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I demand to be taken seriously

I hit my keyboard and things resembling words seem to form! Come along, and perhaps you may even find some jewels among my sea of garbage! (Oh, who am I kidding! It will all be garbage!)

Wed 13th Nov 2013

Recent Comments



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Obituary: Satoru Iwata:

Sad news.

He contributed to excellent games such as EarthBound and Pokémon Gold & Silver, and he also helped HAL Laboratory and the Kirby series. I liked his kind, playful style of communicating with the fanbase despite being the President and CEO of a large company; I also think that the DS, Wii, 3DS and Wii U delivered great gaming moments, and despite the difficulties the Wii U is facing, the other three consoles brought huge revenues to Nintendo, so I'd say his successes surpass his failures.

But leaving all that aside, the fact is that a person, a human being, has died, and that is always a loss.

Thank you, Satoru Iwata. May you rest in peace.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Review: Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U):

Looks like they've pulled off a mixture of great gameplay, intelligent level design and charming aesthetics... just what comes to mind when the Yoshi games are mentioned (or at least when the SNES classic is mentioned).

This one feels like it's not only for Yoshi fans; but for anyone who wants to play a great platforming game, or, to put it simply, for anyone who wants to play a great game.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Feature: The Biggest Wii U Retail Games of 201...:

Alright, let's see...

Super Mario Maker looks better the closer we get to release, and I really like the idea of a book being packed with the game as a companion/guide to it. Sure, the game itself will include tutorials and videos, but I like having something tangible as a reference, with which the players can learn about the game even when they're not at the console... it gives a new dimension to the experience (its inclusion will probably make the game a fully-priced one, but that doesn't bother me much...).

Star Fox still hasn't convinced me, but I'm wishing for it to get better with each passing month. It will arrive in less than six months, and I really hope Nintendo and PlatinumGames are able to pull it off in time (and, if they're not, there's always the option of free DLC à la Splatoon).

Xenoblade has been anticipated for two years, and it's nice to see how it finally arrives, but I'll be less worried when it has a definite release date in Europe.

In the inmediate future, Yoshi's Woolly World looks delightful... it's shaping up to be the best Yoshi game since Yoshi's Island two decades ago (and yes, that is saying quite a lot). Art Academy is interesting; not that I'm able to draw anything that isn't an incomprehensible doodle, but Sketchpad already served to produce very nice pieces of art on Miiverse, and a tool that helps realise picures like these is welcome. And despite it being there for a month already, Splatoon's DLC releases promise fun discoveries during this summer.

But what I really want to see is something related to Zelda Wii U. Something substantial, dammit; not a mere "we're working on it".



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Editorial: Nintendo's Approach to amiibo is In...:

@EllenJMiller @belfastgonzo

Nintendo's strategy with amiibo is different to the one that the Skylanders and Disney Infinity games have, which could in part explain (call me naive) why the company hasn't increased amiibo production: the toys aren't as vital for its video games as they are for these two franchises.

Whether this is good or bad is debatable: it can be argued that this dimishes the value of the figures, because they unlock trivial amounts of game-related content and ultimately leaves the buyers with just pieces of plastic; but I don't like the idea of getting every year a game that isn't very different from its last installment, like the two aforementioned series are starting to do (Activision in particular has a bad track record of milking its properties, such as Guitar Hero or Call of Duty).

But the upcoming Animal Crossing releases seem to be tending towards the kind of gameplay the other "toys-to-life" games (Skylanders/Disney Infinity) have.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Editorial: Nintendo's Approach to amiibo is In...:

Regarding the Animal Crossing games, I'd say there's a thin line between toys being used to expand game experience and games being used as a vehicle to sell toys. The "toys-to-life" concept relies on the presence of an expanding toyline. Otherwise those would be average, not very memorable games. That being said, the two AC games haven't captured my interest so far.

But I agree on the stock issues. Dunno why Nintendo isn't making more amiibo, but I don't like the strategy of deliberately causing shortage of product to maximise profits. Particularly when you give said product more and more relevance on your annoucements. That needs to be solved ASAP, and I really hope the less common amiibo (including "special" ones like the woollen Yoshi dolls or Mario's pixellated 30th anniversary figures) become easier to find for those who are interested in them.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Review: EarthBound Beginnings (Wii U eShop / NES):

I haven't played it, but seems to me it has a much more melancholic feel to it than EarthBound. Perhaps it's the somewhat desaturated colour palette. Perhaps that was the intention. Perhaps it's just me. I don't know.

Hard to believe Nintendo actually made the first Mother available worldwide on the VC. EarthBound had been released back in its day in North America and yet it was unexpected, but this...

It might be a stretch, but maybe Mother 3 has higher possibilities of appearing in the West in some form now?

@Gauchorino @earthboundlink

I'd love to see a remake compilation of the trilogy (guess it would make most sense to release it on a handheld), with complete localisation for the PAL version, re-balanced gameplay and updated graphics and sound (but still keeping it in 2D, with that art style unique to the series). Add to that a few extras like encyclopedias/databases about the World of Mother and the characters that inhabit it, concept art and developer commentary.

Ah, it's nice to dream...



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Reggie Fils-Aime Acknowledges the Need to Impr...:

I wonder how the whole manufacturing process for amiibo goes. Are they made by Nintendo themselves, or do they order them to third parties? Either way, yeah, a restock is certainly needed. Product scarcity only means that scalpers will keep gouging people who are desperate enough to pay obscene prices for the toys.


I was actually thinking if there are people who buy the figures for their own sake, without intending to make use of them in video games. If so many adquire them just because they look nice, perhaps Nintendo could venture into traditional, non-NFC figures? There could be quite the potential with the merchandising there.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Nintendo Is A Slave To Its Past Success, Says...:

I would say that Nintendo's biggest issues right now are release timing and lack of third-party support.

The company has been releasing one or two new IPs along with each new generation, or just retooling existent ones (Animal Crossing and Pikmin in the GameCube years; the Touch Generations games, the Wii Series and some retro revivals like NSMB or Donkey Kong Country Returns last gen; and as of late, we've got Splatoon, Kid Icarus' relaunch and Fire Emblem's opening to a greater audience... and can't forget the current amiibo craze.).

I also think it's good that classics like Mario or Zelda are there as a bedrock for the Big N's consoles. But they should change reasonably with each new installment.

I'm not fond of playing the same thing again and again, but I don't like disposable franchises either. There must be some balance.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Reggie Fils-Aime Attempts To Explain Why Zelda...:


"No because it's a matter of principle now."

"It should be obvious though people would be fairly upset when they watch a company that used to be kind, that used to make amazing mind blowing games, show up at the biggest gaming convention and say **** you to their fans."

I really don't want to repeat what I wrote above regarding black-or-white view.

But of course you're free to think what you want. Play the games you like. It's your hobby, after all.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Reggie Fils-Aime Attempts To Explain Why Zelda...:


I know next to nothing about NX, but supposing it's a home console/handheld hybrid, I'd say that the issue of price can be quite problematic. Handhelds are usually targeted towards children (most of Nintendo's catalogue, actually, is targeted towards all audiences), and their wallets, I mean, their PARENTS, will spend only so much on their offspring's hobby, no matter how many good grades she/he gets.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Reggie Fils-Aime Attempts To Explain Why Zelda...:


Why take it so personally? Why have such a belligerent attitude? Yeah, I didn't like this E3 either, but it's not like Nintendo firebombed my house. What about Yoshi's Wooly World? Super Mario Maker? Zelda itself?

And is online play really such a central part of your Star Fox experience? What if the game has some spectacular level design? Not even then would you play it?



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Reggie Fils-Aime Attempts To Explain Why Zelda...:


Y'know, there's kind of an attitude lately, perhaps there's always been, where the middle ground is non-existent. Everything is perfect one day and the next one everything is garbage. "Ocarina of Time is THE GREATEST GAME EVER MADE, but Nintendo has INSULTED its fanbase and all they produce is TERRIBLE nowadays. The people in charge DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. They must be STOPPED.".

That kind of black-or-white, manichaean view is ridiculously naive.

And, regarding Star Fox, why don't you give it a try before deciding if it's good or bad? Open a bit. Let them entertain you.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Talking Point: Metroid Prime: Federation Force...:


How many times has a game had bad pre-release reception, or just caused controversy, and then enjoyed good sales? I'd say the ultimate way to tell that a video game is disliked is to let it be a disaster in terms of revenue. If there's active hostility before a launch but then money starts to come, it gives the impression that there's a demand for the product and that the only thing in need of repair is how to promote said product.

Seems to me Nintendo has become quite aware that the fanbase isn't pleased with this year's E3 presentation, but it's the economic outcome what will be decisive.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Talking Point: Metroid Prime: Federation Force...:

The trailer didn't impress me (neither did the rest of the presentation).

That being said, this is being developed by Next Level Games, who made Punch-Out!! Wii, Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon and both Super Mario Strikers games. For me, that is enough to think it won't be bad. Of course I'd rather have a traditional Metroid (Prime or not), but it's unfair to judge a game, this or any other, from a trailer less than a minute long. So when I play it, or at least have an extensive look at it, will I consider whether to buy it or not.

Also, I didn't knew people were so reactionary. Zelda had spin-offs. Mario had spin-offs, quite a lot of them. Why can't Metroid have one? Yes, it's not the best way to end five years of Metroid drought, but it's being made by a quality developer. No need to channel all the frustration with Nintendo into a single game.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Splatoon Creation Was Inspired by Rare's Perfe...:


Oh, yes. The game has a very carefully crafted atmosphere. Light/ shadow effects are excellent. And the soundtrack is out-friggin'-standing.


I remember that. Photos were planned to be uploaded from a Game Boy Camera using a Transfer Pak.


Yes, Counter-Operative is a unique mode in Perfect Dark. One person playing a single-player mission as usual and another one in the role of a random enemy... I don't know if any other FPS has ever done anything similar.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Nintendo Submits Trademark for NES Controller:

Nintendo's next console revealed to be an EXACT REPLICA of the Nintendo Entertainment System, with which the company will manage to achieve again the kind of market domination it had in the 80's.

You want proof? NX. Just a few letters off NES.




Stubborn_Monkey commented on Diddy Kong Nerfed In Latest Super Smash Bros. ...:



THIS... THIS IS SICKENING. The moment an ape manages to achieve something in this medium, The Establishment finds one way or another to bring him down. That masked booger, Meta Knight ( I suspect he's not even a REAL Knight.) spent years overpowered in Brawl and Nintendo didn't lift a finger. Same with McCloud in Melee. But good ol' Diddy here climbs out of the C-list barrel and BANG, the powers that be nerf him without a second thought.

But this won't end here. Oh, no. That monkey isn't alone. I'm declaring my own personal crusade against the Big N for this. Those scumbags are going to regret the day they decided to weaken a certain cap-wearing primate. You've awoken the sleeping giant gorilla, Nintendo.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Review: Donkey Kong 64 (Wii U eShop / Nintendo...:


I got a cartridge in early 2001 (packaged with an Expansion Pak) and I still own it. I've played through it, collecting everything in the game (golden bananas, banana medals, banana fairies, everything, every single one of the collectables.), twice. I even surpassed the high scores for Rambi Arena, Enguarde Arena, DK Arcade and Jetpac.

When I first played it I thought it was outstanding. I was a veritable Rare and DK fan back then (I still am, to a lesser degree.). But now I think DK64 was "too much of a good thing" even back in the day. Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie did it better.

But hey, it's just an opinion. If you think it's excellent, then good for you. Hope you enjoy the game as much as you can.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Talking Point: Splatoon Is a Typically Colourf...:

@Blakenator @abe_hikura

Yeah, we all want Splatoon to succeed, because it's not everyday you get something from Nintendo that has original gameplay and isn't hosted by a familiar face (though it almost was a Mario spin-off.).

Also consider that Nintendo (Nintendo itself, not branches or partners like HAL Laboratory, Intelligent Systems or Game Freak.) has already a sizeable catalogue of IPs: 3D Mario, 2D Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart... so some of them may end up having to sit a generation out due to all the teams being busy... or have them handled to an external developer. Which is a risky move that can have good results (Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX, Punch-Out!! Wii.) or not-so-good ones (sorry, Star Fox Assault and Yoshi's New Island.).



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Talking Point: Splatoon Is a Typically Colourf...:


But there's also danger of milking franchises way too much in a few years. It wears them prematurely. Like releasing a Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed game every single year. It was that kind of overexploitation that killed Guitar Hero, no, the ENTIRE music video game genre a few years ago.

Failing to appeal to the mainstream audience is, of course, bad. But excessive success (or, better said, pushing a game that sells well too much.) can also cause harm...



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Talking Point: Splatoon Is a Typically Colourf...:

New IPs are often regarded as secondary when buying a Nintendo console, the usual suspects (Mario, Zelda, Metroid et al.) are the ones that sell consoles. Also, New IPs tend to perform better both in sales and critical reception with their second instalments (Smash Bros., Animal Crossing, Star Fox and F-Zero are examples.); but Pokémon showed that new brands can also be instantly successful (though it had an extraordinary marketing push when it made it to the West and played with the advantage of already being a blockbuster in Japan.), so there might be hope.

About giving shooters a new spin, well... Portal and Team Fortress 2 did it and they became very popular. But I'm not sure Splatoon will convert the unbelievers into proud Wii U owners.

What the console needs is a Metroid Prime. I don't mean that literally (though it would be nice.); I'm talking about something with outstanding audiovisual design that while not being completely revolutionary in terms of gameplay, has well-implemented ideas and polished level layout. A good-looking, good-sounding, somewhat safe bet that is able to seduce outsiders.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Mario Maker Japanese Website Points to Inclusi...:


Thorough analysis. Good video. Thanks for the link.

BTW, the different Mario games had different physics (for example, the NSMB games have floatier jumps than the original SMB.), so I wonder how are they going to adress that? Are they going to give all the different graphic styles a single, unified physics engine?

This game is shaping to be much more than "an official SMB ROM hack"... it could produce some downright INSANE levels...



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Mario Maker Japanese Website Points to Inclusi...:

Hope the game gets as much elements as it can.

It takes inspiration from all the 2D Mario games to date, so if the difference between the gamestyles would be purely graphical, it would be rather shallow... but it's also problematic; I mean, some of the stuff found in later games (different flying power-ups, Yoshi, Mario being able to lean on walls when jumping, etc.) isn't present in the original Super Mario Bros., so how are they going to reconcile all of it?

It would be hard to do it well, but if they do, the potential for clever level design would be huge...



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Video: Learn More About the SEGA Genesis / Meg...:

Good video. What's truly interesting is that it showcases how important marketing and demographics are in this industry. Seems players can reject quality games based solely on the "cool" factor (then again, "quality" is a pretty nebulous term, so...).



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Review: Donkey Kong 64 (Wii U eShop / Nintendo...:

The game got flak back in its day for reasons similar to the ones stated on this review, so I'd say a 7 is an adequate score. IMO, it would have benefitted from having a greater number of worlds while making them smaller. I like it, but it's got some questionable design choices.

In case you're wondering about the lag (or the lack of it) in the PAL version, "US and JP run at 60 Hz and ~30 fps, but PAL runs at 50 Hz and ~25 fps, which is 1.2 times slower. However, the lag compensation speeds up the kongs so they move as fast as in the NTSC versions. Everything besides movement (cutscenes, menus, enemies, ...) is slower than in NTSC.", according to this page:



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Poll: Is Splatoon a Blockbuster That'll Help R...:

An odd one, this. It wouldn't be out of place if it was released for the GameCube more than a decade ago. I know it's been compared to Mario Kart, but it's more like Jet-Set-Radio-meets-Super-Mario-Sunshine-meets-the-wall-merging-ability-from-A-Link-Between-Worlds-meets-Team-Fortress-2. The art design is rather Sega-esque... it wouldn't be out of place on the Dreamcast either. On the other hand the "become a squid and swim through ink" thing is pure Nintendo. Sunshine and aLBW had mechanics that deviated from what's usual for Mario and Zelda so it's nice to see those recycled in a new environment.

When first announced as an entirely online multiplayer game it was quite a radical change from the Big N's previous game design choices... then it gained single player and local multiplayer modes. Guess the developers don't want to break completely with the traditions of the company.

It was well-received at last year's E3, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it become popular with those who own a Wii U. But for its potential as a system-seller... I don't know. Did Pikmin or Animal Crossing convince anyone to buy a GameCube?

But I'm looking forward to it. It is the freshest thing from Nintendo in years.

"(...) we'd suggest the Monolith Soft game will do well among dedicated Wii U owners, but is still rather niche and unlikely to be a 'mainstream' success."

Hey! Final Fantasy VII made the original PlayStation a must-own system, you know. JRPGs have been losing popularity since the late 2000's (well, to be honest, every Japanese developer has faced lower sales and critical reception in the last decade. It's been, using cheap wordplay, The Decline of the East.), but a game that promising can't hurt console sales.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Talking Point: Nintendo's Plans for DLC and Mi...:

Allow me to state the obvious: Nintendo makes games for money.

In that way, it's not better or worse than any other company in this industry. Because, once stripped of any kind of romanticism or aesthetic ideal there might be, it's pretty clear that video games are a bussiness. Gaming has reached the place it is in today because it moves enormous quantities of CASH. If there wasn't any profit to be done, the proliferation, popularisation, and influence in culture that the medium has achieved wouldn't be so quick nor significant.

Contemporary video games have high production values. They are no longer made by a few people in a few months. Therefore, it is understandable that companies want a way of making sure they get profit. Is that greed? Exploitation? It might be, but the audience wouldn't get the games of the size they are getting today if there wasn't a proportionate revenue.

I might be playing "devil's advocate" here, but if you don't want this kind of stuff, you may as well be ready to accept smaller games.



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Video: Donkey Kong 64 Tumbles Onto Wii U Virtu...:

@Moshugan #43

Uploading the PAL version is actually justified this time. The PAL version of DK64 is translated to English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. The NTSC version is just in English (the Japanese version being in Japanese, of course.). So this takes the issue to a whole new level.

Regarding speed differences, "US and JP run at 60 Hz and ~30 fps, but PAL runs at 50 Hz and ~25 fps, which is 1.2 times slower. However, the lag compensation speeds up the kongs so they move as fast as in the NTSC versions. Everything besides movement (cutscenes, menus, enemies, ...) is slower than in NTSC.", according to this page:



Stubborn_Monkey commented on Video: Donkey Kong 64 Tumbles Onto Wii U Virtu...:


"Every 3-D platformer from the N64 era had some
Form of backtracking or replaying the same area"

Have you played the thing lately?

Here's an example of DK64 gameplay:

You need some golden bananas to advance in the game; you're going to get them from the sixth world. But wait, the part of the world where they are located needs to be opened up and it can only be done with Tiny's weapon. So you go to Funky's armoury to buy it.

Hang on, you don't have enough money. Let's explore the worlds to get some coins. Aha! the fourth world has some purple coins, let's go get th- oh no! Too high to reach, you need to use Lanky's pad and inflate yourself (JUST LIKE A BALLOON!), but to do so first you need to get the potion that allows the orangutan to use that move. So you go to Cranky's shop and but it.

NOT SO FAST, you don't have enough coins either. So you go back to explore the worlds once again to get some blue coins. You find them in the fifth world. But their location is behind some sealed gate that needs to be activated pressing a Chunky switch in the ground. That should be eas- the damn thing is blocked by a boulder. To lift it, Chunky must first buy a potion at Cranky's.

Have you got the money? OF COURSE NOT. Where did you see some green coins? In the second world, someplace high, you vaguely remember. So let's get Diddy's jetpac and search for them from the sky (keep an eye on the number of crystal coconuts; or you could fall to your doom, or at least be forced to go back where said coconuts are re-spawned.).


What I'm trying to say is that it's a game that can really test your patience. You can't use the abilities of the different characters at any time, like in Banjo-Kazooie. No, You need a barrel to change the Kong you've chosen; and sometimes said barrel is located halfway across the world you're in. And the worlds ARE ginormous. There are several teleporting pads in each world to ease the pain of getting to places. Add everything up and you've got a game that can be nauseatingly complicated.