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Tue 7th December, 2010

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vaguerant commented on Review: F-Zero: GP Legend (Wii U eShop / Game ...:

I found this game hugely disappointing after Maximum Velocity, which was an incredible blast from the past. The tracks seemed a lot less memorable, the story mode was dull and I could have done without basing the game on the critically tanking show.

I think the real problem, however, was the lack of input from the original team. Maximum Velocity was developed cooperatively by Nintendo and Nd Cube, with Nintendo staffers including the director of the original F-Zero, Isshin Shimizu. As such, the passion that went into Maximum Velocity is immense. Nintendo's producer on the title, Hitoshi Yamagami, said that the team put together over 100 tracks and used only the absolute best among them (22 tracks).

Shimizu was involved in virtually every aspect of the game, credited as director, lead designer, machine designer, scene designer, course designer and layout designer. Maximum Velocity represented the rare opportunity for him to perfect the 2D-style F-Zero game and he was all over it.

By contrast, Nintendo simply palmed the series off on the unproven (and now failed) developer Suzak to pump out a couple of soulless, anime merchandising sequels without the benefit of working under Nintendo directly or with talents like Shimizu. Suzak built passable games on a strong base, but the projects clearly just weren't as important to Nintendo as Maximum Velocity was as a big-name launch title. The lowered expectations really show in the later two games.

If you're desperate for more F-Zero, the games are probably worth playing (I did), but they're significantly less enjoyable than past entries in the series.



vaguerant commented on UK Government Effectively Decriminalises Downl...:

@noctowl That's the response users will get from their Internet Service Provider. I don't know where you live, but I don't think there's any countries where ISPs are law enforcement officers. Just because ISPs aren't enacting impractical punishments doesn't mean laws aren't being broken or that stiff penalties don't exist for breaking them.

To use your analogy, this would be like if it was suggested that General Motors suspend your license if they detect your car speeding. It's still illegal to speed, and if the cops catch you doing it, you're still going to get in trouble. But General Motors aren't the police, and it's not their job to ensure that their customers are upholding the law.

What happened here is a ridiculous system was put forward and found not to be sensible. It's 100% unrelated to the legality of copyright infringement. Nothing has gotten any more or less illegal. Nothing has been decriminalized. If you really need someone to spell it out, here's Merriam-Webster: "decriminalize; verb: to make (something that is illegal) legal by changing the law". Just to be clear, that hasn't happened.



vaguerant commented on Review: Disney's Planes (Wii U):

The game does seem all right (and not any more than all right). For those interested in something similar, you might want to try MySims SkyHeroes on Wii/PS3/360. Planes actually seems to have been built from that game: Behaviour Interactive was behind both.

SkyHeroes has less variety in its missions--they're basically all racing or combat--but it has a more appealing license than "the crap non-Pixar Pixar movie" and even (up to) ten-player online dogfights. It's a little less child-friendly, sure, but it's a fun game.



vaguerant commented on Review: Kyotokei (WiiWare):

Microforum are actually some sort of weird Canadian/Italian hybrid, but this one definitely seems to be going for a Japanese shooter feel; might have to try this one, after avoiding their previous titles.



vaguerant commented on Nintendo Download: 3rd January 2011 (North Ame...:

A port is when you take the original code and you port it. Whatever definition you're using is made up, perhaps by you. Even if the WiiWare edition of Ghost Mania adds a bunch of features, odds are high it's originally built from the same codebase, and is, as they say, an "enhanced port". Which still has port in the name.



vaguerant commented on Review: Family Games (WiiWare):

You know, I've been thinking about this game, and I agree that it's somewhat lacking in purpose, what with the whole "existence of pens and paper" thing to compete with, but I think all it really needs is Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support. Clearly, it was never going to be a must-have of any sort, but the virtual paper concept seems to lend itself more to online play than local.

I have friends abroad who I wouldn't mind being able to play a few "pen and paper" timewasting games with, and virtual means are the only way that could happen short of a few plane tickets--unless we just played tic-tac-toe reeeeeeeeaaaaally slowly by mail. If you already have a Wii and a friend in the room with you, this game is obsolete, but if your friend is on the other side of the planet, then some "hand-drawn" hangman isn't actually such a bad prospect.



vaguerant commented on Review: Soccer Bashi (WiiWare):

A decent game, except for being boring and tedious? What exactly is it you think is important in a Breakout clone? That it looks nice? That it's bugged in a way which makes it fail to play music? That the gimmick feature is mostly irrelevant and usually unachievable?

The Breakout concept is incredibly simple, to the point where, barring some minor gimmicks, the vast majority of them have the same items, the same goals, even the same visual style. All that's left is the level design/progression, and if they're not fun, neither is the game.



vaguerant commented on Review: Fireplacing (WiiWare):

@Mange, while I don't have My Aquarium, I do have Zenquaria (AquaSpace), and I have to say it's provided far more enjoyment than it sounds like Fireplacing would. I was actually mildly interested in Fireplacing when I first heard about it, certainly not to the extent that I planned on buying it, but I thought if the presentation was good, it might be worth considering.

This is basically the main difference between FP and ZQ/AS: Fireplacing looks (and, according to this review, sounds) awful. They're both screensaver apps; they live and die on looking good. Graphics is the #1 concern because there's no gameplay to speak of. This is what made my choice of Zenquaria over My Aquarium, also--the Paon sim just looks better. Same deal here; Fireplacing looks like crap, so it is crap. It simply fails at being visually pleasing, its only goal.