The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Nintend’oh!’

odsennds

Posted by Matt on May 16, 2011

-Late to the game, what with the TCAFness and all, but yes I know I was wrong about this. Well, at least the part where I wasn’t expecting a new Nintendo console. Well, it’s happening. Cool. I guess we’ll have something to look forward to at E3 this year. And with playable demos? A year before the thing is supposed to come out? Interesting.

-Look on that bar-type thing. You know, the one on the side. It has a ton of new links, because I just keep adding things to my Google Reader, and I want you to do it too!

-I remind you that this still exists, and is my pride and joy. Go.

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Posted by Matt on March 8, 2010

Now to finish the series.

Star Fox

It’s actually only been four years since the last Star Fox, but that one was on the DS and had stylus controls so everyone hated it. “We need another REAL Star Fox!” they will say. The last one closest to the older games came out 5 years ago, but it had on-foot missions, so they hated that too.
Essentially, what they want is a remake of the first two games (which is funny because 64 was essentially a remake of the first game) with Wiimote controls. But that doesn’t require a full disc-sized game (just like F-Zero), unless you want to make it pretty, which is what they also want. So Nintendo is pretty stuck when it comes to this series.
Not that I’m totally against it. Arcade shooters aren’t all that common today, with only a few (including, surprisingly, Nintendo themselves with Sin & Punishment 2) daring to do it. And the game isn’t a bad fit for Wiimote controls. With the Remote/Nunchuck set-up, you have the ability to give the crosshairs and ship movement more freedom, and hell, throw in shaking to do a barrel roll if you must. But of course, every fucking game on the planet could work with remote controls. There’s gotta be more to it to justify it.
How about online multiplayer? Maybe, but even a more robust system is more of an elaborate extra than a real innovation. Some might suggest making it more like Rogue Squadron, with mission-based levels and epic battles (isn’t that what Assault was? I don’t know, I didn’t play it)? That could work, although it seems to lose a bit of that arcade charm if it isn’t on-rails and just about shooting down as many Escherian spaceships as possible, although there’s nothing that would stop it from doing both.
This is a bit more difficult to think of, as there seems to be equal sway for both an advancement into more modern gameplay and retaining the classic simple gameplay system. And even then, is simply turning it mission-based a big enough leap to justify a completely new, big budget game? I don’t know.
Miyamoto has shown to secretly likes the franchise, and that the biggest hurdle the series faces is a lack of popularity in Japan, much like Metroid did. A swing towards more western markets could be good news for the series, and let’s not forget that the aforementioned S&P2 was made because the game was a pretty popular Virtual Console download all over the place, especially NA. So, while I don’t expect anything new for Star Fox anytime soon, it’s not totally impossible. And I can’t say for sure that there needs to be a whole lot of brainstorming done in order to make it worthy, although listening to the fans clamoring for regression may not be the best idea.
It’s an odd situation, this. Maybe even more odd than the situation for Pikmin.

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Posted by Matt on March 6, 2010

Continuing on the journey to madness:

Kid Icarus

Here it is: the big daddy of possible revivals. Considering that there hasn’t been a Kid Icarus game since 1991, one can understand why that is so. Also, the fact that as a Metroid-esque game centered on Greek mythology, it can provide something that is not normally found in most Nintendo games.
On one hand, there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for Nintendo to make another game bearing the Kid Icarus name; the original came out nearly 20 years ago, and the games only resonate with a small section of the gaming populace. The only reason to produce a new Kid Icarus game would be to please a few hardcore fans, and that’s about as niche as can be. As for my own feelings, I don’t think a game should ever come out just to shut up a real niche audience, especially when those resources could be used for more worthwhile projects.
Yet…yet there is something about KI that could make for a good game. As a myth buff, I kind of enjoy the Ancient-Greece-as-told-by-Nintendo style that the game offers (which is partially why the supposed Factor 5-developed concept art being tossed around did nothing for me: they just looked…so dour and generic). Considering that the major Greco-Roman-themed game these days is the juvenile God of War series, KI could provide an alternative Hellenism game (still juvenile, but in the innocent Nintendo way). A Zelda-style adventure game using the archery, flying, and multiple-worlds ideas featured in the original game could be pretty neat, actually.
Not that I ever expect the game to come out at this point, for reasons I already explained. But still, even those who hate the first game must admit there’s some potential there.

Pikmin

This series is in a slightly different position then the rest I have and will talk about, as Nintendo has already stated there is some level of development going on for a new Pikmin game. But that was two years ago, and there has been very little said about it since (except that it has been stalled as the EAD team has been sidetracked by a billion other projects). And who knows how much we should expect from statements that something is in the works – two years ago, they could have still been kicking ideas around and nothing more.
Pikmin is an odd series, as the original idea was pretty strong and didn’t immediately call out for a sequel. We got one anyway, and it actually did what sequels are supposed to do by taking the base elements of the first game and using them to make a different experience. If they are making a third game, it would rather disappointing for it to not follow in the previous game’s footsteps and do something a little different, although it seems most fans would enjoy something not terribly different from the last two games, but with Wiimote controls (which they technically already did by remaking those games with Wiimote controls, even though the second one hasn’t made it over here).
I really don’t have many ideas about where they could go with Pikmin. The underlying gameplay is about strategy and exploration, with the first game applying those to a survival theme and the second to a treasure hunting focus. Considering they added a two-character mechanic in the previous game, it would make sense for them to expand it to include co-op this time, instead of just dedicated multiplayer modes. They could add a number of new environments to explore (the fact that the game essentially takes place in someone’s backyard gives them lots of interesting possibilities). Other than that, though, and I’m at a loss. You’ll have to get back to me on that.

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Game Ideas #1

Posted by Matt on August 29, 2009

(Note: I originally wrote this in April. I’m reposting this so I can continue on with my game ideas posts without confusing the lot of ya’. Also because I like them.)

I’ve been thinking a bit about directions established game franchises can go to stay good. The problem with most gamers is that they are creatively retarded, and just want the same thing over and over again (while still whining that the games are rehashes). Me, though, I’m allllll right.

So now I’m going to talk about some game concepts I came up with. Why not? I’m sure I’ve done it before.

And what better way to start talking about videogame franchise ideas than with the videogame franchise?

Idea: Super Mario Metropolis

Now, it seems like a bit of a downgrade to take Mario from space back down to earth, and then restrict him to a certain environment, like a city. But wait! There’s more to it!

The story would be the basic one: Mario & Peach travel to the biggest city around, Peach is captured by Bowser, Mario must save her because that’s what he does. However, he’s got bigger problems: not only is the Princess locked a high rise tower that he can’t seem to get into, but he’s also constantly being chased around by police robots working with Bowser. Still not that much of a departure? Here’s the big catch: Mario himself teams up with a robot to save the day once again.

One of things I’ve noticed with most Wii games is that they usually only subscribe to one of the ideas that are possible for the system. That is usually the aiming or shaking concepts. There’s a lot more possible with this thing, and I hope to combine some of the old and unused ideas in here. See, players control both Mario and the robot, the former with the nunchuck, and the latter with the remote. Mario would get his usual abilities, which can easily be assigned to the nunchuck buttons. The robot would be a bit more complicated.

I haven’t completely figured out the specifics of the robot’s control scheme. Should he move with the d-pad, or by pointing? The pointing would seem to be necessary for some of the robot’s unique skills (long range weapons, for example, similar to the star bit shooting in Galaxy). Does the robot need to move at all? In any case, the general idea would be that you would control both characters simultaneously using each half of the controller package. Co-op play could be an option, too. This seems like a pretty basic idea, so I wonder why so few have used it before?

The game would be equal parts Mario, Pikmin, and The Lost Vikings. You will need to utilize Mario and the robot to solve the games puzzles. This will make some objectives easier (how much more relaxing would the average “take this thing from here to over here” challenge be with back-up?) and some more difficult, as you try to get down the timing and placement of both characters down pat. There might be a few sections where the two are separated, and you only have to pay attention to one of them at a time. There’s plenty of possibilities.

The basic “find the MacGuffins” gameplay would remain, but with a twist: instead of collecting 120 magic objects, you collect various machine parts, much like Pikmin. By collecting the appropriate combination of parts, Mario can use them to upgrade his robot buddy, granting him even more new abilities. The robot could transform into vehicles, and essentially work like a combination of the FLUDD from Mario Sunshine and the various power-ups from every other Mario game. Many of them would also be able to utilize various remote functions to add some variety.

Not only do these new abilities give you access to more challenges and thus more parts, they can also be used to bypass the security and traps and get further and further into Bowser’s skyscraper fortress. This is similar to the structure I had for my Zelda game idea, which I’m pretty sure I mentioned before, but should probably go into further detail about another time. It’s a different kind of game structure, one that progresses in a way that you feel a lot more part of it.

Of course, all this talk and I don’t address one major problem: level variety. One thing people didn’t like about Sunshine was that the island setting limited the different environments in the game, while on the other hand Galaxy was nearly limitless. The same problem could come up in Metropolis, but there are ways around it. A big city has lots of places to go that could provide suitable Mario worlds to explore: the park, the mall, the sewers, amusement parks, docks, factories, clock towers…and let’s not forget the big city itself. Each of these could also be expanded to include the archetypes (ice, lava, etc.), but maybe we don’t need them again. Just a thought.

There’s still some unanswered questions in this pitch, but even so, I think the basic groundwork for something good. Really, though, I just like the idea of Mario working with a robot.

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