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startropics3

startropics3

United States

Joined:
Sun 21st October, 2012

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startropics3

#1

startropics3 commented on Video: Learn More About the Technical Wizardry...:

@ekreig What drew most including myself to the SNES was Super Mario World. I was enamored with it, though It wasn't so much due to the graphics. In my mind, Sonic the Hedgehog looked nicer, and it wasn't until Star Fox in '93 and Donkey Kong Country in late '94 that I was in awe of the graphics of the SNES.

The biggest leap in graphics for me was PS and N64. I'm not sure a leap that significant has occurred in consoles after the switch to polygons.

startropics3

#3

startropics3 commented on UK Study Finds No Link Between Video Games And...:

@B3ND3R I recently tried my hand at Duck Tales for the NES, and it was way more difficult than I remember. After a couple attempts at the hardest difficulty, I switched to easy for a comparison; I still lost all my Scrooge dolls and was forced to restart from the beginning! Talk about consequences.

I enjoy a challenging game, but I'm not masochistic; I want to feel rewarded for overcoming a punishing trial. I think consequences for wise and poor decisions will increase the enjoyment felt, but they should be thoughtful consequences, not just an achievement trophy or a free retry; no one should get those in reality, so why should you in a fantasy world? The creators of Dark Souls reached a near perfect balance of challenge and consequence. Death means potentially losing your hard earned currency, and exploring is rarely dull due to the constant threat of traps, enemies that are usually much stronger than you, and online invaders that are usually more skilled than you. Sometimes the rewards are subtle, such as a gorgeous view, but the fragility of your circumstance makes you appreciate the view because it feels earned.

Fun itself is a vague goal. People have fun building a house or looking at birds (not that those are boring activities). It seems like many games are given high scores because the reviewer had fun, but sadly he/she rarely explains why. I think there is more to a game's design goal than for a majority of its audience to have fun. It is right below the surface, in the task you are given over and over again. Once you realize it, you can ask if the game is really hitting the mark or only grazing the surface of the core mechanic's potential. Or maybe the mechanic is rehashed so many times, it needs a break (Are you really getting anything new with each realistic military shooter? Can we turn the mechanic on its head, much like GoldenEye did to Doom and Quake?). Every player, creator, and reviewer should ask, "What is it about these games I love that makes them fun?" For example, why do so many people love Minecraft? Do they feel drawn to the pixelated environment? Do they feel satisfaction from the task of hunting and crafting? Do they feel ownership by adding a personally-created estate to the community? Once you figure out what it is, you can either repeat it with bigger budgets towards visuals (GTA V), or play and experiment with it (Zelda 2). This seems very psychological, and it should because games are simulations of our desires, but the core mechanic that we desire to experience and sometimes repeat is masked by visuals and plots. However, I've never made a game, so don't think of me as any authority; I just enjoy ranting. ;)

I hope you are given the opportunity to make something from your experience and emotion, something that gives you a lot of pride. The first Zelda was from Miyamoto-san's childhood. It was a game about a memory of a feeling: wonder and mystery from exploring caves.

startropics3

#4

startropics3 commented on UK Study Finds No Link Between Video Games And...:

@B3ND3R I would think those games would improve your spatial and temporal awareness (reacting to events and memorizing your surroundings) more than make someone outwardly violent, although I didn't grow up in this generation of shooters; the analogs of my childhood were Contra, Jackal, and, later, Doom. I don't remember any mature ratings, but then they didn't feel like mature games to me. I always thought of Populus, Civilization, or SimCity as more mature, as in, more intellectual. They definitely intimidated me more than any shooter, and it's a shame because those patient and thoughtful sims had much more depth than a violent shooter.

It wouldn't surprise me if kids played more FPS today as those sims require quick instead of complex decisions, and thus generally easier choices to make; should you go left or right down a hall?, should I move slow or fast towards an enemy?, should I shoot now or wait until I have a better shot? There is also less at stake in most shooters, and less consequences for bad decisions. You take a few hits, but eventually heal. You were killed, but will restart with your weapons and ammo nearby.

startropics3

#5

startropics3 commented on UK Study Finds No Link Between Video Games And...:

The problem with both this study and the 2010 US study it cites is that they cannot infer causation. While the 2013 study is more informative than the 2010 study, it still relies on observational data. Plus, the 2010 study had some very weak correlations between attention disorders and tv/game time, with the strongest correlation basically stating that children with attention problems at the start of the study still had them 13 months later. A major problem with the 2013 study in this news post is that the distribution of game exposure was skewed to the longer play times, giving little statistical power to the groups that played >3 hours per day (only 3% of the sample and hence the lack of significant effects from that group). Even with no significance, effects were very low, as in the 2010 study.

A lack of strong effects is still an interesting result. The childhood problems may have more to do with parenting and social status than with tv or video games. That would be a good hypothesis to test, especially if they aren't inherently-linked factors.

http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/21/archdischild-2011-301508.full.pdf+html
http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/126/2/214.full.pdf+html

startropics3

#6

startropics3 commented on Poll: As the PS4 Arrives, What Do You Think of...:

The polls are missing a response for purchasing a used "last gen" system. I would grab a used PS3 on the cheap for some Demon's Souls and Journey before I consider buying anything new. I don't own or plan on owning an HD tv. Plus, the market is saturated with lackluster games that focus on grandiose visuals or self-important plots instead of on moderation or creativity. I'll take a Fez, Swords&Sworcery, or Proteus over another Gran Turismo, Call of Duty, or GTA. Nintendo still best represents my tastes, and if they continue to make gems like Kirby's Epic Yarn, then I might purchase a Wii U.

startropics3

#7

startropics3 commented on Feature: The Madness That Is Super Mario 3D Wo...:

@luke17
Similar situation here. My wife didn't grow up with video games, and I just finished grad school. It's definitely an act of delayed gratification, but you know all about that.

As for the existence of the internet, I assume that Nintendo has higher standards than the internet can provide at this time. I know there are exceptions, but they likely don't want to rely on a factor for which they have little control. I'm not excusing their perfectionist behavior, but I appreciate their restraint with adding features that wouldn't improve the core experience.

startropics3

#8

startropics3 commented on Feature: The Madness That Is Super Mario 3D Wo...:

@MadAussieBloke
Don't stop at online, they should also charge for DLC and make it free-to-play. And why not add an achievement system with a false sense of accomplishment? I mean, every other game I own has these amazing new features. They really missed the opportunity to have time-sensitive maneuvers be hindered by internet latency issues. Man, Nintendo... such a shame indeed. Get with the times and make a proper Call of Duty game for the masses. I really am upset that I can't use a keyboard and microphone with this game. Missed the mark again, Nintendo.

startropics3

#9

startropics3 commented on Feature: The Madness That Is Super Mario 3D Wo...:

I agree with the developers on keeping online multiplayer out of this game. They wanted to maximize the game's enjoyment, and an online option would likely complicate the traditional simplicity of a Super Mario title. Plus, the drawback of split screens in local multiplayer is moot. Instead you get to witness the reactions of a person sitting (or standing) next to you, which is the best part of a multiplayer game. I see very little benefit to having an online multiplayer option in this game.

startropics3

#10

startropics3 commented on Eiji Aonuma Confirms Minor Changes to A Link B...:

@Spoony_Tech I'm glad you have 3-5 hours per day to invest in gaming. I don't anymore. I have a full time job and a baby. Free time is usually spent cooking, cleaning, or with the family. I'm happy if I get 2 hours a week for a game. This is probably why I gravitate towards games like Left 4 Dead where I can complete a campaign in about an hour and I don't have to worry about where I left my game for the next time. Somehow I logged over 400 hours just on that game, but over two years. I recently began playing the Metroid Prime Trilogy, but it is probably a mistake for the reason I mentioned earlier.

startropics3

#11

startropics3 commented on Eiji Aonuma Confirms Minor Changes to A Link B...:

I hope that these ideas for the 3DS Zelda live up to the hype Aonuma is giving them. I never played the DS Zeldas, so I don't know what was new or exciting about them, but handheld Zelda titles may be the best for experimenting with new ideas. There is less of a gamble if they don't pan out, and there isn't as much expectation as with a console title.

It seems that most of the conversation around this news story is regarding a missed opportunity with 3D puzzles. I don't care either way about the 3D aspect, but the length of games in general is something that needs more critical thought. Clive Thompson was interviewed recently [ http://gameological.com/2013/10/clive-thompson-writer/ ], and he made a really good point. Many older or casual gamers don't have time to invest in games that require more than 20 minutes to reacquaint yourself with the mechanics and narrative. That is why cell phone games are so popular; they focus on the short enjoyment of the gameplay without the baggage of lengthy, convoluted tasks.

When you play a game on a handheld, it is usually in spurts of less than an hour, at least for me. For titles such as Zelda that are expected to take 40 hours to complete, this playing style translates to 70-80 hours as you relearn where you have been and what to do next. The game quickly starts to feel routine and less fun as you are making checklists instead of enjoying the experience. Plus, I don't care about following the story and it's many mundane tasks after I've finished the game a couple times. I want something that gives me a reason to master the Master Sword and a reason to help or not help NPCs other than for money. I wish I could really get lost in Ocarina's lost woods, or find a new island created by a friend on Wind Waker's ocean, or explore more flora and fauna in Twilight's fishing hole. These areas seemed like missed opportunities to have self-functioning systems without actions caused by Link (e.g., trees grow, fall, or "move!", waters recede and expose new land, fish aren't independent organisms in a dull pool, but part of a pond's complex ecological community).

Most of my rant comes from an emphasis by critics on game length. I would rather play a game that is narrow and deep than one that is 100 hours wide and flat. Even if a Zelda game took two hours to finish, i.e., start to credits, it could still have depth in the characters and environments (Majora's Mask attempted this). Remember how you could warp to the final stages in SMB if you wanted to quickly finish, but that didn't mean the rest of the levels were filler. If Aonuma can manage this modular style of gaming, then I think it will go a long way towards replay value. I'd say the closest a Zelda game has come to this was the first title for NES due to the mostly non-linear "story". It sounds like he is on to something with the dungeon system this time and renting tools/keys. Fingers crossed.

startropics3

#13

startropics3 commented on Eiji Aonuma Explains Why The Legend of Zelda I...:

Gives everyone time to experience other titles, not only for consumers, but also developers. Other action RPGs have tried and succeeded at new ideas that I would love to see in a Zelda title.

It also wouldn't hurt to have some replay value in the Zelda series. Multiplayer is fine, but a dungeon editor would be delicious.

startropics3

#14

startropics3 commented on Eiji Aonuma Wants it to be "Fun To Get Stuck" ...:

Legend of Zelda series gradient in amount of hand-holding (from low to high):
Legend of Zelda -> Adventure of Link -> A Link to the Past -> Link's Awakening -> Oracle of Seasons/Ages -> The Minish Cap -> Majora's Mask -> Ocarina of Time -> The Wind Waker -> Twilight Princess -> Skyward Sword
I'm not sure where Four Swords (Adventures) and the two DS games (Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) fit in this gradient as I have never played them, and I may be wrong about the Oracle series because I only played them once around their release dates.

Clearly, Aonuma is breaking with convention and most things that made Skyward Sword so trite (linear gameplay [forest, mountain, desert], characters and plot, an endless hint system [or no way to switch off hints]). I think this a great direction he is taking, but I will believe it when I see it. I would be happy if A Link Between Worlds was somewhere around ALTTP and Link's Awakening or lower (towards Zelda 1 and 2). I was probably 8 when I played ALTTP, and I recall being stuck at the 2nd dungeon (Desert) because I didn't know you had to exit the dungeon to find a new entrance. That was the first time in the series where you had to leave a dungeon to finish it. Had a sign or text box appeared that simply told me this, I would have never felt that accomplishment. The series desperately needs more of those types of convention breakers, but without announcement.

startropics3

#15

startropics3 commented on Video: The Wind Waker HD's New Features Are Sh...:

Looks beautiful. Might have to start saving my rupees...

Why am I so excited about the Tingle bottle idea? Oh that's right, probably because not since Four Swords have we seen in-game, multiplayer interaction in the Zelda series. I love writing and reading notes on the ground in Dark Souls. Hopefully the Tingle bottles will have the same appeal, but it will likely just be a two-way interaction (i.e., send a question, wait for a response). Otherwise I imagine islands would be literally littered with questions and answers. I'm not sure why they didn't decide to use the perfectly viable island mailboxes for that purpose. Still, a really neat idea to incorporate a tip system into the game. Kudos.

startropics3

#18

startropics3 commented on 3D Gaming is Very Much A Part of Nintendo's Fu...:

I haven't purchased a Nintendo handheld since the GB Micro. This might be my next one. I love that Nintendo does this with almost all of their consoles (see the NES 101, SNS 101, Wii Mini), but they always produce them at the end of a console's life. I was waiting for something like this to finally play some DS games without the clamshell design.

startropics3

#19

startropics3 commented on Say Hello To The Nintendo 2DS - A 3DS without 3D:

@ricklongo
A few reasons come to mind: lower manufacturing cost, easier to hold, more durability. Remember that the original GBA was very similar in button and screen arrangement. Also, GameBoys had a reputation of being incredibly durable prior to the clamshell design. I don't remember needing a case or screen protector for my GameBoy or GameBoy Color.

So it doesn't fit in a typical pocket. I bet kids carry backpacks.

startropics3

#21

startropics3 commented on Say Hello To The Nintendo 2DS - A 3DS without 3D:

I'm fairly excited to see this. I've never been keen on the folding style of gameboy (SP, DS) after seeing my brother's DS break at the hinges, and I LOVE the GBA micro. Maybe this handheld is targeted to me, the rare, older gamer that favors simplicity. I also didn't care for the 3D option when I tested the 3DS.

Plus, the 2DS probably uses much of the same manufactured parts as its cousins, but with less cost to produce due to less features. A low-risk, wise move by Nintendo to undercut a low-priced PS Vita.

startropics3

#22

startropics3 commented on Sales Data Demonstrates a Slow Wii to Wii U Tr...:

@Caryslan
I plan to use my Wii for a long time, even if I do find myself purchasing a WiiU, mostly because Nintendo finally supported backwards compatibility with the Wii. Even games that are not released in the VC can be emulated on the Wii through homebrew apps. The GameCube and Wii have an excellent collection of games to play for years, especially the GC. Part of the interest in replaying old titles years later is in reflecting on the parts that made the games work so well or on what didn't. You can also notice things you may have overlooked in the past, such as sexist or violent overtones, or you may find places where a new game directly referenced some aspect, like the town names in Zelda 2.

I find it surprising when console developers state that new games will continue to be made for an old console after a new console is released. That only seems to be true when development began prior to the new console's release, but there are exceptions as we saw with startropics 2 and mega man 6, among others, which were released three years after the SNES came to the US. Developers sometimes move or port games onto new systems if development is within this console transition window. If you'll recall, Eternal Darkness was slated for a late N64 release, but switched to the GC as a release lineup. Twilight Princess took advantage of two consoles, although I prefer the GC version.

I have no issue with Nintendo putting their efforts into new games for new consoles. That said, I might agree with you that Nintendo, and others, leave the last generation unsupported, but not only the consoles. I wish they would create more 2D games, like they did with New SMB. I thought Kirby's Epic Yarn was a great idea, visually, but the pretty visuals aren't necessary. There is something simple yet still enjoyable about side-scrollers that gets lost or complicated when made into polygons with 3D environments. I think Fez approached the interplay of the two very well, and it is a game that wouldn't require a new console or a big dev team.

Nintendo is in situation where they can and should take risks due to handheld and Wii sales. They still need to show they are relevant in home consoles with the WiiU, but they don't need to emphasize it as their only option due to their impressive back catalog and licenses. It's almost an arrogance you have to admire. They have been around the longest of the bunch and seem to play by their own rules, sometimes to the detriment of third party relations (remember cartridges?).

startropics3

#23

startropics3 commented on Sales Data Demonstrates a Slow Wii to Wii U Tr...:

Nintendo is probably the most courageous console developer, especially with the gamepads, which gives them high respect even with unrealized successes. No other console had a three-pronged controller with a thumb stick. No other console had a handle and bright orange colors (my fav). No other console had a remote control with motion detection. There are plenty of other brave ideas from Nintendo (Virtual Boy), that told the industry they didn't always need to play it safe. When you take risks, eventually you'll get a hit, as with the Wii. I am repeatedly unimpressed with the competition and their predictable consoles.

If games sell systems, then Wii has a leg up on the WiiU, but I wouldn't count out WiiU. The WiiU doesn't have a Super Mario World or Super Mario 64 yet, but things could change once Nintendo releases that game that has people going, "Wow, I need to play this!"

If Nintendo were truly worried about their financial situation, I think they would profit from the HD conversion of most of their GameCube and Wii library. They also wouldn't have released something like the WiiU without a system-selling game.

startropics3

#24

startropics3 commented on Nintendo's $30.2 Million 3DS Patent Infringeme...:

"Rakoff went on to state — based on evidence from the trial — that the Nintendo 3DS appears to not be profitable and the majority of games for the system do not make use of Tomita's patented technology in any way."

I found this statement more insulting than the payoff. Even if Nintendo did infringe on the patent rights of Mr. Tomita, no harm was done due to the lack of success with the 3DS or failure to implement the technology (at that time?). Am I interpreting that correctly?

startropics3

#25

startropics3 commented on Rumour: The Wind Waker HD May Have An Addition...:

@unrandomsam I see your point. SMW is a fav of mine, and I don't think it needs improvement. The selling point of NSMB seemed to be the simultaneous multiplayer aspect, and of course Mario. The development teams and directors likely changed for the new title, so I wouldn't expect a similar game. I only played through the first two worlds on NSMB, so I won't critique it, but I did enjoy playing with a friend.

The updated Wind Waker's selling point is HD and Zelda. There is little risk involved because you know what you are getting, and if it moves systems, then all the better. It's definitely a safe move by Nintendo, but, for how long it takes them to make a quality new title (e.g., Pikmin 3), who can blame them?

startropics3

#26

startropics3 commented on Monster Hunter Frontier Online Coming to Wii U...:

"It's getting rather long in the tooth, as a result, but with MMORPGs that's not necessarily a big issue; if it's fun and there's an active community, rough visuals don't matter a huge amount."

Am I of the minority that thinks this doesn't look dated? Running for my life didn't leave me time to admire the monsters in MH3, though I did enjoy the detail of their expressive faces. I have friends that still play Everquest, so I agree with Tom's statement, but I guess I have low standards for visuals. The pinnacle for me was Rogue Squadron 2 on the GameCube; improvements in graphics after the GameCube just seemed superfluous. Do most gamers even pause long enough to admire little HD details?

startropics3

#27

startropics3 commented on Rumour: The Wind Waker HD May Have An Addition...:

@unrandomsam Not sure on the credibility, but I found sales numbers here: ( http://www.mariowiki.com ). SMW - 20 million; NSMB Wii - 14.7 million as of March 2010. So it looks like NSMB Wii sold at a faster rate than SMW, which makes sense given the increased popularity of Mario. I don't see what sales numbers have to do with your argument. Are you suggesting that people will still purchase Mario titles regardless of the titles' length and quality? Or are you saying that profits are higher now because cartridges were expensive to manufacture? Or are you simply dissatisfied with new Mario titles in general?

You could try renting a game before buying it.

startropics3

#28

startropics3 commented on Rumour: The Wind Waker HD May Have An Addition...:

@DerpSandwich Sorry to pick on your comment when others made similar complaints, but your comment has already started a conversation.

I'm not the type, at least lately, to purchase a game at release. It doesn't fit my budget unless I prioritize for it. Still, $50 to $60 is not asking a lot for the experience we get from quality titles such as WW. You have to consider the development costs are likely increasing with each console generation as more detail is devoted to textures, polygons, music, testing, etc. ( http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_costs ). Now consider that games have not gone up in price since around the SNES, and somehow Nintendo is expected to still turn profits. I'm not saying that the industry or Nintendo or even developers need your sympathy, but that we are getting quite a deal for the enjoyment time to price ratio, especially when we expect each new game to take longer to complete or look visually stunning. I'd wager that most gamers spend more time with one or two games than most other forms of media combined in a given week. It'd be interesting to see a poll.

Anyways, the industry will probably reach a saturation point soon and will implode due to this balancing act of development costs and competitive pricing. Bring on the indies in undies!

BTW, "experience" Proteus if you want an interesting low-low-def style with enough substance (e.g., randomized environments) to keep you intrigued.

startropics3

#29

startropics3 commented on Soapbox: The 8-Bit Era Laid the Groundwork, bu...:

@Lobster Yes, I was eleven at the time. Sorry to reply so late. I remember getting the highly anticipated DKC around its holiday release and playing it over and over. Those of us that had Nintendo Power subscriptions received a nice little VHS tape promoting the game ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufQVpg5nrqA ). If you waited until the end of the tape, they revealed another RARE game behind a door labeled "top secret". It's super embarrassing to watch today, but the tape did excite me about DKC, and the excitement in the lead-up to its release probably increased the impression it left. Pokemon probably would have been a favorite of mine had I grown up playing it. I just wasn't interested in turn-based RPGs at that age, except for Super Mario RPG, but I see your point.

Games can still influence me. I frequently mention Dark Souls in posts, but it surprised me that I could fall in love with a game again. Not since Super Mario World and Goldeneye have I been so enamored with a game.

It's funny you should mention finding Star Wars at that age. I fell in love with TIE Fighter on DOS before even watching the films.

I, like you, still enjoy a mix of PC, console, and handheld gaming, but I intentionally stay about two or so years behind the trend since owning a Wii. Good games don't decrease in value, but their price usually does. Still waiting to try Super Mario Galaxy 2. I think it is at the library (currently my favorite way to rent Wii games).

startropics3

#30

startropics3 commented on Soapbox: The 8-Bit Era Laid the Groundwork, bu...:

As someone who also grew up on NES, SNES, and N64, I think it is very tempting to have an elitist attitude towards your entertainment medium of choice, similar to music, film, or literary elitism. While biased, that background gives a person a perspective to judge modern games in light of the many games that may have already mastered a particular genre. Yes, many modern games are heavily influenced by classics of their genres, yet they can still be entertaining if designed with gameplay in mind. I recently played the new Donkey Kong Country Returns on Wii and I didn't hate it. I thought I would because I had such fond memories of the original on SNES. The new DKCR will never have the same influence on me that the original did, but that doesn't make it a poorly designed game. That wasn't the case when I recently played the new Goldeneye game. I did hate that COD-clone, but not because it didn't live up to my expectations of the original, it just didn't feel rewarding when I progressed. That was probably due to the way the designers underestimated the gamers' ingenuity. I don't expect new genres or even updates to genres with modern games, but I do have high standards because I've played many games. There will always be disposable entertainment in all mediums attempting profits. I played a lot of that trash on the NES, SNES, and N64. I just have a keener eye for it now.

startropics3

#31

startropics3 commented on Prima Games Offering Collector's Treasure Ches...:

I found this at a local used games store recently:
http://www.zeldadungeon.net/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda_Tips_%26_Tactics_Strategy_Guide
Untitled

I was really impressed with how the authors designed the overworld map layout. It folded out in multiple pages and included "stickers" to identify caves and fairy fountains.
http://www.zeldadungeon.net/gallery/albums/Zelda01/Strategy-Guides/Tips-and-Tactics/Map.jpg

The authors also omitted the last three dungeons from the guide and the entire second quest. I think their intention was to motivate players to map out the dungeons themselves. Had they included blank grid pages for those dungeons, this guide would have been near perfect, although it wasn't a problem for me and a friend to use some graphing paper when we were younger.

Seeing the design of this new guide package really excites me because I imagined the NES Zelda Tips and Tactics guide as a hidden "map & compass" for someone fresh to the game. I have this desire to hide portions of the guide (probably photocopied pages) for my daughter to discover through real life accomplishments, that is if she ever cares to play Zelda and never finds out about GameFAQs. ;)

startropics3

#32

startropics3 commented on Aonuma Is Growing "Tired" Of The Zelda Formula...:

As long as the Zelda team under Eiji's direction tones down the mini puzzles, it will be a new direction. I prefer my challenges from the enemies, not the puzzles where that "ah ha" moment only comes once. There are usually a number of ways to defeat an enemy/boss, well not so much the bosses anymore.

startropics3

#33

startropics3 commented on Fan Campaign Starts for Princess Zelda to be G...:

@Alienfish Agreed. Play more Dark Souls (forever my recommendation).

As @World inferred, gender is irrelevant in Zelda. Maybe WiiU Zelda will be more social with online, multiplayer components. Then I could see incorporating gender, possibly through your Miis.

Speaking of Miis, I don't know why Nintendo doesn't just use them with all their games. The idea of personalized avatars is not new; since Zelda 1 you could name your character. The Mii might be the closest we've come to actually having our personal likeness used in a Nintendo game. Nintendo should allow Mii versions of any character you choose, even if they replace only the face.

startropics3

#34

startropics3 commented on Review: Mario Bros. (Wii U eShop / NES):

This was a ton of fun playing with my bros. on SMB3, but then just about every simultaneous multiplayer game I remember playing on the NES was spectacular (Joust, Contra, Chip and Dale's, Battletoads, Double Dragon, Bubble Bobble, Jackal, and Rampage, to name a few ;) ) and probably more fun than Mario Bros.

startropics3

#35

startropics3 commented on Shigeru Miyamoto Is Open to More Female Heroin...:

@Harrison_Peter Hilarious!
When people talk about Nintendo including "mature" games in their library, topics like these are what I consider mature content. But like Harrison_Peter and Miyamoto brought up, you might as well not even bring gender roles into play if the gameplay does not require it. Olimar might as well be an asexual automaton as he(?) isn't likely affecting views on gender in order to progress in the game. I can hardly think of a game where gender is even relevant. When included, gender is used as a marketing tool or tired plot design.

A quick search of "sexualized games" brought up a 2009 research article on the effects of sexualized female portrayal in video games. http://www.academia.edu/1865189/The_Effects_of_the_Sexualization_of_Female_Video_Game_Characters_on_Gender_Stereotyping_and_Female_Self-Concept
The authors tested two versions of Lara Croft (scantily-clad Lara and fully-clothed Lara) on 56 male and female undergraduates in a southwestern US university. Interestingly, they found no effect on female self-esteem from the sexualized version, but did for female self-efficacy (the measure of one's own ability to complete tasks and reach goals [wikipedia]). Females also reported less favorable attitudes towards females' physical abilities in the sexualized version than in the non-sexualized version, and males had less favorable attitudes than females in both versions, but attitudes towards other areas like cognitive abilities, appearance, and career and domestic roles were not significantly different. Finally, the degree of presence (or immersion) had no effect on the previous attitudes (physical and cognitive abilities, appearance, and career/domestic roles).

Quite a bit of literature on this topic has emerged in the past decade, and we will likely see more as female gamer representation increases. I find this topic very interesting and relevant as an "older gamer" (now 30) and as a father of a potential female gamer. I expect a lot from a medium that influenced my childhood, but sadly, the industry can and likely will keep the status quo as long as no one is upset by sexism in video games.

startropics3

#36

startropics3 commented on Nintendo Falls Under Further Pressure Regardin...:

@Yorumi I thought you made a good point earlier. Plenty of groups have used divisive issues to promote their agenda. For an example relevant to this topic, look at the fabricated story from Mike Daisey, who supposedly visited the Foxconn factories and witnessed the atrocities first-hand. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2012/03/retracting-mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

Regardless of Nintendo's liability in unethical practices, we can still debate as a community where our moral line is located, especially with factory fatalities that are very real and probably preventable ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/03/china-poultry-farm-fire
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/03/bangladesh-garment-factories-vulnerable-collapse ).

startropics3

#37

startropics3 commented on Nintendo Falls Under Further Pressure Regardin...:

You could attribute this to the cost of technology progressing faster than ethics. I'm sure most of you don't want to participate in or promote slave-labor, hence we decided globally to abolish it. We could argue that wage-labor is next to be abolished, as I think it should be. Most people do not have the luxury to work towards their own creative aspirations and must grind out a living for basic necessities, but that doesn't mean this is the only way we can maintain an economy. These things take time and awareness. I'm glad that NL is giving issues like these some attention. Nintendo is doing what it is legally obligated to do as a corporation, increase share-holder profits. The citizens create the laws (ideally). What's scary is giving any sort of citizen power to corporations like Nintendo, Sony, Apple, etc, which as most would agree, do not have our best intentions at heart ($$$$).

startropics3

#39

startropics3 commented on Shigeru Miyamoto Wishes Nintendo Had "Done Mor...:

Zelda 2 requires patience, determination, and strategy, all of which are unnecessary in Zelda games afterwards especially with the trusty fairy-in-a-bottle. It's not for everyone. I enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction of progressing, but not just for the sake of collecting things or completing meaningless tasks. I got a similar vibe from Monster Hunter Tri and Dark Souls, so I wouldn't say that this level of difficulty is unpopular or missing in all current games.

startropics3

#41

startropics3 commented on Retro Studios: "After Donkey Kong Country Retu...:

You know what would be neato torpedo?
A multiplayer Metroid game using the gamepad. I could see one player as Samus (the wiimote and nunchuk) and another as a hunter (the gamepad), but not necessarily just in a co-op mode. They could also compete for whatever they are after (pirate bootie?) but the hunter would be hidden from Samus' view, akin to the multiplayer Pac Man idea on GameCube. The gamepad player could leave notes or traps for Samus and challenge her to duels or ask for aid. And the wiimote player could either avoid or interact (fight/assist) with the Hunter in order to gain some reward or incentive.

I just hope that, when they (Retro, Nintendo, Team Ninja, other?) do bring Metroid to the Wii U, the gamepad won't be used solely as an expensive map screen.

startropics3

#42

startropics3 commented on Nintendo Reveal Why Its 3D Mario Title Isn't S...:

"Another interesting question, was the fact that Peach is a playable character in the upcoming Super Mario title, who is kidnapped?"

Who is kidnapped?! Come on! That tired plot should die in a fire.
Must a female hostage define the Mario & Zelda series? Can Nintendo not think of a better motivation? Did Mario Party or Kart need a hostage? Remember when you could play as Bowser and Peach in Mario RPG for SNES?

A new plot would be the biggest surprise out of Nintendo this year, not that I care too much about the story anyway. It's not like you would quit playing if you rescued the Princess or whomever after the first of eight castles.

startropics3

#45

startropics3 commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Should Aim to Produce ...:

"I wish Nintendo would remake Dr. Mario, but also include a narrative explaining the circumstances by which Mario, exhausted from continually rescuing the helpless Peach, found himself leaving the plumbing trade to fight disease." - said no one ever

startropics3

#46

startropics3 commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Should Aim to Produce ...:

@0SP_ZELDAiii I don't think your friend represents the majority of video game consumers. Other systems and developers do an excellent job marketing to the stereotypes you mention with your friend. It doesn't mean you are less mature than PS3 owners; games are games, no matter the system used to play them.

My wife plays Candy Crush on her iPhone and laptop, as do a lot of people, because video game consoles don't appeal to her. She actually spends more time playing that one game than I do playing all my games combined in a typical week, yet she wouldn't consider herself a "true and mature" gamer like someone who plays CoD or WoW. I disagree.

startropics3

#47

startropics3 commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Should Aim to Produce ...:

@Yorumi I completely agree that we don't necessarily need to mix mediums for an emotional experience. I'd much prefer to see more games that don't rely on linear stories, such as Left 4 Dead, Dark Souls, Proteus, & Monster Hunter. The 8 and 16-bit games of old had enough story and emotion without falling short in gameplay (e.g., Actraiser, Zeldas 1 & 2, Metroid, Mega Man, Star Fox), and newer games of the same vein are getting it right (Cave Story, Bastion, Binding of Isaac, Bit Trip Series, World of Goo, LostWinds). I don't think newer, polygon-based games need to be motivated by a deep, believable plot. Or if there is an overarching plot, then utilize something that will bring players back for more, as in Amnesia, which was the scariest game I've played and the only other one besides the original Resident Evil for PS1 where I stopped playing out of fear.

The current emphasis on plot-driven game design is limiting the potential for the video game medium. Not to say that these games aren't engaging. I just finished DarkSiders, but the problem was I didn't care to reach the end or replay it because any mystery of the game was over after I completed every task. I read the review of the The Last of Us on GiantBomb, who also gave it a high score, and I was more interested in the survival/rationing aspect than the motive for it. Unless the motive somehow determines your actions, I don't see the point in games which are all about the situation (see this blog post for a better argument against plot-driven game design: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/167669-video-game-stories/ ).

startropics3

#48

startropics3 commented on Aonuma: I Want To Work On Things Other Than Zelda:

"But I'd probably end up making a game that is similar to Zelda; after all, A Link to the Past was my biggest influence."

That may explain why almost every Zelda game since ALttP has followed the same general outline: princess is captured (come on!), retrieve three items then the sword, and retrieve several more items to get back the princess. This is the reason Majora's Mask stands out among the titles, although he co-directed that as well.

Get some young and creative directors in there or at least someone who doesn't refuse to acknowledge the original NES Zelda's due to their difficulty.

startropics3

#49

startropics3 commented on Talking Point: Wii U vs Xbox One - Online Requ...:

I don't understand the relevance of the Xbox considering it lacks game exclusivity from the PC. Plus most Xbox games I assume will look and play beautifully if not better on the PC. Now they want to make a new Xbox with almost all the functionality of a PC, except maybe for motion capturing. Is MS forgetting why they entered the video game console market?

I would love to see MS offer an offline-only console to see how well they sell given this DRM and online requirement debacle. I bet they could do something similar to Nintendo's offline Wii with their Xbox 360.

startropics3

#50

startropics3 commented on Review: Super Metroid (Wii U eShop / Super Nin...:

There are quite a few secret techniques in this game, such as the crystal flash and bomb jump, which you wouldn't have the pleasure of discovering on your own in most modern games. You can access parts of the game very early with just the wall jump, bombs, and speed boost. My favorite hidden gem is the grapple beam "trick" with the water boss, Draygon.

Definitely a "classic" game design to have obstacles define boundaries instead of locked gates. I wonder why the latter is so trendy now? It is definitely less creative, and it doesn't hold well with time (cough other M cough).