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Nintendo's Simpler Game stratagy

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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Krystian C

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Posted August 08 2003 - 12:40 AM

Hey all,

Just came from checking things out on www.the-magicbox.com, and they had some truely stupid news in my opinion. The whole article is below.


[quote] - Nintendo has revealed new plans in the press conference in Japan.

GameCube
- New Made in Wario (Warioware) title in October
- New Legend of Zelda title in 2004
- New Donkey Kong title in development with Namco

Key releases for GameCube in 2003
09/2003 - Mario Golf: Family Tour
10/2003 - Pikmin 2, Made in Wario
11/2003 - Pokemon Colosseum, Mario Kart: Double Dash
2003 - Donkey Kong, Mario Party 5, 1080 Snowboarding II

General
- Introduce a new Club Nintendo service, you can earn points from buying Nintendo products and use points to purchase other things like DVD and gifts.
- The expect around 300,000 to 500,000 customers for the Nintendo Club in the first year
- Nintendo wants to enter the China market
- The shipment of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire will exceed 10 million units by the end of this year

Development and Comments
- Strength software development by co-operating with other software manufacturers
- There are no plans for third party buyouts
- A new Nintendo product will be announced at E3 2004
- Sony PSP has no significant influence to the business, no matter what Sony brings out, they prepare their future products
- Want to stop making video games more complicated and difficult, instead they want to keep games simpler for general audience
- The video game market is shrinking because games become too complicated [quote]


That thing that pisses me off is Nintendo's standpoint on difficulty in game. Does anyone here believe that games are too hard???? That is what the EASY!!!! setting is for. I am getting sick of buying games I can seemingly walk through without any difficulty. Zelda being a prime offender. From start to finish I think I died twice, and it was due to drowning, not in a boss fight or anything complex.

If anything I think the total opposite is true. If there is any reason for a decline in video game sales it is due totally to unfulfilling gamplay. I get so mad when I shell out a game I can breeze through in 7 hours or less, and not died once. We need to see more games on the market like Knights of the Old Republic.

Case in point, the new Final Fantasy - Crystal Chronicles. From what I have read, it is straying so far from the FF liscense it is almost disgraceful. This seems more like a childlike romp, than the though out, complex story lines of games gone by. And a combat system that is more like a button mashing fighter than anything intelligent. I hope Square-Enix proves me and the gaming site wrong, for I was hoping the FF return to Nintendo would be a triumphant one.

Let us pray this trend Nintendo is going to wards doesn't infect the other great consoles out there.

And before anyone slings mud about me Nintendo bashing, cool it fanboy, I own all 3 major consoles, and a GB Adv.

Krys

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Mark Evans

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Posted August 08 2003 - 01:05 AM

So because you state that anybody who disagrees with you is a fanboy we can't disagree? Hardly. Games are becoming bloody well more complicated. And that doesn't mean anything to you nor I who are able to work through a game's controls, but it does mean games are becoming less accessible.

Case in point, my girlfriend can pick Super Mario Bros 2 and go. Trying to get her into my Cube games is nigh impossible. I managed to get her playing Mario Golf simply because the interface is simple and easy. Super Mario Bros 3 is a classic game and it has a jump button and an 'action' button. Super Mario Sunshine has a monster button layout to wrangle, not to mention the 3D to contend with.

I humbly believe you're confusing the idea of difficulty with that of length. So you didn't get your money's worth from Zelda? Finished it in seven hours? I'm impressed.

As for Final Fantasy, who says that a name has to be an indicator of the internal workings? Mario games, again, are platformers but they all offer something different. Besides, what about Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest? There's a title we can all look up to as a beacon of quality.

Square has a history of making fun games like this and just because it doesn't have the boring-ass CGI or painfully tortured cliches, er, characters doesn't diminish its potential at all. Secret of Mana was more fun than any Square game on the SNES if you played it multi-player and I expect similar here. SoM also featured the arcade style of play they're using in Crystal Chronicles.

I've been sick of Final Fantasy since VIII so it's nice to see them finally trying something new beyond the same damn crap they always do. A brand name doesn't give a company any right to branch out into new directions? Right. Posted Image
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#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Jason_H

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Posted August 08 2003 - 02:45 AM

[quote] Square has a history of making fun games like this and just because it doesn't have the boring-ass CGI or painfully tortured cliches, er, characters doesn't diminish its potential at all. Secret of Mana was more fun than any Square game on the SNES if you played it multi-player and I expect similar here. SoM also featured the arcade style of play they're using in Crystal Chronicles. I've been sick of Final Fantasy since VIII so it's nice to see them finally trying something new beyond the same damn crap they always do. A brand name doesn't give a company any right to branch out into new directions? Right. [quote]

I strongly agree with you, Mark. I haven't played a Final Fantasy title after VII because it just got old. I have enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics and Secret of Mana much more than the same-old, same-old standard FF series. I have actually gotten interested in Crystal Chronicles BECAUSE it looks like a massive departure and quite interesting. I love a good action-RPG!

I also took the article the same way...not toning down the difficulty, but making the game work with less. Sometimes you only need two buttons to make a compelling gaming experience...you don't HAVE to use every single button on the damn controller if it doesn't suit the game. Some companies just go overboard.

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Mike__D

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Posted August 08 2003 - 03:05 AM

I agree simple doesn't mean easy. As long as the gamplay is there, I'm fine. Look at Sega's Virtua Tennis. Simple to get into (2 buttons), and a blast to play.

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted August 08 2003 - 03:13 AM

Difficulty <> Depth. I think Nintendo has more issues than they are addressing, though.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Mark Evans

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Posted August 08 2003 - 04:27 AM

I'd also like everybody to remember this thread when the supposedly insanely difficult F-Zero GX comes out and there's another spate of posts going on about that. Posted Image
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#7 of 26 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 08 2003 - 05:00 AM

[quote] Does anyone here believe that games are too hard???? [quote] Yes. Rogue Leader is far too difficult. THPS3 is fairly challenging, and really too hard for a casual gamer who plays a game occaisionally over many months.

I've been playing a lot of Gauntlet Dark Legacy because, though it's a mediocre game, I can play for 15-30 minutes and actually make progress through the game. I've found few other games like that.

As for the "Easy" setting, I see that in few games.

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted August 08 2003 - 07:05 AM

Mistaken post.

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   MikeAlletto

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Posted August 08 2003 - 09:07 AM

[quote] I'd also like everybody to remember this thread when the supposedly insanely difficult F-Zero GX comes out and there's another spate of posts going on about that. [quote]
That that supposedly insane difficulty is why I probably won't be buying it. I don't have time for difficult and frustrating games anymore.
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#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Dave F

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Posted August 08 2003 - 11:41 AM

[quote] So because you state that anybody who disagrees with you is a fanboy we can't disagree? [quote] He didn't say that. He said not to dismiss his post as just N-bashing.

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#11 of 26 OFFLINE   DaveGTP

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Posted August 08 2003 - 12:53 PM

I'm hoping Crystal Chronicles will be something almost as good as Secret of Mana, an all-time favorite. I would personally say that games are becoming too easy these days, rather than difficult. FFX had a great story, and good potential, but it was so pathetically easy I probably won't ever pick it up again. My favorite nest-gen games lately are being dumbed down. Maximo 2 is supposed to be easier (boo! hiss!!). Devil May Cry 2 is pathetically easy by all accounts. I loved DMC1. For god's sake, if they want to make a game easy, make an easy mode like DMC1 had. All I can say is, back in the day, Mario 3 or Super Mario World WAS NOT easy. It easier now to a seasoned gamer than it was back then. A move to make games easier is the last thing I want to see.
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#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted August 08 2003 - 12:56 PM

[quote] Does anyone here believe that games are too hard???? [quote] I don't know about too hard (and I tend to live three years behind the curve anyway), but I think they could be simpler in terms of being less complex. One of the things I learned in UI class in college is that short-term memory only holds 7-9 pieces of information... So when you've got two sticks, a d-pad, six buttons, and two triggers... Well, it's more than I'm really comfortable with. On the other hand, even though there's more crap going on in Tempest 2000 at any time than I can really see, the mechanics are so easy.
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#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Frank Grimes

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Posted August 08 2003 - 01:10 PM

Agreed. And I think that the "an easy game can be fun" argument is just as valid as a difficult game can be fun. Mario 64 was pretty easy and a damn good game. Goldeneye at times was one of the hardest and was my favorite FPS before Halo. Making games easier to 'appeal to a wider audience' is just going to further validate the association with Nintendo being a children's company.
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#14 of 26 OFFLINE   MikeAlletto

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Posted August 08 2003 - 02:02 PM

I think there is a lot to be said for a progression of difficulty. The game should start out rather basic but increase in difficulty in such a way that the game player notices the difficulty increasing but it should be gradual. There are too many games that are extremely easy all the way through until the very very end and then its just impossible and the gamer ends up just quitting.
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#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Damien

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Posted August 08 2003 - 03:10 PM

I don't follow Iwata's thought process at all. I know the Wind Waker would be a lot more harder if the enemies dealt more damage, it feels like the code was changed after the slight backlash SMS recieved. If this rubs off on Mario 128...nintendo is going to have some problems. He really should proof read his script....most if not all the genre's he bashed - saying there too complicated -(Ikaruga/"ESPN") are very basic core games. Ikaruga is(i don't own it) I belive from what I've seen is one of the most simplest set up's around, but it get's complicated later when you have to apply your skills. Sports games have a easy play setting if you aren't good enough to do anything, not too mention rookie mode. People who have been gaming longer are probably better at doing that than casual gamers, therefore the casual gamers don't buy it. I say too bad, the GC will be relying on a lot of niche titles to move consoles...so if they lose that audience goodbye sales. This is probably overthought on my part, but releasing these types of statements is something I'd only expect Sega to do.

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted August 08 2003 - 03:11 PM

Well, that's what makes the old Atari games and their ilk so great - anybody can pick up Centipede or Asteroids and understand what's going on pretty quickly, and also do well enough on their first try to not get discouraged, but the difficulty ramps up quickly. "Easy To Learn, Difficult To Master"
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#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 08 2003 - 04:18 PM

I think that whatever happens happens. If a game is good enough, then I'll play it, whatever the difficulty, title, platform, developer, publisher, or anything else. I've got many different games in my possession because they're good. If Nintendo is able to make games that appeal to a wider audience and those games are the ones that are easier, then fine by me. To be honest, who here WASN'T mad at Super Mario Sunshine every once in a while? Would you like them to leave that as hard as it was?

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Romier S

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Posted August 08 2003 - 05:20 PM

[quote] Would you like them to leave that as hard as it was? [quote]

Yes. Since the difficulty and challenge of the "retro" levels was one of the main things that kept me playing. The main game offered up a good dose of challenge as well which I liked. The nagging camera issues (fairly terrible) and lack of level variety (ie tropical setting and nothing else) is really what brought Mario Sunshine down.

Of course I'm willing to accept the fact that I'm an exception. I *like* difficult games. Mind you by that I don't mean artificially difficult but being frustrated at times is healthy and motivational for me. I don't like to breeze through a game without a challenge (a real challenge not just a boss that looks cool and dies with three stomps.)

For instance I recently purchased the original Ninja Gaiden on the NES. (Nice bargain bin price of 3 bucks too and in great condition w/instructions!).

Here is a game that to this day is quite challenging and at times very cheap (but in a good way!). It is designed in a fashion that an enemy spawns precisely at the moment when you need to make critical jump causing you to die. Its the most basic form of trial and error.

Whats interesting about that particular basis of design is that Ninja Gaiden is an extremely fast paced game yet the developers throw you for a loop at the point of death.

"SLOW DOWN AND WATCH IT BUDDY!"

...is the message they are conveying. Is that frustrating? In a way yes but at the same time for anyone thats actually played Ninja Gaiden you know that there is a certain "zen" like quality to mastering the game. You get in a rhythm so to speak and when you hit those trouble spots the game TAUNTS you to beat it. No to hell with that, it DARES you too. I have no other way to put it then.. I FUCKING LOVE THAT!. Once you get that certain level down and your rythym remains uninterrupted its absolute gaming bliss IMHO. The same applies for a myriad of other games.

Its the reason games like Contra Shattered Soldier, Ikaruga, PDO etc appeal to me. That rhythm. (Im gonna trademark that: "The Gaming Rhythm"). Now some would say these games are simple to play which falls right in line with Iwata's point. To an extent it does and I can't say I wholly disagree with him however I don't share his outlook that so called complicated games will cause the industry to shrink.

I'm ok with a more simple game design if it leads to a great gaming experience. However I also enjoy the complexity of Knights of the Old Republics' combat system and Devil May Cry's (the original) combo system. Or the strategy of Panzer Dragoon Orta's dragon morphing and Ikaruga's far deeper then initially realized color combat/combo system. Even the complexity of the Silent Hill series storylines.

Each of these examples represent a different form of the "complex" nature of today's games and they are certainly things that I find very enjoyable and would not want to do without. However I think most of us are seeing the word "simple" and equating that with dumbed down which I don't think is Iwata's intention at all.

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Krystian C

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Posted August 08 2003 - 08:49 PM

[quote] As for Final Fantasy, who says that a name has to be an indicator of the internal workings? Mario games, again, are platformers but they all offer something different. Besides, what about Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest? There's a title we can all look up to as a beacon of quality. [quote]

I agree, every company releases a few stinkers every now and then, but taking a well established license, and tearing it's core out (turn based combat) and throwing in a button mash to appease the masses is not smart idea in my eyes. Final Fantasy Tactics was a cool new turn, which, didn't go very far in terms of sales, at least no comparison to previous FF titles.

Change is good yes, but if they turned the next Halo game into a platform side scroller, many people would be outraged, and rightfully so. It is bad an idea as ewoks in Return of the Jedi instead of wookies.

If they want to make a different game, all the power to them, but don't slap the Final Fantasy name on a title in a vain hope of drawing the fans of the series to a different console. I was hoping that Final Fantasy's return to Nintendo would help get back some of the core rpg'ers in Japan. But by dumbing it down to suit the apparently KISS gaming world, they will in turn lose some of their following. Sure they will likely gain a few new fans of the series, but how do you think they will feel when having enjoyed FF:CC they possibly go out and buy a PS so the can play older FF titles, and find out they are nothing like the new FF game play?

Square taking such a left field approach to this franchise worries me. Sure FF8 was a lame to say the least, but 9 and 10 made up for it tenfold. I have read info on FF12 that is trickling out, and it is said Square is planning to make a "drastic" change in the FF license. This has got me worried big time. If they plan on tossing the RPG aspect out of FF, and turning it into a Zelda like action title, I may just end up dropping FF. (No offense to Zelda, I am a long time fan). But I sure as hell don't want the best/almost longest running RPG to turn into a mindless slash and kill.

As I said before, I hope Square proves me wrong, but from all I have read, it looks unlikely.

#20 of 26 OFFLINE   JamesH

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Posted August 08 2003 - 11:24 PM

[quote] - Sony PSP has no significant influence to the business, no matter what Sony brings out, they prepare their future products [quote]

Yep, I'm sure the PSP will have no effect on the GBA, just like the Playstation had no effect on the N64. Are the people at Nintendo oblivious to the fact that they are in competition?



I think the most interesting announcements out of that are a Donkey Kong game in 2003 and a Wario Ware game. Wario Ware was awesome on the gameboy and I'll be interested to see what they do with it on the Cube. Namco is awesome and I think they'll do an excellent job with Donkey Kong if they make it 2.5D. Just stick the Klonoa people on it and you've got an automatic AAA game.





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