Of Nintendo, But ...:

You know, I can actually appreciate the broader point of Nintendo partnering up with a similarly creative company with more marketing nous, one that could inject new ideas and provide Nintendo with (much-needed) help on how really push its brands and characters back into the public consciousness...

...but good Lord, the idea that that company should be DISNEY is just about the worst suggestion I've ever heard. I'm a huge fan of Disney in terms of their filmmaking output, but they as a company have no idea what they are doing in the videogame business. In the last few years their strategy has been all over the bloody place, buying up talented developers before screwing them around and shuttering them, failing to anticipate market trends and trying to jump on gravy trains that have already departed. Look at the closures of Black Rock and Junction Point, the filleting of LucasArts, the destruction of their sole decent remaining franchise (Where's My Water) with a horrendous freemium model. If Nintendo were a broader entertainment company like Marvel or Lucasfilm, then Disney might be a good partner for them, but the Mouse House's videogames division is basically an abattoir these days, and Nintendo need to stay far away from it.

As I say, I don't think Jaffe's overall idea is fundamentally bad, but the fact that he would suggest Disney of all companies suggest that he's pretty ignorant about what's actually happening in the wider industry.



Maustallica commented on IGN Editor: If Wii U Doesn't Pick Up, Nintendo...:

I just want to head off what might become quite an anti-IGN discussion by vouching for Keza MacDonald as a good writer, and noting that she's actually a pretty big Nintendo fan, and not someone's who's just prone to kneejerk negativity. She wrote an informative, in-depth editorial just yesterday spelling out the specific details of Nintendo's current situation, coming to the conclusion that while Wii U might be in trouble, Nintendo themselves almost certainly aren't.

I can't really disagree with the overall viewpoint expressed in the BBC interview, even though the headline and selective quoting oversimplifies what she said. Fact is, if it looks like there's literally no chance of turning Wii U around, it would be better for them to ditch it than continuing to pour money into a black hole, no matter how big their warchest is. After all, the Virtual Boy showed that Nintendo are willing to abandon a platform if it's just not working. I hope that won't be necessary with Wii U - I personally doubt it will be - but Nintendo will certainly have that option in mind as a last resort, and I think that's all Keza is trying to say.



Maustallica commented on StreetPass Mii Plaza Update Brings New Paid Do...:

@Rhinne I can't see how the launch of these four new games contradicts any part of that Reggie quote. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy the new content. We got an extremely complete experience from StreetPass Mii Plaza that people have been enjoying for two years. And now they're providing more on top of that.

You're entitled to your own views on DLC ethics, of course, but there's absolutely no discrepancy between that 2011 value statement and what they're doing now.



Maustallica commented on A Hat In Time Developer Claims Donkey Kong 64 ...:

I would agree with this sentiment.

I had massive expectations for Donkey Kong 64 at the time and I ended up 101%-ing it, but on reflection, I didn't really enjoy a lot of it. I always think Rare kind of got the wrong end of the stick when it came to designing 3D platform games; they looked at Mario 64's system of collecting Stars to open up new levels and designed a series of games in which the objective is to trundle around expansive levels in a pedestrian manner, picking up trinkets here and there simply for the sake of collecting them. They seemed to miss that Mario 64 used its Stars as rewards for completing sections of gameplay, or goal markers at the end of engaging manual dexterity challenges.

In Banjo-Kazooie, this didn't show so much because the levels were streamlined and well-paced, but by DK64 the formula had become bloated, and it exposed how perfunctory the actual game engine was. Most of the moves and abilities you unlocked weren't particularly fun or tactile to use in their own right; they were essentially just glorified keycards, granting you access to larger sections of the level so you could COLLECT more STUFF. Nowhere was this more apparent than the musical instruments, entirely non-interactive power-ups that simply involved standing on a pad, pressing B and watching doors open or trinkets raining down on your head. Frankly, it became numbing after a while.

I can't say whether DK64 "killed" the genre, but I stopped bothering with Rare's 3D platformers after that. I'd be surprised if I was alone in that!



Maustallica commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Should Aim to Produce ...:

I'm seeing some misunderstanding here of the concept of "maturity" in storytelling. I don't think anyone's asking for Nintendo to make dark, violent, M-rated games; just games that have a sophisticated, intelligent approach to narrative and characters, and which convey thoughtful aesthetic messages to accompany (or complement) the simple engagement of the fun gameplay.

I certainly can't see that as being a bad thing, and Nintendo and their affiliates have shown in the past that they can do it - I'd say games like Metroid Prime and Majora's Mask are both excellent examples of this, both without going near M-rated territory. It's just that Nintendo don't seem to aspire to do it often, which is a real shame, because it would provide more variety to their console libraries, and challenge them as creators.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Nintendo's commitment to designing as gameplay experiences first and foremost, and I don't always find the cinematic approach necessarily enhances games, but there's more to interactive storytelling than just aping movies and going gritty - that's something Nintendo knows too, and I'd like to see them experiment with the medium a little bit more.



Maustallica commented on Nintendo Download: 18th April 2013 (Europe):

Worth noting this point on the Kirby's Adventure Wii U release:

"This is the European version of the game, which was optimised originally by the developer to offer gameplay and music speed similar to the US version. Demos and animations may run at PAL speed. The aspect ratio has been corrected for this release."

So it's not the US version this time, but an optimised PAL version. Not ideal, but it definitely seems like this 60hz issue is something that Nintendo are going to be paying attention to as a matter of course going forward, which is certainly a good thing.