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XLord007 Jun 7, 2011 (edited Jun 7, 2011)

Oh, Nintendo.  The good Nintendo giveth, and the good Nintendo, it taketh away.  That's how I felt during this year's Nintendo press conference.  The conference got off to an amazing start with a small orchestra playing Zelda tunes followed by quick looks at Skyward Sword, Ocarina 3D, two new Zelda CDs, free Four Swords DSi, classic consoles appearing on 3DS Virtual Console, and 3DS demos later this year.  Then, they showed Super Mario 3DS which looks as fantastic as you'd expect.  Plus, it's allegedly coming this holiday (I say "allegedly" because I have a hard time believing that Nintendo will allow Super Mario 3DS to compete with Mario Kart 3DS).

Anyway, I was loving this conference until they showed the WiiU.  At that point, everything went downhill.  Aside from the stupid name, I think Nintendo is making a huge mistake by trying to appeal to both the hardcore and casual at the same time.  The enormous controller looks ridiculous, and its key feature, the touchscreen, doesn't even have capacitive multitouch.  So, instead of being like an iPad mixed with a classic controller, it's just a giant DS.  I'm not sure what to think about the whole streaming of the game from the console to the screen so you can free up the TV to watch TV.  As a single person, that feature isn't remotely relevant to me since my home is my castle, but maybe that's something those of you with families will appreciate.  Concerning new gameplay possibilities enabled by the extra screen, camera, motion sensor, etc., I'm kind of at the point where I don't care.  These are all gimmicks.  I just want to pick up a controller and play a game.  That is all I want to do.

I think Nintendo will have a harder time selling this than the original Wii because it's just too many features.  With the first Wii, it was simple: motion control, a whole new way to play games.  Now, they're showing off all these different demos that are cool from a pure "neato! look at that" standpoint, but I'm not sure that's going to play to the casuals, especially considering how well Kinect is doing.  Anyone can understand how Kinect works immediately after seeing it in action.  I don't sure that's the case with WiiU.  Nintendo made a big deal when the original Wii came out by saying that video game controllers had become too complicated and that the Wiimote would be less intimidating.  Five years later, here's Nintendo showing the most complicated video game controller since the Jaguar.

And now we come to software.  In short, they got nothing.  A tech demo of what a Zelda game might conceivably look like on the system is not a game announcement (those who are still bitter about the 'ol Wind Waker switcheroo would do well to remember this).  Saying that Sora will develop a Smash Bros. game after it finishes Kid Icarus is an announcement of game that probably won't be out for at least two years, well after the console's launch.  Showing a bunch of PS3/360/PC games from third parties is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  Nice try, Nintendo.  I hope they don't launch this before Fall 2012 since clearly software development for this system is in its infancy.

Lastly, there's what I'm going to call the "Dreamcast Effect."  By releasing a new system one to two years prior to its competitors that isn't much more powerful than its competitors' current systems, Nintendo is putting itself at the significant risk of having a system with a very short lifespan.  Nintendo's best hope here is that the Xbox 720 and PS4 will be so prohibitively expensive that their adoption rates will be slow enough to allow Nintendo to squeeze another year or two out of the WiiU.

Based on what I saw today, I am not excited for the WiiU.  That said, of course I will buy it because I am fan of Nintendo's games, and this is something I will have to buy in order to continue playing them.

While that makes for a logical conclusion to my Nintendo thoughts, I want to add a few more thoughts based on Nintendo info that's come out since the end of the conference:

-Excited to see that Rhythm Heaven Wii is confirmed for the U.S. and that both Kirby Wii (4p!), and Kirby Mass Attack (DS) are coming later this year, the latter of which looks like a mixture of Kirby and Pikmin.

-Surprised to see that Nintendo is bringing the latest in Enix's long running Itadaki Street series to the U.S. Wii as Fortune Street, especially in light of their also announcing Mario Party 9 (Wii) -- I always figured the MP series was the more Western-accessible version of the Itadaki Street series

-Curious to know what Reggie will say later this week about the online functionality of the WiiU.  He's promising an "open platform" that will offer a comparable experience to his competitors.  I think the whole internet is highly skeptical of those remarks, so we'll see what happens.

-Not surprised that Xenoblade and Last Story are completely absent.  Nintendo of America hates you, JRPG lovers. wink

Princess-Isabela Jun 7, 2011

Easily the best conference this year, strong 3DS showing, new system, new Kirby on Wii, also orchestral fanfare.

rein Jun 7, 2011

I am very disappointed to learn that Wii U will not upscale original Wii games.  Without upscaling, I anticipate that I will have no interest in buying a Wii U until at least a couple of years after its launch.  Extrapolating from third-party support for Nintendo consoles historically, I don't expect Wii U to have a robust library of quality titles for some time.  For me, first-party games are not enough to justify the cost of entry.

GoldfishX Jun 7, 2011

The timing on the Zelda game reminds me of Twilight Princess with the Gamecube/Wii. We might be looking at the same scenario here...One man's late-generation Zelda game could be another man's launch title.

I just can't take the Wii seriously with the way it controls. The Wiimote looked awful 5-6 years ago: It doesn't have enough buttons and having to incorporate wiggling it into standard gameplay is pointless and idiotic. My first impression of this new controller is much more positive: this COULD work...it has enough buttons to be functional as an actual game controller and it ditches the fatal flaws that GBA connectivity had while adding a touchscreen, so now it realistically can be used for stuff like micromanagement, calling plays, etc. Hopefully they'll phase out having to wiggle it for basic gameplay functions and save that feature for the useless minigame compilations that are no doubt coming out for it.

rein Jun 7, 2011

GoldfishX wrote:

My first impression of this new controller is much more positive: this COULD work...it has enough buttons to be functional as an actual game controller and it ditches the fatal flaws that GBA connectivity had while adding a touchscreen, so now it realistically can be used for stuff like micromanagement, calling plays, etc.

"Could" was the right word to emphasize.  How many games will actually make thoughtful use of the touchscreen?  How many more will use the touchscreen for superfluous purposes?  I foresee many maps and menus appearing on that screen, which will not merely be unnecessary but also needlessly cumbersome.  Having to look down at the controller and take one hand off of it to make a menu selection is less convenient than simply bringing up a menu screen on the television.  It isn't so bad on the DS, because the screens are close to each other.

I worry that poorly thought out use of the touchscreen will be the new Wii waggle.

Carl Jun 7, 2011

First thought upon seeing the U controller: "That looks ridiculous"
Second thought: "That thing is huge"
Third thought: "I don't need that"

Sami Jun 8, 2011

Such a pathetic show. Where was The Last Story? Xenoblade? Rhythm Heaven? Instead it was just Mario this, Zelda that. What a snorefest. Ok, Zelda Four Swords for DSiWare is interesting, but most of their games were just so boring. Wii U seemed alright, but it could have been much better if Nintendo had shown some actual games instead of just demos. Nintendo has just dropped the ball.

Amazingu Jun 8, 2011

Sami wrote:

Where was The Last Story? Xenoblade?

The lack of JRPG support for the American market is disturbing to say the least, especially considering what a mind-blowingly amazing game Xenoblade is.

At least it's coming to Europe, but I don't see why NoA refuses to comment on it.

Qui-Gon Joe Jun 8, 2011

Sami wrote:

Rhythm Heaven?

Hey, at least that one was confirmed to be coming - looks like we're not getting Xenoblade or The Last Story at all, which is INFURIATING.

Jodo Kast Jun 8, 2011

Carl wrote:

First thought upon seeing the U controller: "That looks ridiculous"
Second thought: "That thing is huge"
Third thought: "I don't need that"

Reminds me of the Jaguar controller. (I still say the N64 controller was the best.)

Carl Jun 8, 2011

Jodo Kast wrote:

Reminds me of the Jaguar controller. (I still say the N64 controller was the best.)

Best??  People didn't get how to hold the N64 controller either.
It was so annoying to always explain it, saying "For some games you hold it THIS way, but for other games you have to hold it THAT way."

Datschge Jun 8, 2011

rein wrote:

I am very disappointed to learn that Wii U will not upscale original Wii games.

That was never technically possible without breaking some games. Maybe it can be done with per game settings sometime, but Microsoft already showed with their kind of Xbox backward compatibility on Xbox 360 that that's not viable either in the longer run.

xplojin. Jun 8, 2011 (edited Jun 8, 2011)

so much hate for waggle. no more heroes wouldnt have been so involving without it even if waggle functions were just quicktime events. wiiu backwards compatible w/ wii games? gladim not alone being unimpressed by lineup of wiiu games. nintendo relies too heavily on thq. tryin to recapture core gamer market. tht will b hard. big controller kind of too big too. a bit too soon for kirby wii, so soon after kirby epic yarn. nobody like epic yarn?

James O Jun 8, 2011

so dumb question... is the 3DS Zelda Four Swords just a port of the older Gamecube version or is it a completely new experience just dubbed "The Four Swords" again?

Qui-Gon Joe Jun 8, 2011

Carl wrote:

It was so annoying to always explain it, saying "For some games you hold it THIS way, but for other games you have to hold it THAT way."

Idiots not understanding that it could be held in different ways and it wasn't designed for you to always be able to reach everything at once isn't the fault of the controller.  That said, I prefer the Cube and 360 controllers over it.  I'm really leery about the comfortability of this new monstrosity, though.

Wanderer Jun 8, 2011

Amazingu wrote:
Sami wrote:

Where was The Last Story? Xenoblade?

The lack of JRPG support for the American market is disturbing to say the least, especially considering what a mind-blowingly amazing game Xenoblade is.

At least it's coming to Europe, but I don't see why NoA refuses to comment on it.

That's the part that disgusts me the most. Xenoblade is reportedly the JRPG of this generation (which isn't saying much, given how shitty the rest of them have been, for the most part) and it's already getting localized. What do they have to lose?

As for the new system, it looks wretched but unfortunately, as long as Nintendo keeps making awesome first-party games, I'll probably keep buying their consoles.

Amazingu Jun 8, 2011

James O wrote:

so dumb question... is the 3DS Zelda Four Swords just a port of the older Gamecube version or is it a completely new experience just dubbed "The Four Swords" again?

Considering it's supposedly free, I'm guessing it's a port of the old game.

XLord007 Jun 8, 2011

James O wrote:

so dumb question... is the 3DS Zelda Four Swords just a port of the older Gamecube version or is it a completely new experience just dubbed "The Four Swords" again?

It's a DSi game, not a 3DS game, so you don't have to have a 3DS to play it.  They haven't said what it will be, but I highly doubt it will be the GameCube game.  My guess is that it'll be an updated version of the GBA game.

Adam Corn Jun 10, 2011

GoldfishX wrote:

The timing on the Zelda game reminds me of Twilight Princess with the Gamecube/Wii. We might be looking at the same scenario here...One man's late-generation Zelda game could be another man's launch title.

Until last week I'd been thinking the same thing but after seeing the details of the new controller I doubt it.  The main point of Skyward Sword is the 1:1 controls with the Wiimote, so it wouldn't make much sense to port it to a system whose primary controller operates completely differently.  I'm sure they could still make a port with some gimmick that operates with the touchscreen controller but I don't think it'd be worth the trouble.

Sami Jun 12, 2011

xplojin. wrote:

a bit too soon for kirby wii, so soon after kirby epic yarn. nobody like epic yarn?

Yeah. Just why are they making THREE Kirby games so close to each other? Are they a Kirby making factory now? Bet there will be Kirby 3DS or something next year!

XLord007 Sep 29, 2011

Four Swords Anniversary Edition was released today for free, and I put a little time into the single-player mode.  It's decent, but pretty flat so far.  I never played much of the original on GBA due to the need for many people with the game to be in the same room at the same time, but I know that it was designed to be a co-op/competitive mix.  When playing by yourself, it's pretty dull, but I'm hoping the new stages will be more interesting (only completed two of the original stages so far).  At any rate, don't expect anything amazing like GameCube's Four Swords Adventures which was designed for fun single player from the get go.

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