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Sat 3rd May 2008

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shenstra commented on Professor Layton's London Life Won't Make It t...:

I will be importing the full version of the game. This move has also reminded me of how backwards Nintendo of Europe is and I won't be buying a 3DS anytime soon. If they want my money, they need to make it region free, or bring European releases up to the same level (content- and time-wise) as the US.



shenstra commented on 3DS Comes with Mario, Pikmin, Kirby, Link and ...:

This technology isn't nearly ready to read some kind of code from these cards. They have to pre-program a relatively small number of shapes that the software can recognize and pre-program the accompanying games. They may be able to add support for more cards later on through software updates, but I don't think they can extend this into some kind of larger meta-game.

I fully expect the five character cards to turn into virtual models of the characters printed on the cards. Disappointing, perhaps. But at least one of the cards contains a little game to showcase the potential of AR games.



shenstra commented on Pachter: Nintendo Should Charge More for 3DS:

You know, I'm with Pachter on this one. The man is often wrong, but that's just because he dares speak his mind. We can all make fun of him and his bad predictions, but he's the one rolling in money.

Purely from a economic perspective, I think the US price for the 3DS is lower than it should be. We pretty much know the product is going to be a success and that it's going to have long term support. It's going to sell well at launch, then sales will very slowly taper off until the inevitable price cut. Given Nintendo's popularity, the overwhelming success of their handhelds in the past and the hotness of glasses free 3D, I think they could easily sell a few million units at $300, drop to $250 a month or two before Christmas and keep it at $250 for at least a year. They could even have launched at $350, dropped to $300 before Christmas and dropped to $250 at the start of summer 2012.

Even if you only get an extra $50 for the first five million units sold, that's $250.000.000 extra income. If that leads to slightly slower market penetration, so be it. I don't think Nintendo is worried about that anyway. Sony's PSP2 is going to come too late, so for the first few months, the 3DS will pretty much just be competing with the DSi XL (Nintendo wins either way) and iProducts (which don't compete with dedicated handheld gaming devices nearly as directly as a lot of people (including Pachter) say).



shenstra commented on iPhone more powerful than Wii?:

It's pointless to compare most hardware specs as the architectures and interfaces are completely different. True, the Wii has practically no main memory by today's standards, but that shouldn't be a bottleneck for a game like Tales of Monkey Island.

The iPhone does have a lower resolution and might require less processing time for input than the Wii, but I still think Tales of Monkey Island should easily run on the Wii without any kind of lag. It's probably just a matter of software optimization, which costs time and money.

Instead of investing time, money and effort (dare I even mention the possibility of hiring more talented programmers?) they put out a less-than-optimal product and proceed to trash the hardware.



shenstra commented on Review: Star Trek: Conquest (Wii):

I've had this game for about a year now and I just love it. I can see how the minimalistic approach can put people off, but in my experience the game doesn't need more planets, ships, diplomacy, etc.

There are just enough systems and routes to create strategic dilemmas (Which system offers a better tactical position? Which provides more income? Can I even conquer this system?), but not so many that systems become irrelevant. If you play with fewer races, some systems just get scrapped from the map so the game is always focused on conflict between factions.

Those bare bones act like a weird, risk-like game, but there are tons of little things that make the game interesting. Each faction has unique characteristic that have a profound impact on how they can be played. Different factions can build different super weapons. All factions can build Scouts, Cruisers and Dreadnoughts, but each faction's take on these basic classes is different and all classes have their uses. Systems can be turned into money machines or research stations, which creates a trade-off between a bigger fleet, or a stronger fleet and more super weapons. Even the admirals you use can change the game entirely.

Random maps would've been a great addition, but at least the default map is pretty good.

My only real problem with Star Trek: Conquest for the Wii is the fact that it crashes all the time. The strategic map is perfectly safe, but the arcade combat part of the game tends to crash a LOT. After a while, saving after every turn became a habit, and saving every turn seems to actually decrease the likelihood of crashing, but it's still very annoying.



shenstra commented on Xiotex Amazed By Reaction To WiiWare Rebuttal:

That's the problem with working in the games industry. You can't vent your frustration without being turned into a rebel leader by the rabid community. If you then go on to clarify that you don't want to lead a revolution, said community will be mad at you for not wanting what they want.