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United Kingdom

Sun 20th January, 2008

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

In order of greatness this franchise absolutely goes:

1. Mother 3
2. Earthbound
3. Mother

Mother is to be respected for what it started but it's very rough around the edges now.

I know some people love Earthbound but if we're actually being objective and considering every single aspect of the game design here then Mother 3 basically trounces it in pretty much ever area and certainly all the most important ways.

Mother 3 is one of the best game experiences I've had in recent times. I only played it about a month ago for the first time, the English fan translation, and it is just stunning. A proper gaming masterpiece and true classic, as far as I'm concerned.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Mystery of Devil's Third an...:

To me; it just looks like there's too much stuff all thrown in together into this game. It might just end up being a bit of a mess, with lots of options and stuff to do but ultimately may not really be satisfying. It's hard to really grasp exactly what it's going to be like. It's also looking quite rough around the edges. I'm not feeling it.



Kirk commented on Shigeru Miyamoto Suggests Low Key and Accessib...:

@MadAdam81 It wouldn't be so stupid if you just used the tilt to both fly the ship and aim the cursor directly on the TV screen, without having to look at the GamePad, but having to keep switching back and forth between looking at the TV and the GamePad, steering the ship on the TV while aiming its shot on the GamePad at the same time, is just bad imo. It's like trying to rub your stomache and pat your head at the same time--unnatural--and while I'm sure people will get more used to it over time, it will never be more intuitive or make more sense in the premise of the game, which is traditionally a 3D scrolling shoot 'em up, than just flying and aiming on the main screen.

I'm sure it will actually be more accurate for aiming by moving the GamePad around and looking at your targets on its screen but that's beside the point. It's at the cost of the normal, pure and fun Star Fox experience imo and that is the problem I have with it. It's no longer a 3D scrolling shoot 'em up and is more like playing a gimmicky motion controlled on-rails arcade gun game in terms of the core aiming--a totally seperate genre--while also having to play and control a scrolling flying game at the same time. I just want the brilliant scrolling shoot 'em up that Star Fox originally was.

If there is an option to turn it off, which based on how it's done I'm thinking there probably won't be, then it wouldn't be such a big deal. Right now however, I'm thinking Miyamoto has just ruined Star Fox in its natural state, which was basically already perfect in terms of controls--being a great example of the scrolling shoot 'em up genre--and didn't need to be messed with in this particular area.

Miyamoto has kinda "fixed"--see broken--an element of the game design that was basically perfect in the first place.



Kirk commented on Shigeru Miyamoto Suggests Low Key and Accessib...:

In terms of using the amiibos; I think it would be cool to have a couple of Star Fox Zero specific ones and also be able to use most of the other ones too.

I've not really thought about any particularly good ways to reward the player for using the amiibos but...

With the general ones I'd maybe have something like changing the main character to look like the one of the scanned amiibos, including their model inside the ship and in cutscenes and headshots. They could probably just take the models from Smash Bros. Some simple variations on the ship designs and skins would also be nice. I think that would be cool.

In terms of scanning in the Star Fox Zero specific amiibos; I think it could maybe just be a unique costume for fox and a unique looking version of the airwing, or something like that. I dunno.



Kirk commented on Shigeru Miyamoto Suggests Low Key and Accessib...:

You know, Miyamoto, I'm not so much worried about the amiibo support as I am the gimmicky GamePad controller aiming that you've forced into the game, which has basically ruined it for me personally.

People can defend it and try to rationalise it all they want but if I don't want to have to concentrate on two screens, or twist and rotate my wrists around to aim, then this game basically isn't going to make me happy. It's gimmicky, convoluted and unnecessary in creating a worthy modern Star Fox game.

Ignoring all the issues with the lacklustre graphics and underwhelming presentation for now--this simply isn't the current-gen Star Fox experience I want.

Unless there's at least an option to turn the gimmicky GamePad aiming stuff off and just play Star Fox normally, in the classic way that feels natural, intuitive and just right, then I'm out.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Nintendo's Approach to Transfor...:

@Inkling "Problem is that the fans just aren't grateful."

To me that's just a load of bull and a kind of cop-out response, from both Nintendo PR and defensive fanboys, to not giving long time fans what they want and expect from the company, and actually satisfying those loyal customers.

When Nintendo gave us games like Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country and Earthbound—all brilliant new games in beloved franchises—fans absolutely celebrated the company because it thoroughly delivered and did everything it needed to do to move those franchises forward in a positive and meaningful way that also fully satisfied all the desires of the fans. In some ways it just totally and utterly blew them away. The same thing happened when Nintendo delivered sequels like Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, F-Zero X and Star Fox 64—the fans cheered Nintendo's name from the rafters.

When Nintendo chucks out half-*ssed spin of crap, like 'Animal Crossing Board Game', 'Metroid Football' and 'Zelda Totems', or a clearly lazy and hastily put together effort like 'Star Fox 64.5 plus clunky gimmick', it's not the fans who are in the wrong for being disappointed or even enraged—it's Nintendo. Nintendo knows it; many of the fans know it; and even some of the 'defenders' know it.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Nintendo's Approach to Transfor...:

Consider this: Two of the best positive jumps ever in Nintendo game franchise generations were from the 8bit versions of games like Super Mario Bros, Metroid, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Mother and Punch-Out!!, to their 16bit versions, and from the 16bit versions of games like Super Mario World, Metroid, Zelda, Donkey Kong, F-Zero and Star Fox, to their 64bit versions.

Both times it was brilliantly executed evolution and noticeable but natural jumps forward in the underlying technology and gameplay design that kept the new games genuinely fresh, exciting and ultimately satisfying for the fans of those series and just gamers in general. Nintendo just built upon and improved everything that had come before in the previous game(s) in the franchise when it created the latest game in the franchise.

It's when Nintendo decides to almost throw away a lot of what it improved upon and honed to near perfection across multiple generations, or just half-*sses it, that I think it all starts to go wrong, and more so when a game has been around for multiple generations in a slowly but ever evolving and improving form; when there are things that fans have come to love and absolutely expect to basically just work perfectly.

You've got to keep moving with the times but you can't just throw away all the things that made fans fall in love with these games in the first place—or sh*t on the fan expectations, just for the sake of trying out silly gimmicks or even quickly throwing together new games in franchise in the hopes of making a quick and easy buck when times are bad.

If you're going to try weird random stuff and half-*ss certain elements then do it with new games that fans don't deeply care about. Or at the very least, make those cheap spin-off titles alongside the proper and lovingly crafted new games in the franchise, which evolve and expand upon everything that made the fans love them in the first place—but certainly not instead of them.

PS. I think Star Fox Zero is one of the weird examples, where on the surface it might appear to have given fans more of exactly what they want but in reality I think most of the changes fundamentally alter the core experience in such a way that it's not actually the same game anymore; such as the really convoluted and divisive and forced gimmicky GamePad aiming. It also hasn't done anything to really bring the game into the modern era in terms of things like presentation, graphics, a sense of scale and production value, or the truly epic and cinematic "Star Wars" like experience that Star Fox is worthy of imo. From what I can see, it's a half-*ssed retread of an old game but with a stupid gimmick added to try and convince people it's "fresh", "new" and exciting again, but that's about the only way it is "fresh" and "new", and not in a good way. It isn't however quite as much of a blatant kick in the teeth as something like the new Animal Crossing game :-o



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

@TeslaChippie Yeah, that's probably true for most people.

It's just something that bugs me personally, it feels weird and off, and I think it would be great to at least have an option in the game that let people use a more traditional type of aiming setup too. To me it's kind of like having the vertical aiming in an fps set to inverted and not having an option to set it to the normal way. Personally, that would actually be pretty much a deal breaker for me, and although I can just casually mess around in Splatoon it's the same thing here imo.

It's not technically broken. It's just not the idea solution imo, and if it's going to break the norm then I think it would at least be nice to have the norm as an option for those people who prefer it. Like it has an option to turn off motion controls and just use analog sticks for those people who simply don't want to use motion controls.



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

@beazlen1 None of this really matters, imo, if I can't simply and intuitively tell where the aim cursor itself is going to go or end up when enemies move around in front of it and then out of the way again. I'd rather the cursor was alway fixed relative to where I am pointing the screen and then the only thing I have to worry about is judging the arc of the ink I'm shooting; which would be pretty easy if everything else stays consistent. Or, if the cursor is going to try to indicate it's moving in relation to the arc of the weapon then actually indicate the arc too, for reference.

This isn't a first person shooter either: but I don't see the cursor jumping around in this game beyond what the player is doing.



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

@TeslaChippie How can I make this simple in terms of describing what the problem is...

Ok: Let's say you are standing still but moving your aim smoothly from left to right in one nice clean horizontal motion. So you're basically scanning the landscape, using your cursor as a point of reference of where you are currently aiming. Lets say you notice a bit of graffiti on the wall in front you, during this horizontal scanning motion, and you want to stop your aim precisely when its over the graffiti, in a second or so. It's going to be pretty easy to do so, right?

Now, let's say you're doing the exact same thing; only this time an enemy runs in front you while you're scanning across the landscape, and for maybe a second the cursor visibly jumps slightly downwards and inwards onscreen to show your ink trajectory is now going to hit the enemy—remember, you're still continuing your smooth horizontal motion during this—and once the enemy moves out of the way the cursor jumps back to where it was previously indicating, it's correct trajectory, but slightly further across the screen because you've still been continuing to move it horizontally during this time...

How hard is it going to be to know where that cursor is going to jump back to after the enemy moves out of the way and what's the likelihood you will have overshot the graffiti you were actually trying to aim for and stop on? How would you know when to stop moving the aim, if the cursor is showing its position relative to the enemy in front of you instead of just relative to where you yourself were aiming it in initially?

I mean watch this clip at the point I've marked, set it to 0.25 speed, and just look how much it's visually changing position on screen: How are you supposed to track it's motion accurately when it's changing so dramatically any time it moves roughly near an enemy?

Now, imagine that same scenario where the cursor doesn't visibly change position onscreen every time an enemy moves in front of you and then out of the way again... How much easier and more intuitive do you think it's going to be to track your position and stop on the graffiti, even if an enemy moves in front of you for a second or so?

Now, what if that graffiti is actually another enemy too, and it's this enemy specifically you're trying to aim for and shoot at, but the cursor keeps jumping relative to the trajectory of your ink that's affected as the other enemy passes closer in front of you.

Do you really want to be in a situation where you're potentially constantly over aiming or under aiming your shot because you can't track it smoothly and intuitively because of this visual jumping that it does on screen whenever an enemy moves in front of it?

How is this better than any other shooter where the cursor can be used as an accurate fixed point of reference, which doesn't jump around on screen based on what's moving in front of the player?

Like this (random example).

Surely just having a smooth and consistent cursor, which isn't jumping around all over the place, is far more intuitive and easy to follow visually and control, especially during hectic battle. The fact that in Splatoon it's ink, with a trajectory arc, makes no difference to how effective and intuitive the aiming cursor can/should be. I mean in the original Halo: CE the devs even accounted for this trajectory with their grenades, yet still used the same fixed point cursor, and it actually worked great.

THIS is the issue I have with Splatoon, and that's me even accepting for now that the cursor is actually doing what you think it is, and I think there should at least be the option to turn this off in the settings and use a more traditional type of cursor motion.



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

@Splatburst Exactly. It basically overrides where you would naturally and intuitively aim, or expect the cursor to go on its normal path when you're moving it around to aim at things directly. It's the exact opposite of what I personally want. I don't like control being taken out of my hands and the cursor jumping around in big chunks at a time. If they were going to have a slight auto aim I'd rather they left the cursor itself alone and just made the shots hit stuff that's roughly in line with where the auto aim would take over. So just like in say Halo: CE, where you still have full control over the aiming reticule at all times but if you aim near enough to an enemy/player you'll get a wee bit of aim assistance with the bullets curving slightly towards the enemy/player you were aiming near enough to. This way it's still "helping" the less skilled players but not frustrating and visually confusing people like me by jumping the cursor around erratically when I'm just trying to aim at stuff properly.



Kirk commented on Video: Art Academy and Yoshi's Woolly World Co...:

@GrailUK Well I get that you might not be worried about the controller situation but I personally think it's becoming a major problem, and not just in terms of convolution but also potential expense for some consumers too—as well as stuff like possibly putting off some developers, taking up more storage space, and whatever else. I mean both Microsoft and Sony figured out a while back to try and keep it simple going forward—you can basically just use their main controller to play 99% of games from all their previous consoles, and that will probably be true with their next consoles too (Microsoft's already got its Xbox One controller design supported on most the upcoming VR systems too)—but Nintendo's not quite realised why that simplicity and elegance is so important yet—despite originally claiming that's exactly what its approach with the Wiimote was kinda supposed to be all about.

And again, this is just the controller stuff.

The "Mii" stuff would be like a grain of sand on a beach in amongst all the amazing stuff NX owners would be able to do, out-the-box day one and for free, if I had my way :-)



Kirk commented on Video: Art Academy and Yoshi's Woolly World Co...:

@GrailUK Well imo it's only "traditional" if you think of it on a very surface level.

Trust me; there's been nothing like this in the history of gaming. There's even a few other elements that I haven't covered, but even with what I have detailed it's not quite as traditional as it might seem at a glance to some people. Saying it's "traditional" is kinda like someone saying the 64DD and the whole Mario Artist series was "traditional". The whole 64DD and Mario Artist concept is STILL not "traditional", 20 years later. (Still some pretty cool ideas there)

Brining everything together into one nice neat package is also one of the fundamental issues Nintendo desperately needs to solve going forward, imo, because its various "solutions" are becoming more and more convoluted with each new generation, as it tries to figure out various half-*ssed ways of supporting some of the games, features and controllers from one console and some of them from another but never quite just doing it all right, and in a way that's simple for everyone to understand and be able to fully appreciate. The amount of convoluted control options on Wii U at this point alone is testament to how bad it's getting. The last thing Nintendo needs to do is just make that even worse imo, possibly adding even more different control options and setups into the mix—and that's just talking about controllers :-o

What I think Nintendo needs to do is tidy up all its convoluted mess, bring together all the loose threads, and at the same time also make everything 'new' and 'fresh' again. I think that's how Nintendo makes itself relevant to modern gamers and these new tech-savvy entertainment consumers, who are often highly creative and social, without losing anything from its past that made it so great and so beloved in the first place.



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

@artofmana Well that's cool that you enjoy it but it basically brakes the game for me, in one of the ways I consider most important (the controls), and I'd at least like the option to turn if off and aim the same way I do in virtually ever other third person or even first person shooter out there, and have done for many years.

If they don't want to "fix" this "issue", as I see it, then at the very least give me the option to turn the weird cursor jumping, or auto-aiming or whatever it is, off in the settings.



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

@Miko08 The cursor visibly jumps a relatively large distance whenever you move it near an enemy/dummy, and if it's not an auto-aim I don't know what to call it—but basically just let me turn that off. I want the cursor to follow the same 'path' it's on before it reaches the enemy/dummy and the same path it jumps back to after I pass the enemy/dummy; basically the one I'm aiming it on manually. I don't want it to suddenly shift a big chunk, onto roughly the centre of the enemy/dummy, without me actually moving the cursor their by intention.



Kirk commented on Splatoon Version 1.3.0 Update Due on 30th June...:

Did they fix the controls (the aim/reticule stuff)...?

Basically; I think there needs to be an option to turn off the weird cursor-jumping/auto-aiming when you move the cursor roughly near an enemy (or dummy in the test room). It makes consistently tracking and following the precise position of the cursor near impossible; especially when you are moving around hectically and aiming at different things.

I say just make the cursor the cursor and don't do anything weird with it. End of.

Where I move it is where it goes, and stays, unless I decide otherwise—and the main ink arc/shot will basically always pass directly through the reticule of the cursor at some point in its trajectory, always at the same point and distance relative to the cursor regardless of where and what I'm aiming at. If I want to aim further I simply aim higher and the ink naturally goes further, in line with the cursor and passing through the aim reticule. If I aim lower it goes a shorter distance, in line with the cursor and passing through the aim reticule. No weird cursor jumping and no half auto-aiming, or other clunky stuff like that.

At least give me the option to turn it off.

Then you'd basically have a near perfect game imo.



Kirk commented on Video: Art Academy and Yoshi's Woolly World Co...:

This kind of thing—a full art creation game—should have been available for the Wii U at launch and ideally built directly into the firmware of every single Wii U, imo.

There's many ways the Wii U GamePad and its unique features could have been better sold to people as something genuinely cool and novel, certainly in the home console space, and this was one of them. Super Mario Maker is another great example and again, I think it should have been available at launch, as well as possibly even built directly into every Wii U system.

If it were up to me, the Wii U would have launched with a bunch of stuff like this built directly into the firmware from day one and made available to all Wii U users to use for free, where they could share their creations with all other Wii U users and in some cases just online in general. In fact, I'd have went even further and had an entire creation suite built directly into the firmware of the Wii U—much like the original idea for the Mario Artist series on the 64DD was supposed to be—and the sad irony here is that "games" like Project Spark on Xbox One and Dreams on PS4 have actually already gone far above and beyond what Nintendo is offering, in terms of this kind of creation toolset concept, on a console that more than any other console out there actually has an interface basically perfectly suited to such things.

Boy could Nintendo have really had a major Wii U system selling feature in its box day one, and imo possibly even a bit of an industry paradigm shifting one at that—if it were done right. I mean just imagine if all Wii U owners could freely create and share their artistic creations, music creations, polygons creations, video creations, and even full video game creations online with all other Wii U owners, out-the-box day one, for free (and possible even sell some of them for a small price too)...

If Nintendo REALLY wanted this thing to fly off the shelves out the gate then it certainly had the tools/means available to do so—it just failed to take full advantage of them imo. The saddest thing however is that it still has all these options available to it—there's still time to save the Wii U (and possibly do even more than just save it)—and yet it seems it still doesn't fully understand how to take proper advantage of them.

At this point I'm sure plenty of you know where I'm coming from but here's how I'd move forward with this vision on Nintendo's new console, NX (since Nintendo kinda f****d up the chance on Wii U):



Kirk commented on Nintendo Didn't Mention Mobile At E3 2015 Beca...:

@Gerbwmu It doesn't have to cost that much if it's approached right, and I have ideas for this too, but even if it did; knowing you'd only have to buy one Nintendo console this time around, which would basically act as both your portable and your home console, would probably help people see it as a pretty good value proposition—especially if it has the full creation suite idea built into out-the-gate for free too :-)

Ideally though; I wouldn't want to have to pay more than $200, or £200 for me in the UK, for this thing—regardless of how Nintendo has to figure out how to pull that off.



Kirk commented on Eight SEGA 3D Classics Get Discounts in North ...:


Sega deserves all the money it get for these lovingly crafted rereleases of classics.

I just wish Nintendo would put this much love into all those rereleases of its old classics. I mean, Christ, it can't even get the frikin colours right on NES games on the VC!



Kirk commented on Talking Point: E3 Highlighted Nintendo's Devel...:

@Hordak You mean digital SNES games, right?

If so, then I totally hear you.

In fact; if it is some kind of hybrid portable/console then I personally would like it to play digital versions of games from basically all Nintendo's previous consoles ever, both handhelds and home consoles, and that even includes Virtual Boy games and also its old arcade games. All of them—ideally from Wii U all the way backwards.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: E3 Highlighted Nintendo's Devel...:

By the way; absolutely none of this speculation about Nintendo holding back games for NX will matter in the slightest, if Nintendo makes the NX similar to the machine and service I suggested a few days back. In fact; it would only ultimately help the Wii U in the long run—at least in the hearts and minds of gamers, consumers and the gaming media; if not in terms of increased Wii U hardware sales. Such is the "genius" of my idea for what NX could be, imo.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: E3 Highlighted Nintendo's Devel...:

@Peach64 I guess we shall see...

I know the idea I have for NX, both in terms of hardware and software (as well as firmware, services and features), would most likely make Nintendo the market leader next-gen but I'm pretty much 100% certain we're not going to see anything like the system I have in my head at this point.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: E3 Highlighted Nintendo's Devel...:

@IceClimbers Every major home console system has/had a bunch of good games. The Wii U having some good games is nothing special in the slightest. On basically all accounts, the Wii U is a total failure and and flop in basically every single way, so far. At this rate, by the end of its life the Wii U will be one of the most disappointing consoles all-round ever, imo.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: E3 Highlighted Nintendo's Devel...:

God I hope people aren't terribly disappointed when they realise that the lack of big new AAA software on show at this years E3 wasn't because Nintendo was focussing on moving many of its games to NX.

To be blunt—unless some miracle occurs; I don't actually see the situation being any better on NX, and I don't think you should be pinning your hope on that or using it as any kind of rational for why you're not seeing certain big games on Wii U. I just don't think Nintendo is making them. It's that simple—and if it is making them then it's not showing them because they're really early in development, which means it's not holding them back for NX; it just never had any intention of making them till this late in the game in the first place.

I think people are giving Nintendo far too much credit at this point—that they imagine its got some genius master plan up its sleeve for NX and is holding back any big software, which the Wii U could definitely benefit from, as part of that master plan. Nintendo simply isn't giving you what you want and creating false hopes that its just playing its cards close to its chest and has some long term goal in mind, where you're almost magically going to get everything you want with its next console, is, imo, just fantasy.

I hope I'm wrong but the one thing I'm not going to do is give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt this time. Nintendo needs to either put the f' up or shut the f' up, as far as I'm concerned.



Kirk commented on 3D Gunstar Heroes Brings New Modes And Local C...:

Such a classic and Sega's [re]doing these kinds of classics more justice than basically anyone in the industry with the 3D Classic range. It's literally laughing in the face of Nintendo's own pathetic VC efforts.



Kirk commented on Nintendo Gets Tough With Miiverse Bans, and So...:

Sometimes I feel like the entire world is becoming one big police state. Basically, say and do only what you are told—what "we" deem socially acceptable—or won't be allowed to say or do anything at all. Somehow, it doesn't really feel like that's the best world to live in.



Kirk commented on Hands On: Logging More Flight Time With Star F...:

@Tender_Cutlet Well true but my "hopes and dreams" were those for this game; not actual life. In that respect Nintendo failed, imo.

In my life I too have failed in many respects and so has the world failed me—well more precisely our individualistic, selfish, greedy, capitalistic society has failed me (the world just is what it is and holds no blame)—in many ways too.

The thing is; it's easier to not f**k up controls that already worked brilliantly, than it is to win at life. I mean even I know how to make decent controls—certainly in a Star Fox game—whereas figuring out how to win at this game called life is however a wholly different matter.