In this Soapbox article, Gavin discusses the warm familiar feeling he experienced while watching this week's Nintendo Indie World Showcase...
I was planning on beginning this with a big 'list o' shame'; all the indie titles I've got backlogged on my Switch that I still need to play, many of them purchased but never 'opened'. However, after scrolling through my alphabetically-ordered library and reaching double figures before getting to 'H', it's probably better to skip all that and replace it with a sentence underlining what everyone reading this already knows: the sheer breadth and variety of gaming experiences on Switch is mind-blowing.
Hardly an original sentiment, for sure, but it's one I still can't wrap my brain around, even over three years since the console launched. It just doesn't want to sink in, perhaps because it represents such a sea change from previous generations. I was a big fan of Wii U, but at the time I remember being surprised by the (relatively) solid indie support it received. With big retro-inspired games like Axiom Verge, Shovel Knight and Shantae leading the charge, the console attracted more quality independent developers and smaller releases than I'd imagined given its very modest install base.
Years before that, the Wii certainly had a wealth of software and interesting indie WiiWare experiments, but both Wiis were just pinkie toes in the pool compared to Switch - I feel like I'm drowning in games here! Watching the Nintendo Indie World Showcase earlier in the week underlined the incredible difference yet again, but more than that, it finally felt like there's no going back in this cosy Nindie relationship.
We asked readers how they felt about the presentation, and the majority of you (nearly 40%) were very happy with what was shown - I certainly fall into that group. Of course, different strokes and all that: around 30% felt it was a decent (if not amazing) broadcast; 20% saw very little to get excited about; and then there's the one-in-ten of you who won't be satisfied by anything less than the meatiest of 'proper' Nintendo Directs. I understand that desire, certainly, but I also find it hard to believe people found nothing at all to like in the Showcase. I thought it was absolutely excellent from start to finish.
the number of shadow-dropped games was kinda crazy - and a bit of a nightmare for outlets trying to put out timely reviews
I'm a huge fan of Supergiant Games' Bastion, and Transistor is one of the aforementioned games I've bought but haven't played yet, so seeing Hades coming to Switch was a great opener. I must have missed Raji: An Ancient Epic's reveal at some point, but it sure caught my attention in the presentation, not least because it's available on the eShop right now.
In fact, the number of shadow-dropped games was kinda crazy - and a bit of a nightmare for outlets trying to put out timely reviews, but that's not something players need worry about. There's even an argument that not having all the reviews to dissect before buying a game brings back a frisson of old-school excitement. Remember when our purchasing decisions were guided more by the screenshots on the box than an aggregated review score? Always a chance you'll end up with a lemon, of course, but thanks to indie games' more modest price tags, any turkey will likely be much less painful than the 60 quid you burned on Turok 2 back in the day (hey, I was more of a GoldenEye guy, okay?!).
Sorry, I got distracted - where was I? Oh yes, all the video games. A Short Hike looks like an appropriately restorative little jaunt, Hypnospace Outlaw is something I've had my eye on since it first launched on PC, Card Shark looks like a lot of fun, Manifold Garden and the pair of Subnauticas have been on my radar for a while, and both Evergate and Garden Story seem intriguing. And there's even two-player coming to Untitled Goose Game! I was less enamoured with that one than most (yes, there are a handful of indies I've actually managed to play to completion!), but two-player could be the thing to really hook me.
It's been a while since so many interesting games were packed into such a tight presentation, and I've got around a dozen titles for the backlog, some of which I've had my eye on elsewhere and never got around to playing. Now I can not play them on Switch!
Jokes about my ever-dwindling gaming time aside, a comfortable and warm sensation came over me while watching the presentation; a reassuring feeling that Switch is the best possible fit for all these diverse indie experiences and only a fool would turn away from a relationship this fulfilling, this satisfying, this mutually beneficial. Nintendo's got a good thing going here - they've been going steady for a few years, but the relationship has always seemed a little tumultuous. It really feels like they're ready to settle down now.
there are times when you wouldn't put it past the company to abandon everything--developer support, industry-standard control schemes and formats, whatever--if it dreamed up some radical new idea
There's always a niggling sense that hungry-hearted Nintendo, always eager for novelty, could pack up its bindle at the drop of a hat and head out on the road, Springsteen-style. Irrational it may seem, but there are times when you wouldn't put it past the company to abandon everything--developer support, industry-standard control schemes and formats, whatever--if it dreamed up some radical new idea and ran away with it, chasing a dream like a Darner Dragonfly.
That willingness to take chances makes Nintendo products exciting and unique, of course, but seeing how smaller developers have helped prop up the Switch lineup--this year especially--and with the platform holder focusing attention on them like never before, you get the sense (finally) that they won't be running out on them any time soon.
It's not a perfect relationship by any means, and stories that devs are struggling to be seen on Switch eShop are increasingly common. We've spoken before about how Nintendo needs to do more with its digital store to solve discoverability issues. A 'happily-ever-after' requires hard-graft and--there's no other word for it--work to stay fresh, healthy and interesting. Make no mistake, Nintendo really needs to double down with support and do better where it can if it wants to keep that spark alive.
The argument that people only buy Nintendo consoles to play Nintendo games also holds some water, of course--and staggering sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons highlight that first-party games are vital to its hardware success, but the ecosystem and convenience of Switch is what struck a chord with gamers, casual and core, where Wii U blew a big raspberry. After all, Wii U had the great games, but the fact is that comparatively very few people bought that Nintendo console to play those Nintendo games - most of which have since come to Switch and outperformed original sales many times over, proving their quality and worth. Nintendo is also putting out fewer games (pound-for-pound across its systems) than it did before it combined its home and handheld consoles into one platform. That smaller developers have stepped up to fill the software gap--and that Nintendo is working to showcase them--highlights the effectiveness of the partnership.
it would be a mistake to discount the huge number of curios and offbeat indie games of all sizes as mere filler while we wait for the 'real' deal. These are real deal!
Nope, it's the convenience of Switch in both its form factor and its catalogue of brilliant non-Nintendo titles that's the reason I'm struggling to keep my gaming head above water these days. Yes, we may be craving the really big first-party announcements, but it would be a mistake to discount the huge number of curios and offbeat indie games of all sizes as mere filler while we wait for the 'real' deal. These are real deal!
There are undoubtedly people finding the Switch lineup a little dry of late, but a drought?! Personally, I'm drowning in great stuff! Compare and contrast to the Wii U days if you must, but whatever way you cut it, the huge buffet of indie delights on eShop is incredibly impressive. For me, that tidy 20-minute Indie World Showcase had one of the most varied and exciting lineups I've seen all summer, and half of them are available right now.
Long may the Switch stork continue to deliver us beautiful bouncing Nindie babies!
'Duh, Switch has lots of great games - did we really need an article about it?' Short answer: yes! 2020 has been a real piece of work, so there's always space for some positivity and optimism.
We're busy working on reviews of games from the Showcase, so look out for those over the coming week or so. Be sure to leave your own drop of positivity below, and let us know your thoughts on anything you've picked up from the presentation.
I don't know about anyone else, but I have a backlog that needs to be tackled which includes Indies, so when anyone complains about a drought, well...I just can't relate 🤷♂️
I saw some cool things, but nothing I want to put money down on.
I do like some indies but a lot of them blend into one another as they often share very similar art styles or fall into being either yet another Metroidvania (stupid word) or Rogue like
My Switch is practically my indie machine in my household in addition to the Nintendo exclusive content. I could always get them on PC, especially stuff like Cuphead and Celeste, but the way some of these games are designed for short bursts of gameplay makes me value their Switch versions even more
I am a bit burnt out on the whole indie Metroidvania thing. In my eyes nothing will top Bloodstained, Axiom Verge or Dead Cells, but Hades looks like it'll give me a good scratching of that Diablo itch that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 couldn't muster while waiting for D4
It’s almost as if indie games are games.
I think the whole indie scene is a real mixed bag. While it's great how it gives a platform for some well needed creativity in today's gaming environment it also feels like it's already reached it's peak in terms of how highly people rate these games and how willing they are to embrace them.
I know I was buying tons of indies during the first few years I had my Switch, only to heavily slow down and dismiss most hype for indies in more recent times. I think there's many reasons for this, I managed to build up a big backlog of indies after all, but I also noticed how a lot of indies sort of felt very similar after a while and how far too often they would be trying to capture the look and feel of classic games which is something that I quickly grew tired of. It seems to be hard for indie devs to create great 3D games while classic style 2D games are a lot easier for them, and it seems to be something that has really restricted the scope of their ambitions. That and it seems like a lot of people who are really into the indie scene can be very quick to praise whatever the latest hyped up indies are creating sort of a fickle scene where we are always told to get the latest indie of the week. Personally that has made me very weary of the scene in general.
I still enjoy checking out the games, but I find myself dismissing a great deal of indies since so many have the same sort of feel as others, and I have been misled by other people's taste. It's one of those things where I have built up a lot of experience with them so now I am simply far more selective, only having interest in the indies that really appeal to my personal interests as opposed to whatever is being hyped up at the moment. I guess this shows how the scene has been maturing, at least with me.
I said this on a different article, but I think it’s worth repeating. I’ve been thinking about buying a Playstation 4 because things have been so slow on the Switch, but that indie presentation was so good it’s making me rethink that plan.
But I thought that only major AAA games that weren't available on other platforms counted towards determining whether or not the Switch was worthwhile...
I respect the opinion of those who want the big name titles to drop, I do too, but what I've never understood is the argument that nothing is coming out this year as if indies don't exist or aren't worth our time whatsoever. None of these are BOTW2 in scope or hype but you can't tell me that there isn't a great variety of smaller games coming out and that they're all lacking in quality. Indies can be just as rewarding as the massive titles if given the chance.
I completely agree, and appreciate the positive article! There wasn’t one game in this showcase that bummed me out, and at least 4 I want to get. Really stoked for A Short Hike and Spiritfarer - which I think is fully worth the $30. I’ve seen some people bemoaning that price tag, but like you said, you spent $70 on way worse way shorter crap back in the day. Perhaps this leads to my one negative (positive?) thing I feel I gotta point out— we are spoiled with game prices these days! We really shouldn’t complain when a well made indie costs more than $15, something I see all too often. Supporting these teams is important, the work they put in is mega, and again- we used to pay way more for way shorter and crappier games!
Long live the Nindie support!
Indie games can be good, but I never consider them a big deal (1 or 2 exceptions aside). A few indies definitely do not make up for the lack of Nintendo games, their output has been quite low if you dont count Wii U ports. Thankfully I have a huge backlog and wont be bored, but I can definitely see why some people arent happy.
I think something to consider is that most people buy Nintendo hardware to be able to play Nintendo’s latest 1st party games. Most of the indies that get released on Switch also see releases elsewhere, so owning a Switch JUST for independent titles seems moot. Having pixel games by small studios is a great bonus, though, the market is literally over saturated with them at this point.
only saving grace for eshop Is YT streamers that post lists of new eshop games that are good etc etc. actual shop is a nightmare
I love Nintendo systems for Nintendo games, but some of these indies (not all) feel like they're so aligned with Nintendo's sensibilities that they really do help the time period between major Nintendo releases for me. A Short Hike has that same joy found in games like Animal Crossing or Paper Mario. I love that we get both.. Nintendo's own games as well as smaller budget titles that to me are the next best thing.
@carlos82 That's why I really liked this presentation! There was so much diversity in game types... I was expecting yet more "rogue likes" (yawn) and "metroidvanias" (yawn) but was very pleasantly surprised! I'm also glad indie devs seem to be moving away from making everything look like a pixelated NES game.
I wasn’t interested in any of the games. 🤷🏻♂️
Even though I'm playing neither to a great extent, the "indie" titles that have made it to the Switch (a handful of which actually are new) are infinitely more welcome than the absolute "shovelware" of the Wii. I'm hoping that more will catch my intrigue, and I'm not alone in that sentiment per the poll.
This is why I harp on the importance of the strength of a game's "concept" all the time in my posts. Strong, coherent theming that naturally unfolds both as a story and an engaging gameplay experience (Untitled Goose Game, Ori, Cave Story, early Shantae, etc.) is really the only way to go. I'm hoping to see this out of Raji, too!
If it's a derivative game (Bloodstained, Mighty No. 9, Yooka-Laylee), then the developer already has a sky-high bar to hit and may fall short if the original was character-driven (Belmonts/Dracula, the endearing versions of Mega Man, and Banjo-Kazooie plus inhabitants, respectively). And if it's one of many "experience" games or Genre Game #8675309 as carlos82 hinted at, then it will be lost in the sea of similar games unless it tells a proper and interesting story.
And it's not like Indies are struggling to fight some current these days. IMHO and from my recollection of internet community at the time, it was WayForward's efforts with Mighty Flip Champs and Shantae: Risky's Revenge that got DSiWare off the ground in terms of testing reliability, convenience, and consumer trust (which gave the later Nintendo eShops their traction). And now there are plenty of venues for these games to be enjoyed now that people have warmed up to the label. But they wouldn't have done that if we didn't already have some excellent games behind that label.
I prefer playing indies on my switch but almost every indie game I have wanted this year has been on xbox game pass for free. I’ve saved so much money playing indies on xbox this year that it has completely offset the cost of buying the xbox. Nintendo needs a similar service. I would pay at least $20/month for Nintendo online if it included all exclusives and a decent amount of indies.
@LunarFlame17 I bought an Xbox one
I am struggling to stay afloat in the same seas as the article's author! Absolute treasure trove of Indies on the Switch and an immense backlog.
The portable Switch is IDEAL for these types of games. I don't download indies on our PS4 anymore & have even doubled dipped many times onto the switch.
However, we really do need those sirloin steak video games from Nintendo and third parties.
You guys are referring to that snorefest we saw on monday? really?
that indie showcase was bad. and according to the internetz I MUST buy those games because they were made by DIVERSE! people? seriously? even if the gameplay looks generic and boring?
Indie games are terrible. They are the polar opposite of the industry games just more pretentious and condescending.
It's great that there are so many games available but I wish there were more demos for them too. I don't have the time or money to try all the games out there, even all the ones that look interesting or get good reviews.
You are a hoarder of games, like others buy books, but never get to read much of them.
A lot of us have a life outside gaming and just want to play Nintendo and a few 3rd party AAA titles. I think Nintendo has claimed the Handheld market for sure, with the Switch and has surrendered the home console market to Xbox and PS.
Apart from the occasional Zelda or Mario game I don't have much need for a Switch as a home console. And with money to spend on games but nothing to buy, is a strange position to find one's self in. 😀
I don't think the Switch has had a single drought yet. I've just gone back and bought Tokyo Mirage sessions and Captain Toad which I never got round to on Wii U. They will last me until Pikmin 3 easily
Took only a few comments before devolving into ‘AAA games are the last bastion of Aryan protagonists’. Well done.
@LunarFlame17 At this point you should save up, buy a PS5 in like early 2021 and then you'll have access to both the large majority of the PS4 library and the big name exclusives coming down the line like Spider-Man, Demon's Souls and Horizon Forbidden West
@Hackleckackle Let me guess--some of your best friends are female.
@idrawrobots - Hey, Capcom and Square weren't born big. And this is likely going to benefit Nintendo in the long run since the indies aren't too empowered or interested in chasing the ever bloated power pissing contest AAA companies dedicate themselves to.
@Hackleckackle - Observationally, yes there is more and more female leads in indies, but it is still pacing behind male leads (going only exclusively specific choices) by a little.
However, that's also marketing. More people hear female voices similarly to music, and respond to more acceptance to it. It would make sense that dev teams would find making a female character to be more agreeable than a male one. Likewise people are likely to note (like you did) of female leads and therefore, giving them more coverage. Leading to them being exposed more.
Not the point of the article but 40% isn’t a majority, it’s a plurality. But whatever.
Also. Indie games are great on Switch just pre ordered Kentucky Route Zero and Obra Dinn physical copies.
@TheFrenchiestFry Yeah, I’ve thought about that. I’m holding out to see how much the PS5 costs, and how well the backwards compatibility works. Plus, I’ve owned every Playstation except the 4, and it would bother me to skip over it. Not very rational, I know, but I never claimed to be a rational person.
@NotTelevision If you want fresh ideas, indies are the best place to find them. This is an article about indies. So why did you use it as occasion to complain instead of celebrate being given what you seek?
@Hackleckackle Is this a joke?
Finally, an article I mostly agree with. Switch has plenty of games and varied software. What gets a lot of Nintendo fans is that we simply aren't used to it and still complain when Nintendo hasn't released 20 games in 3 months. That number is not literal, but people do tend to expect wild things from Nintendo. This is a mostly reasonable and correct article.
Edit: Also, I've never felt any of the "droughts" on Switch. Perhaps because I'm willing to play more than just Nintendo games on a Nintendo system. Which is funny, because when Wii U was a thing people complained about the lack of overall games. Switch is nothing like that. There has pretty much always been something to play.
Great article, nicely summing up the situation. Chasing the Indies is one of the best moves Nintendo has made with the Switch.
The Indie market itself is pretty much the home of creativity in the industry. The Mainstream AAA market is getting a bit stale.
Indie games don’t often push the hardware so it’s very rare to lose anything in terms of graphics by playing on Switch.
The more simplistic and/or pick-up-and-play nature of these games suits the Handheld format.
They’re a perfect match for the hardware and have allowed Switch to have a huge variety (much more than Nintendo systems normally manage) on Hardware that as a Home System can’t match the competition.
This was a presentation full of new games though?
@JuiceMan_V I hear you, man.
RBRTMNZ and DK-Fan make the more tangible follow-up points:
What will Nintendo's software support strategy be for the next console after they've already exhausted every decent indie title that people are only buying at premiums because these were previously unavailable on their hardware?
One answer leverages Nintendo's strengths while shoring up its potential weaknesses. Namely, their skill for franchise development and attention to quality would be lent out in exchange for flexible New IP development and higher-quality sales that lead to brand loyalty. Glory of Heracles, S.T.E.A.M., Dillon, etc. aren't really going anywhere. Splatoon is the only IP of recent that really worked. ARMS wouldn't have, but Smash/Min Min is going to give them a second chance to make it work in a sequel. This is a weakness as franchises are aging (and maybe even dying out), and more will be needed. This would get them that.
Either by temporarily contracting the companies behind promising indie games/franchises or by some agreed-upon revenue sharing, Nintendo would endorse only select "Indie Games" but would get to have their hand in the quality control and content creation process. Not so much having a hand in the overall direction since that's a pain point that would stonewall the entire process and the whole point of mentoring indie developers and companies (although this could and probably should be incentivized reasonably so that the consumer gets a more intriguing main cast and story). Assuming that Nintendo has no slack labor as-is, this would mean that titles like "a 2D Pikmin platformer" or "amiibo Festival" would get shunned or have its deadline pushed forward in favor of helping develop an indie's title.
What are some examples of what this would this mean for buyers? Undertale could have looked less rough as was complained about in many reviews (despite the visual style's charm), looked more like a Mother / Earthbound game. Untitled Goose Game could enter into this, have more and deeper content, get its graphical and technical bugs squashed, and become a gem as polished as the Captain Toad games. Whatever the next big Indie idea might be, could be picked up on by Nintendo and, if it has the mustard, turn into a very profitable quality-control/marketing scenario for them both (especially if the studio is happily absorbed into Nintendo proper).
Nintendo isn't cannibalized by this because their strength is in their IP's. At worst, this pushes releases further apart, which is much needed given the franchises' age and number of questionable spinoffs. Indies shouldn't be hurt by this at all if the revenue agreements are fair because they'll have Nintendo's full clout behind them due to the much-deserved brand loyalty that their quality control garners. That means WAY more sales by recognition and trust than if they had released it without Nintendo. But Nintendo can't be totalitarian here, either, because they only have something to produce and sell if they have companies willing to sign up.
@TG16_IS_BAE hades is on beta stage on steam and it is already considered "overwhelming positive" by the users, so maybe if you rethink about it, maybe you will find some fun
@JuiceMan_V Totally agree. Even in quarantine I can't seem to make much progress as I would have to. I kind of like the so called drought or I would be lagging behind even more.
@JuiceMan_V I have a backlog of over 100 games and still complain about the drought. First world problems, son.
@abdias I'm good, I checked that game out ages ago and it's not my cup of tea. Thanks though!
@TheFrenchiestFry metroidvania wise one i'm just dipping into that has my attention(though combat seem to be more involved than i expected what with the character's short reach, at least with the starting weapon) is Phoenotopia, one of the recent releases NOT in this Direct.
However calling it a Metroidvania might be a misnomer because it shares more with Zelda 2(albeit with more developped characters and villages/etc), world map view and all, than it does either Metroid or Castlevania.
This said it as i'm finding out it doesn't pull punches in the early games so it forces me to play more carefully rather than charging head on into fights.
@flashboy I only just completed Paper Mario but still need to make more progress on Trials of Mana and finish Shantae so I hear you.
But I admit I found myself having to make room for Phoenotopia because I was really curious about the ways it seem to echo Zelda 2 but with a (much? ) more developped world and characters.
So far I like it but combat is definitely not easy. This said there don't seem to be XP in this game(making it closer to later Zelda in that regard) so this remove the need to -absolutely- get into fights except for gold which can be used to buy curatives/etc(and better armor/weapons later? ).
I'm sorry. I can't get hyped for Indie games. You don't even know if they're going to be good or not until reviews come out. They're also not as exciting as playing a brand new triple a release. Indie games are fun, but more of a supplemental thing imo. Also ps4 and pc can play them, so they don't really count towards the overall year for the Switch imo
There’s plenty to play on the Switch. Thee drought is from Nintendo. Most people buy a Nintendo console for first party games and the fact is, 2020 has been very weak, even with the blockbuster that ACNH has become.
Indie worship is going strong I see.
@HammerKirby "You don't even know if they're going to be good or not until reviews come out."
That is the case with virtually every single game, indie or not.
The eshop really needs some work. It is so difficult to find new games without having heard of them elsewhere. Perhaps a sort of "highlights" every month or something. Perhaps user reviews would be good too, but that could very easily go bad (like Metacritic) . Maybe just ratings then, like the 3DS. A lot of people forget that the news articles do help to promote games.
@GX_64 I would love to see user reviews. It could be system where only those who have purchased the game are allowed to submit a review.
The Indie Workd video was actually brilliant. I think it had the highest number of indie games in one presentation that I want ever!
@JayJ Yeah, I agree with that sentiment. There's loads of fantastic indie games on Switch, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell many apart. Also, the inability to sell the games if they turn out to be bad, or not for me, makes me less inclined to try a new game in a genre that's already been filled by a good indie game.
@dartmonkey Lol, how many times did you re-write that sentence to work frisson in?
@nessisonett Not that I disagree with the sentiment that complaints about non-caucasian, non-male protagonists are becoming a tired trope, but raising the level of discourse to Nazi-baiting is not appropriate. There's ways to disagree without resorting to that.
To that point, @Hackleckackle, yes you need glasses
@Hackleckackle You aren’t allowed to talk about male representation in video games unless you are bashing male protagonists.
Now you will likely be called a misogynist.
@shazbot Hey, I call what I see, when you add up the characteristics that lot value, you’re left with a very specific ‘type’.
@GX_64 I remember reading something a couple years back where the main manager for the eShop said something about how the store is intentionally "transactional" and that it's lightweight and barebones by design. Not necessarily defending the move, it just seems to me like this is a design decision. Same goes for the barebones OS. They certainly could improve it, but they won't because they don't want or need to.
EDIT: I found the interview, it's from 2018. Would be interested to see how (if?) their stance has changed at all: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendo-wants-to-make-switchs-eshop-better-easier/1100-6457601/
@SwitchVogel Thank you for the link! It does make sense that they kept things lightweight so that they are faster to load. I remember things on the 3DS taking quite long sometimes and they probably wanted to prevent that.
@nessisonett If you go down that path, they're two sides of the same coin: One group demanding LGBTQ+/PoC/etc protagonists, and one demanding caucasian. One is underrepresented historically, but it's the same reasoning - I want characters like me, and less characters not like me.
I'm sympathetic to the idea that seeing people who look / think / act like you is empowering (and I've yet to see anyone like me on ANY screen), but it's disingenuous to contend that when select group X demand people like them on screen it's great, but when white people demand people like them they're Nazi-adjacent.
And inflammatory rhetoric is not conducive to discussion or debate. It's dehumanizing and dismissive, prone to inflame the passions with which you claim you're contending.
@shazbot Different standards apply to a majority disproportionately in possession of power. It's disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
@shazbot It’s not that I don’t want straight white male protagonists, it’s that suggesting they’re ‘dying out’ is hilariously inaccurate.
@JimmySpades Justification of double standards.
@nessisonett yeah but come on, you certainly sound part of the overzealous brigade looking to find supremacists everywhere if you stuff your mouth with terms like that.
I've seen you fight these battles many times in the past, and most of the time I'm by your side, but I'll admit you tend to sound overly fierce and victimized at times.
Dude asked a question that could be interpreted in many ways, you jumped right on it and used the word Aryan...I mean, that's way more inflammatory than his comment, judging by the tone of those two comments.
I disagree with his take, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he expresses it in a way that warranted bringing up Aryans and the likes.
I'm telling you this because that's the kind of remarks that risk putting you at a disadvantage even if people agree with you, because starting with unwarranted bellicosity automatically makes you the "bad guy", even if you're right in the substance.
@nessisonett That I can wholeheartedly agree with.
@JimmySpades This is a bad argument. When the validity of an argument is contingent on environmental context, the logic itself is insufficient.
There's a contextually implicit argument that I'll make explicit: majority groups are not entitled to the same reasoning as minority/dispossessed groups. An axiom I reject.
And to you I suspect this will matter: I'm a person of mixed race in a non-Caucasian majority society, and the videogames produced by this society do not feature white protagonists. Which would (within your logical context) validate the complaint of previous posters that more white protagonists are needed, as the cultural context of Western, Caucasian protagonist games doesn't match those of this society.
@nessisonett Not that I really want get involved in a race/gender representation debate, but @Hackleckackle didn't mention anything about the male characters having to be white.
@clvr It’s hard trying to not lose my mind when the number of these inane comments grows daily on this site. I hold my hands up, you’re right that I’m not helping myself at all but it’s bloody frustrating and I probably just need a break from the Internet.
@nessisonett Frustrated that the people who are sick of the SJW nonsense are beginning to speak up?
Y'know, pickles on burgers really isn't my thing. I feel like it just overpowers every other flavour. With a taste that I can't stand. But, like, burger sauce isn't the same without the relish mixed in. Madness.
@electrolite77 @JimmySpades Yeah totally agree. It was a good presentation, full of interesting games.
I think I was drunk when I posted that message.
One indie that I believe is underrated and doesn’t get enough love from Nintendo Life
So did I.
Glad i did . I've hardly touched my switch since. Didn't realise that I had missed out on soo much.
@Nic-Noc20th-C same. I just bought it for rare replay but I’ve ended up getting halo mcc all gears games and forza 3. So it’s been well worth it for me. I just bought one off eBay for £120.
😂 That really made me laugh. Well played. 👍
I don't know how a conversation about "diversity" in games began, but in looking at titles I've played seriously in the past year, I see the following player characters and protagonists:
Then I see:
... and a thick sheaf of Japanese titles from the last 2 decades, which tend to be quite homogeneous with their humanoid characters.
My taste in games steers heavily Japanese, and while I am fascinated by their culture and history, I do not share their worldview. Could there be more Africans, indigenous Americans, or Asians in games? Sure. There's room for a lot of damn innovation and new stuff in games. Could Japanese devs more meaningfully incorporate global cultures? Absolutely. Am I going to blame them for their choices of protagonist? No. I sense no malice or will to exclude anyone coming from their stuff. But as for the rest of the world, I am not seeing either males or females excluded, and that works for me.
@shazbot I really admire your attempt to inject logic and a more global perspective into this debate, but I'm not sure it will ever help as much as it should. They most often simply fling their right-wing and left-wing talking points past one another and fail completely to listen to the other side.
I could well ask the European left wing why it doesn't severely critique the behaviour of China toward its Muslim and Christian minorities (easier to scream "Islamophobia!" at one's democratic own, I guess?) and the ethnic chauvinism that Beijing is pushing generally. I could well ask the US right wing why their beloved principle of protection for religious communities doesn't extend more to Muslims and Jews in that country, or why the perennial cry of "states' rights!" doesn't extend to Oregon and Illinois when they say they don't want federal police deployed there.
The best outcome for everyone is that more countries and peoples can make games (and bloody afford to buy them). Do that honestly, and the problem solves itself. That's the only "representation" I care about.
Different standards apply to a majority disproportionately in possession of power. It's disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
@JimmySpades Honestly, I'm disappointed with this post. I usually appreciate your remarks, including in this very thread. No human being wants to feel like they're being judged by a double standard - be they a member of a majority or minority. (We all belong to one minority or another!) A comedian from your country, Bill Maher, is right when he urges people to set aside identity politics and start winning bloody elections. Don't attack perceived majorities this way - no one is going to win. More honey, less vinegar.
it was WayForward's efforts with Mighty Flip Champs and Shantae: Risky's Revenge that got DSiWare off the ground in terms of testing reliability, convenience, and consumer trust (which gave the later Nintendo eShops their traction).
@KingBowser86 Wow, interesting! I've never heard this before - but it doesn't surprise me. Nintendo is not as large as people think, and the idea of their "partners" helping them advance into new business lines seems consonant with their company MO.
@Hackleckackle Well, off the top of my head: Paper Mario, Takeshi & Hiroshi (from this very indie direct), Oceanhorn 2 (coming from a Finnish developer!), Peaky Blinders that just got reviewed here. I mean, it's not reasonable to suggest male protagonists are currently underrepresented in gaming. Just go look at the reviews tab.
@COVIDberry Thanks for the appreciation. I don't feel like we can give up on discourse though! Sure, people may have talking points, but if I would like them to listen to my perspective it's incumbent on me to demonstrate the behavior I'd like to see by listening to theirs. It doesn't mean I agree, but it means I can model reason and maturity to the best of my ability. (famous last words on the Internet, lol)
@COVIDberry Bill Maher and his sh*t aside, I genuinely hate the argument regarding"identity politics" and how the term is used to dismiss real, valid concerns. There's absolutely no escaping your identity and politics being connected. There were/are laws and legislation that was inacted that directly strike at groups based on the color of their skin, their sexual orientation and gender identity. And these groups are still fighting to this day to fight for, protect and further strengthen the laws that have given them freedoms they should be granted in the first place.
@nessisonett yeah I get what you mean, sometimes a spark is enough if you're already heating up. It's happened to me time and time again, hence why I decided to count to ten before commenting instead of being caught up in my own frustrations, and I've reduced my interventions by a lot.
@COVIDberry And it's not like there weren't other third party games, there were. Cave Story comes to mind. Plus, Nintendo definitely had their own wares on display. But WF's games caused quite a stir and got the initial traction going.
@UmbreonsPapa There's a difference between valid concerns and poorly expressed valid concerns. Insofar as we are members of a shared community, there needs to be common standards of behavior and communication. Accusing someone of 'Aryan-adjacentness' because they are unsympathetic to topics of representation is beyond the pale.
Indie titles represent diverse viewpoints precisely due to their smaller scale and often auteur-driven visions. If someone doesn't like that, or doesn't like that it doesn't represent them, we can disagree or respond with decency. It costs us nothing.
@shazbot You won't get a disagreement with me that unless called for otherwise dialogue should remain civil, calm, and collected.
But at the same time, I can understand the feeling to immediately jump on the attack/defense. Its not like calls for representation and diversity have not been made before. And it's frustrating to keep having the same arguments over and over again. Along with your point about cost, it doesn't cost anyone to advocate for those who have historically been marginalized
@Anguspuss And Deku Deals....
@Sim1 thanks for that sim never heard of that before. thats a great site. cheers
@UmbreonsPapa I wrote a long response, but I will try to distill this to the main issue:
When I use the term "identity politics", I refer to people that reduce EVERYTHING - social problems, politics, history, dating... the whole spectrum of human experience! - to "my identity versus yours". This behaviour is fanatical and infantilizing - and it won't work. Right now, we (the USA, the western world, Earth) need to turn things away from the Trumps, the wage suppression, the authoritarianism, and on and on... and for sure, that includes racism.
When the political opposition tries to organize on the principle that the minority must incessantly attack the majority, that opposition is doomed to failure.
@COVIDberry We've gone so far off-topic. But I guess my question is who exactly are these people you refer to? Further, in what context are these experiences are you referring to?
I think I can say with some surety that members of the black community or the LGBTQ+ aren't trying to play a game of "my identity versus yours". They would just like to be afforded the same rights and pursuits of happiness as those who have never had to worry about those things.
I guess another question I have is what do you think is an appropriate method or avenue for marginalized groups to effectively advocate for their rights and protections for those rights and to hold accountable those in positions of power screwing around with their well being?
If I'm not at all grasping what you are arguing, I am all ears to listen. I also wish we had the means to continue these conversations out of the comments section. I feel bad getting it so derailed and off-topic, lol
I have played more indies this generation than ever, and I have to agree they scratch a similar itch to Nintendo's stuff. However, there is no replacement for Nintendo's quality. The fact that they have been so quiet lately makes me really hopeful that they are sourcing that energy into making whatever comes next truly genre-defining.
...Let's hope that genre is a Nintendo "Strand-like"
I think Indies is a double edged sword; they certainly fill in the gaps between first-party releases, and I greatly appreciate the highest quality titles and underrated gems.
However, Indies have come to replace niche, experimental spinoffs of established franchises that were made exclusively for Nintendo handhelds.
Instead of spinoffs like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, we have Faery Tactics/Steam Tactics, with the tradeoff of generic art design and a lack of polish.
Instead of Megaman Battle Network, we get One Step From Eden, a Me-Too with generic character design and without an involved RPG adventure in a full game world.
Instead of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, we get scores of rogue likes with uninspired gameplay and art design.
I could go on and on: The World Ends With You made by Square Enix, Knights in the Nightmare made by Atlus, etc etc. One exception to this trend is Octopath Traveler, an experimental, niche title made by Square Enix, albeit marketed as a full-priced home console title.
This isn't even to mention the music, which is sorely lacking in most Indie titles, even in some of the greats.
The elephant in the room is that Nintendo still hasn't kept its promise on combining the handheld and home console markets with the Switch, so Indie titles have come to replace our expectations of niche "handheld" titles, receiving an increased volume of small studio creations at the cost of art design and music quality, and general polish that you come to expect from spinoffs produced by a bigger publisher.
My hope for the future is that Nintendo begins purchasing some of the better studios, like Team Cherry and Shin'en Studios, and growing them into polished AA franchises like @KingBowser86 said, while bringing in better talents for art design and music composition. (Hollow Knight doesn't need help with art design or music however, but the IP could be grown into so much more with the full resources of Nintendo placed behind it)
@Ulysses Now this is the strongest argument I've heard against indies, that I think I've ever heard (with a logical potential solution!).
I suspect at least part of the divergence of mainstream publishers away from indie titles is increased development costs, particularly on the graphical front. For non-retro titles (hence the prevalence of 1, 8 & 16-bit graphics) high fidelity art assets are costly to create & polish. If it was inexpensive (or consistently profitable) more groups would occupy the polished indie niche we are discussing. Despite this I appreciate the gameplay experimentation that indie titles can attempt, even if the low barrier to entry comes at the cost of the market flooding with generic or low-quality titles.
@Hackleckackle My pleasure.
That's a good point about Nintendo moving on. Personally, the rumours which I hate the most are those of the "Switch Pro" / "Switch 2". Leave the platform alone, that will just kill the Switch that we have now!
But it's going to happen eventually. Nintendo is a hardware company. They conquered the world with the Wii, then the Wii U had everybody speculating about them pulling a Sega. They smashed it out of the park with the Switch, now it's only a matter of time before we see whether their next move is disastrous, safe, or somehow world-changing once again. And every passing year brings us closer to that inevitability. If I were an indie dev now, I'd be seriously wondering how much longer the Switch as we know it will be the place to be.
I guess another question I have is what do you think is an appropriate method or avenue for marginalized groups to effectively advocate for their rights and protections for those rights and to hold accountable those in positions of power screwing around with their well being?
Hello there @UmbreonsPapa! I've given your question serious thought, but I don't know if you're still reading or if this issue is better left aside I did find this thread interesting and your comments interesting, for sure, if you still want an answer.
Wow, incredible!! When I saw the Indie World presentation, I felt there were not enough big games to actually be excited, I was awaiting for other kind of games to come to Switch while also missing Nintendo Directs. But after reading through your situation and how you really enjoyed all these games, I realized what the Indie World had was variety, a variety of genres that you don't usually see, all of them felt special, and more importantly, filled the gaps of the main releases that... well... you usually wait for.
With the state of the eShop, I feel Nintendo needs to do something about the incredibly huge variety of genres coming to Switch. Something akin to, well....
You know, when Microsoft saw how big the software catalogue on Xbox and Windows was getting, they decided to up the ante of choice and selection to eleven.
The result? Game Pass.
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