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Metroid Prime 2 impressions

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Anonymous
March 25, 2005 9:57:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

I just finished MP2:E today. I have to say, I liked this version better
than the original MP--and I liked that one an awful lot.

I disagree with the reviews saying it was not as good. I think it was
actually better, both visually, plot-wise, area-design-wise, and
balance-wise. The only thing I find amusing was that I took out the Ing
Emporer in only 4 attempts and Dark Samus in 3. It took me more than that
to beat Quadflex or whatever that was. It took me a good 20+ times trying
to beat the worms. And the original MP itself took me at least 30 times.

But I didn't mind the last two bosses being less that ultra-cruel.

Honestly, I think this game was better assembled. Aside from one small
glitch where I ended up in the middle of the sky (don't ask!!) and could
not move anywhere, the QA was far better than some people let on. I lost
about 45 seconds of gameplay on that. Big deal.

I hope they continue onwards, and I'd certainly buy an MP3 tomorrow if
they'd release one.

--
Vorxion - Founder of the knocking-shop of the mind.

"You have it, you sell it, you've still got it--what's the difference?"
--Diana Trent, "Waiting for God", on why a modelling agency is really a
knocking-shop. Applied by me to the field of consulting. :) 

The Sci-Fi fan's solution to debt: Reverse the polarity on your charge card.
Anonymous
March 27, 2005 1:43:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

"Vorxion" <vorxion@knockingshopofthemind.com> wrote in message
news:4244a580$1_1@news.iglou.com...
> I just finished MP2:E today. I have to say, I liked this version better
> than the original MP--and I liked that one an awful lot.
>
> I hope they continue onwards, and I'd certainly buy an MP3 tomorrow if
> they'd release one.


I loved MP2, too. I don't want to type again stuff I've said before (at
length) so there's a copy/paste below for you. I'm sure we'll see a sequel,
but smart money's on a Revolution version, not a Gamecube one...which is
fine by me as long as the Revolution's secret gimmick doesn't ruin it.


Metroid Prime had the most beautifully constructed game world ever. It
coupled that with great 'converted from 2D' gameplay that was fresh and
original. It covered a huge area consisting of several levels, all
interconnected and freely explorable, with very little repetition of
geometry. Every tree, rock, and wall was unique. And even though the game
is free roaming and detailed, the game avoided losing the player's attention
with load times by its clever use of streaming and cutscenes.

Metroid Prime 2 continues everything Prime 1 introduced, from the
unsurpassed immersiveness of the "in the helmet" view (with moisture beads,
face reflections, etc) to the meticulous detail in every bit of its
indoors-and-outdoors world, to the perfectly-translated-from-2D jumping and
morph ball puzzles and combat system.

It's a masterpiece, just like the last game, but set in an even larger and
more detailed world (though not as varied in theme), with more abilities and
a longer play through time, and an added multiplayer mode.
But not everything is improved.

The Light and Dark world theme is sometimes clever as you wonder how to get
to the same place in one world as you have been in the other, but many of
the puzzles are "gimme" puzzles, because the game insultingly spells out the
solution for you as if you're not only too dumb to understand how to solve
it, but also too dumb to know when you've solved it and must be told. Other
puzzles are much more subtle and clever, notably some of the morph ball
sequences.

Also, the Light and Dark Beams are generic and not as fun or interesting as
the Wave and Ice Beams they replaced. The ammo system is a dose of reality,
but mis-placed in a game where enemies drop "powerups" and doors are
weapon-specific (how does anyone but Samus get through them?).
That bit of reality would have been more welcome in other aspects of the
game. For example, the game introduces some and re-uses other types of door
locks. Most of them are door "covers" and must be broken or keyed open only
once, leaving the "normal" door behind that can be activated by any weapon.
That should be the case with ALL doors, rather than leaving 3 other types
that are weapon-specific, which is annoying and unnecessary. The game's
system of using acquired abilities to access new areas is time-honored but
never gets old, but a "Light Beam Lock" would accomplish that as well as a
"Light Beam Door" that must be shot with the Light Beam every time rather
than just once. And the re-appearing enemies, though they do change over
the course of the game in some areas, could benefit from a little
randomization, even controlled randomization among a couple of enemies
and/or placement (especially the War Wasp nests).

On the other hand, weapon-specific enemies are mostly gone, replaced by
enemies defeatable with any weapon but weaker against a specific one.
That's very welcome--more believable and open-ended while also being more
challenging, since you won't immediately know which weapon is THE weapon you
must use.

The story is nothing more than it has to be to justify the gameplay. In
other words, it's bad. Dark Samus is a dumb idea, and not only that, but
she is neither explained for those who might not have seen the last game's
hidden ending, nor is she further revealed for those who did see it and
wonder what she is, why she's there, etc. And her use as an antagonist
draws the story away from the completely uncharacterized (other than "evil")
Ing and poorly characterized (in comparison with the Chozo) Luminoth, and
also away from the Space Pirates, whose logs drove the story in Metroid
Prime 1, but who are only incidental enemies here, and who are completely
forgotten long before the end of the game.

The story is told mostly the same way as before--through brief cutscenes and
from scanning the environment. It works fine, but can become monotonous.
There is one time in the game, though, when scanning a log triggers a
cutscene. I felt that worked well, and I would have loved to see other key
scans played out in video. And the logs of the soldiers and key Luminoth
could have been audio logs, which would have made much more sense than
reading a trooper's log that says "Agh! What's that? No! Don't--". That one
cutscene--the only one not set in the present--was a hint of lost potential.

The enemies are numerous and varied, much more so than in most games.
They're well drawn and well animated. The re-use or re-naming of some feels
cheap, but the complete lineup of characters is huge and diverse, and very
satisfying.

The boss battles are a highlight, of course, and they're mostly very well
done. A couple have stages that are longer than they should be, but on the
whole the bosses are challenging but not too frustrating, and my only real
complaint is that some of them have multiple stages or even body parts that
must be scanned to get 100% on your Logbook. That is a cheap trick, and to
reach the end of the game and find that you didn't scan a "stunned Boss
head" when there are already FOUR entries for that boss seems completely
unfair. But when you're not paranoid that you might miss a scan, the boss
fights are a blast.

The game is paced over a kind of exponential curve, with the difficulty
increasing as your skills and abilities do, and it's a very back-loaded game
in the powerup department--just when you think you must be closing in on the
end, you gain several more abilities and therefore new areas to explore.
It's a lengthy game, even more so if you turn off the Hint System (on by
default). With that off, it took me 35 hours to beat the game with 100%.

The multiplayer mode is mildly entertaining at best, forgettable at worst.
It has potential that is wasted by there being no options at all (the option
to turn on or off each powerup would have been a huge improvement, since
some of them are randomly picked, impossible to turn off, and useless--a
terrible combination). I'm predicting this mode will be ignored by most,
and that is what I'm doing as well.

In the end, I rate this game as dead even with the first, and I consider
that possibly the best game of this console generation--certainly it is in
the areas of art direction, immersiveness and level design. The good and
bad in Metroid Prime 2's additions nets out as a slight improvement, I feel,
but in its favor Prime 1 had the feeling of newness that a first-time 3D
installment of a franchise brings with it, and the originality of the
immersive visor interface and 3D morph ball puzzles. So that means I place
this game at the top of my list along with the best games ever made,
including others of the Metroid series.
Anonymous
March 27, 2005 6:57:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

In article <0fv1e.5830$H06.334@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net>, Leon Dexter wrote:
>
>I loved MP2, too. I don't want to type again stuff I've said before (at
>length) so there's a copy/paste below for you. I'm sure we'll see a sequel,
>but smart money's on a Revolution version, not a Gamecube one...which is
>fine by me as long as the Revolution's secret gimmick doesn't ruin it.

Well, I'll wait on Revolution for a while, I'd wager. It'll likely be the
first of the next gen consoles I get this time around though. Last time I
had a PS2 two years earlier. Since I haven't touched my PS2 since I got my
Cube, I'm returning to "Nintendo first" as a rule of thumb--the games are
just cooler. It will be doubly so if Revolution stays ahead of the PS3
graphically and horsepower-wise.

Please tell me they won't have a gameboy link in the Revolution. :)  I
didn't notice that in MP2, although there was one for MP1.

I agreed with your comment on the fact that they doors could have been
one-time-only covers for the light/dark/annihalator beams. Good thought.
Would have saved on ammo, as well.

I think somehow I managed to add 24hrs to my game (maybe I had it paused
for a day and forgot to re-load--I never turn off my console anymore), but
the whole time was 80hrs, so figure 55 hours or so for me. I finished with
76%, but I didn't care about having perfect scans--I only had 65% in MP1.

And I used a walkthrough like...twice, when I got stuck for a while.

Overall, I savoured that game.

Now I'm into Beyond Good and Evil. I'm hoping there'll be a sequel, if
what I've played so far is any indicator. It blows Zelda clearly away. My
only complaint is that sometimes the framerate seems a little sluggish--and
I'm not one of the framerate whores that bitches if it drops 1 to 59 from
60fps, believe me. It just feels slightly sluggish, although it may just
be the animation style--especially right after playing MP2.

Speaking of MP2 again--I though it -was- lame that Dark Samus (who I
-didn't- know where she came from, as I didn't see the sneak ending to
MP1--I'm guessing because of my average) just...glided around. They -had-
the animation available; she should have run all over rather than being
treated as a sprite and just sliding from place to place. That was the one
really cheap move I thought they made, if pressed for a criticism. The
reviews I read (about 4 of them) that cited the Dark Aether as boring and
dull were unwarranted, and didn't detract nearly as much as the reviews
would indicate. This is very similar to how PoP:WW got blasted in seven
reviews I read but I loved the darkness it had--and you didn't -have- to
learn the -whole- combat system there, either.

Good notes, Leon. Thanks for sharing!

--
Vorxion - Founder of the knocking-shop of the mind.

"You have it, you sell it, you've still got it--what's the difference?"
--Diana Trent, "Waiting for God", on why a modelling agency is really a
knocking-shop. Applied by me to the field of consulting. :) 

The Sci-Fi fan's solution to debt: Reverse the polarity on your charge card.
Related resources
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 2:14:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

Leon Dexter wrote:
> I loved MP2, too. I don't want to type again stuff I've said before (at
> length) so there's a copy/paste below for you. I'm sure we'll see a sequel,
> but smart money's on a Revolution version, not a Gamecube one...which is
> fine by me as long as the Revolution's secret gimmick doesn't ruin it.

I think people are worrying too much. Every Nintendo system has kept
what was good about the previous generation and added to it, what makes
you think the Revolution will be any different? Besides, they already
mentioned backwards compatability with the GC. That right there tells
you traditional gaming will still be implementable.

--

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O- !M !V PS-- PE++ Y+ PGP- t++>++++* 5? !X-- R- tv b++ DI+ D++
G e !h !r !y
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Anonymous
March 28, 2005 2:28:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

vorxion@knockingshopofthemind.com (Vorxion) writes:
> Overall, I savoured that game. [MP2]
>
> Now I'm into Beyond Good and Evil.

I am trying to decide if Resident Evil 4 is better than the Metriod
Primes. It's very different, but I can't stop playing it.

--
Cheers, The Rhythm is around me,
The Rhythm has control.
Ray Blaak The Rhythm is inside me,
rAYblaaK@STRIPCAPStelus.net The Rhythm has my soul.
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 4:30:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

"Vorxion" <vorxion@knockingshopofthemind.com> wrote in message

>
> Good notes, Leon. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks. Beyond Good & Evil rocks. It's a shame it didn't sell well, 'cause
I don't think it's getting a sequel...grrr. I want to know what the
studio's up to, though.

Dark Samus was annoying in a lot of ways. Floating was just one thing...and
I agree, she should walk. Metroid Prime walked...when it had a physical
form, at least. I hate Dark Samus, it's so lame. It can morph, so I wish
it would turn into something else. It'd be a lot cooler.

By the way, judging by the games you've listed as liking, I think you'd be
floored by Resident Evil 4.
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 8:59:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

"Jacob Oost" <zork@columbus.rr.com> wrote in message news:0ZJ1e.21462

> The DS is Virtual Boy, i.e. a portable system rushed to the market to
> steal thunder from Sony. Although, the DS has fifty-thousand times more
> potential than the VB.

I didn't think the Virtual Boy was rushed to market to steal thunder from
anyone. My understanding is that it wasn't liked much, even internally at
Nintendo, but that Gunpei Yokoi insisted on its release, and since he'd been
responsible for some of Nintendo's biggest successes, they let him do it.
And when it bombed, he quit--for reasons unrelated to it, naturally. I
wonder if they let it through in order to give him enough rope to hang
himself.



> Nintendo knows their next console is super-important (I'd argue that GC
> was merely a placeholder for their next console, a way of staying in the
> console market, building relations with third-parties, etc., that's
> always been my feeling). They're not going to get stupid all of a sudden.

I don't know, we'll see. They've done plenty of stupid things lately. They
refuse to learn from their past successes, and often refuse to listen to
their fanbase as well. I hope they do well--they're my favorite videogame
company--but they've made plenty of mistakes.
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 11:52:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

In article <VeI1e.559$x4.338@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net>, Leon Dexter wrote:
>Thanks. Beyond Good & Evil rocks. It's a shame it didn't sell well, 'cause
>I don't think it's getting a sequel...grrr. I want to know what the
>studio's up to, though.

I was hoping we'd get a sequel as well. Weird thing about that game is
that it's really flaky about which controller it wants to use. Sometimes
it uses controller 1, other times it seems to want controller 2 and
entirely ignores #1. (I have two wavebird transceivers plugged in.) I
don't think it's my Cube, either, as I just got done with like what, 80hrs+
of MP2 with no ill effects? And I can use the wavebird on port 1 and use
the system menu to the point of starting the game--and then it wants #2 and
ignores #1--sometimes. It's weird. But it's definitely software since #1
works until the English/Spanish selection. That, and I got crashed once in
a slo-mo death rotation where nothing would respond except inventory. A
little extra QA would have been good.

>By the way, judging by the games you've listed as liking, I think you'd be
>floored by Resident Evil 4.

Except that while I loved Eternal Darkness, I really, -really- disliked
RE:CVX on the PS2, and Nemesis wasn't really good either. I dislike the UI
for the RE series, as well as the stilted feeling of the gameplay with the
room traversal. Limited inventory slots, lousy controls, etc... They'd
have had to change -so- much about RE for RE4 for me to like it, I doubt
they went that far...

--
Vorxion - Founder of the knocking-shop of the mind.

"You have it, you sell it, you've still got it--what's the difference?"
--Diana Trent, "Waiting for God", on why a modelling agency is really a
knocking-shop. Applied by me to the field of consulting. :) 

The Sci-Fi fan's solution to debt: Reverse the polarity on your charge card.
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 11:57:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

In article <0ZJ1e.21462$rL3.434@fe2.columbus.rr.com>, Jacob Oost wrote:
>
>Nintendo knows their next console is super-important (I'd argue that GC
>was merely a placeholder for their next console, a way of staying in the
>console market, building relations with third-parties, etc., that's
>always been my feeling). They're not going to get stupid all of a sudden.

I wouldn't say it was a placeholder. It was the first break from
cartridges (finally!) for one.

As for not getting stupid--you mean "again"? I mean, they -did- create
their own biggest competitor in the first place. The original PSX was
built around the failed CDROM that was one of two prototypes intended for
the SNES, from what I read. They got it done, Nintendo decided to scrap
it, and Sony ran with it to their own benefit. So I've read anyway. Then
there was the DD64 debacle. There was also the light gun and the robot for
the NES. They've had a long history of stupid moves and glaring
shortsightedness--including creating a broadband adapter for the Cube but
not really supporting it.

--
Vorxion - Founder of the knocking-shop of the mind.

"You have it, you sell it, you've still got it--what's the difference?"
--Diana Trent, "Waiting for God", on why a modelling agency is really a
knocking-shop. Applied by me to the field of consulting. :) 

The Sci-Fi fan's solution to debt: Reverse the polarity on your charge card.
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 3:36:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

Leon Dexter wrote:
> I didn't think the Virtual Boy was rushed to market to steal thunder from
> anyone.

Then I guess you weren't paying attention. :-) It was obvious to
pretty much everybody that Virtual Boy needed at least another six
months of R&D (and a change from the color red to something
else...ANYTHING else) before it was releasable. And even Nintendo's
engineers and designers, who know more about playability than anybody
else, must have noticed that the system wasn't exactly portable or
comfortable to use.

> My understanding is that it wasn't liked much, even internally at
> Nintendo, but that Gunpei Yokoi insisted on its release, and since he'd been
> responsible for some of Nintendo's biggest successes, they let him do it.
> And when it bombed, he quit--for reasons unrelated to it, naturally. I
> wonder if they let it through in order to give him enough rope to hang
> himself.

He quit because he was basically put in a tiny corner office and given
nothing to do. That is the Japanese way of saying "We're keeping you on
staff but you screwed up and we're keeping you out of the loop." The
"Ultra 64" wasn't going to be ready for at least another year, everybody
knew that, and with two major competing systems coming out, Nintendo had
to do something to keep their name out there (mindshare is important).

> I don't know, we'll see. They've done plenty of stupid things lately. They
> refuse to learn from their past successes, and often refuse to listen to
> their fanbase as well. I hope they do well--they're my favorite videogame
> company--but they've made plenty of mistakes.

I don't think they've done many stupid things lately. I think they've
done a lot of things right that they did wrong in the NES, SNES, and N64
eras. They've been quietly rebuilding relations with key Japanese and
Western third-parties, they've been observing PS2's and X-Box's online
systems to see what works and what doesn't (as gamers, it seems like
*everybody* is playing online but in reality most PS2 and X-Box gamers
are *not* gaming online; many, many people still don't have broadband).

--

----- BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK -----
Version 3.1
GAT d? !s !a C++++ UL+ P L++ E- W+ N+ o-- K- w--
O- !M !V PS-- PE++ Y+ PGP- t++>++++* 5? !X-- R- tv b++ DI+ D++
G e !h !r !y
...... END GEEK CODE BLOCK ----
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 4:09:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

"Leon Dexter" <leondexterNOSPAM@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:EaM1e.773$x4.355@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> "Jacob Oost" <zork@columbus.rr.com> wrote in message news:0ZJ1e.21462
>
>> The DS is Virtual Boy, i.e. a portable system rushed to the market to
>> steal thunder from Sony. Although, the DS has fifty-thousand times more
>> potential than the VB.
>
> I didn't think the Virtual Boy was rushed to market to steal thunder from
> anyone. My understanding is that it wasn't liked much, even internally at
> Nintendo, but that Gunpei Yokoi insisted on its release, and since he'd
> been
> responsible for some of Nintendo's biggest successes, they let him do it.
> And when it bombed, he quit--for reasons unrelated to it, naturally. I
> wonder if they let it through in order to give him enough rope to hang
> himself.

Actually, the generally spread story is that Gumpei Yokoi hated the thing
too, but Yamauchi insisted that he get SOMETHING out before the 64... And
then they forced him out.
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 5:53:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

vorxion@knockingshopofthemind.com (Vorxion) writes:
> Limited inventory slots, lousy controls, etc... They'd
> have had to change -so- much about RE for RE4 for me to like it, I doubt
> they went that far...

These are exactly the areas that they did improve, and is what everyone is
raving about, including the execellent graphics.

RE naysayers seem to be agreeing that RE4 is much improved.

Me, I have never played the old ones, so I am not qualified to compare, but I
love RE4. And I have never been a fan of the horror/survivor genre. From the
comments I encounter I believe I would have hated the old RE games myself.

RE4 is at least worth a rent, in my opinion. I was hooked in 5 minutes and
went out to buy it the next day.

--
Cheers, The Rhythm is around me,
The Rhythm has control.
Ray Blaak The Rhythm is inside me,
rAYblaaK@STRIPCAPStelus.net The Rhythm has my soul.
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 6:41:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

"Jacob Oost" <zork@columbus.rr.com> wrote in message
news:Ex02e.21667$rL3.13466@fe2.columbus.rr.com...
> Leon Dexter wrote:
> > I didn't think the Virtual Boy was rushed to market to steal thunder
from
> > anyone.
>
> Then I guess you weren't paying attention. :-) It was obvious to
> pretty much everybody that Virtual Boy needed at least another six
> months of R&D (and a change from the color red to something
> else...ANYTHING else) before it was releasable. And even Nintendo's
> engineers and designers, who know more about playability than anybody
> else, must have noticed that the system wasn't exactly portable or
> comfortable to use.

No, I agree with all that, it's just that I didn't think they were trying to
steal anyone's thunder. I never considered the Virtual Boy a competitor to
home systems, and obviously the general public didn't.


> I don't think they've done many stupid things lately. I think they've
> done a lot of things right that they did wrong in the NES, SNES, and N64
> eras. They've been quietly rebuilding relations with key Japanese and
> Western third-parties, they've been observing PS2's and X-Box's online
> systems to see what works and what doesn't (as gamers, it seems like
> *everybody* is playing online but in reality most PS2 and X-Box gamers
> are *not* gaming online; many, many people still don't have broadband).

Stupid things Nintendo has done lately (my list, unfortunately still
growing):
1. Repeatedly knocking online gaming--ignoring it would be prudent if they
weren't going to do it. Knocking it is stupid.
2. The GBA link cable. Stupid enough by itself, but cramming it down
everyone's throat is worse.
3. Publicly stating (repeatedly) that gaming hardware doesn't need to
advance. Despite repeated clarification, and true or not, that was dumb.
4. Whoring out Mario for sports games.
5. Making Link uber-ugly. I'm not talking about the cell-shading, it looked
great. I'm talking about the nasty character design, resulting in the
worst-selling home console Zelda game to date.
6. Promising LAN play for Gamecube games, then slaughtering it--not to
mention not doing it after just 3 games. In LAN mode of Mario Kart, you
can't choose your character. None of the 3 LAN-enabled games has any kind
of multiplayer Grand Prix mode.
7. Leaving out buttons in the Gamecube controller design. By not having
pressable sticks or a left-side "Z" button, Nintendo alienated
cross-platform developers. I mean, alienated them more than they already
were.
8. Not having demo discs in Nintendo Power. Both of Nintendo's competitors
have magazines with demos, which is a great way to generate interest and
sell games.
9. Not selling Component cables for the Gamecube in stores. They're only
available on nintendo.com. And now they've removed the port from
Gamecubes--because of poor sales! "Less than 1% of Cube owners have
Component cables", they say. I'm guessing that "less than 1%" of their
controller or other accessories' sales come from nintendo.com as well.
10. Removing the component-out port from Gamecubes--just in time to
discredit all of their clarifications of what they meant by "better
technology is not important".
11. Super Mario Sunshine's ad campaign. Those ads were so appalling, I
guarantee they drove away customers--and sunk Nintendo further into the
"kiddie" image they're cursed with.

Shall I go on? These are the best, but I've got more.
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 7:54:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

Leon Dexter wrote:
> Stupid things Nintendo has done lately (my list, unfortunately still
> growing):
> 1. Repeatedly knocking online gaming--ignoring it would be prudent if they
> weren't going to do it. Knocking it is stupid.

Well, in a way, they are right. Online gaming on consoles is in its
infancy right now, it just isn't a dominant force in this generation.
But they are talking about online gaming for the next generation.

> 2. The GBA link cable. Stupid enough by itself, but cramming it down
> everyone's throat is worse.

It's not being crammed down anyone's throat. I don't care for it, but a
lot of people use it, and there's nothing forcing you to use it.

> 3. Publicly stating (repeatedly) that gaming hardware doesn't need to
> advance. Despite repeated clarification, and true or not, that was dumb.

I think you're misframing their words, they are saying graphics are so
good now that getting in a tech specs war is pointless and doesn't help
gaming. I totally agree, how is this stupid? The next generation of
consoles can have graphics that look truly real, but how will that
enable new kinds of games to be developed? It won't. We need a
revolution in the way games are played, in the controller.

> 4. Whoring out Mario for sports games.

I don't like the way they jam their established franchises into every
game also. But it's hardly crime of the century.

> 5. Making Link uber-ugly. I'm not talking about the cell-shading, it looked
> great. I'm talking about the nasty character design, resulting in the
> worst-selling home console Zelda game to date.

I think WW sold in numbers in proportion to the GC's user-base.
Besides, I like the look. It's a matter of taste. Some people think
Viewtiful Joe was a beautiful game, I thought it was ugly.

> 6. Promising LAN play for Gamecube games, then slaughtering it--not to
> mention not doing it after just 3 games. In LAN mode of Mario Kart, you
> can't choose your character. None of the 3 LAN-enabled games has any kind
> of multiplayer Grand Prix mode.

LAN gameplay is not much of a concern for me, so I don't care about this
one. I just want online Mario Kart, and it looks like I'm getting it.
I'm happy.

> 7. Leaving out buttons in the Gamecube controller design. By not having
> pressable sticks or a left-side "Z" button, Nintendo alienated
> cross-platform developers. I mean, alienated them more than they already
> were.

The GC controller has one more shoulder button than the X-Box
controller. And who cares about no pressable sticks? I don't mind it.
I think you're nit-picking here.

> 8. Not having demo discs in Nintendo Power. Both of Nintendo's competitors
> have magazines with demos, which is a great way to generate interest and
> sell games.

This I agree on, Nintendo needs to hand out demo discs like candy, and
*also* DVD videos (mini-DVDs or standard) so that non-GC owners can
check out what's available on the GC. They can't just market demos only
to their installed base, they have to evangelize. This is one area
where Nintendo needs to be more aggressive and stop acting like every
last gamer is a Nintendo fan. They need to convert the non-Nintendo freaks.

> 9. Not selling Component cables for the Gamecube in stores. They're only
> available on nintendo.com. And now they've removed the port from
> Gamecubes--because of poor sales! "Less than 1% of Cube owners have
> Component cables", they say. I'm guessing that "less than 1%" of their
> controller or other accessories' sales come from nintendo.com as well.

This I agree on, component and HD compatibility will be more and more of
an issue, but with the ribbing they're taking in the press over this I
think they'd be willing to fork over the 90 cents and include component
out on Revolution (which is supposed to hook up to a computer monitor,
so that may mean firewire or something). But again, it's not the
dumbest thing ever. At least GC consoles stand the test of time, unlike
certain other consoles I could name....

> 10. Removing the component-out port from Gamecubes--just in time to
> discredit all of their clarifications of what they meant by "better
> technology is not important".

Didn't you mention this in number nine?

> 11. Super Mario Sunshine's ad campaign. Those ads were so appalling, I
> guarantee they drove away customers--and sunk Nintendo further into the
> "kiddie" image they're cursed with.

I 100% agree. Super Mario 64 had a very cool ad campaign, so what the
heck were they thinking? TV advertising has always been a weakness of
Nintendo (just read Game Over for descriptions of some very horrible
early NOA ads that used company staff in place of real actors), what
they need to do is stop micromanaging their advertising people and let
them market the games in the most effective way. NOA needs more
autonomy (and for that matter, so do Nintendos software partners).

>
> Shall I go on? These are the best, but I've got more.
>
>

Yes, go on. I think most of these are nit-picks though (which isn't to
say they are invalid).

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Anonymous
March 29, 2005 8:07:11 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

Vorxion wrote:
> I wouldn't say it was a placeholder. It was the first break from
> cartridges (finally!) for one.
>
> As for not getting stupid--you mean "again"? I mean, they -did- create
> their own biggest competitor in the first place. The original PSX was
> built around the failed CDROM that was one of two prototypes intended for
> the SNES, from what I read.

Not entirely true. The name "PlayStation" and the fact that it was
CD-based were about the only things the scrapped SNES add-on and the
Sony console had in common. Besides, most analysts (who do their
homework) seem to agree that even if Nintendo never had any doings with
Sony, they still would have released the PS1 or other such system and
had similar success. The SNES add-on wouldn't have been very good for
Nintendo anyway (only good for Sony), they were right to abandon it.

> They got it done, Nintendo decided to scrap
> it, and Sony ran with it to their own benefit. So I've read anyway. Then
> there was the DD64 debacle.

Every company has something like this. Look at the PSX (the new PS2
with a hard drive in Japan, not the PSone). It's a big failure.
Anyway, as carts got bigger, there was less need for the DD64, it made
sense to phase it out.

> There was also the light gun and the robot for
> the NES.

Come on, who didn't play duck hunt?

> They've had a long history of stupid moves and glaring
> shortsightedness--including creating a broadband adapter for the Cube but
> not really supporting it.
>

They left that up to third parties. Besides, I think onling gaming
isn't much of a factor in this console generation, it's not like on PCs.
Nintendo is waiting things out to see what works and what doesn't.
They are already promising free wireless gaming with the DS, I can't
wait to see what kind of network facilities they are offering on the
Revolution. Nintendo knows that in the next generation, online gaming
will only get more and more popular. Free online gaming will be a huge
draw to Revolution. People are always criticizing Nintendo. Shouldn't
they be criticizing the companies that are taking huge losses instead of
the profitable ones. :-) Marketshare isn't everything.


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Anonymous
March 29, 2005 4:10:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

"Jacob Oost" <zork@columbus.rr.com> wrote in message news:1k42e.2782

> > Stupid things Nintendo has done lately (my list, unfortunately still
> > growing):
> > 1. Repeatedly knocking online gaming--ignoring it would be prudent if
they
> > weren't going to do it. Knocking it is stupid.
>
> Well, in a way, they are right. Online gaming on consoles is in its
> infancy right now, it just isn't a dominant force in this generation.
> But they are talking about online gaming for the next generation.

Yes, they are at least partly right, but being so hostile toward it publicly
is stupid. They alienate the public enough by not doing it when it's such a
hot subject (despite its relatively low numbers).


>
> > 2. The GBA link cable. Stupid enough by itself, but cramming it down
> > everyone's throat is worse.
>
> It's not being crammed down anyone's throat. I don't care for it, but a
> lot of people use it, and there's nothing forcing you to use it.

There's plenty of game content that you can't unlock without it, often also
requiring a particular GBA game. And there are games that require it.
That's okay if they offer something you couldn't do without it (Four
Swords), but look at Crystal Chronicles--the game was ruined by its poor
controls due to lack of buttons, and for what? Separate inventory screens.
Square's fault, but it was Nintendo who insisted the game use the GBA link
in exchange for partial funding.


>
> > 3. Publicly stating (repeatedly) that gaming hardware doesn't need to
> > advance. Despite repeated clarification, and true or not, that was
dumb.
>
> I think you're misframing their words, they are saying graphics are so
> good now that getting in a tech specs war is pointless and doesn't help
> gaming. I totally agree, how is this stupid?

It's not me misframing their words, it was every gaming media site and
magazine out there. Yes, I know that's not exactly what they said, and that
what they did say is completely true--graphics don't make a great game. But
saying something like that when you're talking about the next round of
consoles makes it sound like your console won't have great graphics--and
that's exactly how everyone took it.


>
> > 4. Whoring out Mario for sports games.
>
> I don't like the way they jam their established franchises into every
> game also. But it's hardly crime of the century.

I didn't say it was. I said it was stupid.


>
> > 5. Making Link uber-ugly. I'm not talking about the cell-shading, it
looked
> > great. I'm talking about the nasty character design, resulting in the
> > worst-selling home console Zelda game to date.
>
> I think WW sold in numbers in proportion to the GC's user-base.
> Besides, I like the look. It's a matter of taste. Some people think
> Viewtiful Joe was a beautiful game, I thought it was ugly.

There was a pretty big backlash to Link's look. And yes, WW sold in
proportion to the GC base, but that's just my point. Past Zelda games have
been system-sellers. Wind Waker didn't move systems the way that the
original Zelda, Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time did.



> > 6. Promising LAN play for Gamecube games, then slaughtering it--not to
> > mention not doing it after just 3 games. In LAN mode of Mario Kart, you
> > can't choose your character. None of the 3 LAN-enabled games has any
kind
> > of multiplayer Grand Prix mode.
>
> LAN gameplay is not much of a concern for me, so I don't care about this
> one. I just want online Mario Kart, and it looks like I'm getting it.
> I'm happy.

I do care about LAN play--it'd be my choice over online any day (and it
looks like I'm getting it, as the DS wireless setup, and apparently
Revolution's, too, are LAN by default, and online through wireless
hotspots). But care or not, promising things and then not delivering is
dumb.


> > 7. Leaving out buttons in the Gamecube controller design. By not having
> > pressable sticks or a left-side "Z" button, Nintendo alienated
> > cross-platform developers. I mean, alienated them more than they
already
> > were.
>
> The GC controller has one more shoulder button than the X-Box
> controller. And who cares about no pressable sticks? I don't mind it.
> I think you're nit-picking here.

The controller has four fewer buttons than both the PS2 and Xbox
controllers, no matter whether they're on the shoulders or somewhere else.
And I do care about pressable sticks, they're useful in any genre that
requires you to use both sticks, because then you don't have to stop aiming
to press a face button. Shoulder buttons are good that way, too.


> > 8. Not having demo discs in Nintendo Power. Both of Nintendo's
competitors
> > have magazines with demos, which is a great way to generate interest and
> > sell games.
>
> This I agree on, Nintendo needs to hand out demo discs like candy, and
> *also* DVD videos (mini-DVDs or standard) so that non-GC owners can
> check out what's available on the GC. They can't just market demos only
> to their installed base, they have to evangelize. This is one area
> where Nintendo needs to be more aggressive and stop acting like every
> last gamer is a Nintendo fan. They need to convert the non-Nintendo
freaks.
>
> > 9. Not selling Component cables for the Gamecube in stores. They're
only
> > available on nintendo.com. And now they've removed the port from
> > Gamecubes--because of poor sales! "Less than 1% of Cube owners have
> > Component cables", they say. I'm guessing that "less than 1%" of their
> > controller or other accessories' sales come from nintendo.com as well.
>
> This I agree on, component and HD compatibility will be more and more of
> an issue, but with the ribbing they're taking in the press over this I
> think they'd be willing to fork over the 90 cents and include component
> out on Revolution (which is supposed to hook up to a computer monitor,
> so that may mean firewire or something). But again, it's not the
> dumbest thing ever. At least GC consoles stand the test of time, unlike
> certain other consoles I could name....

It's pretty close! Not selling your product in stores? Come on! WTF?

>
> > 10. Removing the component-out port from Gamecubes--just in time to
> > discredit all of their clarifications of what they meant by "better
> > technology is not important".
>
> Didn't you mention this in number nine?

I mentioned it, but I put it again because it's another example of the
"anti-technology" image they seem to want to paint themselves with.


>
> > 11. Super Mario Sunshine's ad campaign. Those ads were so appalling, I
> > guarantee they drove away customers--and sunk Nintendo further into the
> > "kiddie" image they're cursed with.
>
> I 100% agree. Super Mario 64 had a very cool ad campaign, so what the
> heck were they thinking? TV advertising has always been a weakness of
> Nintendo (just read Game Over for descriptions of some very horrible
> early NOA ads that used company staff in place of real actors), what
> they need to do is stop micromanaging their advertising people and let
> them market the games in the most effective way. NOA needs more
> autonomy (and for that matter, so do Nintendos software partners).
>
> >
> > Shall I go on? These are the best, but I've got more.
> >
> >
>
> Yes, go on. I think most of these are nit-picks though (which isn't to
> say they are invalid).

Number 12: Stating again and again that games need to become simplistic.
They've parroted this until stories started running that there will be no
buttons on Revolution controllers. No buttons! Hardly likely, of course,
but it shows again the kind of anti-technology, anti-gamer image they're
cultivating. No gamer wants to be told they're being abandoned to court the
non-gaming masses, but Nintendo keeps saying it.
And the one-button control scheme ruined Kirby Air Ride. It doesn't sound
like it'll be the last game.

Number 13: Tiny memory cards. The default Cube memory card is 1/16th the
size of a PS2 or Xbox card. Which again sticks it to cross-platform
developers. Even though they've now released larger cards, you can never
completely fix something like this. Add to this--not using SD cards for
memory cards, which they announced pre-launch. We could all have 1 gig
cards by now, if we wanted. The SD card adaptor did come out in Japan, but
is only compatible with one game, if I recall.

Number 14: No pack-in games! I know, they do make packages during the
holidays sometimes. That's great. But normally (like now), they don't even
put a demo disc in with a new Gamecube. I know there are reasons not to do
this, but considering they once had dramatic success with franchise game
packages, they should. Once upon a time, they recovered marketshare against
the Genesis by having Zelda, Donkey Kong, Starfox, and other SNES "packages"
which also included Super Mario World and a coupon for Super Mario
All-Stars. Now, nothing. Not even a free copy of Luigi's Mansion or Wave
Race, games which have long since stopped producing any revenue. And like I
said, no demos.

Number 15: Higher license fees. This isn't widely known, but Nintendo
charges higher fees to 3rd parties for making Gamecube games than Sony and
Microsoft do for their consoles. Or at least, they did until about 1.5-2
years ago. At that time, they lowered their license fees (at the same time
they put in a new fee structure for budget-priced new releases), but I'm not
sure if they matched their competitors or not. I know they didn't go lower.
I know, you'll want a link for this one, but I don't have it. IGN ran a
story on the new structure when they implemented it, and I
have--somewhere--a .wav file of a conference call with developers where one
of them asked about their higher fees.
Anyway, it's not only stupid, it's arrogant.

Number 16: Letting their 2nd-party studios walk. This one's tricky, and
borderline. Rare, Left Field, and Silicon Knights are all gone. That's
okay--the announcements hurt more than the fact of it, particularly Rare's.
In place of that, Nintendo seems to like single-game deals with outside
studios (F-Zero GX, Donkey Konga, Starfox Assault, etc). None of those has
worked particularly well, whereas Retro (Metroid Prime), who they've brought
completely on board, has generated good sales and exceptional acclaim.
Anyway, like I said, this one's borderline. What they've lost in this
exchange is the potential for new franchises, or exclusive non-franchise
games. Rare especially used to provide unique, non-franchise games, and did
a great job of it for the N64. Nintendo gets hit with being a "re-hash"
studio a lot, and they could use some studios like Rare these days. Or I
should say, Rare those days--their sale sure looks like a good decision in
retrospect. It almost happened with Capcom--the Big Five--but that fell
through rather embarrassingly, with zero of the big five remaining
exclusive.
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 2:43:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

In article <wAb2e.37$EE2.21@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net>, Leon Dexter wrote:
>Number 15: Higher license fees. This isn't widely known, but Nintendo
>charges higher fees to 3rd parties for making Gamecube games than Sony and
>Microsoft do for their consoles. Or at least, they did until about 1.5-2
>years ago. At that time, they lowered their license fees (at the same time
>they put in a new fee structure for budget-priced new releases), but I'm not
>sure if they matched their competitors or not. I know they didn't go lower.

A close friend, who works for Midway, told me that Nintendo's developer
support was a -joke- as well. If you call Sony or M$ for support, you
generally get 1) someone who can speak English, and 2) an answer--even if
it takes a while. If you call up Nintendo, you've got better than 50% odds
(I believe he said "most times") of being told, "We don't know."

Apparently their developer support is about as useless as tits on a
bull--at least as perceived by some developers. I was told -they- don't
even seem to know what their own tools can and can't do at times.

Add that to the higher fees (wasn't that tied to the Nintendo Seal of
Approval at some point in the past?), and you have a reason some developers
might pitch support for the console altogether--or at least be very wary of
launching new products aimed at the console.

--
Vorxion - Founder of the knocking-shop of the mind.

"You have it, you sell it, you've still got it--what's the difference?"
--Diana Trent, "Waiting for God", on why a modelling agency is really a
knocking-shop. Applied by me to the field of consulting. :) 

The Sci-Fi fan's solution to debt: Reverse the polarity on your charge card.
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 4:26:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube (More info?)

Jacob Oost <zork@columbus.rr.com> writes:
> If Tetrisphere was slowing the system, then that is sloppy
> programming. And MIPS chips are RISC. N64 was drastically more powerful
> than the PS1, but unfortunately by using carts they made everybody rely
> on low-res textures so games often looked blurry, muddy, and dull.

Yup, well put. I do note, however, that many Nintendo-produced games
for the gamecube seem to still have the same problem (low-res
unimpressive textures) though clearly the gamecube is capable of much
better!

MIPS chips are not only RISC, but one of the original architectures that
helped introduce and prove the concept. It's a very nice architecture,
though seen through modern eyes it is dated in some (minor) ways.

-Miles
--
"Though they may have different meanings, the cries of 'Yeeeee-haw!' and
'Allahu akbar!' are, in spirit, not actually all that different."
!