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Thu 21st Feb 2008

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maka commented on Mobile Publisher Believes Nintendo Ecosystem M...:

wow... so much misinformation! of course those games are there, there's lots of crap games for ios or android, just like there are loads of crap games for Nintendo consoles.

If you care to look past the simple 5 min distractions like Angry Birds and dig a little deeper, you'll find there are great games.

I dare anyone here to play Gridrunners and tell me it's not a real arcade game. try also to break into the top 10 if you can.... and again, if you don't like touch controls, get a real controller. there are many nice options... there's even a joypad you stick to the glass screen and works with almost every game... get informed before dismissing a whole platform based on hearsay...

and btw. one of the things nintendo HAS to do is stop charging ridiculous amounts of money for downloadable games that play just like the 0.99$ equivalents on the app store....



maka commented on Mobile Publisher Believes Nintendo Ecosystem M...:

I'll have to disagree here... it's true, Nintendo is not going to fall anytime soon, but they're going to have to adapt one way or another... phones are not just phones anymore... they're also iPads and machines like the iPod touch. those don't need contracts and can play all the games too. in fact, some types of games work better on tablets like the iPad than on any other type of machine (check out board games on an iPad like Elder Signs, Nightfall, or even advance wars-like games such as Great Little War Game or Outwitters)

Else why would Nintendo copy that style for their Wii U console? (although in my opinion, they failed by not making it multitouch)

And before I got an iPad, I thought that most iOS games weren't too good too but once you dig a little deeper, behind the mountains of free to play and casual crap there are some really good gems. check out Jeff Minter iOS games for amazing arcade action, or Spiderweb's RPGs for excellent and deep old school role playing. Everyone here praised Telltale games, which play really well on the big iPad screen, and the are other amazing point and click adventures like Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP.

And best of all (for me anyway) most of those gems are done by independent developers. Something that, sadly, it seems we're not going to see on Nintendo anytime soon...

Anyway... I'm not trying to bash Nintendo, and I still love many of their games, it's just that there are some really interesting things happening on the mobile space that it's worth checking out... and if you don't like touchscreen controls there are a few options, like the iCade or smaller, cheaper ones that work pretty well...



maka commented on Review: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3D...:

This was the first game I really enjoyed on the original GB. I had tried some of the games at a friend's house and was pretty much unimpressed by the console, but someone lended us one with this (and only this) game and I played all through the summer. One of the best Mario games!



maka commented on Donkey Kong:

Even if it's just on the Super Game Boy, they should at least offer the option.,..



maka commented on Review: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening ...:

This was my first Zelda game and the reason I bought a GBC in the first place. It's an excellent game and my favorite Zelda game... I still have my original copy and still works perfectly... The newer GBC Zelda games and the GBA ones never managed to reach this level of charm....



maka commented on Reggie: We're Not Interested in "Garage Develo...:

Problem is many downloadable games for the Nintendo consoles are at the level of what you find on the iPhone or Android anyway. But more expensive...

And so called "garage developers" have made outstanding games. Minecraft was mentioned, Cave Story also, but there are more. It's a shame that people like these have to hack Nintendo consoles to develop such interesting games for these platforms...

Basically they want people to spend time playing things they have payed for. A free game doesn't earn them money.

Anyway, crap is crap no matter if it comes from Professionals or hobbyists. And Nintendo platforms have plenty of crap, so it seems to me their measures aren't being very effective.



maka commented on Hands On: Nintendo 3DS:

I'm a bit disappointed about how DS games will look on the 3DS... I'm thinking about trading my DSi for a DSiXL as soon as I transfer all the DSiWare titles to the 3DS... That way I can enjoy the DS games to the fullest (and finally be able t o use the shoulder buttons again...)



maka commented on Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS:

I think part of the problem with piracy is Nintendo clinging to an outdated model. The fact that you can download whole Wii games and play them on your Wii by connecting an HD proves that they could have moved on to a digital distribution of games long ago.

They resist doing this and so we have the problem of high production costs which translate to high prices for the consumer. The high production costs also cause the problem of games which aren't going to sell enough copies not to be sold outside Japan (or the US sometimes).

For example, a game like Retro Game Challenge wasn't released in Europe and its sequel wasn't released outside of Japan because the US version of the first game didn't sell enough copies. With a digital distribution model this wouldn't have been a problem and the game could have been released worldwide.

When music companies were complaining about piracy and declining loss of CD sells along came iTunes to show how a new model which catered to the demands of the consumers (quick, easy and cheap downloads) could be successful. Hopefully Nintendo realizes this before it is too late...



maka commented on Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS:

" What would you do to help prevent piracy if you were in there shoes. Its very easy to say what not to do"

I'd open the systems to homebrew. Most of the hackers (the best ones it seems) don't care for piracy. And note that a hacker is just someone that likes to fiddle with technology and make it more useful. The term doesn't imply being malicious...

For example, it wasn't until Sony removed linux that people started to hack the PS3. If Nintendo would let people develop and release their own homebrew software and play it on their systems through some official method (like an official homebrew channel) there would be no need for flashcards (except for piracy/backup uses).

I'm sure the wii wouldn't be as hacked as it is if this would have been the case...



maka commented on Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS:

@Scribbler: Totally agree with you.

And I was thinking today that's very funny how they want us to believe that software is "licensed" and not own by us and yet if one of the game discs you own becomes unreadable you have to go and buy it again... If you payed for the right to play the game, then they should either let you back them up or provide you with a new copy after it breaks.

Again: Corporations trampling on consumer rights...



maka commented on Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS:

BTW, Nintendo has responded to this rumor: from

""We do not discuss product security details (for obvious reasons), nor can we discuss the details of countermeasures available in the Nintendo 3DS system. Nintendo 3DS has the most up-to-date technology. The security has been designed to protect both the creative works in the software and to protect the Nintendo 3DS hardware system itself.""



maka commented on Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS:

And one more thing: The distribution model of pirated software proves that it is possible to distribute any software through the internet, quickly and easily AND the fact that there's a demand for this quickness and easiness.

Nintendo limits digital distribution to small games but this is not enough. The music industry was bitching about piracy and lost CD sells and then came iTunes selling millions of songs in a quick and easy manner.

DS games and even Wii games could be sold through the net just as easily and I'm sure many people would not pirate games if it were done this way.

Also, the fact that some games come to some regions much later is part of the problem. I don't want to wait 7 months to play a game if I can just buy it now from the US. Why should I wait? And what about games that never make it over here? I would never have been able to play an excellent game like Retro Game Challenge if weren't thanks to imports, and now (in a few months anyway) I'll be able to buy the Japanese version thanks to the translation that fans are making. Certainly not thanks to Nintendo and other companies that insist in not releasing games over here. And again, if games could be downloaded, reducing the cost of productions, then this would never be a problem...



maka commented on Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS:

Why don't they just put a device in that gives you a elcectric shock if you put a flash card in? That way they can finish all the pirates off and end the problem once and for all, eh?

I mean, if they ever do this (I believe it's just an unfounded rumor) they'd be already acting like judge AND executioner anyway...

Whether or not you're doing something illegal is for a judge to decide in court. That's why we have a law system. They just can't do something like this which is basically stealing your money.

There are many legal uses for the flash carts (playing import, fan translated games, homebrew, watching vids, etc...) and as long as actually buying a flash cart is not illegal in your country you're doing nothing wrong by using one.

BTW, what's the stance of Nintendo Life regarding flash carts and modded consoles? On one hand you guys post articles about emulators and fan translations which require some sort of modding that Nintendo sees as wrong and on the other hand you post articles like this one where instead of saying "flash carts" you say "piracy devices" which is a broad generalization and not true in many cases.

It's like saying CD-Rs are piracy devices too... there are many tools that can be used for piracy and that doesn't make them illegal. The same should be true of flash carts.



maka commented on Feature: Nintendo Life 3DS FAQ:

"DS games will fit the screen vertically, but will feature black bars on the right and left side of them in order to retain their original aspect ratio. This is similar to the way some widescreen movies are displayed on a 4:3 ratio television, only with the black bars on the sides instead of the top and bottom."

So they will do scaling to adapt the original 256x192 picture from the DS screen to the 320x240 picture from the 3DS. That's a sure formula for a crappy image... Don't throw away your DS/DSi consoles...



maka commented on Talking Point: Why Nintendo and Rare Should Re...:

To me games like Starfox Adventures or the 3D DK game for N64 exemplify the problem that has plagued consoles since the 3D era: pretty graphics, awful gameplay.

I actually made a point of finishing Starfox Adventures at the time (which was pretty easy btw) but it was one of the less interesting and bland games I've played. But yeah, the fur looked amazing...

I think that saying Retro is the new Rare is a disservice to Retro. Retro has been much more consistent with the quality of their titles. The entire Metroid Prime series is amazing and they changed a generic bland platform game (DK) into a great, interesting one... I much rather have Retro than Rare...



maka commented on First Impressions: 3DS Virtual Console:

It's a shame about the resolution problems... Have they actually demoed any DS games on the 3DS? They keep talking about backwards compatibility, but the problem is very similar...

I think the 3DS is going to be best to play 3DS games, and I'm keeping my DSi for the DS and my GBASP for the rest...



maka commented on Rumour: 3DS will be Region-Locked According to...:

Well, it remains to be seen how DS games look on a 3DS... the different in screen resolution can make for a very weird image, unless they don't upscale the display in which case it will be really small... Looks like the DSi or the XL is going to be the best option to play DS games...

About the lock... it's one more incentive for hackers to break into the machine... well done Nintendo! For us in Europe it's a pain because many great games that are released in the US never make it to Europe, and if they do, much later...



maka commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii):

Add me to the list of people that don't see what was so great about the original dk country games...

And anyway, when I saw the first trailers for this game, all I could think about was how much it reminded me of Jungle Beat. I'd like to see a comparison of the two games cause I loved jungle beat...



maka commented on Multiplayer in Angry Birds Will Resemble "Old ...:

I think it's great that we're seeing all these iPhone ports but they usually get much more expensive when they come to Nintendo platforms (btw, Angry Birds is free on the Android and it plays great).

Frankly, after seeing the quality of some of the free (or very cheap <2€) new crop of games for the Android (I don't have an iPhone) I'm thinking twice on spending money on Wiiware/DSiWare anymore...



maka commented on Nintendo Download: 5th November 2010 (Europe):

Wow, Bookworm only available in the UK and Ireland? Why? Because it's in English? Don't they realize many people throughout the rest of Europe speak English too? And it's a great game for people learning it anyway...

Just release it and let people decide if they want it or not...



maka commented on DS to Have Life After 3DS, says Nintendo:

They missed the Christmas opportunity with the 3DS so they want to make sure people will stll buy DSs during this important part of the year instead of waiting for the 3DS. Makes sense...

What I don't get is how that's related to piracy...

Edit: Also one has to wonder, how exactly will the 3DS handle DS games? The original DS ran GBA games with a much smaller screen size due to differences in screen resolution. The quality of the image was better than on a GBA-SP but I'd rather play GBA games on the SP just because of screen size... Something similar willl probably happen with the 3DS which has a much better resolution than the DS, so in the end it may turn out that playing DS games will be better on an actual DS...



maka commented on Review: ThruSpace (WiiWare):

Blockout although it looks similar has very different mechanics. It's basically tetris in 3d, with pieces stacking on top of eachother... in this game there's only one piece...



maka commented on Features: NES Homebrew Is Where The Heart Is:

Nice article. I'm glad people are still programming for all these older game systems, like all the groups making new ZX Spectrum stuff (over here we had those instead of NES).

But there's a whole homebrew scene working on modern consoles and some of the stuff coming out is really good. No matter what Nintendo's stance is on hombrew right now, it'd be nice for you to single out some of the best stuff and post about it too.

Consider the fact that in 20 years, if Nintendo has their way, projects like what we're seeing for the NES will be impossible for homebrewers to develop...



maka commented on 3DS to Boot Games Straight from SD and More In...:

This is not only about piracy, it's also about Homebrew too.

You've got to realize that the people behind the really effective hacks are not pirates. They hack the consoles to run homebrew. Just see the homebrew channel on the Wii. You can't run pirate games just with the homebrew channel, you need other hacks...

You know to make the 3ds hack proof? Just don't give a reason to the best hackers to hack the machine in the first place... let homebrew programmers in. Then they won't need to hack the 3ds anymore... and that would leave pirates on their own...



maka commented on 3DS Gets Tactical Launch Title Courtesy of X-C...:

He is an 8 bit programming legend. He did some amazing turn based games for the ZX Spectrum such as Chaos, Rebelstar and Lasersquad. Check to try them out...

BTW, he did work on a new Rebelstar game for the gba (released in 2005) so maybe we'll eventually see another of his games on a Nintendo console



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

Of course, performing an illegal act is illegal no matter what you use... But I wasn't talking about that. What I'm saying is: Once you buy something it is yours and you can do anything you want TO it or use it anyway you want (within the limits of the law). If I decide to open my DS and play with its internal components there's NOTHING Nintendo can do about it (except for void my warranty I guess). If I decide to modify my DS so it runs other software there's nothing Nintendo can do about it because it is my machine. I can wack it, I can break it, I can open it, paint it and do anything I want to it because I payed for it and it's mine. It's not Nintendo's anymore.

That's the key problem here: Nintendo seems to want to own our consoles and decide what we can use them for. But notice how they never say "It's illegal for you to run homebrew", no, they say "Running unlicense software might break your console" (or something similar). They don't say it's illegal because it is not!!! They just try to scare people off and that's that...

What makes this specific ruling dangerous is that the reason the R4 was outlawed in the UK is not "because it can run pirated games" but "because in order to function it breaks the DS's security". This can be applied to people that jailbreak their phones or hack any type of machine to use it for another purpose. Any type of "reverse-engineering" even if only to accomplish interoperability can be stopped with the same argument and traditionally hacking a device for interoperability was considered legal.

In fact, just look in the US: The DMCA was changed to allow for this kind of hacking (jailbreaking phones to run software that was not authorized by the maker). See:

I believe this is the same as hacking the DS to run homebrew, and it's a shame that in the US things go fordward, and in the UK they go backwards in that regard.



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

Don't forget that not all ROM downloading is illegal, just look at Every game downoadable there is legal because they'got permission from the original rights holders and the DS is the perfect platform for emulating the ZX Spectrum (thanks to the flashcarts) as the DS has the exact same resolution as the Spectrum did.



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

"2) Breaking the system for homebrew or otherwise is an illegal act"

Haven't you read the links I posted above? At least in the US that's not illegal at all!!



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

I should have added this quote from the EFF article above. I believe it applies also to Nintendo. Fortunately for people in the US it means Flashcarts shouldn't be outlawed there any soon:

"In its reasoning in favor of EFF's jailbreaking exemption, the Copyright Office rejected Apple's claim that copyright law prevents people from installing unapproved programs on iPhones: "When one jailbreaks a smartphone in order to make the operating system on that phone interoperable with an independently created application that has not been approved by the maker of the smartphone or the maker of its operating system, the modifications that are made purely for the purpose of such interoperability are fair uses."

"Copyright law has long held that making programs interoperable is fair use," confirmed Corynne McSherry, EFF's Senior Staff Attorney. "It's gratifying that the Copyright Office acknowledges this right and agrees that the anticircumvention laws should not interfere with interoperability.""

And about the 5yo girl. I'd rather not make assumptions about people i don't know. There's no way you can know they pirated those games. I don't care how likely it is. You just don't know.



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

BTW, I read the article and comments about that Maestro game. From what I see their distributor is more to blame than piracy. The game was impossible to find anywhere...



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

"When you buy a DS, you accept the fact that the system will only be able to legally run whatever Nintendo permits to be released."

No. When I buy a DS I can do whatever I want with it. Heck, I can even use it to keep a door open if I want What I mean is, once the hardware is on the hands of consumers, they can't (and shouldn't) control what consumers do with it.

There is a demand for these devices and there's a demand from indy developers that want to make games for the DS. If Nintendo doesn't want to meet that demand they're free to do so, but they shouldn't be able to control what consumers do to their devices. I payed for my DS and I will play homebrew if I want to, whether Nintendo likes it or not.

"I saw a small girl of only about 5 playing on her DS and, lo and behold, a flashcart was nestled in the card slot. Your average mum and dad who are probably not too hot with computers beyond word processing and internet browsing, so if they can pirate ROMS with just a quick google search,"

How do you know that they hadn't bought the games before putting them into the cart? Many people want the comfort of not having to drag carts around and believe me, when a small kid is involved, it's actually a great measure. If I had bought my son a cart and put all the games I've bought to him inside it, then some of the games which he has ended up losing would still be safe and available. If he loses the flashcart, then it's no big deal...and anyway, if the flashcart stays inside the DS and he doesn't have to carry any other carts around, chances of losing it are pretty slim...

"And returning to the point about “stifling innovation”, have you ever heard of a DS game called “Maestro: Jump in Music”? It never really was released in large quantities in Europe, and it appears piracy had some sort of role in that. Here’s a quote from a news article on their site:"

Never heard of it. Maybe that's why people didn't buy it... if you don't market the game, people won't know about it...



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

"But it's not fair to say that piracy isn't a factor, because it DEFINITELY is. It disgusts and infuriates me to think that the article's mention of Retro Game Challenge 2 could be true, and piracy was a legitimate factor in our not getting it."

I think the main problem is not really piracy, but the fact that the game is a niche game which caters to a very specific gamer... I bought the original (had to import it since it wasn't released in Europe) and loved it and hope someday we'll see the second one too...

The other complains like third parties complaining they don't sell enough seems to me like a case of blaming piracy for their own mistakes. Make a crappy game and it won't sell. That's that... I can count with the fingers of one hand the third party games which have the polish that any Nintendo game has..



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

"I wonder if the iPlayer might be the only legal homebrew option in the UK now since it specifically won't play nds roms."

According to the judge, it is illegal because it breaks the device's security, not because it allows you to play pirated games.

Which I find amazing: Once I buy a console it is no longer Nintendo's. It is MINE. If I decide to break its security I'm breaking my device's security, not Nintendo's. Then I can play legally downloaded games and apps on my device.

They think they can say the console is theirs and license the usage to its buyers? They're crazy!



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

BTW, whoever ruled this should read this:

"The first of EFF's three successful requests clarifies the legality of cell phone "jailbreaking" — software modifications that liberate iPhones and other handsets to run applications from sources other than those approved by the phone maker. More than a million iPhone owners are said to have "jailbroken" their handsets in order to change wireless providers or use applications obtained from sources other than Apple's own iTunes "App Store," and many more have expressed a desire to do so. But the threat of DMCA liability had previously endangered these customers and alternate applications stores."



maka commented on High Court Outlaws Flash Carts in UK:

Sad day for Freedom in the UK today

This was quoted from one of the sites that published the news: "Defendant Wai Dat Chan and Playables Limited argued that the R4 is legal as it allows the use of homebrew applications. The Court, however, ruled that the R4 must first must circumvent Nintendo’s security systems before it can work, therefore making it illegal."

First, it seems to me this ban only applies to the R4.

Second, to circumvent a protection in order to add functionality to a device is not illegal, otherwise every company making consoles or computers would have a monopoly. It's funny everyone scorns Microsoft for their monopoly practices and now they're all happy Nintendo is allowed to act this way.

I will keep buying Nintendo's games just because they make some of the finest games around and their designers and design philosophy is great, but I hate their behavior towards homebrew.

And make no mistake: The only reason they don't want hombrew around (because that's what they're fighting but won't admit) is because of money. They want to charge you for every app/game that you could play for free like the endless sudoku clones, flashlight apps, notebook apps, etc... They've got no shame.

BTW: I agree with all Metakirbyknight said.



maka commented on The War on DS Piracy may be Hard to Win, but I...:

Selling flashcarts is just like selling CD-R or DVD-R drives. They let you put files into your console. Whether those files are legal or not, that's your decision... just like using CD-Rs or DVD-R drives to pirate movies, computer games/programs or movies instead of legal freeware, your own stuff or stuff that's freely available (legally).



maka commented on The War on DS Piracy may be Hard to Win, but I...:

Some interesting articles on the subject:

And as it can be seen, publishers are starting to fight against secondhand sales too... although I'm sure those measures will be very unpopular

Edit: And here's one from Nintendo saying "used games are not in the consumer's best interest", yeah right

Just like they try to convince us homebrew is not in the consumer's best interest... Good tactic, instead of admiting they don't like it and it's bad for their business they try to convince us it's bad for us



maka commented on The War on DS Piracy may be Hard to Win, but I...:

@SandersEvers: Of course. And that's exactly why they won't get the sympathy from the general public about this issue. But each person that buys a second hand copy means a lost sell for the publisher, as it means many people got to play the game but only one payed the publisher.

The secondhand market is a very strong competition for publishers, and means a lot of lost sells that, if it didn't exist, would have gone to the publisher.

Again, the publisher wants your money. Anyway you get a game that doesn't pay them money is bad in their view. They can convince people of how unethical it is to pirate, but they can't convince people that buying a secondhand copy is unethical, even though to them both are as bad.



maka commented on The War on DS Piracy may be Hard to Win, but I...:

The thing is, the problem is not only piracy. Piracy is the one problem they can get most people to sympathize with, but there are other problems that might be as big for game publishers.

First, there's the second hand market. You have to realize this is just as big a problem for publishers as piracy. To them it doesn't matter if you get a game for free or if you pay someone else for a copy. They get the same amount of money for that copy: zero

The only reason this is not talked about more is because no one else will accept this as a problem. They're solving this by using download services and might eliminate it completely if we ever reach a point where all game consoles use download as the main way to buy games.

The second problem is discounts. Publishers not only want you to buy their games new, htey want you to buy them as close to release as possible. Even though some titles seem to have a much longer lifespan (Mario Kart, etc...) most profit comes from selling the game when it's released. After a short while the price gets discounted and profits dwindle.

That's why we see so many pre-order bonuses to encourage people to spend the most possible money on a given title.



maka commented on The War on DS Piracy may be Hard to Win, but I...:

User agreements can't go against the law either. They can't take away a right you already have.

If I sell you a car I can't say you can only use it on one road and even if I said it, you'd be free to use any road you'd want.

A console is nothing more than a computer with integrated controls and a screen (in the case of a handheld). If anything, I'd say the way they lock people out from developing is what's illegal, as they're trying to create a monopoly. BTW, the French courts seem to agree with this...

It'd be like computer makers blocking people form installing Linux or open source developing tools, or like computer makers shutting down freeware developers. It wouldn't be right, and it is not right in the case of consoles either...



maka commented on The War on DS Piracy may be Hard to Win, but I...:

Exactly. Nintendo should embrace the homebrew community and give a means of running/developing homebrew that doesn't open the system to piracy. Else, they're forcing people to hack their systems for legit uses and there's people that will take advantage of the hacks for illegitimate ones.

Problem is they don't want to open their systems to independent developers for some reason (I guess is money related... but who knows?). And as they can't give us a good reason why they do this they just ignore homebrew and lump it with piracy...