Tag Archives: nintendo nx

My Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch

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For those out of the gaming loop, the Nintendo NX finally got its official reveal this week. The actual name of the console will be the Nintendo Switch and yes, it is the rumoured console/handheld hybrid that we have been hearing about for quite some time now.

Here’s Nintendo’s official debut trailer for the new console:

There’s a lot to talk about in that video, but for me personally, there’s actually not that much that really grabbed my attention.

I’ve said it before, the idea of a console that can double as a handheld gaming experience doesn’t intrigue me whatsoever. I drive everywhere I go, I maybe take the bus or train a few times the entire year. If I’m not home, I’m somewhere else where a TV is available so I can just bring my console with me. I also don’t have kids or anyone else to take the control of the TV away from me. So altogether, the need for a console that can double as a handheld, it doesn’t exist for me personally. So the gimmick of this console is completely lost on me.

However, to say it’s a useless gimmick is not true, it’s certainly got more potential than the Wii U ever had. I mean think about it, you could potentially play Skyrim (assuming that it is 100% a thing on this console) in the car, you could play the new Zelda game on the train, you could play some major console titles in the same places you’d play (what I think are) shitty mobile games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Angry Birds. The idea of mobile gaming potentially expanding to console-level games is very interesting, that’s for sure.

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This gamepad also looks a million times better than the Wii U Gamepad, not to mention the detachable controllers make it infinitely better. The idea that not only can they split off the sides and attach to another controller, but they can separately be used as two controllers for more simple games is actually really cool. But what really grabs my attention with the new controller is the potential of gimmick controllers for specific games. Think about if a new Pokemon Snap game came out, you could have a special controller with a zoom wheel, a button in a similar place like a real camera. How about a trivia game, where you could have a buzzer-like controller to attach to it? These are just two examples off the top of my head as I’m typing this out, there’s a lot of possibilities much smarter people in the gaming industry that could think of some really interesting ideas.

But what makes this console really stand out, is simply the idea that a large majority of games that would never be on the Wii U could finally be coming to a Nintendo console. Obviously Skyrim appears to be one of them, but what about other major titles? Is it possible Grand Theft Auto V could get a port to Nintendo Switch? What about the recently announced Red Dead Redemption? The idea that major titles like the Final Fantasy series, Call of Duty, all EA Sports titles and many more could be released on the Nintendo Switch is huge, something that the company has been needed for years and years. Because Nintendo games are always really good, but after Mario, after Zelda, how many good games are left? On the Wii U, I bought a total of 12 games over 3 years of owning it and that’s counting digital. On my PS4 alone that number is at least triple that and I’ve had the console for one less year than the Wii U. There’s not much good beyond Nintendo games, so the chance that this will change with the Switch, that’s a huge upgrade if that’s the case.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

So what are my overall thoughts on the Switch? Will I be getting it?

Honestly, I’m impartial at this point in time. I think the console could be very good, but in my opinion the console has nothing to do with it at this point. I think the gimmick is useful to a select number of gamers, not all of them, I think the console will be capable to handle a lot more than the Wii and Wii U ever could’ve hoped to, but there’s one big issue I have with it and it stems from two console generations where Nintendo failed time and time again to produce a consistent number of good games, let alone games in general. The release lists for Nintendo consoles have been shorter and shorter the past few years and that’s a problem. You can’t keep gamers invested in your console if you can’t keep a steady flow of games going.

So if the console can keep a consistent release of games, I think it’ll do well. Will it do as good as the current generation of consoles are? I doubt it, I think Nintendo has a lot of good will to recuperate after a horrendous generation with the Wii U. But all in all, the console at best, it’s okay. I just hope it’s not another bust.

Saturday Morning Rant: Nintendo NX Rumours

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Dear Nintendo,

How are you folks doing over there in Japan? Are you doing well? I hope you are, because I want to ruin your good day right about now.

I love you guys, I really do. You were a huge part of my childhood with the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 consoles I used to own as a kid. I can vividly remember playing Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country and Super Smash Bros. for hours and hours on end, enjoying every single moment of it.

But let’s be honest here, you have not been at your best in a long time, I’d argue you haven’t been at your best since before the new millennium. Some would argue on the side of the Gamecube but for me personally, I believe your last great console was the N64. Now I’m not saying the Wii wasn’t a success, it was a massive success, I cannot deny that. But in terms of your game quality, you have not been putting out your best work in a long, damn time.

I thought you would’ve learned from the WiiU, that gimmicks only work once before the casual audience gets tired of it. But now I’m hearing that your upcoming console, the Nintendo NX, which a while ago I specifically said that in order to get the company back into the console war and not just in a long distant third place, you needed to go back to your roots and just create a console much like the Super Nintendo, just a console that plays good games, nothing more and nothing less. But instead, if I’m to believe the rumours starting to circulate about your new console, you couldn’t help yourself, could you Nintendo? You had to make a gimmicky console again, didn’t you?

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Seriously Nintendo?! A portable console?! Wasn’t that kind of what the WiiU aimed to be, a way for kids to still play their games while their parents wanted to watch TV? Didn’t that fail miserably? So why are you (possibly) making a console that’s a step further in that direction? What makes you think that this is going to catch on, when the WiiU failed to do so?

I’ve been a console gamer my entire life, Nintendo, I’ve been there since the SEGA Genesis, all the way to my current PlayStation 4. I don’t understand why you can’t grasp why the current generation of consoles in the Xbox One and leading PS4 are more successful than yours. A console system is meant to be a standstill object that plugs into a TV, not something you can carry around the house, that’s what a handheld system is for and you’ve got that market dominated with the 3DS. No one wants to play a console-level game like your upcoming Zelda game on a 10-inch screen, they want to play it on their big-screen TVs. If we wanted to play a game on a small screen, we’d pull out our 3DS and do it there.

I don’t understand what everyone’s fascination is with the mobile gaming market. I’ve played a ton of games on my phone over the years and with the best game I’ve played on it, I can still count on my two hands how many hours I’ve sunk into the game. Mobile games currently and for the foreseeable future are not going to be huge gaming experiences, you can’t have a Persona 5 or a Destiny on a mobile device, you just can’t. This whole portable market does not work with the quality of games that console games are. It’s not to say the mobile market is useless, but I think we need to lower its spot on the totem pole just a little bit.

Once again Nintendo, I think the problem you’re having lies within your stubbornness on sticking with more gimmick-driven consoles. I’m not saying the portable console is the worst idea ever, but given your current situation, this is not the route to go. I truly do believe that just making a gaming console, nothing more, that’s the way to go. Allow third-party publishers to get back into the fray. Do you think Ubisoft wouldn’t like another platform to sell the next Assassin’s Creed on, do you think Activision wouldn’t like one more platform for Call of Duty to make bank on? Of course they would, but your consoles are always so complicated and full of gimmicky bullshit that it’s too much of a hassle for them to port their games onto your system. Just make a simple console that they can easily port their games onto and your game library will increase exponentially! I’m not saying you should never make a gimmicky console ever again, but for fuck’s sake, go back to something normal for a while so your fanbase can have a better selection of games than just X-Nintendo title once ever six months!

THAT'S THE ENTIRE CALENDER FOR WIIU ON METACRITIC!!!
THAT’S THE ENTIRE CALENDER FOR WIIU ON METACRITIC!!!

I’m sorry Nintendo, I really am, but until you prove to me that you’re willing to make a console where you’ll actually have games for me to play ever month or two instead of maybe two purchases a year, I have zero interest in whatever it is that you’re making. I made that mistake twice, first with the Wii and now with the WiiU. I love games like Bayonetta 2, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Mario Kart 8 and many more, but man do I feel stupid when I pay several hundred dollars on your console and I buy maybe one game a year for it now. Your selection ranges from shitty kids games to not-so-shitty kids games, you have a distinct lack of mature games when it doesn’t take a fucking genius to see that your core fanbase are adults. You have amazing franchises but aren’t making games for them unless their name is Mario, how in the holy hell did we never get a single WiiU Metroid game, Nintendo?!

Your focus has clearly drifted away from your main fanbase in hopes of courting the casual fanbase. You know, the ones who bought the Wii. Here’s the thing about that fanbase, Nintendo and I hope your writing this one down: They aren’t consistent. They never have been and never will be. That purchase works once and then they’re gone. You can’t expect people that aren’t hardcore gamers to buy everything you release, that just doesn’t happen. They look at something trendy, buy it and then move onto the next thing, you will never be able to keep them in your grasp. Stop alienating the people that brought you to the dance and start paying attention to them again. Make that fourth installment in the Metroid Prime series, start making your console more inviting to third-party publishers so games like The Witcher and Mass Effect can be played on it. And for fuck’s sake, just go back to a normal controller! That WiiU GamePad is the most awkward fucking thing to play with and I remember the N64 controllers!

So come on, Nintendo. Pull your heads out of your asses and get back in the game. We don’t want you to go away, but if you keep ignoring us like this and continue to make really bad decisions, you’re going to end up like SEGA. And no one wants Mario to be where Sonic is right now.

The Nintendo NX Should Be A Current-Gen SNES

The (New) Legend of Zelda; now pushed back to 2017
The (New) Legend of Zelda; now pushed back to 2017

With the revealing of the Nintendo NX’s March 2017 worldwide release (pending any more delays), we are now fully aware of a new console generation beginning, Nintendo once again starting it off. However this generation will be starting so early, it almost feels correct to actually consider the Nintendo NX the company’s second console entry into this current generation.

The Nintendo Wii U did, let’s be honest here, poorly. I don’t think there’s anyone questioning that, as sales were nowhere near the Wii’s numbers, they at no point ever came close to catching up to the #2 spot, let alone challenging the PS4 for the #1 spot in sales for this current generation. And there’s many reasons as to why this happened, they didn’t release enough third-party games, their main franchises didn’t have many major entries (still no Metroid game) and if they did, they were released so sporadically. But the most indicting reason in my opinion was the tablet gimmick the console had with the Wii U Gamepad.

Which is why I firmly believe that for the Nintendo NX to not only succeed but challenge the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it has to be released as a console with zero gimmicks. I think the NX has to be the 2017 version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

SNES-Mod1-Console-Set
Super Famicom or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

What does every game from the 90s remember about the SNES? It’s not some cool controller, it’s not some gimmick like the Light Gun or the Virtual Boy. It was the games, the mecca that is and was the Super Nintendo library.

Just to hammer the point home, here’s just a few games that were released on the SNES:

  • Super Mario World
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Super Metroid
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Final Fantasy II & III (aka IV & VI)
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Mega Man X
  • Earthbound
  • Star Fox
  • Secret of Mana
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Street Fighter II

That’s just 15 games, folks. 15 games on a console that you’d struggle to pick a top 50 out of its library. But why did that console have so many classics on it? Well for starters, there weren’t any gimmicks to build upon. No motion controls, no second screens. Admittedly, the only gimmick the NX will have to pay attention is online play, something that during the SNES era, game developers were years away in thinking about that. But when it comes to a good chunk of their games that won’t use online, at least not as a core gameplay mechanic, having no other gimmicks will give developers less to worry about and more time to just focus on the game they’re building.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Let’s take The Legend of Zelda for example. I know many people loved it, but I could not stand Skyward Sword. Not because it was a bad game, but because of the controls. When I’m playing a Zelda game, I want to play it and get lost in it for hours, it’s not as easy to do that when my wrist is getting sore from all the waving and shaking it’s doing with the Wiimote.

And with the Wii U, the Gamepad is freakishly huge and not the kind of controller you want to be playing with for hours on end. I’m aware of the Wii U Pro Controller, but why should I be shilling out more money for a more comfortable controller, should that not be released with the console?

The gimmicks worked for one console in the Wii, it’s very clear that the casual marketplace that all stood in massive lines at WalMart during the holidays were not planning on spending another $300+ on a new console so soon. Nintendo reached on another crazy idea, but this time it didn’t pay off so well. So instead of taking another shot at a crazy idea, why not try an even crazier idea and not pick another crazy idea?

Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime

Take a game like the Metroid Prime series. Could you not imagine this game in 1080p glory on a console like the PlayStation 4? It’s a first-person shooter, it makes perfect sense to be on a non-gimmicky console, perhaps that’s why the only Metroid games lately have been on the 3DS, they just do not work on the Wii U Gamepad, it makes no sense. Going back to the basics allows the games to flourish on their own merits, not because the game “immerses” you further by making you move with the game a la motion controls or the more recent VR additions to gaming. You enjoy the game because it’s a good game, not because the motion controls are actually solid with this game compared to others. I got pretty sick and tired of review scores ignoring the bad motion controls just because almost every Wii game had bad motion controls. If the controls are bad, they’re bad!

Other major players in Nintendo’s library don’t need the gimmicks either. Mario doesn’t need it (although I’ll say the motion controls worked pretty well for Mario Kart), Smash certainly doesn’t need it, Zelda doesn’t need it, Pokémon doesn’t need it unless it’s a new Pokémon Snap, there’s a lot of major games that would be perfectly fine and probably even better if there weren’t any gimmicky controls added into the mix. Why are games like Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Smash Bros. Melee so highly regarded? Because they’re well-made games, plain and simple. There’s no crazy gimmick that brings you in like a Wii Sports or Red Steel, the game is just that damn good. It needs no gimmicks.

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)

We still don’t know much about the Nintendo NX or what its real name will actually be, but as far as I’m concerned, the console absolutely has to go back to basics and just be a gaming console. Not a family entertainment center, not a motion control showcase and especially not a virtual reality console. The Nintendo NX, whatever it may be, must be the second-coming of the Super Nintendo. It must be a console with a consistent run of good games with many classics to boot. And yes, they can rely on the older games in the early running, absolutely have all the old classics available. Better yet, have a limited edition (or make it full-time if you want) classic SNES controller to play the old games on, looking a lot like the old controller, that would be awesome!

Nintendo has become a walking gimmick since the Wii and while it worked in the early going, it’s very clear that time has run out on it. It’s time for Nintendo to revert back to the time they were at their very best, making a constant barrage of instant classics. Most importantly, with the console being far simpler and without crazy gimmicks to add into every game, they will most certainly get back some third-party attention. Games like Assassin’s Creed would have had their game on the newest Nintendo console for sure if not for the gimmicky controls, the developers didn’t want to waste any more time than they had to on their games, do you really think Ubisoft would pass a chance at more sales unless they had a good reason? If the Nintendo NX is a lot easier to develop games on, aka being able to just straight port it from Xbox One/PlayStation 4 onto it, they will do it, it’s more sales for not as much work.

The ball is in your court, Nintendo. Make it happen. Let’s see the good ol’ days return!