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The “Why Nintendo might be back” rant

So Nintendo. They’re very much worth talking about recently. They’re really interesting. When the competition is happy with not doing much of anything, essentially stagnating, it’s nice to see Nintendo not only shaking things up, but also being properly successful again too.

There were a lot of questions related to the release of the Switch after the failure that was the Wii U (a console I really enjoyed and defended quite a bit despite its obvious shortcomings and Nintendo’s blatantly stupid decisions) and how the company was run during the Wii. After several months of the Switch being out and their overall direction being more obvious than at launch.

So I thought… hey let’s rant about Nintendo somewhat. I’ve talked a bit about the Switch a good amount this year, but this is a bit more than that.

This is a BIIIIG rant, so grab some popcorn.

Problems with Nintendo after the Gamecube

The Gamecube may not have been a perfect console, but it was the last console where Nintendo was doing what Nintendo fans liked from Nintendo. The issues were obvious. No DVD player, smaller discs in both size and storage capacity, nothing unique about it… It had some cool games, a good handful of which were exclusive, but overall it was hard for anything to compete with the massive library of the PS2.

The Wii was where the troubles really started… which is a weird thing to say considering the thing’s huge success. Instead of aiming the console at gamers, Nintendo did what Sony did with the PS1 (people forget this): look beyond the current main gaming populace and get people into the game that weren’t in the first place. With the PS1 it was a change in marketing, while still largely providing content that gamers would appreciate. With the Wii, it was changing the types of games that were being made (with a change in marketing as well). The meaning of the term “Casual Game” changed with the Wii, for example (used to be about games with large market appeal rather than specifically the “core” gaming audience… stuff like CoD and GTA was in there, now it’s basically used to talk about puzzles games and waggle-fests). The Wii was an undeniable success for Nintendo being by far the best-selling console, but it came at a price. Third-party support was massively shit as the numbers were there but the quality wasn’t (https://pietriots.com/2010/12/17/the-3rd-party-wall-of-shame/), and there was a change in game design philosophy for Nintendo. Games on the Wii were getting smaller. Twilight Princess was barely an exception, as the next Zelda, Skyward Sword, felt very simplistic compared to other Zeldas (switching from a big world to a hub that led to what were basically levels). Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 were amazing, but they were a lot more linear in level design than the previous 3D Marios. Then the big success: New Super Mario Bros Wii. That game informs all the following Mario releases before Odyssey (you could argue the first NSMB did, but I don’t really think so). Another price: Well, the Wii ended up being put in most buyers’ closets after a year, maybe less, leaving the actual game-buying part of the console’s userbase fairly low. Not that there weren’t several huge successes on the Wii sales-wise, but it was far from the norm.

The biggest price of the Wii’s new direction, though, was the Wii U. A console I very much enjoyed, but that had very blatant issues. One of the biggest ones being that the “casual” crowd was GONE. Their phones have everything they need now. And the more “gamer-focused” games lacked scale. The 2 Mario games on it are linear platformers (the “3D Land/World” ones are just side-scrollers level designs with a Z-axis). They’re great, but they’re super simple, and that’s by design; because NSMBW sold really well. There was no Zelda on Wii U until BotW, which should be bought on Switch anyways. Even the Animal Crossing on Wii U wasn’t an Animal Crossing game, it was a shitty roll-and-move board game no one asked for. The one Kirby game is a Canvas Curse sequel that was shorter and lamer (while the Kirby on Wii was a proper platformer). The Yoshi game was another side-scrolling platformer that wasn’t quite at the quality of Yoshi’s Island. The Mario Tennis had less content than any before. The Star Fox that’s on it was one of the worst games released that year and the worst game in the series. It has some amazing games, no doubt. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze is a side-scrolling masterpiece, Pikmin 3 is great, Splatoon is the game that FINALLY got me into online multiplayer, Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101 are badass action games, Mario Kart 8 is the best of the bunch (but better on Switch now), Pokken is great (but better on Switch), Smash is great (also out on 3DS (though mildly not as good), and 99% likely to come out better on Switch too), Tokyo Mirage Sessions is really good but no one bought it. The Wii U was certainly lacking on big huge single-player experiences.

Plus the Wii U’s marketing was terrible. The reveal wasn’t even clear about what we were looking at… Console? Controller? Wii expansion? Standalone thing? It actually took a few hours after the reveal to know what they were talking about (even analysis of the reveal trailer only showed the Wii U itself for a few seconds, and most people mistook it for a normal Wii). The name “Wii U” is just bafflingly stupid, some of the advertisement material was literally “The Wii U isn’t the Wii”, with signs in stores explaining that they were different. The Wii kinda advertised itself, it went on Oprah (which is a defining moment of the Wii), and the actual advertisements hit the non-gaming target audience perfectly. Wii U… was confused. The Pikmin 3 and Yoshi’s Wooly World ads, for example, were just fucking weird. Entirely pushing those at kids just because they’re colorful (and kids didn’t care because kids like CoD and Minecraft). Despite doing okay on the gaming side of things (minus the previous problems mentioned of releasing a lot of smaller games and not much big stuff), the Wii U didn’t do anything good on the marketing side. Said problem was also affecting the 3DS side of things but not as badly (as the 3DS IS an undeniable success).

Nintendo did fine on the handheld front this whole time, but even the 3DS I feel was a bit on the weak side as far as library goes for a good amount of the time. This highlights one of Nintendo’s biggest issues as a company during the Wii/Wii U era. The 3DS had pretty little third-party support surprisingly, and the Wii U had none. That means 2 platforms that needed to be supported almost fully by one company. The 3DS at least got a little bit of stuff occasionally, but it wasn’t as much as I was hoping.

Nintendo were also doing things that went way against what people wanted. Chibi-Robo Zip-Lash, Animal Crossing Home Designer and Amiibo Festival, Metroid Prime Federation Force, TriForce Heroes, Star Fox Zero, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Color Splash, Hey! Pikmin and probably several others are great examples of them completely missing the point of what people were asking for. Even great games like Super Mario 3D World weren’t quite what people truly wanted.

The success of the Wii brought down the Wii U before it could go anywhere. But things were changing within Nintendo, without anyone knowing.

What Nintendo’s competition is doing wrong

Bashing Nintendo past can lead to bashing their competition’s present. They’re very similar, I’d argue.

Sony seems happy enough with the PS4’s current success that they don’t think they need to do anything to succeed… and sadly they’re correct. In fact they’ve done very little in the first place for their current success. The number of decent exclusive games on PS4 has been pretty bad. There’s some great ones like Horizon, Bloodborne, Nioh and inFamous Second Son, but Sony’s release list has had more and bigger software droughts than the Wii U. Oh hey it has all the multiplats… which are not much of a factor in which platform you want to buy since PS4, Xbone and PC all get those games, and said multiplats all end up better on PC anyways (sometimes overtime when devs forget to make the PC version playable at launch… that’s just something that will require a change in development philosophy). It’s nice that the multiplats are there, but they’re also kinda meaningless.

This E3 Sony made it clear that releasing games wasn’t terribly important for them. All of Sony’s biggest upcoming games are a year or more away, and we didn’t even see any new games, everything was previously-announced.. They have NOTHING for this holiday season. The biggest game they have coming out for the rest of the year is Knack II. Knack fucking 2. No one even liked Knack 1. And that’s about the only thing there other than Yakuza Kiwami and a golf game. And do people even care about Gran Turismo anymore? To their credit Sony is trying a bit with the VR stuff to shake things up, but I’m not finding any justification (see: games that are really interesting and can literally only work with VR) for it to be a big focus, in my mind it’s a gimmick with lots of cool tech demos and “sit there and look at things in first-person” but not lots of cool games. Plus the PS4 controller is built like absolute crap, I had to buy a second one recently because the sticks were in pieces and some of the buttons weren’t working too well anymore on my first controller (which really annoys me because I love that controller as far as the design and feel goes).

Microsoft is doing even less than Sony. They released a platform that was slightly weaker than the PS4 (by almost nothing but enough to get rather inferior versions of multiplats), and decided “you know what sucks? Exclusives”. So there’s nothing on the platform you can’t play better versions of on PC, other than Sunset Overdrive and I think Halo 5 is still Xbone exclusive? That’s it… oh and Rare Replay. Their decision last year to not release anymore exclusives was both a great idea for them to finally pull away from the console business that is a HUGE money sink that has never made them any money and one that was instantly contrasted with Microsoft’s dumbest announcement ever: Project Scorpio, now known as Xbox One X. I mean, how does that thought process happen? “Hey let’s stop releasing exclusives… also let’s release a new version of the same hardware that we just decided we won’t make games exclusively for anymore!” What? How does that make ANY sense? Oh hey it’s stronger than the other consoles on the market. As is the average mid-range gaming PC, so what’s the point? For a company that used the word “exclusive” at least 40 times in their E3 2017 conference, it’s pretty pathetic how they don’t actually have anything exclusive. The Xbox One is probably the least worth-buying console EVER.

Reminder to everyone: “console exclusive” is not a thing that’s real. It means it’s also on PC and better there.

Switch Year 1

So after the failure of the Wii U, people were worried about what was at the time called the NX. Lots of rumors and talk about how Nintendo probably can’t make a comeback and such. Nintendo fans were definitely worried. In October last year the NX teaser video came out showing the Nintendo Switch. It was a really good video. It showed exactly what the Switch was without fucking around, the marketing message was on point, no wacky kid shit, just “Hey here’s the console, what it can do, and it’s really just about playing games wherever you want”. Great. Then we had the official reveal in January, which did show a lot of cool stuff, announced Mario Odyssey, and a release date less than 2 months later. Why am I talking about this? Because it bears repeating that the official reveal for the console was this year. We knew basically nothing about the Switch until January this year. It’s pretty baffling to think about. The way they handled the Switch was fairly unprecedented.

The thing about the Switch’s year 1 though, is that it’s fucking great. The better version of Breath of the Wild (on a platform people might actually buy) and Super Mario Odyssey alone would make the system an absolute must-have, and 2017 would be considered an amazing year for the system based on either of those alone. However, it’s getting SO much more than those 2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken DX are the best kind of remasters. Arms is great. Fast RMX is great. Fire Emblem Warriors looks fun. Xenoblade 2, a huge RPG, is coming out year 1 and looks good. The best version of Disgaea 5 (I mostly mention this because it’s a perfect game for the Switch with its portability). Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is fucking Mario X-com, thank you for making something I never knew I wanted Ubisoft. Splatoon 2 looks great, an improvement over the original which was already GotY material. They cover all their bases here. A lot of multiplayer stuff (including some third-party stuff like Minecraft and Rocket League), several BIG HUGE GOTY-STYLE games, a few smaller ones… There’s something for everyone here.

If you don’t think the Switch’s year 1 is absolutely massive, I don’t know where you’re looking. There’s almost as many worthwhile Switch games in its first year than the PS4 and Xbone got in their first 3 years at least, combined.

This isn’t counting a bunch of indies and multiplats. Why would I ever buy a multiplat on anything else if it’s also on Switch? Unless performance is bad (or keyboard+mouse controls are better), it would be dumb to not go with the Switch version, because of the portability. So stuff like Has Been Heroes (one of my most-played games this year), Cave Story+, Shovel Knight, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kamiko, Wonder Boy: Dragon’s Trap, Blaster Master Zero, Mighty Gunvolt Burst… Yeah I’ll go with the Switch’s beautiful HD screen that I can walk around with and play anywhere rather than my PC or 3DS. Sonic Mania is coming out soon, why would I get a non-portable version of it?

There’s little to complain about this year. There wasn’t even a slow burn, or anything resembling a software drought.

Switch Year 2

There’s already a lot announced for next year from Nintendo alone. A new Kirby side-scroller, a new Yoshi side-scroller, a full-on Fire Emblem game that people tend to forget was announced, Metroid Prime 4 and a “core” Pokemon are all, for the moment, confirmed for 2018. Unless there’s delays (which is very much possible), that’s already pretty big. It might not be quite “huge exploration-based Zelda and huge exploration-based Mario in the same year” levels of big, but big nonetheless. I mean, showing the MP4 logo alone won Nintendo this year’s E3, as it was an announcement that felt… impossible… one that means so much to fans of the company (and people who might have abandoned Nintendo for the last few consoles). So anyways, that’s 3 BIG HUGE games and 2 smaller ones already coming from Nintendo themselves (or external companies working with their franchises). I might be missing something.

Just a quick note for people who think MP4, Fire Emblem and Pokemon aren’t happening in 2018 because we haven’t seen footage for them yet… keep in mind we haven’t seen footage for Arms, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Metroid: Samus Returns and Super Mario Odyssey before January (or later) and they’re all coming this year. The lack of footage the year before announcement means absolutely nothing, yet. If we reach E3 and we get no footage for Pokemon and MP4, then maybe get worried.

Plus there’s a decent chance of more being added to that already-impressive list. Namely, since Retro Studios isn’t working on Metroid Prime 4 (which was a huge surprise), they have to have something coming out fairly soon hopefully. I mean, they’ve been working on whatever that is since early 2014, it has to at least be announced soon… right? Plus there’s likely to be a small handful of Wii U remasters upcoming. Bayonetta 1+2 seems to be coming as is Wonderful 101 (those could be this year, who knows), but Smash is definitely happening (I’m expecting a remaster with extra content, I doubt it’s gonna be a whole new game, though I’d welcome that), and I could see Mario Maker getting a remaster with additional content (it’s too big not to do). We know Pikmin 4 is in development, though who knows when that might come out.

There’s also the possibility some cool third-party stuff that may or may not be coming in 2018. We know about a new Shin Megami Tensei, a new No More Heroes, whatever Project Octopath Traveller is, Penny-Punching Princess… and probably a bunch more I’m not thinking about right now. We don’t know when all of those will be out, but we do know they’re being made, so if some of those come out in 2018 that would be pretty great. Plus more announcements ARE coming, probably mostly from Japanese devs because I doubt American devs give much of a shit about the Switch so far.

Year 2 for Switch is full of hypotheticals at the moment, but if all that’s currently known ends up happening this is almost as big a year as year 1.

What these 2 first years mean

Look at Super Mario 3D World. It’s a really great game, but it’s very simple in its design. Now look at Super Mario Odyssey’s trailers. It’s huge, it’s open, and it’s what gamers have been asking Nintendo to make since Super Mario Sunshine. Sunshine came out in 2002. It’s been a DAMN long time that we’ve been asking for a new 3D Mario game of that specific style. Nintendo’s development philosophy since the Wii, and the high sales (relative to hardware) of all the “New Super Mario” and “Super Mario 3D” games, and even the Galaxy games, made it feel like they were going completely away from what made the Mario 3D games interesting in the first place. The more recent Mario games were all “Go from point A to point B”. It’s fun, no doubt about it. But the 3D Mario games of past had a bit more to them. There was exploring in big worlds, puzzle solving, playing it however you want (sometimes finding different solutions in the process) and a variety of objectives. And this is something that’s happening across the board at Nintendo, starting with the development of BotW. They’re still making the smaller, simpler games (like Kirby and Yoshi, but making them in the style people like), but they’re starting to make big huge games from several franchises now. The message is clear. “You know, all these games we made where we clearly had no fucking clue what you wanted? Well that’s done.”

So E3 2017 was interesting. After just saying a game people wanted was coming and almost blowing up the internet (more on that later), they showed a logo for another game. The internet exploded and declared that Nintendo “won” E3. Metroid Prime 4 was a HUGE announcement. Just look at compilations of reactions to the announcement if you don’t believe me. Nothing else at E3 2017 had anywhere near that amount of hype behind it. After Federation Force, everyone thought that was the end for Metroid (and it had been a good long while since the underrated and almost-universally hated Other M). Basically the last couple games in the series have been either bad or questionable at least and didn’t do well at all. So when the Metroid logo appeared on screen people were preparing for a stupid announcement (“lol Federation Force 2”)… until a 4 appeared in front of it (I even doubted it was Metroid at all until that 4 popped up and I assumed it was Smash are something, it seemed so much like something that couldn’t happen). There’s a very good reason people freaked out. Despite everything in the past, Nintendo were doing what Nintendo fans have been asking for a long time. AGAIN. The fact that, right after announcing this, they also announced Metroid: Samus Returns is even crazier. If either of those had been announced at E3 2017 it would’ve been absolutely huge. They announced both. So we get both a “new” side-scrolling Metroid (it’s a remake of 2 but it’s massively reworked), and a new first-person Metroid which people love due to what it does with the usual Metroid gameplay style.

The Pokemon announcement at E3 was similar to the Metroid Prime 4 one. People were disappointed at a previous direct when Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were announced for 3DS but nothing for Switch (the Pokken Tournament DX announcement at that particular Direct, for some, felt like a kick in the balls… which is incorrect since Pokken is very good, but it’s an understandable complaint nonetheless). At E3 they didn’t even show a logo, just the lead dev saying “hey we’re making this and it’ll be out in a bit over a year”, but the fact that it’s coming, probably in November 2018 because that’s how Pokemon rolls, shows that Nintendo are completely serious about the Switch now. They’re giving the 3DS just a bit more attention, but with production of the console dying off they’re making it clear: the Switch is here to stay and it’s getting mainline Pokemon. So not only is the Switch Nintendo’s main home console, it’s ALSO their main handheld. This is HUGE. They better not fuck this up and announce a 4DS or something.

The 2 first years of the Switch, as currently presented, are both massive and a message to the gaming world that Nintendo isn’t messing around. Wii was Nintendo doing the Playstation thing on a much larger scale, Wii U was them both unable to repeat the success (for several reasons, a lot of which were mistakes or lapses of judgment) and were in the process of figuring out what they needed to do (they were taking steps), and the Switch is them saying “fuck it” and delivering what people want.

The Switch already has more than enough announced to be a worthwhile buy for any gamer by the end of this year, and I really hope they keep up the pace after year 2.

What Nintendo is doing right

Portability. Surprisingly I haven’t played my Switch a lot on a TV, except for Zelda. I play it more in tabletop mode on my computer desk than I do on TV, and I play it more in handheld mode than that. Heck, I find that I’m better at Arms when I’m playing it in tabletop mode (no idea why that would be). Splatoon 2 might be the biggest exception when it comes out, but we’ll see. This is a huge aspect of the system. It’s stronger than the Wii U by a substantial amount (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DEETON5UIAApUt9.jpg Splatoon 1 vs Splatoon 2, it’s not even close), and the switching between both modes working so well is fantastic. The screen on the Switch is amazing as well. If a game comes out on PS4, Xbone and PC as well as Switch, the Switch version is the one worth looking at solely because it’s portable… unless the performance is shit, in which case the PC version is the one to go for.

Wii U remasters. There’s only been 2 announced at this point (and several others rumored or teased), Mario Kart 8 and Pokken Tournament, but they’re the best kind of remaster. The biggest complaint people had with Mario Kart 8 was that it was lacking a decent battle mode, so they made a proper battle mode for Deluxe, plus a double-item mechanic (not exactly like Double Dash) and a new boost level when drifting, plus they included all the DLC and improved the resolution and framerate. Pokken Tournament was lacking characters from the arcade version (some which came out later), so DX has a pile more characters than the Wii U version. The reason I’m okay with the Wii U remasters (other than them actually having a worthwhile amount of additions so far), unlike 7th gen remasters on the PS4 and Xbone, is that no one had a Wii U. So even the most popular games like Mario Kart 8 (which has a massive attach rate of over 50% on the Wii U) weren’t played by too many people. In contrast, the PS3 was a hugely successful console that tons of people had, so PS3 remasters on PS4 are a lot more pointless. Another point: portability. That makes not only Wii U remasters a great idea, it makes ANY port/remaster a good idea.

Games that are exclusive. The competition has a piddling amount of that… Yeah that’s it.

The style of games. I spent most of this post talking about this already, but it bears repeating. It’s so nice to see Nintendo go back to doing what people love Nintendo for in the first place. Now they seem more willing to release bigger games with more experimental aspects to them. I never would’ve expected the capture mechanic in Odyssey, a game that already looked amazing before we saw the capture mechanic. It’s just really nice to see Nintendo really try again.

That part in the Year 2 section, about footage meaning nothing? This is another awesome thing. MAYBE we’re done with Nintendo announcing Breath of the Wild like 100 years ago and taking so damn long to release it. To repeat something I already said, we didn’t even know about Super Mario Odyssey (beyond rumors of a Mario game in development) until January. Or anything that was coming out on Switch this year other than Zelda. Samus Returns wasn’t known about until E3 and it’s coming in September. Mario+Rabbids was announced at E3 and is coming out in August. This is awesome, almost no company does that anymore.

The 3DS IS getting killed. It’s slow and respectful, as Nintendo continues to support it slightly and it keeps getting some small third-party support. When Nintendo dropped the Wii U it was instant, they just straight out stopped (many many months before we knew about the Switch… I’m not counting Color Splash) and transitioned to the Switch. Metroid is coming up, the Mario and Luigi remaster is coming up, the second version of Moon/Sun is coming up, and that’s about it for the thing (unless you like Etrian Odyssey). With Pokemon being made for Switch, it’s clear the 3DS is on its way out.

Directs. They had a bit of a pause on Directs after Iwata passed away, but now they’re back and better than ever. Nintendo have become REALLY good at hyping their games up. They messed up a bit with Zelda by showing off TOO much, but in general they’ve been really strong with fairly frequent Directs that showed a lot of different stuff. E3 2017 was the epitome of that (It’s not called a Direct but that’s essentially what it was), but smaller ones like the Arms Direct or the Splatoon 2 direct were really nice too.

The Switch is selling. Some people think the numbers aren’t great, but when it’s selling out EVERYWHERE, it’s hard to argue that the sales aren’t good. I get that this is Nintendo’s schtick recently, and maybe low stock is on purpose, but I could believe that they weren’t thinking it would sell this well and that’s why they’re having stock issues now. I saw a photo a few days ago of a line in Japan where they had restocked the Switch. The line legit had over 3000 people. People WANT this thing.

Region free. Just happy that’s a thing. Haven’t seen anything I’d need to import yet (maybe the spelunker game if I can find it cheap), but if it happens, it’s nice to know I’ll have no issue playing it. Some people might grab Monster Hunter XX since that’s not coming out here due to Capcom being a shit company.

Marketing has been on point. It went on Jimmy Fallon before the official reveal (Jimmy being genuinely excited to see it helped, I don’t think it had QUITE the Oprah effect but still good), John Cena was part of the marketing, and there’s no kid-focused BS all over the place, rather going for the more young adult market and actual Nintendo fans in all the video ads. Marketing sucked for the Wii U (and arguably the Wii since they had similar styles, though “Wii would like the play” was a decent one), but it seems they learned from their mistakes.

So I was proven wrong about one thing here. Back when Minecraft was announced for Switch, I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. I mean, everything has Minecraft nowadays, why would that affect anything for the Switch? Well apparently I was wrong because it seems to consistently be the top-selling game on the Switch eshop (it’s not out physically yet, so we’ll see how that does). For the moment I’ll take that as having been proven wrong. Apparently people do care about Minecraft on Switch. And Nintendo did a good job getting it to go their console ASAP. Much better way to draw kids in than stupid kiddy ads.

Free DLC. They did this with Splatoon and it was great. And now they’re doing it for Splatoon 2 and Arms. It’s such a great idea and so few companies are following suit. Overwatch is one of the few non-Nintendo games I can think of that’s doing it. And Rocket League. I’m sure there’s a few others I’m not thinking about right now, but it’s not very frequent. More games need to do this.

What Nintendo is doing wrong

I don’t want to JUST be positive here, so let’s blast Nintendo a bit.

Friday releases. This is something that’s been pissing me off for a while. Both because releasing on friday is dumb, and because PEOPLE ORDER THEIR GAMES ONLINE NOW. If amazon.ca was consistently good I wouldn’t care because when they do provide the service they should I get games on release date. The problem is that they’re consistently shit. So Game comes out on friday, is shipped too late on thursday or on friday morning, so I get to play it after the weekend. Everyone else releases games on Tuesdays, why not Nintendo? It might not have mattered in a pre-internet world since you pretty much had to go to stores anyways, but nowadays with the convenience of buying something and receiving it on release date without taking a detour if Amazon decides not to suck? Why would I ever go in a store to buy a game again? So release games on FUCKING tuesday Nintendo.

Voice chat. This just looks awkward. You get this extra thing that plugs into the Switch and into your phone, then the headset plugs into that, and your phone requires an app and requires to have the screen on the whole time you use it, and you can only chat with friends… it’s all sorts of annoying, or at least seems like it. And it makes it seem like there may not be long enough cord to use in TV mode, at least for most people (maybe I’m wrong).

Virtual Console… This really confuses me. The Classic Edition consoles are probably the reason why they haven’t done anything VC-related yet on Switch (other than Neo-Geo), which brings me to a very simple question: why are those being released as consoles instead of Switch cartridges? Wouldn’t that be so much cooler than HAVING to play it on your TV? Playing it anywhere? I get the appeal of the mini-consoles, I do, but they’re the inferior idea. Plus they’re limited-time releases that are basically just scalper-bait, so… just release that stuff on Switch, ASAP. And they need to let go of that dumbass “1-2 VC games a week” bullshit they’ve done since the Wii. Release the entire library, right now. I get the third-parties are shit to work with, but at least have all the Nintendo stuff day one, and get everything else out faster.

Paid online. I hate that Sony do it, I hate that MS do it, and I hate that Nintendo’s doing it. Why are we paying extra to use the internet connection we already pay for? We don’t have to do that on PC except for MMOs (which I dislike anyways, they’re just poor game design in general with occasional cool things in-between farming stupid shit for boring sidequests). PS+ gets you a pile of games for not-free (since you pay for the subscription), which is nice, but they tend to suck or be stuff you bought months/years ago (with some exceptions) and can’t play if you don’t keep paying. Xbox Live does something similar now. They’re both expensive at around the price of 1 full-priced game a year depending on region and specials… well I’d rather buy an extra game. Nintendo’s subscription is a smaller 20$ US and will only start next year, but still feels lame to me. Thankfully they do have a nice stable of multiplayer games already (Arms, MK8D, Pokken, Splatoon 2, Smash is coming, Rocket League) with more coming up, so it’s not like the online portion of the library is empty (and each of those game might even have a sizeable fanbase for years), but it’s still a fail. You do get “unlimited” access to a library of Virtual Console games as a bonus which is… something I guess. Still not sure why I need to pay to use my own internet connection.

The 3DS might be getting killed, but it’s a slower burn than I’d like. Not really much to add, since they are doing better on that end than I was expecting.

Switch/3DS multiplats. There’s not a lot, I just wonder why the fuck would anyone buy Fire Emblem Warriors on New 3DS (doesn’t work on original version), when you could get a version that runs at a framerate above 10 and shows a lot more stuff on the screen. I mean, if you’re gonna do that, why not also put Samus Returns and the Mario & Luigi remake on Switch too?

Price. Clearly it’s not a huge problem since the Switch is sold out everywhere all the time, and stock sells out within hours if not minutes and even joy-cons aren’t always easy to get… but geeze Nintendo, what the fuck is all this overpriced BS? The console itself is very expensive, the accessories are WAAAAAAAAAY overpriced. 100$ Canadian for a set of joy-cons is the worst controller price I’ve ever seen, 90$ Canadian for Pro Controllers is crazy too. The worst is the Dock… 115$ Canadian for one of those separate from the console, fucking what? There’s nothing in there, all the console’s hardware is on the Switch itself. I do think we’ll have a price drop next year, it may slowly become needed. But about the whole price thing…

Stupid shit in the console. Motion control, HD rumble, fucking IR sensor shit, the touch screen… who cares? All these really do is increase the price, and no one cares about any of these features. Literally nothing other than 1-2-Switch will ever use the IR sensor thing that recognizes shapes. The touch screen is unusable in TV mode so it feels pointless other than the one game that uses it. HD rumble is just… rumble. It’s always been a bit pointless to the gaming experience as a whole IMO. Now there’s more motors and they can produce kinda cool unique feelings… but it’s still just rumble. Motion controls is the one I can defend here (because Arms is great and people love playing Splatoon with motion controls), but everything else? Pointless shit. If they had removed some of it the console would’ve been quite cheaper.

Third-parties are SLOOOOOOOOW. Nice decent third-party games aren’t really coming so far. There’s some indie stuff, and Puyo Puyo Tetris, but that’s about it. Skyrim is taking its sweet time which is really confusing (time being wasted on shitty motion controls no one will use). We have no idea when big third-party releases are coming. We know they exist and several are announced, but it’s kinda weird that we know no specifics from most big third-party titles other than Mario+Rabbids. Even a lot of the multiplats coming to the Switch (like Sonic Forces and Shaq Fu 2) don’t have a release date on any platform. Why are companies so slow at revealing release dates recently?

Overall

Well I think that’s all I really have to say. Nintendo’s doing really well right now and I do hope they keep it up. They’re not doing perfectly, they’re still Nintendo after all so weird inexplicable mistakes that no one can defend is kinda their thing.

But they made a unique great platform that’s all about gaming rather than gimmicks (despite the gimmicks that will never be used and just serve to make it more expensive), and are releasing the types of games we haven’t seen much of from them since the Gamecube.

Is Nintendo back? It sure seems like it.

What I want from Nintendo

I did this in a previous post. Talking about stuff I wanted to see from Nintendo for the Switch, most of which was wishful thinking. So here I’m doing much the same, with a few new things and re-explaining why I want some of them.

StarTropics. I’ll never stop asking for this. Since Metroid Prime 4 isn’t being made by Retro Studios, I’m putting all my hopes on what they’re making being a revival of StarTropics. It’s not happening, I totally get that, but you know. Hoping for impossible things is fun. The tropical setting, the action gameplay with several kinds of items, the wacky world overall, the aliens… It’s a really interesting series that needs Nintendo’s attention again.

Here’s a fun thing I’d love them to revisit. Back on the Game Boy Color, alongside the classic N64 release of Mario Tennis, there was another Mario Tennis game released. However, instead of just being a normal Mario Tennis game, it was, surprisingly, somewhat of a tennis/console-style RPG hybrid, and the Nintendo characters actually acted as boss battles of sorts. It was REALLY good, but sadly not a revisited concept… So that’s my weird wish for Mario Sports games. Try the RPG thing again.

Donkey Kong. I don’t really care what they do with it, maybe it be another hard-as-balls side-scroller or a new attempt at a 3D collect-a-thon, or a new take on the arcade classic without the minis shit. But I want more DK.

2D Zelda. I love the 3D stuff, it’s great, BotW was super fun, butI will always prefer 2D Zelda. What I would really enjoy is if they went slightly-experimental and took another look at Zelda 2 and tried to make that even better. Though a standard top-down 2D thing would be fine too. I do want a follow-up to BotW eventually, but something smaller and more focused in-between would be great too.

More experimental Kirby. The 2D stuff is great and the upcoming one looks super fun, but I want Nintendo do really try something different for the pink puffball. The series, despite being good, is becoming one of self-quotation. It’s getting close to the same thing being done over and over. I don’t mean a spin-off, I mean something bigger. Some form of 3D Kirby would be really nice to see, some updates to the gameplay since Kirby has played very similarly since Super Star… I’m sure something can be done. Not that what’s been coming out is bad, far from that. Just… I want to see Kirby evolve.

Wonderful 102. We know W101 is getting some form of port or remaster for Switch and that’s great. A sequel would be even greater. It was such a fun, well-made game that about 6 people bought, and that’s sad.

Star Fox. A decent, normal Star Fox game. Not an okay Zelda clone, not whatever Assault was, not a dumbed down Star Fox 2 like Command, not another remake of 64 that has the same story as 1 and 64, not a shitty unplayable motion controlled piece of crap like Zero. Just a normal Star Fox game, that has a different story than the others, multiple paths through a bigger Star System than 64 (rather than alternate paths unlocking once you finish the game), maybe new vehicles, and no motion controls.

Kid Icarus. I still contend that Uprising was a really awesome game that was hated because people sucked at it. And I want to see more of it.

Super Smash RPG. You know you want it. Make a new big-ass game in the style of Super Mario RPG, but have it be a massive Nintendo crossover. It’s too good an idea not to make it.

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