Forget all the modern gaming crap for a moment and let me offer a slice of my life leading up to the Casual Gamer I am today.
Let’s go back, umm 13 years, when times were simpler, and gaming was getting interesting and taking a turn for the worst at the same time (bloating budgets, wannabe movies, dumb-downed gameplay, with a corrupt and/or unskilled gaming press shoving it all down your throat; you saw what happened). OK, off-topic, I mean… just trying to say this is an informal snapshot of life surrounding that hobby; a new feature about old stuff. Continue reading “PieHaus Digest – Pro Daisy 2002”
This scan is from the back of E3 Show Daily: Day 3 from E3 2000. It’s not a product ad,
but a departing statement from Hiroshi Yamauchi just before he retired (maybe). Almost 13 years later (that’s more than TWO Wii generations duct-taped together), does it still apply today?
Whelp, it’s already here. On November 18th, the Wii U ushered in a new generation of Nintendo hardware, and I’m very excited. Once again, we have a new controller that will deliver different experiences – but as we all know only niche developers and Nintendo will do something about it. Third parties? Haha don’t make me laugh, seriously.
Imagine a game that took pity on you. The game knew you were down on your luck, you didn’t really know what you were doing. That things weren’t working out with your new girlfriend and you felt you couldn’t relate to friends anymore and your self esteem was at an all time low. A game that would let you sleep with her win. After the mild exhileration you felt worse afterwards. Bejeweled 2+Blitz is such game.
We just held a party at this house. Pre-drinks included some sort of Wii Fit Plus championship. It was Ok. Obviously I didn’t take part because Wii Fit Plus is an uncool, casual, kiddy extravaganza, and any fun the party guests were having was just hollow, fake fun, compared to the hardcore gaming experiences they could be having. Their laughter, hollow, fake laughter. Obviously such shallow gameplay couldn’t hold them so we had to walk to the pub to continue the night. We arrived at the pub and they said they were closing, the bottleshop was still open so we bought a couple more cartons and walked home, knowing only the despair of Wuhu Island awaited us.
Upon returning, the unwashed masses returned to their Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus, gleaming whatever hollow enjoyment they could out of the household’s two Wii boxes; the second Wii, purchased by my casual gaming housemate, symbolising the kind of callous opulence Australians lived in during the naive days of Emperor Rudd and his economic stimulus packages. The other hardcore gamers and I discussed hardcore subjects like international communism, capitalist-anachronism, and the scourge of democracy in holding back this society from ideological purity. But as the beer and goon ran dry, so too did the crowd thin out, the short lived thrills of Wii Basketball running thin. Desperate for companionship, and the cheeseburgers retrieved from the mainstream, 24 hour Mcdonalds, the hardcore gamers and I went back to the living room.
“What silly game are the bongo drums for?” asked the most beautiful girl in attendance. I glanced over at the gimmicky, novelty plastic drums and fished out the game so desperately attached to them, so obviously strangled at the design stage and shoehorned with ridiculous sound based controls.
There are so many ways you could demean this game.
In a shock opinion that’s shocked a few people somewhere, some guy who used to work on stuff has declared this the future of gaming,
Not only is this the future, but it’s good enough to kick Nintendo out of the videogame market. How does that work, you say? Free flash games, a threat to Nintendo’s business? Well Trip Hawkins, the man behind Digital Chocolate, makes some very good points. He’s come out and criticised Nintendo for not using the world wide web and creating companies with open platform game.. something.. or some shit. I don’t know what he’s f**king saying but it’s not good. This guy made the 3DO so he knows what he’s talking about. It all results in Nintendo going bankrupt and being forced into the dark age to build things out of scrap metal.
F**k it, no-one cares. I just wanted to use the headline.
After 2 slow years – more than 220 hours of inconsistent on-off indulgent gameplay – I had gotten to a desired level of satisfaction in Rune Factory: Frontier. Can’t quite say that I wasted lots of time, since I savored so much of it. Full of repetitive (but profitable) tasks, blushing faces, sexy voicework, and adorable chitchat, I consider this to be my “Animal Crossing”; a relaxed, low-intensity enjoyment of cleverly interconnected content that doesn’t get tossed out after the first-month’s internet hype has already died and found something new to whine about. My Game of the Years, indeed.
In one (real time) week of play (last month) did all the crazy stuff come crashing at the end of the game’s calendar year: got MARRIED on FISTMAS EVE, beat the MAIN QUEST, started another SPRING SEASON, skipped thru SPRING SEASON, and entered a world of brand new CUTE BATHING SUITS. While the timing was incredible, I didn’t exactly plan it this way (the bikinis had been the Top-Priority! above all else)(and I didn’t cheat my way out of Runey management, BILL). The rapid chain of rewards/events simply served to amplify the sense of accomplishment. So much hawtness in such a short time.
Below, I share my joy. (JUICY SUMMER TIME IMAGERY, AHOY)
Super Monkey Ball, the once great franchise that kept gamers up at night perfecting their scores and mastering levels, was dealt a serious blow when Step & Roll came out on the Wii. Gone was the challenge, along with any originality in the level design, and the fans and success were lost with it. The original two games sold over a million copies on the GameCube, praised for their challenging, refined gameplay. Then Banana Blitz made things even more intense with the addition of the jump button and precise Wii motion controls, and sold two million copies.
Step & Roll was next, and Sega decided to change things up. The game was designed to be as easy as possible, in an effort to attract new “casual” players. It completely bombed and didn’t even make a dent in the sales charts. After comparing the reception of these two approaches, you would think Sega would go back to the old, successful approach for Super Monkey Ball 3D. You’d be wrong.
I guess the timing is right to present the sequel to our Conduit/GoldenEye Wiimote Controls – my control settings for the first Conduit adapted to the sequel to The Conduit, which isn’t exactly The Conduit 2, but simply Conduit 2, a.k.a. DUKE NUKEM’s official return to video games. (The previous Note still applies, so keep those conditions in mind) My controls are geared toward an exploration/realism perspective, so it’s probably not the l337 onrine FPS’ing scheme suited to all those childish twitch-turning high-jumping strafe-running genre conventions that you were hoping to employ. I am raging infinity suns, but it’s not how I play shooty games.
Fortunately, this project includes somewhat less ranting and more explanation/analysis. Read on for screens/details and technical issues the gaming press probably didn’t mention in the reviews.