Kid Icarus 3D: My impressions

I have just finished the original Kid Icarus on my New Nintendo 3DS, so I thought I’d take a little bit of time to talk about it.

In some ways, I find it to have aged fairly well. Some of the sprites are really pleasing to look at. I was actually surprised to see how similar Palutena looked to her portrayal in Uprising. I’m not sure whether they redid some models for this version of the game, but I really liked the way a lot of the enemies look.

I also really like the environments. Specifically how they look and play completely differently as you climb back to Skyworld. It’s an interesting idea, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it return in a future game.

The game mostly suffers, I think, from being tedious in some ways. For example, finding your way through the final dungeon is a pain because the correct path involves taking a really bizarre path that no one would ever consider. Going down, left, up, and right. It’s easy once you figure it out, but I was stuck there for quite some time. The final area, too, is a shmup section that doesn’t play particularly well. Pit is rather slow and it’s hard to dodge enemies. And Medusa takes forever to kill, even if you exploit her AI by hovering in her blind spot.

It’s not a great game, by any means. I feel like there’s a good reason this is one of the properties that Nintendo forgot about for almost twenty years, and I think it’s because Kid Icarus doesn’t really have it’s own identity. Is it a platformer, is it a dungeon crawler, is it a shmup? It seems like they tried to experiment with a lot of different ideas and none of them really panned out well. Personally, I would say the only reason I ever finished the game was because of Uprising, and how much it drew from it. I’m amazed at Sakurai’s creativity, personally. It’s like he took every element in this game and made it work in a really unexpected way.

Hardcore fans will have a blast comparing this game to Uprising, but I say it’s no Super Mario Bros. It has not stood the test of time.

 

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The Corrupt Gaming Press: A look at Metacritic!

One of the very first things that people will point out to you when trying to prove that Nintendo is losing relevance in the market are Metacritic scores. On the surface, it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s an aggregate score formed by the opinions of several different critics in the industry, from all kinds of different backgrounds. Surely, there could be no more reliable method of discerning just how popular a game is?

Well, assuming you have been following current events, you are more than well aware that journalism as a whole is extremely corrupt. This sort of thing brings to mind #gamergate quite a bit, but in these terms I am speaking a bit more broadly. #Gamergate became fixated on political issues that drove discussion from game journos in certain ways. I believe that is only an example of the issue, not the problem in and of itself. You see, if the standard of quality is so low in this field that blatantly terrible games like Gone Home and Undertale can become critical successes due to having the right kind of connections, what’s stopping the real powerhouses in the industry from doing the same thing?

Obviously, not all of the corruption in the industry is indistinguishable from one another. I don’t believe the inflated scores for triple A games is due to the same sort of connections that indie games use, rather it’s more due to a mutual interest from both parties, big triple A publishers, and game journos, to sell big games to the public. Publishers want sales, but Game journos want people to click on their news stories. The bigger the release, the more anticipation from the audience,  which leads to a bigger group of people clicking on stories related to that game.

So how does Nintendo fit into this cycle? Well… they don’t, and haven’t really for a long time.

You see, Nintendo does not play by the same rules as everyone else. While other companies took to say, organizing boot camps to ensure positive reviews,

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/08/24/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-style-review-events-are-part-of-the-problem/#3c33d3026a09

Nintendo has been taking steps to distance themselves from the press entirely. The famous ‘Nintendo Direct’ is probably the biggest example of that. Generally, the only new announcements we get coming from Nintendo come from them directly in some way. Not the gaming press.

In other words, gaming websites have nothing to cover besides information we already know.

So in other words, there is a very real resentment towards Nintendo in the gaming press, and it’s entirely because of Nintendo not allowing these people to make money off of their products. This extends to non traditional outlets as well, such as Youtubers who can’t monetize gameplay videos. This had created a sort of disdain for the company among the media, and it’s a big part of why Nintendo scores have been slowly ticking downward, despite continuing to impress. In fact, personally I would say Nintendo’s more niche properties are better than ever. Codename S.T.E.A.M, for example, was a fantastic new take on the strategy genre with a surprisingly in depth selection of heroes to use to fight aliens. It was panned by critics and described as being a ‘disaster’ because they thought the art was ugly.

That’s the sort of criticism Nintendo titles generally get these days, and its really sad to see. Especially when their competition is awarded praise no matter how terrible their products are.

psvr-reviews

Truly, these are the sort of people we can trust.

You have Nintendo games getting panned for the most ridiculous reasons. This year alone got us Metroid Prime: Federation Force’s 69 metacritic review. Why? Because it wasn’t a “Real” Metroid game. We also saw games like Paper Jam, Star Fox Zero, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, and Color Splash get panned for similarly petty reasons. Star Fox Zero in particular deserves it’s own article. There was a lot of nonsensical criticism lobbied towards that game, and still is to a certain extent.

So what other games get 69 scores? The widely revile No Man’s Sky, the game that completely undelivered on all of it’s promises? Mafia III, a glitch ridden mess of a game that is apparently not been finished? These are the sort of games that are being compared with Federation Force and Star Fox Zero, two games plenty of people absolutely love? Why are Nintendo games automatically lesser just for being Nintendo games?

Critics know they can now start getting away with giving out ludicrously low scores to Nintendo titles for no real reason. Very few of the Nintendo published games that got less than an eighty this year actually deserved it, and it’s getting sad to see people try and refer to this system as a reliable source of information. Certain games get bloated review scores, while others are slammed for no reason. Metacrtitic, and critics in general, are not a reliable source of information for judging how good a game is. it doesn’t demonstrate how appealing it will be to the mass market, it can’t show how well  a game sells, it doesn’t show how fun the game is compared to other games in it’s genre… so why bother with it? No critic in the industry is particularly intelligent or insightful. Everyone in the field was willing to drop their pants and start jacking off in front of a camera to give Undertale GOTY awards, while better games like Splatoon and Codename S.T.E.A.M were ignored… or even criticized due to manufactured ‘issues.’

Remember when Splatoon didn’t have any maps and Codename S.T.E.A.M. was unplayable due to being too slow? Good times.

I strongly suspect that the vast majority of games that will go on to become classics this generation are NOT the ones being praised by the media. Overwatch hype has died down, Undertale has been forgotten, and Destiny has become a punch line to a really, really, really, really bad joke.

The harder the media tries to push people into liking shit like No Man’s Sky while begging them to stay away from Federation Force and Color Splash, people will start taking them less and less seriously.

The mess that is Earthbound Beginnings

I’ve always been a bit more critical towards the Mother trilogy as a whole than most. In my mind, most of the praise these games get is coming from hipsters who don’t really play this sort of game in the first place. Over the years, it’s gotten praise for it’s bizarre sense of humor, unique setting, and charming moments.

But what about most important thing… the gameplay?

No one ever seems to talk about it, and for good reason. It’s not all that engaging at all. sure, a lot of enemy designs are fun to look at, but the actual battle system is plain boring, and exploring the map is way too slow paced. This sort of set up sort of works in the much more polished Earthbound, even if I still think it’s quite an overrated game, but Earthbound Beginnings is another beast altogether. Mind you, it’s no Breath of Fire 1 (which I genuinely think may be the worst JRPG I’ve ever played) but the sheer tedious nature of the game, which forces you to spend a significant amount of time leveling up to beat even the simplest of enemies, absolutely kills the experience for me. Especially since the pay off isn’t all that interesting in it’s own right. The game doesn’t even have the same quirk atmosphere that Earthbound is so famous for.

Beginnings is an extremely tedious, boring game, but I still find myself slogging through it just to get to the ending, and a big part of that is because I know it builds up to the vastly superior sequel. I would, personally, only recommend this game to the most die hard Nintendo fans out there who like experiencing pieces of history like this one.

On it’s own merits, Earthbound Beginnings simply does not deliver. It is too tedious for what it is, and there are several other classic Nintendo titles that deserve more recognition than this one.

 

Pretendo Direct: TheGamingBritShow is quite the ‘Savage’ Pretendo.

I think I may have to make something clear here for users who may not be familiar with the concept of a ‘Pretendo.’

Nintendo, as one of the most iconic brands in the industry, as a long history of developing innovative content in a wide variety of genres, for all sorts of different audiences. They were not the first video game company, but they are the one that has stayed successful the longest, and has therefore had a part to play in three decades worth of gamers, serious or no. Writing off the long history of quality content, much of which is considered among the best content ever produced in the medium, is completely laughable.

So how do people who aren’t Nintendo fans, but want to criticize and ridicule their products for their own gain, handle this situation? They ‘Pretend’ to be long time fans of the company that are extremely disappointed with the company’s recent decisions in order to come off as more sincere and genuine. If you’ve been following the Youtube Nintendo community at all in the past few years, you may have noticed that certain users love to act as if Nintendo is this failure of a company, that they are doing everything wrong compared to their competition, and that the company is doomed because they aren’t pandering to their REAL fans, twenty to thirty year old men.

It’s simply all too easy to gain traction on YouTube and social media by having negative opinions towards the company, no matter the situation they are in. People act as if the Wii U is the source of the issue, but a lot of the loudest complainers didn’t like the Wii either. These people are simply ‘Pretending’ to be upset with Nintendo for views and attention.

I think a big part of this site, going forward, is to take a look in depth at certain people guilty of this kind of attitude, people who seem to hate a company that they claim means a lot to them. People who are clearly playing it up for clicks.

So today, I’d like to focus on a big offender, one that has caught my attention for quite some time but has never really merited a response. TheGamingBritShow.

Nintendo fans know that there is absolutely no group of people on the planet who know less about Nintendo than those wankers, but I’ve constantly seen TGBS pop up quite a few times in the past few months whenever he makes a particularly insane statement. I wrote up a short response piece to his allegation that Platinum Games was going downhill, a claim that I found laughable, but this time has seen him go completely off the deep end and claim that Nintendo games no longer have any merit to them whatsoever. TGBS’s ‘Savage Nintendo Rant’ is, quite frankly, a piece of shit. Like his complaints lobbied at Platinum, none of his claims hold up against any scrutiny, and I find myself baffled at just how plain stupid he is at uploading a video talking about how Color Splash doesn’t have a personality… three days after it came out and blew everyone away.

His first complaint is the fact that Nintendo…

  1. Makes Empty games about nothing!

A broad statement that honestly doesn’t really make much sense to me, especially since he shows clips from Super Mario 3d World (A well received game in it’s own right, even if I personally am not too fond of it) and Color Splash, a game I am in love with because of it’s writing, humor, and characters… things he specifically says the game lacks.

Keep in mind, this video was uploaded today, which means that he almost certainly didn’t actually play Color Splash before he started bitching about it. A lot of Color Splash’s charm wasn’t evident until people actually started playing it, and I think this points out a core problem with Pretendos in general: They love complaining about games they obviously haven’t actually played. You may have seen this with complaints about Star Fox Zero controls, in which they spent months trying to pretend as if they were downright unusable, but this is just another example of it.

Speaking of Star Fox, he goes on to bitch about Zero being ‘merely’ a remake of 64, in and of itself a laughably ridiculous statement, and complain about Federation Force merely existing. FF is amazing, by the way. Great co-op shooter. He also whines about how 3D world isn’t in an open environment, and I just roll my eyes. It’s almost like I’ve stepped back in time to the first trailer reveal. I don’t even LIKE 3D world and I am telling you he is full of shit.

“Yeah, BOTW looks okay, but it’s too bad that they had to sacrifice everything itself to not make it terrible!” *Shows Skyward Sword*

I’m not even sure what to say to this. This enrages me so much. Like… what? BOTW, just ‘okay?’ That’s possibly going to be the game that redefines open world gameplay. Sacrifice everything else? All of the best games in the past five years have all been Nintendo exclusive! Skyward Sword, bad? What are you talking about? To this day, no one can say anything really bad about it besides Fi.

He goes on talk about the prices for Wind Waker and Twilight Princess HD. Nothing interesting to see here, he’s ignoring all the genuine improvements and real changes they made in order to whine about something no one really cares about.

And that brings us to his number 2 complaint…

2. Pussy ass censorship!

I didn’t know I was dealing with a Nichegamer poster here. I wonder if he has a little anime girl having an orgasm as his desk top wall paper.

So yes, the censorship issue is something I actually have a bit of history with, and it’s something I genuinely look down on people for. Specifically, fact that it only ever seems to be a problem when Nintendo does it. It is a practice in the industry that’s very important to make games appealing to a wider audience. A simple cut and paste translation does not work.

It’s also funny how he specifically claims Nintendo hates sexy outfits when he shows footage of Xenoblade… which DOES have plenty of sexy outfits. I believe Fatal Frame was adjusted due to licensing issues, and Atlus (Not Nintendo) adjusted TMS due to characters being underage and Gravure modeling having a really negative image in the west. In short, the idea that changes are made in localization are made primarily to keep people from being offended is incorrect, and not something anyone with any real knowledge of the process would try to claim. Keep in mind a big part of this argument is the idea that it’s a part of the ‘creator’s vision’ for them to be in the game, when I know for a fact that the devs for both Xenoblade and FFV came out and praised the localization efforts. That conspiracy theory that some anon on 8chan’s /v/ made up about how NOA is ripping off the company by charging for needless censorship is nonsense.

Reason 3… I think? Is the region lock complaint. I say ‘I think’ because he doesn’t really elaborate on why. Personally, I feel this is a non issue that people try to use to pretend that Nintendo is anti consumer. I simply don’t CARE that some games are released at different times around the world, and even I could, I wouldn’t import a copy of Yakuza 1 and 2 HD without a proper localization because I wouldn’t be able to understand anything anyone was saying.

Reason 4… the eshop.

At first, he praises the Wii U for having BC, surprisingly, but then goes on to imply that Wii doesn’t have any good games to play. Keep in mind to this day I’m still finding new gems, it’s easily the best console last gen and I would very much like to start covering that in depth sometime soon.

But then he says something unforgivable: The virtual console, according to him, is the worst.

I’m sorry, can you say that again? You mean to tell me that the service with games with games from nearly every Nintendo console ever made is bad? Xbox One, to this day, doesn’t have shit for it (WHERE IS MY NINJA GAIDEN BLACK?) and PS3 just has… well, a pretty good selection of classic PS1 and PS2 titles that generally pale in comparison to their Nintendo equivalents. I’ve had my PS3 for longer than my Wii U, and have far fewer games on it, and very few have aged all that well.

“When Nintendo does release a game…”

Every Thursday. A big part of why I laugh at the ‘Wii U has no games’ crowd.

‘We don’t get releases at the same time as other places in the world!”

Not an issue.

‘You would think they would have all these games slapped out day one for you…’

Again, not an issue. They’re using the Disney Vault method. Things increase in value if they aren’t available all the time. Despite complaints from people like this, it’s actually led me to find lots of hidden gems that get buried in between big releases, like Freedom Planet, Stealth 2, Circle of the Moon, and Battle Network.

Reason 5… Copyright bullshit!

It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about this, and I think I need to address this once more since my move to the new site.

I cannot stand YouTubers who think they can use Nintendo products to pay their bills. It reeks of entitlement to me, and I think it leads to lots of bad practices, like this recent trend where people think they can experience a game without ever having played it.

No, TGBS… Nintendo isn’t coming to come after me for talking about their games. You know why? Because I talk about games in a way that doesn’t infringe on their copyright. I also find it funny how you imply that Youtubers in general are getting slammed by them for this. In reality, they have pretty good relationships with more credible people, like The Completionist and Jwittz, and even invite them to do things with them.

Oh, and he talks about AM2R and sucks up to that, too. “Nintendo doesn’t care about Metroid!” They released a new game not even two weeks later, jackass. I haven’t palyed AM2R, but just looking at it makes me laugh. A ‘better’ Metroid game? Really? I’ve noticed people stopped talking about it like, a week later, and I can see. There’s nothing all that inspired about it. It’s just a fan remake of a game that already exists.

No, AM2R is not better than Federation Force.

“Nintendo never announced big new games after the Wii!”

And there is is. One of the most popular statements used to write off the success of the Wii. It wasn’t popular with REAL gamers, so it wasn’t REALLY a success!”

Let me tell you something: People go on about the casual vs hardcore dynamic when it comes to Wii vs PS360, but in reality, it was young men vs everyone. What I mean by that is that Nintendo made games for everyone and their grandma. Games like Sin and Punishment, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower, Endless Ocean, Style Savvy, and others were all things that could never have happened on other pieces of hardware. But somehow, being in HD was seen as being much more important by the media, which led to this weird stigma of the Wii not having much serious with young men… despite people like me loving games like Skyward Sword, Sin and Punishment, and No More Heroes.

See, I named three games right there. You faggot. And there are many more.

“Nintendo needs to drop the gimmicks and get more power, everything will be BETTER!”

No, that isn’t true, and I think I should go into depth as to why that is. Power is simply not all that important from a development standpoint. It’s not going to make their games be seen as being ‘cooler’ or get third parties to magically start supporting the console. It’s just going to be too expensive for what it is.

No one wants gimmicks? Ha. Just like no one wanted the d-pad, just like no one wanted the analog stick, just like no one wanted motion controls. You can’t know what you want until you have it. And I think NX, from a design standpoint, will be something that people sorely want, without having to resort to simply taking the PS4 Pro approach, which is proving itself to NOT FUCKING WORK.

All in all, I found his complaints about Nintendo petty and not at all in line with the reality of the situation. I feel as if Nintendo has already addressed their most pressing concern (The rise of mobile) more than adequately, and I’m confident in seeing NX take the industry by storm, as we already know that game library is not going to be at all lacking.

So yes, I think the GamingBritShow is a fag and I was sure to let him know on Twitter. 🙂 Nothing like calling people out in public spaces, and I think he sorely deserves it, like any other Pretendo out there. Speaking of twitter, be sure to follow me at @CodyCoyote64. I’ll be glad to take any questions and requests for the site in the future, and I’ll see you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heroes 7: Our Pledge to Nintendo fans

If you have been following gaming news for any length of time, you have heard that Nintendo is doomed.

It is not about games, it is not about consoles, it is not about the people worldwide who love Nintendo and their products.

It is about sales, it is about profits, it’s about complaining about every little thing the company does is another step towards it’s grave. The Wii remote was nothing more than a fad, a gimmick. PSVR is a real innovation.

This hypocrisy has become apparent, blatant, and disgusting, and it is time for all Nintendo fans to take a stand up against it. The reveal of the NX is looming, and it’s up to us to cut through the nonsense and cover content related to Nintendo’s games. Not how Nintendo is ‘irrelevant’ not how Nintendo is out of touch with it’s audiences, actually discussing their releases in depth. We are Nintendo fans, after all, and primarily care about games.

In the name of Nintendo!