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Wed 24th December, 2008

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aaronsullivan commented on Feature: Five Reasons To Choose Wii U This Hol...:

I get that some people will wait, but it has been the primary fun zone for our family for two years now. Nintendo had me at Nintendo Land and the fantastic and effective use of the GamePad from moment one with the system in our home.

I know not everyone is convinced and not everyone can get their family together to play in a group or be open-minded enough to get into the Nintendo Land thing. It certainly doesn't seem to strike a chord with many people from observation alone.

The GamePad plus Nintendo Land combo massively failed to convince people to pick up a system when compared to Wii Sports. But the scenario is similar in how it has great new gameplay ideas that work well but were not being fleshed out into full games for years.

Remember how all the third-party games just threw in some waggle (use a wiggle as a button) and how surprising it was to see Nintendo do the same thing in some of its own titles? The same thing has been happening with the GamePad and the fresh asynchronous play Nintendo Land brought.

Well, here we are seeing the effects of the problem but this time in a system that tens of millions of people didn't buy into feverishly and with a console that third parties are carefully staying away from rather than trying to figure out how to best capitalize on.

The good news is that Nintendo still makes incredible games and remains dedicated to exploiting the features of their own hardware... eventually. Quality takes time and applying what works in smaller games to larger ones seems to be a challenge.

My hope and expectation is that 2015 is going to mark a turning point in that regard, but even as things are, Nintendo and the Wii U has been a huge success for me and mine.



aaronsullivan commented on Science Tries To Ruin Our Fun As Zelda's Hooks...:

@octane That was my thinking, too, with the chain and him skipping the impact. Although, I think everyone knows it is impractical as shown in the game. So funny how he mentions the iron boots and how they weigh him down "when he wears them" but then is concerned about the physics of holding the weight of the hookshot and the precise rates of fire. Obviously, games bend reality to fit what's fun, and he does mention that but: Hey, there's all this mysterious crazy magic constantly displayed in the game...

Still, it was an interesting and entertaining video.

I wonder if there is a practical solution for this type of thing, where acceleration is considered and materials are carefully considered. Something less heavy than a chain would be used of course, maybe some sort of twisted nano carbon tube ropes or something. The acceleration and deceleration would be tough to control because you actually need to be pulled in a somewhat straight line for it to be useful.



aaronsullivan commented on Guide: The Best Black Friday Nintendo Deals in...:

A couple of great deals for those that don't have a Wii U yet and the games you want are in the bundles. :)

I kinda hope there's a backlash to the Black Friday sales that have crept directly into the time the Thanksgiving Holiday is often celebrated. It would be much more fun if it started at 9AM on Friday morning at most places. More employees could enjoy the time off and, well, if I'm going to do it I'd rather go shopping in the morning anyway.

I've enjoyed it in the past because there were some worthwhile deals I really wanted and there's a sort of absurdity to it that is fun to experience. I've never been at a place that is irresponsible enough to let people stampede through a floodgate.

This year I'm not feelin' it, though, and i'm looking forward to sleeping through it all and then enjoying the next day off with my little family. We'll probably play the Wii U quite a bit. :D



aaronsullivan commented on Video: Man at Arms Crew Forges Link's Fierce D...:

Pretty nice. Shame about having to paint the blade, but everything else was impressive and it is functional and very nice to look at by the end.

This one was started from a couple of blocks of metal and forged out to blades. That's what a sheet of metal is though, right? Sometimes ya just skip that step after doing 500 times I guess. :/ I really don't know anything about it, though.



aaronsullivan commented on Weirdness: Factory Error Results in Dual-Weild...:

Not a bad mistake. Looking closely you can see its bent the other way, and with a little careful work you could make your own (at twice the cost of one...) sadly a non-shooting arm probably wouldn't look right, but I wonder if there is a double-hand-only version out there to match!



aaronsullivan commented on Bill Trinen Confirms There'll Be More Series-S...:

Wow. Amazon deal is kinda crazy for the Marvel stuff... maybe I'll try and take all that Target Marvel starter set back for a big Target gift card ( it's past regular return time)

My kids haven't played DI 2.0 yet, it's all "in the sack". It's been pretty easy, actually. We are into Minecraft right now and we have a backlog of games on the Wii U we haven't finished.



aaronsullivan commented on Out Now: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, amiibo a...:

In person, the Amiibos are a bit smaller than I expected and that makes the details a little more impressive at times but the overall impression less impressive. It also means you should compare them and pick one with the defects that bother you the least. I took awhile looking at Samus as she has many small black lines painted on.

I personally found the plastic stands (even the yellow one on link) less horrible in person. Probably because it's not up against a bright white background.
My daughter likes the Pikachu one, which led to value questions: There is no Pikachu costume in Mario Kart 8. She's going to be disappointed about that I think.

I'm also a little confused about the Mario Kart compatibility chart because it only includes Mario, Yoshi, and Princess Peach... but the costumes in the Mario Kart 8 cover many more characters. Maybe some last minute changes that weren't ready in time for the in-store kiosk to reflect?

I'm not playing with the Amiibos for awhile (Xmas gifts!) but I just feel better about them because the games they are attached to or just so much higher quality overall than the DI stuff and I also feel less pressure to buy more of them but instead focus on a couple favorites... so far.

BTW, there's a demo of Captain Toad Treasure Tracker at Target now and that's a day one purchase and gift wrap. So insanely adorable and I was chuckling the whole time, enjoying the secrets and game play immensely. Can't wait.



aaronsullivan commented on Bill Trinen Confirms There'll Be More Series-S...:

I probably shouldn't have jumped on the Marvel launch deals, even though they were okay. My kids just aren't very energized about those comic book heroes.

This morning I was looking over the originals figures in the store and I know they'd be much more excited about them, but, whoops! none of the larger game sets involve them. So they'd be Toy Box only, which is okay, but lessens the value.

I never bought a Disney Infinity item without a significant deal attached but I'm feeling fatigue at finding good sales.

Here's the craziest part: I bought the digital version, too. Hopefully getting the game discs that come in the Originals Starter Pack for free (but that deal gives NO confirmation about whether you qualified and only the first 10,000 get it).

So, now I've got a bunch of stuff and want to exchange a bunch of it and it's annoying. I'm tired of looking for the deals. At least with Target we get 5% off everything and the figure costs are not 5% higher but actually the regular price (and even a dollar cheaper if you compare to Toys R Us).

So, today, at Target, I just bought up 3 Amiibos along with my pre-order for Super Smash Bros. ($5 gift card and 5% off is not bad). There's a better Amiibo deal at Toys R Us but it's farther away and right now I just don't care.

I posted my Amiibo impressions over in the "Out Now" story. :)



aaronsullivan commented on Child of Light's Creative Director Paints a Pi...:

Yeah, I'm glad it was profitable. It seemed a nice value and the team was pretty small. It had a character to it that larger games often fail to hold on to.

I found the game a bit too beholden to its own melancholy flavor by the time it was done, though. :)

Played it projected up huge on our wall and we'd just stop playing and just look at the image all the time. Beautiful work.



aaronsullivan commented on Bill Trinen Confirms There'll Be More Series-S...:

@ricklongo @Quarthon

Very cool.

I've always imagined a sort of Toy Box for Nintendo where the building blocks would be famous elements of the individual games, so traps and blocks and torches from Zelda games, ? blocks, P blocks, mushrooms from Mario, Creatures, weapons, visors from Metroid, maybe even vehicle elements from F-zero and Mario Kart and keep all the tight controls in each style, but allow characters from all places to sort of play together in player created arenas, levels, worlds.

Sort of a LBP or DI Toybox but from Nintendo concentrating on its strengths.



aaronsullivan commented on Bill Trinen Confirms There'll Be More Series-S...:

@Peach64 I'm loving the look of the new Link, too.

You got me thinking that it could an interesting experiment to pre-advertise upcoming games with a few special amiibos. Something to get you curious about the characters before you see them in the real game. They could even be relatively obscure. Maybe new Link and a new side character from that game we've seen nothing about. Maybe Fox McCloud and a new character from the follow up. I know I'd be a huge sucker for that type of promotion. Not sure who else would be though. :D

On a related note, I'm finding that I'd like to have a Toadette Amiibo. Would it make sense for a later series to feature games that were released long ago to breath life back into the game with a new feature or something? Hmm...



aaronsullivan commented on New Super Mario Bros. Wii Hits 10 Million Sale...:

Everybody who had questions about 10 million vs. 28 million. A friendly suggestion: You may want to evaluate your reading comprehension skills. :P The article is very clear on this.

One of the four biggest games on the Wii. Wii Sports was the phenomenon and the pack-in and its sequel sold more, but after that comes Mario Kart Wii and then New Super Mario Bros. Wii in sales.

I really like that New Super Mario Bros. Wii had more stage designs that acknowledged multiple players at once. The Wii U sequel has the same functionality but the level design seemed really to ignore it. :/

I like them well enough, but it felt pretty samey by the time the Wii U one came along. They do get interesting near the end stages though and I have plenty more to unlock if I get the itch again.

3D World is much more fun and innovative and I feel it's far closer to a 3D Mario than a 2D one. It's really a much more ideal to play with mulptiple players, too. Nothing seems to sell like the old-school-looking ones, though.



aaronsullivan commented on Masahiro Sakurai Explains Why Mewtwo Isn't Pai...:

Please, Masahiro Sakurai, pick two or three of your best, most like-minded peers to take over your work on SSB and its inevitable DLC, take a long, well-deserved vacation... but please dream of ideas for a Kid Icarus on the Wii U while you're at it. :P



aaronsullivan commented on Feature: Kickstarter's Wii U and 3DS Campaigns...:

I like Pixel Galaxies. The concept is cool. :) Tough to get little games funded on Kickstarter though because people know they'll be cheap or ad supported eventually on mobile platforms. :/

Aegis Defenders may not ever reach that Wii U goal but I still hope makes its way to the platform. I backed it and will be happy on PC but I'd prefer it on Wii U.



aaronsullivan commented on Video: How Does Watch Dogs Use The Wii U GamePad?:

Looks legitimately useful and the port doesn't look junk. It's really too bad it couldn't have a simultaneous release for the sake of the Wii U platform and third party support because there's no way it will make as many sales now: advertising died down, people are more aware of the game's shortcomings, and anybody who had another console besides a Nintendo one had too many options for playing it.

Still, good on them for keeping their promise of releasing what looks like a decent port.

For games like this, I think Wind Waker HD is a good standard to look at. What I like about it is that it works great for one-player and it works just as well or better when playing with a partner. The main player uses a Pro Controller and the "navigator" uses the GamePad. Interacting with the GamPad doesn't interrupt the flow of the main game like it does in Pikmin 3 for instance. Really great experience that way.

Oh and on the personal offense some take from business decisions Ubisoft made, I don't know if it's justified. Ubisoft was the only third party that made a serious effort to support the Wii U at launch and the failure of that launch likely caused a huge loss for Ubisoft. The Rayman thing did hurt, but I see why they felt they needed to recover some of that loss.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

I don't even know if we are arguing degree. I think the past actions of Nintendo have not always leveraged the nostalgia very well. Despite the success of NSMB and Mario Kart on the Wii, Nintendo also actively transformed its image into a company concerned with motion-based gaming and reaching all kinds of people. To some the message was eventually received as Nintendo doesn't make many of the games like I remember anymore. Mario Kart was cool, NSMB was fun, but that's it? What's this Wii Music thing? Lots of damage to undo.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

@Quorthon You said, "Ha, no, those sales people aren't recommending Mario to confused parents because of nostalgia--that's an absurd stretch, especially considering how many of them don't care about Nintendo (hint: a lot of them), it's because recommending Mario is LAZY and EASY. "Just recommend Mario, people have heard of it or whatever." "Ok.""
My intent was to suggest that the parents know Mario and remember it, not the salespeople, though I see how it could be misread that way.

Here's what I originally wrote: ""sales people ALWAYS recommend the Mario games to confused parents" could that be because a significant number of them remember playing Mario and the sales people rely on that?"

I think you thought the "them" was the sales people but it was meant to be the parents.

So, why is recommending Mario so easy? Are the customers satisfied after? why? I don't think it's an absurd possibility that many know Mario and maybe even have good memories about playing a game with him in it.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

So... you are claiming to use reason and analysis yet you won't even fairly characterize my stance. Instead, you throw up a straw man summing up my stance as "Nostalgia is the primary motivator in sales regardless of the facts."

Show me where I suggest that Nostalgia is the primary motivator. I only said it was significant and I believe extremely important for Nintendo at this time.

I did not start this as a thesis with all supporting facts listed but went with my experience and observations over decades in the context of a casual discussion in these comments.

Being challenged I have looked into facts and supporting evidence and found it to support what I claimed.

There's certainly nuance to what we are discussing and there's plenty of room for misunderstanding in just what we specifically meant by nostalgia, for instance. (In internet discussions I find those types of semantics to be at the core of disagreements as we don't know each other or have any expressions to read on each other's faces.)

As far as following your heroes of science: neither of us has the data necessary to make very dramatic claims. Sales alone are only suggestions and we can distill them by factoring in the platform they were on and how they compared to other games on the platform and what other perceived factors were involved but we'd need much more relevant data to make anything very conclusive. Nintendo has much more of that data, so maybe we should listen to Iwata's theory — but only if it bears out in the coming months!

"What happened to the original 10mil MK fans you were using, let alone the 30 mil from the wii. "
A good deal of them are still playing Mario Kart on their Wii? I know of some personally. Never argued that nostalgia was more than an extremely important element in sales. Something I only had a pretty good notion of, but through testing it out, feel even more strongly about.

Why is the litmus test that nostalgia has to compel people to automatically buy a new console and game as if there were no other factors? Seems extreme to me.

I guess you could try and look into the Wii in comparison to Wii U for those who want to relive their past gaming experiences and show that the Wii is still a much better place to do that.

Anecdotally, I will hear people admit that if Zelda was a certain way or some other core Nintendo game was made modern in a certain way they'd buy in. Only point being that just because someone is an Xbox exclusive or PS exclusive owner now doesn't mean they don't have a Nintendo-specific nostalgic trigger living in them. :D



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

The awareness of the Wii was kickstarted by WiiSports. The Wii U has had no such kickstart, but is pulling itself out of the muck on Mario Kart alone (almost).

Seriously, the combination of E3 and Mario Kart made a seismic shift in opinion on the internet at least. I agree with @Quorthon that you could never make sales on nostalgia alone. There needs to be a promise of fulfilling what you remember to some degree.

Nintendo Land had the characters but the game play was unrecognizable. (man, do I personally love that game, though.)

Plus, you need to convince people to make the jump into a large purchase with a new console before games start getting purchased. It was easy for it all to play out on the Wii once "everyone" owned one.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

Nothing you have said has convinced me that nostalgia didn't play a large role in the sales of those games. My reasons are there and they stand.

"You can't use those because the bulk of your argument relies on those games selling largely because of NOSTALGIA, which is next to impossible given that Nintendo never had the audience in the past to create the nostalgia to sell the numbers that New Mario Wii or Mario Kart Wii sold." See this is the problem with not backing up anything you are saying with data: 40 million original NES Mario games, 27 million New Super Mario Bros. Wii games.

As far as Mario Kart goes, I guess only 10 million or so owned it back in the day so your logic is that nostalgia couldn't have accounted for a significant amount of the 33 million sales on Wii. Well, first of all, 10 million is close to 1/3 of 33 million and I consider that significant.

Second, as you pointed out, Mario Kart is a "party" game which means for each sold Mario Kart game you have multiple "kids" playing one copy. These kids grow up and get disposable income, they also make game-purchasing decisions for their own kids. And as these games are often played with friends that nostalgia-induced purchase now leads to others discovering where this happy memory originated.

Nostalgia plays a role in all of this, but you seem to want to ignore it.

Just because other consoles have been successful doesn't discount the power of nostalgia in sales. Do you think Microsoft is going to ignore those kids who cut their multiplayer FPS teeth on Halo? They don't seem to be at the moment, celebrating the entire series in a giant HD collection.

"sales people ALWAYS recommend the Mario games to confused parents" could that be because a significant number of them remember playing Mario and the sales people rely on that?

You seem convinced enough and I'm happy to strongly disagree to what extent nostalgia plays a role in sales. No evidence you've brought up is especially convincing to me.

If you want to argue that Nostalgia is just an impetus that doesn't increase sales without a core additional attraction, I'd side with you there. The issue is that it is still an impetus and exactly what is needed in marketing and something Nintendo should leverage.

We seem to agree, also, that it would all be fruitless if that nostalgia was detached from the actual experience of the game. With Nintendo I find the opposite true. Every time I go back to some of these old Nintendo classics (the actual originals) I find I'm making new special memories. Part of it is because I'm sharing it with my kids, but I also see how they respond to the games themselves.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

"YOU CANNOT TAKE SALES OF GAMES ON THE DS OR WII TO BACK UP YOUR POINT" Why not? The games I am pointing out are stand outs among their peers sold on the same system. They aren't just high they are high compared to other games on the same console. These games double and triple the sales of most other games including similar themed ones. (especially when you leave out launch pack-ins)

"Not everyone who owned an NES had or liked Super Mario Bros." 40 million had it, at least. Kind of a big number now but even more impressive back then.

So here we are in 2014, and the #1 Wii U game is New Super Mario Bros. U. (Yes, it's a pack-in now, but like most post-launch pack-ins it's there as an extra incentive to buy the console because its independently desirable. People have options of what pack-in game they want after the initial launch game so I don't think that diminishes the importance of it being a top seller. But if you'd like to take 1/4 of the sales off to compensate it is still the top seller)

New and fresh doesn't translate into sales as much as it seems both of us would prefer it too. If Nintendo were to ignore the characters and games that create a nostalgic yearning in their customers they'd be going out of business much faster, imo.

I don't think it should be a primary focus or driver for what they create, but here is where I think you differ from my opinion at least:
I don't see Nintendo using nostalgia as a crutch. I see new ideas, new technologies and new approaches to gameplay. They have been inventive and daring like no other game developer I can think of (save indies). It is a business so they revisit past games, but are always trying to avoid repeating themselves by taking a new angle or core game play mechanic.

I don't think relying mostly on nostalgia is a way to do business but leveraging it while continuing to make new and interesting games can certainly help in significant ways. Nintendo could be doing much better but ignoring the effect of nostalgia wouldn't do anyone any good.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

@rjejr I was thinking more long term satisfaction, but from a marketing standpoint to get more Wii U consoles in the hands of players, you are right Nintendo Land really doesn't work as a title on the cover of the box.

It's true that those teetering on buying a Wii U are going to be much more satisfied if the obvious big games are in the bundle: Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart. If there was only one, my vote is for a Mario Kart bundle. It even has DLC to help offset the loss of individual sales.

Can't say I like the looks of that Star Wars bundle, though. To me it looks like a bad game in a console design that can't fit in anywhere. :/ Guess I like more subtlety. :D



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

I don't want this to get needlessly argumentative, but here's a couple thoughts:

You concluded your last response with "“To whittle that down to nostalgia is highly illogical, fallacious, and flat-out fails to actually explain the sales”" as if I was trying to say all of the success of those games was from nostalgia alone which I never set out to do or even suggested. From the beginning I've only asserted that nostalgia is a significant factor in sales (by suggesting that Nintendo is at a good point with Wii U in that regard this Holiday season).

I read some of that blog post you referenced about nostalgia, but are you overthinking it? I'm talking about the simple trigger: "I remember playing those old Nintendo games and I enjoyed that" that leads to "let's try this new version". Not a deep attempt to relive past moments in life. Maybe that's our real point of separation in all this.

You mentioned 3 factors to discount what I was suggesting, but this is too long already and the 3rd was the only one I found substantial.

Your third factor is significant in that New Super Mario Bros Wii's success is at least partly due to its more "party-centric" nature, but that doesn't explain the success of its DS predecessor.

New Super Mario Bros. DS made 29 million in sales without being “party centric”. In fact, it was the first new 2D scrolling Mario in many years and was a standout because it held so closely to the original. In an effort to get a snapshot of reactions from the time here are quotes from reviews on Metacritic: “The first new 2D Mario platformer since Super Mario World has arrived “, “redoes the past”, “keep the game from feeling like too much of a retread”, “a nice homage to the Mario series, but it's not Mario's big return to 2D gameplay like everyone thought it would be.”, “A great return towards 2d platforming for Mario”, “Old school action”

Was nostalgia really not a factor in this game selling so well?

Acknowledging that you think Nintendo is wrong to rely on nostalgia, you still have to admit Nintendo has far better information about who is buying and playing their games. Iwata recently came up with a “same generation hypothesis” based on the data Nintendo has collected and attributes the high sales of Pokemon and Smash Bros to people who played these games in their childhood and want to keep returning to that experience: nostalgia.



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

Hey, I love my Wii U. Our family has played it relentlessly since we got it on day one. We have more games than we have time to play on it.

Two important caveats:
1. My kids also play a lot of minecraft and iOS little games between playing with the Wii U.

2. I wish it was as fun and satisfying to everyone else. :D



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

@rjejr Probably not a chance of cool bundles with newer games until they have their launch first. Nothing seems to be showing up for Black Friday, though, which is too bad.

I really like Nintendo Land as a secondary bundle item, myself: Old maybe, but if you've never played it, it's new to you! But it would be good to put something fresher in there as a bonus. I think they should do some extra promotion if they aren't going to price drop.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

@Webby-sama Welcome to Nintendolife where there are stories about Nintendo and we are interested in how Nintendo markets its products. Also welcome to a thread that is full of lively discussion making it very odd for you to come in and act as if no one should care. ;)

@Souldin I do like the GamePad and especially your using Wind Waker HD as an example of how it can be used to great effect. I also think Nintendo imagined people really responding to the new game play opportunities from Nintendo Land just from seeing them, but consumers really didn't get it. So much potential shown and so few games really taking advantage yet. Plus, Nintendo has yet to find a way to market it to people in a way that they respond. When I play Nintendo Land with groups and they have an absolute blast though. They get it. (Nintendo Land also has another problem: core gamers think it's too easy to bother with when they first try. They are wrong, but it's a barrier to acceptance.)

On the other hand, I really dislike how easy it is to press the ZL and ZR buttons when just setting it on your lap and I think the shape on the sides could be more ergonomic for your hands. The Wii U Pro controller is much more ideal that way.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

You said, "My point is more that nostalgia does not drive new sales or expand an audience, but fair enough. Nintendo isn't selling Mario to anyone that hasn't played it before--the same with Zelda and Pokemon. These are not bringing in new customers."

I'd say nostalgia is a huge reason Mario Kart Wii got many parents excited enough to buy it as maybe their second game on the Wii. Now their kids have played it like crazy and that game sold 35 million copies. That's tons of new customers due to nostalgia.

The point of sales is when nostalgia is most important. "Remember playing this all night?" Pick up the new one.

The strongest selling Mario games are the 2D ones that do feel like rehashes (27 million). The more innovative new Mario games like Galaxy sell far less (11.2) On the back of the box, which one looks more like the experience people enjoyed when they were younger?

I've never said that nostalgia is some uber force that no one can compete with, it is only one aspect, but it is a huge one for Nintendo to leverage and it would be a foolish company to ignore it.

Consistently, the best, most critically acclaimed games with have avid gamers that falling in love with them don't necessarily sell well. It's a sad truth for those of us who care, but it's a different discussion than what makes a game or console sell.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

If Nintendo was making crappy games with no new ideas, I'd agree with you. But they aren't, so I don't. Nostalgia is a strong selling point and I was only commenting on the advantage that Nintendo has in that area. I also mentioned the number of highly rated games as an advantage. There are many other factors besides "new tech", "new games" and "nostalgia" that effect who sells the most. Many.

I personally find the GamePad to be a more significant advance in game technology than what XB1 and PS4 are offering this generation though each have made their own contributions — faster GPUs, processors, and RAM can bring new types of games, but they are byproducts of a larger industry and require little ingenuity or innovation from Microsoft or Sony's entertainment division.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

All the consoles are hitting a pretty good value point this year. Nintendo seems to still have the best rated exclusives and is approaching its extremely important nostalgia sweet spot with Mario Kart and Smash Bros in the spotlight. Won't matter to many who just don't want those types of games but want what's available on PS4 and XB1. It's a pretty stark difference when you look at the lineup of games.

Nintendo has to work with what it has and it's pretty amazing that it is starting to gain momentum with so little third party support and so few cross platform games. Microsoft and Sony rely on a general purpose machine and a large library of cross platform games and I don't think either could survive on their own exclusives alone.



aaronsullivan commented on The Nintendo Wii U Is Better Value For Money T...:

Nobody mentioned the context of that statement in the article? He was specifically asked why anyone who is happy with their original Wii should care about the Wii U. Really changes the meaning of what he is saying in that quote there. The article should probably reflect that somehow.



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

So, I just got a chance to watch these commercials with sound. Not bad at all. The message is there. Works with multiple games, "ultimate sidekick". It even manages to briefly advertise some upcoming games in the process.

The second one has the strong message: "I couldn't have done it without Mario" but we are looking at the toy itself. They are simple, and a little understated in their presentation, but it's the sort of thing that makes an impression after seeing it ten times during kids programming.

Everyone has to remember that you can't possibly be the audience for these commercials. You come to the internet and specifically a Nintendo site for information. Many of you watch Nintendo Directs from start to finish. Of course you really, really don't need this commercial. :P



aaronsullivan commented on Twili Midna Joins The Battle In Upcoming Hyrul...:

@Souldin That's a much more reasonable explanation than my guess! I assumed you had played it, especially since you mentioned the Yetis. The fact that she starts as a nemesis to Link is part of the charm of her character as things develop and she keeps you guessing.

Also, Midna isn't really playable in Twilight Princess, at least without being teamed with Link. The form we are talking about here is definitely not playable in the game at all.



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

The commercials are fine. Simple "this exists" reminders to fit inbetween kids shows. If it was all there was ever going to be it would be a problem but Mario Kart 8 itself advertises them. Smash Bros. itself is going to have a constant reminder of an option you can only use if you buy the figurines. For owners of the games (almost every Wii U owner) that'll be more effective than TV commercials.

Amiibos aren't a main event yet, but will carve out a nice section of the video game retail space JUST for Nintendo. Over time I think it's going to leave a powerful impression of "missing out" for those that haven't bought Nintendo consoles in a long time.

That said, the reinforced stands are disappointing for sure. I do wish they'd do a limited run with the original (fragile) style setup for those who aren't worried about kids breaking them in half. I'd bite on a couple (figuratively!).

I'm very optimistic with these overall, though. This is actually a stronger opening than I expected when it seemed like Smash Bros. was going to be the only supported game at launch at all. Nintendo was able to put a few compelling extra uses in there.

Even the simple Mario Kart interaction. I was skeptical at first, but after this DLC I was surprised at how much I enjoyed having new characters. Seems like a shallow addition but the more custom options to differentiate the driver with the better. We'll get a couple Amiibos and I think it'll be fun "dressing up" for races. Mild fun yes, but value-added nonetheless.



aaronsullivan commented on Twili Midna Joins The Battle In Upcoming Hyrul...:

Yep, I'm just going to have to buy this one day. I always thought it was a shame she didn't get to do more in that form. Of course, that's part of what made her so fascinating: The brevity of her appearance.

@rjejr That's a large Thanksgiving event. Try to enjoy it somehow! I like them smaller, but rarely get that. We have two every year. Also, I now imagine you looking like that guy on the CD cover and have finally let go of your image as a pupeteer.

@Souldin Everyone has a different opinion, of course, but just wow. I can't help but be taken aback by your preference there. Did you play it when you were younger and just didn't understand things?



aaronsullivan commented on Captain Toad Producer Says Nintendo Never Full...:

Hey, just because some Toads aren't pink or don't have braided pigtails doesn't mean they aren't female.

BTW, "adventure pals" doesn't preclude romance. It could, in fact, suggest it. ;)

Of course, they are anthropomorphized mushrooms: toad is short for toadstool. The problem is when you include the other mushrooms in the game. The ones Mario eats or the Goombas which he stomps. It's all rather odd if you try to make it sensible. Perhaps they are evolved mushrooms and nature is full of the strictly plant kind, but then why is Princess Toadstool so utterly human?



aaronsullivan commented on Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Evolved From a ...:

@ULTRA-64 I hadnt really thought about the Toad you play in the main game vs. the Toad in the mini games but Captain Toad does seem to be a different character and more fleshed out. Seems like this is the first time Nintendo is really taking him seriously as a character and not just a sideshow curiosity.

Also, the official reason he can't jump is because he has to lug around that backpack. :D



aaronsullivan commented on Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Evolved From a ...:

Link can jump in all the 3D Zelda games. He just doesn't hop around frivolously but waits until there is a reason: fighting or near a ledge. :)

Still, now I can't get the vision of a Link version of Treasure Tracker... I wouldn't want to replace Toad, just a very different game with that sort of diorama based play with Link.



aaronsullivan commented on Loot Crate amiibo Details and Pricing are Conf...:

@MikeLove what did I do now? We are clearly using different ideas about what a collector is. Pretty simple. Not really into making up arguments over trivial semantics. I think we both know what we meant. Did you honestly think I meant Amiibo figurines were almost as good as multiple hundred dollar items? I thought the context of my original statement was pretty clear.



aaronsullivan commented on Loot Crate amiibo Details and Pricing are Conf...:

@MikeLove That is truly impressive for $13. Hats off to the manufacturers for making a profit on that. /sarcasm

Show me some collector's toys at $13 and we'll start talking. I draw the line at toys that are primarily for playing with and toy-like items that are primarily for looking at. There are plenty of great items at a lower price and none that I know of look like that. Personally I find that version of Iron Man lacking in character but some people like detail and texture more. I'm prefer a captured feeling that expresses the character.

The amiibos before production were a bit more impressive, unfortunately. They've got to do better with the supports or offer versions without them for those that aren't afraid of their kids breaking them.



aaronsullivan commented on Loot Crate amiibo Details and Pricing are Conf...:

Yeah, it's sorta not exciting to me at all. Guess it's kinda fun but with all that upfront cash I guess I expected either a discount or something more interesting than a "mini-mag".

The Amiibo figurines themselves seem like a good value, though. I'd say start by buying two or three and see how you feel about it first. There's no direct benefit from owning all of them or any nasty locked away content until you get groups. It's low risk and reasonable price for an almost collector level statuette.



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

Why announce it? It's not going to be out until 2015 and Nintendo doesn't want people clamming up their wallets on the current 3DS/2DS models that are poised to fly off shelves during the Holidays. Can you imagine Reggie's long face when he was first told there was going to be a NEW 3DS by the Holiday season but not in his territory. It's like a double slam: Nothing to new sell, and a reason to wait. No reason to advertise that.



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

Black face is a complicated issue sometimes and I don't think you are quite getting it. Having different skin tones on the same base 3D model doesn't constitute "black face."

You'd want to look for exaggerated features. It's a tough issue, too, that some people accidentally step into because they don't understand it.

Fictional character design, for instance, often becomes more appealing with exaggerated features and should ideally incorporate the distinguishing features of differrent race lineages to help people identify with them.

The problem of using "black stereotypes" in imagery is that the whole black face wave of entertainment not only had a distinguishing look to it, but perpetuated some damaging simplified perceptions along with it. So, now, there is a sensitivity to it that is understandable and unfortunate. (There were some positives to the practice but they don't outweigh the negatives)

Anyway, nothing to be concerned about with this game as far as I can see.



aaronsullivan commented on Sonic Boom Exploit Allows Players to Skip Larg...:

Hey, @BLP what aspect of game design are you into? Just curious

Once you've developed a game or two (even a tiny one) it sure does give you a different perspective.

This is probably the result of a hard-set release date and a hard-set budget. Nobody can win that scenario in software development. This is why you don't hear about release dates from companies that care about their reputation for quality and customer satisfaction — the long game — more than making a revenue target — the short game. BigRedButton may be the developer but their mistake may have been overpromising and giving SEGA too much control.

The evidence is piling up that this game might be a disaster but the verdict is still out, IMO. A couple glitches doesn't make the game a bad game. My kids like Sonic but I haven't been able to give them a great Sonic game yet.