Part of the Nintendo Difference: E3 2001

As a follow-up to my previous E3 scan, here’s some subtle marketing Nintendo spread around E3 2001, again, on the back of the E3 Show Daily magazines. Checkout the “interesting” front covers, too, and maybe you’ll question how there could be any excitement for such an unappealing video game industry at the time (as presented by the magazine). “Doug Lowensteins’ State of the Industry 2000-2001 Report: IDSA findings indicate games are fully mainstream…” Yes!…? Wait, is that really a good thing or a bad thing?
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PieHaus Digest – Pro Daisy 2002

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”

Forza 5 – Doing It Wrong (The Next-Generation Illusion)

The first next-gen racing simulator is arriving this month, and it features less tracks and cars than the previous game. Why is that? Developer Turn 10 has said in order to be a “next-gen” experience, everything must be up to quality standards of detail.

“We found that we ship a game that has over 200 cars, and they’re all to this level of detail with huge diversity. It’s been a successful program for us, having the paid DLC. Those that don’t want it don’t have to get it, and those that want it can buy it. The season pass allows them to buy it as a subscription.”

That Season Pass costs $50 US and just includes cars, with the first pack arriving Day 1. Connect these two very large dots in front of us right now, and we have a game that is designed to exploit your wallet. The next-gen experience.

forza5legotyripofftoiletdeluxepass610

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Wii U Wii Mode Audio-Video Mishaps

It’s a good thing the big April Wuu update isn’t out yet, giving me a chance to complain about stuff while it’s valid.  Let’s briefly revisit some of Wuu’s non-features, or why I didn’t fall for that “trap”: never performed that permanent “system transfer” of my Wii data as soon as I got my Wuu. As with any dangerous entertainment content migration of this sort, I had to find out: does Wuu’s “Wii Mode” retain all the features the Wii did?

cooldude-A

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A Message From Nintendo: Gotta Have Game

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?

e3daily2000_back

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Hey U – Give Me Real Controls

The Wii Remote & Nunchuk was last generation’s innovation in violence – still strong today, still better than the competition. This was the method of controlling the last true console Resident Evil experience the world would know: The Umbrella Chronicles.

For the previous console cycle, there’s a seldom-stated lesson Capcom briefly learned (see RE4:Wii) then immediately forgot (see their “HD” games): if you’re pretending to KILL in a video game, do it properly. It’s just a shame we don’t have to pretend anymore: modern games, such as Capcom’s premiere action series, have gotten so smart that they play themselves (step aside Super Guide). The games don’t hesitate to handle much of the excitement on their own, and work hard to convince us that quick-button-context-flashback-retrospection-cutscene was an artistic achievement (“Best QTE of 2012,” is there such a thing?). Opponents of violent gaming love to point out how video games “teach kids how to kill”, but I know that’s rubbish cuz most games suck at that, especially as more games suck at being games. It’s supposed to be like watching a movie, right? Why not an effing GAME? Thru these last couple generations of analog masturbation, popular shooters have more or less surpassed “REALISTIC EVERYTHING” – nevermind the gameplay. And in a (not really) fun twist, “more realism” cheerfully graduated to “more Hollywood”; new gameplay became movies that look like gameplay. “Wow, it’s like playing a game,” – thanks, my confidence in the new generation is at an all-time high.

Before proceeding, I want to be clear that the major ideas in the blocks of text below don’t necessarily apply to every genre or gameplay mechanic. Many of our favorites are derived from things like tennis, team sports, board games, gambling, mazes, vehicles, boxing puppets, and Donkey Kong – there’s no reason to mess with certain core elements. However, TANGIBLE VIRTUAL VIOLENCE has a raw, engrossing quality that the majority of the Industry has not been interested in embracing for some time; fluid human movements seek the spillage of human fluid, yet they insist gamers don’t like movement and just seek Mountain Dew. Trapped in the game industry’s electronic erection contest, the prestigious computing “arms race”, we continue enduring their fake war: fake gameplay and fake value. Cash and companies continue to perish in the high-priced struggle to show violence; rarely do we see genuine imagination towards playing violence. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can still search for decency. Aim off-screen and raise your real arms to rediscover what’s in front of you: the gameplay in your hands.

/wii joke

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Darksiders – 5 games in 1

A year ago I tried to get into Darksiders, but only made it a few hours. A lot of things about the game rubbed me the wrong way. Namely the forced patch, broken graphics, and brain-dead combat. I decided to give it another chance, because I really want to be excited for the Wii U sequel. I just beat the game on Normal and there’s a lot more to it than I initially thought, but it’s still a crappy game.

Continue reading “Darksiders – 5 games in 1”