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Male, United States

Sat 23rd May 2009

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Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Amazon Fire TV is an Early Warn...:

Ouya was never targeting the "big three" - that was the gaming press and their wild comparisions. The Ouya team created a "disruption" in the industry, which it did, and is what the team stated they were trying to do; it started a new trend. Also, Ouya is now branching out into a digital service - without a physical console - so we could actually find Ouya on Fire TV in the future.



Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Steel Diver: Sub Wars Proves Th...:

I see no genius here at all. Nintendo did a good job of bringing the F2P concept to the 3DS.

@Peach64 Yep, and EA retooled the mobile version of FIFA 14 as a F2P, by giving the entire Ultimate Team away for free - no strings attached. That, in my opinion, was a smart marketing ploy, as it kept the game on the charts for months after it released. Heck, I even spent the $10 to unlock the additonal modes, after enjoying UT so much.



Slapshot commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (...:

@ThomasBW84 Mate, you know that I completely respect your opinion and I'm in no way being critical of your work here - I merely chimed into this conversation because of another reader's comment.

I actually have made no opinion towards Tropical Freeze here. I've not played it myself, so I have absolutely no ground to form an opinion. Donkey Kong Country Returns is one of my absolute favourite games on the 3DS, even if I do find the late level design to be a bit too trial and error at times - not to mention the DK series (SNES/GB) being one that I cherish to no end. I have no doubt that I would have an absolute blast with Tropical Freeze.

With that said though, I do see Nintendo being of a higher standard than Sony and Microsoft. I have a reasoning for this too, which I've already stated with it being the excellence in its software. But to elaborate on that a bit more, Nintendo's groundbreaking titles feature something that nobody else in the industry can match in repitition. It creates chart shattering titles with games that are pure and unadulterated video games (fun) - it's all about the gameplay, everything else is just icing on the cake.

Sony creates amazing video games, indeed. You mentioned The Last of Us - it is a game that has a spectacular narrative that is the primary focus of the game, yet its gameplay isn't spectacular at all. In fact, if it wasn't for the narrative, the game would probably would have failed to make headlines. Bethesda's Fallout 3 is a fantastic open world action RPG that I dropped over 100 hours in, but it was also riddled with bugs, just like Skyrim.

I'm not putting down these other companies and/or games at all - I'm saying that they can't match the quality or excellence found in Nintendo's major releases. See, I wasn't talking down to Nintendo's recent releases - the vast majority of my gaming purchases at retail are Nintendo's first party 3DS releases: Dream Team, A Link Between Worlds, New Leaf, Fire Emlem Awakening, Dark Moon and Super Mario 3D Land are titles that I adore, and I can't wait until I get my hands on Yoshi's New Island! These games are all great, but it's of my opinion that they aren't of the excellence of Galaxy or Twilight Princess.

This is where my comments towards to average scoring reviews for Tropical Freeze come into play. What I see is that there are longtime Nintendo fans that now own both of Nintendo's consoles and they haven't gotten that one title that goes above and beyond to the level of excellence that only Nintendo can produce time and again. This doesn't stop them from buying the consoles and/or the games, but I know for me, I too share this desire for Nintendo to blow me away in that special way that only it can once again.

It's a matter of opinion if this should be reflected in a game review, which I think is where our differences in opion really come into play. When I stated that Nintendo is a "fan site", it's because this site directly aimed at Nintendo's video games. NL holds to a more professional standard, which puts it above and beyond the rest - also why the site has (and continues) to grow into what it is today.

As for catching flak for being negative, if NL stops finding a balance in its reviews and reporting, I'll be the one giving your grief in the comments sections. It's healthy to be critical of Nintendo's flaws, just as it is healthy for NL to keep a positive spin on things when it does.



Slapshot commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (...:

@ThomasBW84 I think you misunderstood the meaning behind what I stated when I called NL a "fan site", which is most definitely is. The reviews here are informative reviews that are designed to entertain and inform the readers - just as the nearly 50 reviews that I've written for the NL network of sites are. I think you did a very good job with this review and it is exaclty what I come here to NL to find.

I also choose to read reviews from more industry-based sites that take a subjective approach to their reviews. These reviews don't simply apporach the game in an informative manner, but also tend to take either a more philisophical or industry stance on the game in the larger picture of the industry as a whole as well, depending on the context of the game.I see both of these types of reviews being a good thing for this industry.

But, in your reply, you also bring up a good point. You compared Nintendo's products to yearly installment franchises. By doing so, it is of my opinion that that is undercutting Nintendo, whom has for decades set the bar for excellence in this inudstry. Nintendo has had a quality to its games throughout the years that one single game release could easily justify the purchase of its consoles. These games didn't quietly release either, instead these games dropped on the market like an eartquake you absolutely had to do anything within your means to get your hands on it.

While Nintendo captivated the world with Wii Sports, Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy were both of this caliber in the last generation, regardless to the "power" of the console. Today, Nintendo is releasing very good video games, but neither the 3DS or the Wii U possess a game that's of the level of excellence that only Nintendo has ever produced.

This is why these reviews for Tropical Freeze have been written. It's because these reviewers see a great game - all of them that I've read are reflective of this - but each one of them clearly sees it as not being of the excellence that they've come to expect from Nintendo throughout the years.



Slapshot commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (...:

@Bolt_Strike To be fair, I cannot comment towards Tropical Freeze, as I've not played it as of yet. But I do agree, I've read those reviews myself and I too found them to be very well grounded and reasonable reviews.

I simply think that these reviews are indicative of not only Tropical Freeze, but Nintendo as a whole as of late. The majority of my gaming money goes to Nintendo's portable consoles most every year and this year has been no exception. But, even though A Link Between Worlds, Dream Team, Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion are all must-own titles for any Nintendo fan, these games just don't have that "edge" that has made past Nintendo titles like Galaxy, Twilight Princess and Mario 64 so absolutley unforgetable.

I remember when Nintendo's games were the epitome of greatness in the gaming industry. Its games excelled above and beyond all else, even if it wasn't on the most advanced hardware on the market. Today, Nintendo simply isn't living up to its own standards any longer.

Am I talking down to Nintendo? Absolutley not. In fact, this criticism only shines a light on just how fantastic Nintendo is as a company. It simply shows that it has some rebuilding and restructuring to do at the moment.



Slapshot commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (...:

@Peach64 I think Eurogamer's review is the most telling of them all, to be honest. The reviewer took the time to realize that there is a fair amount of reused elements from Donkey Kong Country Returns in Tropical Freeze, which is a clear sign of a game that's been rushed out of the gate and polished over with nice HD "shine".

While many seem to think it's a bad thing that there are a few reviews that are landing in the "average" range, Nintendo needs the critical reception from some of the major sites to understand that we expect Nintendo's top releases of the year to go above and beyond expectations, like they have done so in the past. Of course, this isn't something I'd expect to see in a review on a fan site like Nintendo Life.

I'm actually surprised that I haven't seen more critical reception of how the game completely ignores the GamePad for anything other than off-screen gameplay.



Slapshot commented on Review: Ninja Gaiden (Wii U eShop / NES):

@zipmon Fantastic review Morgan!

I grew up with this game in my pre-teens and I was captivated by the games fluid gameplay and extreme challenge. I can now breeze through this game with little effort, but that doesn't stop me from coming back to it several times a year.

You know, I think I wrote that for a Roundtable/feature here at NL years back! Haha



Slapshot commented on Iwata Looking To Emulate iOS And Android With ...:

Personally, I think Nintendo would be better off sticking to a sole console - preferably portable - going forward, instead of focusing on two (or more) consoles that share the same OS.

Now, if Nintendo does indeed go with a home and portable console going forward, sharing an OS would be a very smart thing for it to do. While the Vita has a low install base, it has a very high attachment rate with owners purchasing a lot of games. Many of these games are cross-buy games with the PS3, which shows that this type of scenario does indeed work.



Slapshot commented on Satoru Iwata States That Nintendo Should "Aban...:

Nintendo is a toy company that makes extremely high quality, unadulterated video games that are fit for all ages and on hardware that's easily attainable (install price) for the mainstream market; it's Nintendo's bread and butter, so to speak.

The one thing that I'm not seeing is Nintendo's bread and butter being a central focus any longer and that's quite worrying, in my opinion.



Slapshot commented on EA's Peter Moore States That "Nintendo's A Gre...:

@Rafie Actually, you are likely right on key my freind. Remember, game developers are generally typical gamers as well. In fact, they talk just like everyone else does. Many times a journalist gets info, but they choose not to publish it, because if we do, then you have these major publihsers' lawyers beating on your door wanting to know where your information came from.

Not only does the person spilling the info take a risk, but the journalist and publication both have to assess the risk of being sued as well. It might be a "game" industry, but these things aren't taken lightly.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

@Wolfgabe Actually, yes, I was following the developments of Sim City as they happened. There was a major problem with the online infrastructure at launch, something we've seen before. It is a problem that is now fixed.

Do you remember the launch of one of the most anticipated games of all-time: Blizzard's Diablo III? Blizzard is used to having hundreds of thousands of people on its servers, yet even it had major problems at the launch of Diablo III.

I also didn't state that EA some of the best games of the year, but that it released some of the highest quality software that "it" (EA) has in several years. This doesn't mean that everything it released was superior, but for me, FIFA 14, NHL 14 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 were all top notch titles that both added new game engines and mechanics, while finely polishing what previous titles before them had already achieved. This is a sign of development teams that care about what they are producing.

@Zach This isn't a business strategy, it's very likely a developer breaking NDA to speak to a journalist anonymously. EA will probably be cutting staff with the loss of the NCAA franchise, so I'd expect to see more of this as we go forward.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

@SCAR392 The only so-called "kids games" that I see EA producing at current are on either mobile platforms or PC. Both very cheap to develop and publish for. I'll also have you know that EA has produced some of the highest quality games this past year that it has in a long time - feel free to drop the tone, or I have nothing else to say back to you; I truly dislike it when people choose to discredit the hard-work and passion of thousands of people because of bias.

@element187 I can't say much here, but the Wii U most definitely cannot handle anything the devs are throwing it. Also, from what I've heard personally, the PS4 is outperforming expectations left and right time and again, with the Xbox One having little difficulty keeping pace with it. For a third party developer though, the end product will always be as close to an exact product for both systems as possible. We didn't see this on the PS3 and Xbox, and that was because of the challenges of developing for the Cell Processor in the early years.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

element187 My friend, I see what you're diggin' at, but I can't agree with you at all on this one, as some who studies video games as a concept, design and an artistic medium.

The common FPS shooter is in its simplest terms, a competitive online shooter. It's all about having the fast reflexes and understanding how a battlefield "flows" to gain an advantage. Titles like Battlefied take it a step further and effectively incorporate teamwork (and numerous other things) into the equation for an additional layer of depth: respawn, aim assistance, etc., these things are all standard fare for this genre of video game, because the idea today is that a video game has to be accessible for all skill levels, not ages. Also remember, the typical skill level of an adult non-gamer is typically low, so these things help these gamers too.

It's typically the social iterations that attract so many people to these online competitive games. Friends and family like to have a good time with their friends and family - these are good things for most.

QTEs becoming commonplace in this industry in AAA titles, only shows us that these games are geared towards the gamers who only care to be entertained by the video game they play - the "Hollywood blockbusters" of the gaming industry. It allows the developers to do things outside of its normal working capacity to create a certain "Wow" factor.

Having a sharp degree of difficulty has nothing to do with the "maturity" of a video game, though. When a developer starts utilizing a game's narrative to cohesively weave it together with the game's gameplay mechanics seamlessly, that's a sign of maturity in this industry. When a game's visual aesthetics perfectly reflect visual impact of the game's environment against its narrative, that's a sign of mature in this industry.

The film industry has its art and it's blockbusters. The gaming industry is growing in just this way as well.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

@Rafie To be fair, the core Kingdom Hearts franchise has always been found on the PlayStation home console. The spin-off titles have been found elsewhere.

Why isn't KH3 coming to the Wii U. I'd say that comes down to specs. While going back to the first KH today looks archaic, at release, it pushed the console, just as the sequel did past expectations. I doubt Square Enix would want to take anything from the game to release it on the Wii U.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

@SCAR392 It's just this simple - EA doesn't feel like the Wii U is a viable platform for it to spend its resources on going forward.

But, there's more to it than just saying that though. There are a lot of factors at play here, but one that I've stumbled across a few times, I'll explain for you as best I can.

Here at NL, there is very understandably a lot of focus on the Wii U as the "powerhouse" console, but the gaming industry is looking to the release of the upcoming numerous variations of the SteamBox and with both the Xbox One and the PS4 both being built on standard PC architecture, we're looking at the potential of another major upswing in PC gaming over the course of the next few years.

While the SteamBox has a lot to prove, it also comes at zero risk to Valve, which was a brilliant move from it. Regardless of how these SteamBox's sell, they are simply very powerful and standard PC architecture - merely running on a Debian variant of the Linux kernel. Third party games can be easily ported across all of these platforms with relative ease - Valve is making the transition to Linux an easy process with its own custom software, as well.

EA, just like all of the other major publishers, are only a major flop away from having to make drastic internal changes. Don't forget that EA has thousands of employees that have to be paid, insured and in need of the best electronics available. Also, EA, like the other major publishers, pushes the industry forward with new game engines and design techniques. It isn't as simple as making a game in this industry any longer - it's about making a game that can reach the maximum amount of people with as little effort as possible, for max profits so the business can push forward.

How many big developers have failed in the past decade? How many great franchises have you seen run into the dirt over the course of the last console generation? There is a reason for this, and that exact same reason is why EA isn't supporting the struggling Wii U.

Also: "EA doesn't make kids games" was probably copied from the mouth of a developer within EA, not an official spokesperson.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

@Rafie If someone truly thinks that Sony and Microsoft had anything to do with this - insider business deals - then I'd just walk away from that conversation.

@element187 See, now you're barking up my kind of industry talk tree! But, I know you might be joking with your post, but regardless of how "dudebro" any game is, if it is clearly marked for "Mature" audiences and children are playing it, that is not to be held accountable to the platform holder, it is to be held accountable by the parents and/or legal guardians.



Slapshot commented on Nintendo Was Dead To Us Very Quickly, States E...:

Without the third party support, at the current retail price and continued market confusion that the Wii U faces, I see no way for it to become a viable platform that sustains another 3-5 years in the marketplace, aside from the handful of major first party titles that Nintendo puts on the console itself each year. The 3DS is cheap enough to not onl purchase, but to develop for, that it doesn't need the major support of the third parties, but the Wii U is proving to not be floating in the same boat.

@SCAR392 Yes, it's in fact, very serious. EA shifted development away from the Wii U awhile back and now someone has finally decided to break their NDA contractual agreement and speak out publicly about it. Of course, this has to be anonymous, because if they were to be caught, they would lose their job, risk fines and even imprisonment, if EA decided to push the issue.

This is big business, not just video games, like so many here choose to believe.



Slapshot commented on Mario And Zelda On Mobile Could Bring New Play...:

@Damo Ubisoft has done an excellent job bringing its Rayman franchise to mobile with paid apps. I've no doubt that if Nintendo did something similar, it would be highly successful, without tarnishing its brands - the mini games on the DS "Mario" titles would be a perfect fit for mobile releases.

I think this would draw people to Nintendo's consoles, most specifically its 3DS.



Slapshot commented on We Cannot Continue Without Winning, But It's N...:

@edhe So what you're saying is that Ubisoft can make millions of dollars with its Rayman franchise on the mobile markets with Rayman: Jungle Run - attracting the mobile markets to its console counterparts of the Rayman franchise for maximum profits - yet, for Nintendo, it would be financial suicide to do something similar with the Mario franchise?



Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Claims of Wii U Third-Party Dev...:

@DarkwingLz That and the fact that the shader models that are used in the next generation consoles isn't compatible with anything but those consoles and PC, means that there is a lesser chance of the high profile indie titles coming to not only the Wii U, but current generation consoles as well.



Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Claims of Wii U Third-Party Dev...:

"Support and enthusiasm from the current download / Indie market is not an area of concern for the Wii U at this time"

Really? Because the last time I checked, I'm seeing major indie titles launching on comepitior's services, but not the Wii U over and again. Nintendo has chalked up lots of praise for all of its "indie" support, but it the weekly releases clearly don't reflect this.



Slapshot commented on A Third-Party "Secret Developer" Gives an Insi...:

@MrGawain It could have been a number of them: EA, BioWare, SEGA, Vigil Games - there were several developers who ported games to the Wii U at its launch. The developer clearly is trying to get finished code to work on the Wii U, instead of writing new code, which the basis of my sentiment comes from.

@GC-161 Considering that the developer was most likely breaking NDAs with this article, I'd like to think that he/she intentionally penned it to make it look like they were someone they aren't.



Slapshot commented on Feature: Nintendo Games We'd Love to See in 2014:

I want to see more side titles released from Game Freak. Not really a sequel to HarmoKnight, but more frest eShop titles that offer us something unique and fun.

I know that the possibility of this happening is indeed quite high, but I want to see it nonetheless. A proper 3D sequel to Drill Dozer would be ace too!



Slapshot commented on Matters of Import: Drop Matching And Dragon Ev...:

@Damo The only real reason to purchase anything in the mobile version is for when you get to the point that you need to upgrade your monster capacity. Spending money on the Rare Egg Machine is a complete waste of money, seeing how the ratio of gods to 3-star garbage drops is entirely too high - a $5 game of chance is a bit ridiculous IMO. Thankfully, GHO does a good job of dishing out stones for consecutive logins and monthly events.

I too am looking forward to this landing on the 3DS. If it wasn't for the region lock, I'd already be having a blast with it. Haha



Slapshot commented on Matters of Import: Drop Matching And Dragon Ev...:

@Damo Oh, I wan't questioning her in the knowledge, not even in the slightest. I was just elaborating a bit on the developer's past a bit - I've seen a lot of crazy reactions to this title being released around other sites, almost all of which make it clear that these people have no idea that this developer is primarily a console developer.



Slapshot commented on Matters of Import: Drop Matching And Dragon Ev...:

Thanks for the article Kerry.

I've been playing Puzzle and Dragons on iOS for a good six month now - I've probably dropped well over 100 hours into. It's about as hardcore of a game as it comes on the platform and well deserving its praise.

GungHo Online is no stranger to home consoles though. It's been developing games since 1998, so it comes as no surprise that the transition from mobile to console was done properly, seeing how that's where the majority of its experience is.

I'm excited to see Puzzle and Dragons Z land on Western shores. My $40 USD can be considered to be already spent.



Slapshot commented on Puzzle & Dragons Z Shifts Almost 80% Of Its In...:

Really glad to see that this is doing well already on the 3DS. As an avid fan of the iOS title, I'll be purchasing this on the 3DS the day it lands on the Western market.

For those of you who don't know, Puzzle and Dragons is one of the most hardcore (read: difficult) games on the iOS Marketplace.



Slapshot commented on Soapbox: Even With The Arrival Of PS4 And Xbox...:

I still haven't purchased a Wii U and I still haven't purchased a PS4 or Xbox One either. I've grown very tired of the majority of the games released in this generation and I have no desire to spend the high cost of these consoles to play more of the same that I already own - there's too much on the cosoles that I do own that I still want to play any ways.



Slapshot commented on Ashes Cricket 2013 Officially Cancelled as 505...:

@Einherjar FIFA 14 and NHL 14 are two of the most polished and refined sports titles released. EA offers daily roster updates to its titles as of this year, allows for online divisional tournaments in its games. Yes, EA truly does flood the market with poorly developed title - eh?



Slapshot commented on New York Times Critic Identifies Super Mario 3...:

Regardless of how great Super Mario 3D World is, it still doesn't make the weak library for the system enough for me to invest in the console. I'm beyond burned out on Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. is coming to the 3DS, so unless Nintendo comes out with a couple of knock-out punches in the next year or two, I won't be purchasing a Wii U until late in its life cycle.

The very same rule applies to both the PS4 and Xbox One as well. I have zero interest in forking out the high investment prices for these consoles to play a small handful of games.



Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Nintendo's Resilience Against W...:

@Nibelilt It's just those gimmicks that make Nintendo's consoles appealing. Also, the issue that developers have now on home consoles is the high cost to produce AAA games, which stems from the increased specs of these new generation consoles, as well as consumer continuous demand for bigger and better.

Nintendo needs to keep on doing what it is doing, with the exception of its marketing, which in dire need of adjustment.



Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Nintendo's Resilience Against W...:

@Nibelilt I have to disagree with you that Nintendo needs to try and get into the console wars with Sony and Microsoft - isn't that what it did with with Wii U, before it changed it's marketing strategy with casual/family games?

I think Nintendo needs to stay "Nintendo." Great core first party games that are cheap to own and fun for the entire family. And honestly, I think that both the PS4 and Xbox One are going to struggle and push the gaming industry down even farther than it already is. If so, that leaves Nintendo a critical opportunity to be the better opportunity for game developers.



Slapshot commented on Talking Point: Nintendo's Resilience Against W...:

@element187 "The only segment willing to plop down $350 for a console is the core market."

Whom aren't purchasing the console in enough quantities to justify full third party publisher support. But, you're also missing out on the point that I made in my previous post - the Wii U was initially designed as a core gaming console and one that was very much a single player focused console. A year later, this same console design was used to showcase it as a local multiplayer centred console. This created mass confusion within the core gaming community, not just the casual markets.

Today, the Wii U still has the initial appearance of a single player gaming device, yet it's games are primarily focused on local multiplayer gaming. Not only this, but the fact that Nintendo refuses to fully integrate its games online (Super Mario 3D World) only continues to challenge, or should I say, question the minds of core gamers - price isn't the issue here.

Marketing and advertising are two separate entities. The Wii U, by design, isn't a local multiplayer device. The Wii U's games, by design, are both marketed and advertised as local multiplayer centred video games. This is the fundamental issue the Wii U faces and this will continue going forward, because Nintendo's chances of recapturing the core gaming market with the Wii U is practically slim to none. This stems from, but not limited to, the near complete loss of third party support and the lack of full online integration with its games, as well as the games that it's producing for the console.

Where does price become an issue? While the Wii U might look cheaper upfront, the need for an HD upgrade for the console - something that core gamers are aware of - puts it basically equal to the investment in the upcoming consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Also, from a technology standpoint alone, the Wii U's price point pales in comparison to these other consoles, which finds the Wii U investment the less appealing choice for core gamers.

The Wii U will sell for the games that Nintendo produces for it though. This is its primary selling point. The Wii U's high investment price is either going to prove how valuable it's brand is to the gaming market as a whole, or it will prove itself to not be as in demand as many would like to believe it to be. Either way, the Wii U has already forced Nintendo to restructure its business strategies and unless things start looking up for the console, we will most likely see a much different type of console and marketing strategy coming from Nintendo over the next few years.

Every business makes mistakes, just like every person does. Nintendo has made mistakes in extremely critical areas with the Wii U and some that I fear will continue to keep the system from attaining mass market appeal. If so, Nintendo will learn from its mistakes and move forward; that's the nature of business.