Tag Archives: E3

#534 Nintendo Marketing Fun

This year’s E3 is just around the corner and that means all the major videogame companies are busy working away, trying their best to make their big gaming presentation and announcement grabs the most attention by the journalists, people attending and those millions tuning in at home or at work.

Just like the Super Bowl  it looks like the latest marketing trend is to post pre-E3 videos and news to build the most hype and attention before the opening of the doors. This week Nintendo released their Pre-E3 video that lightly covers the various digital programs that they will be hosting , special E3 streams and a special gaming tournament that Nintendo have brought back after a 25 year slumber)

WHAT!? A Nintendo tournament, where did I hear that before?

WHAT!? A Nintendo tournament, where did I hear that before?

But the announcements of events are not what I want to talk about, all those announcements were discussed literally within the first minute. What I want to focus on is the other two minutes of that video.

The entirely unnecessary mini-skit of Reggi abandoning this presidential seat to do a cheesy training montage by using old Nintendo consoles and props as workout tools is exactly what Nintendo’s main selling point for all their games releases, the idea of marketing the fun in their games.

While Microsoft, Sony, and all the other major gaming companies will be showcasing their big 2015/2106 games with their beautiful cinematics and cutting edge realistic graphics to push the envelope of what it means to be the best of the best in the console world.

Nintendo on the other hand showed off the amount of fun their games can have with their marketing approach.  It shows in Nintendo’s advertisements for their past few games advertisements have either been about showing off the Local Co-Op games (Mario Kart 8 and Smash) or taking pot shots at themselves of their own company’s history.

most companies would not mention their biggest flops, let alone make it a punchline in one of their official videos

most companies would not mention their biggest flops, let alone make it a punchline in one of their official videos

Nintendo takes their tone of not being serious very seriously and because of that it is more believable when they claim their games are fun. Somewhere Nintendo a psychology book  about fun and they have studied the art of fun and they have polished it to a mirror shine. The fact that Nintendo focuses on fun over graphics, it becomes a pleasant surprise and treat when a Nintendo game comes out at either 1080p or 720p but locked at 60 frames per second, a task that most XBox One and PlayStation 4 games still can’t do.


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#442 Building up Hype for Bayonetta 2

It was another weekend and another weekend has come and gone and with that I spent my free time playing Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 online play, and more of Pokemon White. But one new game I was playing the Demo of the Wii U exclusive, Bayonetta 2. consider it warming up my Wii U for some amazing titles come this holiday season.

I have played through the demo of the game twice, and even though it is just the prologue but it is full of constant, no context, combat. Right out the gate the game asks me to fight off waves of angelic mechas and monsters on a jet plane which speeding through a main square of a city. After you think it’s done, the demo leads you to the giant King Kong style boss fight where you fly around fighting a giant monster as it climbs up a skyscraper.

The game makes the promise of continuing that level of intensity throughout the entire game and after playing through the demo twice I realized that the kicker of the demo is that the entire sequence is only the prologue of the main game, meaning I played a part of the game that is not even in the main game and combat.

I am literally counting down the days

I am literally counting down the days

The game demo is not the only reason I am excited for this game, because if you have been paying attention I have been casually mentioning this game, Pokemon ORAS, and Super Smash Bros as a few games on a very short list of games I am eagerly waiting to be released for this upcoming holiday season.

One of the reasons why I want this game is that since I played the Deadpool game I have been waiting for another fun near mindless beat em up game that was also entertaining to play through, while I only scored bronze medals and a few silvers one the different stages in the demo there is the option for me to improve my combo mashing skills while not impeding my advancement through the game. Bayonetta 2 is also an excuse to boot up my Wii U for another game, my poor console has been sitting in my room, waiting for a new game to play, since my initial games I bought with the device from a few months ago.

But the biggest reasons I can not wait for, well lack of a better words, the fan service that Platinum Games has added to Bayonetta 2. While I have been trying hard to avoid any spoilers to the main plot I been going actively looking for all the Nintendo inspired Easter eggs added to this game. The most noticeable is the special unlockable Bayonetta costumes inspired by some of Nintendo’s characters, that offers different play styles or by using the classic sound files from Zelda and Mario games.

Metroid for the Wii U confirmed?

Metroid for the Wii U confirmed?

As I said in Be MOP #392 I love it when the game developers adds those little things like this into their game because it shows that they are confident or the game is polished enough to allow the creation, design, programming, and implication of these nonessential bit ans trivial content and nods to the player into the game

Also I won’t be so above it all to say I really want to play through Bayonetta 2 because it is a Wii U exclusive. Because of Nintendo’s decision to fund Platinum Games for a sequel, this experience  denying it to all other gamers. It is childish but I call it the annoying brother syndrome, wanting something because you know others can’t get it.

This is a first time I get to play a third party exclusive mature console specific game with no hopes of a cross platform port. This is a new feeling for me.


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#420 A Response to “Are We Becoming Too Critical Of Video Games?”

For today’s post it is another response to one of Gamemoir’s Question of the Day posts from earlier this week. The post (found right HERE) talks about the abnormal amount of cynical criticism videogame players have with recently released AAA games when it comes to user reviews on meta-critic, using the Watch_Dogs backlash as the example.

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

Well you know where this one post is going, I am not going to be dedicating an entire blog post to echo someone else’s opinions, when it comes to the recent game releases we as consumers should never demand less our the amount of critical comments from ourselves, in fact I think we need all the critical observations we have right now and more so to ensure that only the best gets recognized.

Many – if not all – of complaints of Watch_Dogs spawned from Ubisoft’s over-promising features on their next big new IP game and under-delivering. From the launch of Watch_dogs we saw Ubisoft made the executive decision to hack off Week One DLC, create console specific and exclusive DLC, gimp the graphics on the PC version of the game and shoehorning in an unstable DRM service…ALL while advertising Watch_Dogs as a next great next gen game.

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well.....hmmmmm

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well…..hmmmmm

On the flip side there is hardly any criticisms towards games that simply told you exactly what it was going do and delivered it in spades.Just compare what promises given from Nintendo when they announced their most recent Mario Wii U game to the promises and designs from Ubisoft’s Watch_Dog reveal.

That is not the say that every game ever released by anyone should be held up the gaming standard of the cream of the crop, just like movies titles can be released two different -although VERY simplified- categories;

The first one is the fun to watch but stays in the comfort zone of slight immaturity, like what we see from Kirby titles and the over the top silliness of the Deadpool game. Or continuing with the movie parallel, the Die Hard series or any major summer action blockbuster movies It is there just to satisfy that itch in our brains of seeing stuff explode and have mindless fun.

The other category is the more appealing release for both consumers and gaming developers desires, the academy award winning titles that pushes the envelope of what it means to be a part of that media, the Spec Ops: the Line, the Walking Dead seasons, or the effects caused within the gaming world with the release of coveted, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

 

The problem with a perceived too much criticisms of games is when a company advertise a new release claiming it to win awards and show the true powers of what it means to be a game in the advertisements and lead up and gives us a run of the mill open world game with nothing new to offer. It is like going in to see Gravity in 3D IMAX and end up watching it in one of the smallest non-3D screens, it is still the same movie but the expected experience is completely different from the what we got.

There will always be people who constantly act as the nitpickers in movies, comics, music, and games but it is important not to let their complaints of not entering every house in an open world game drown out the legit critical claims of the game and the industry.

As patrons of this of a field of arts that is still just developing, we also need to be hyper critical of executive policies that would hurt the medium on the whole, like say rehashing franchises, excessive sequels, shoehorned in product placements, and practices that are only in place to line the higher up’s wallets instead of furthering the advancement of the media as a whole.


tmnt2014

 

 

But I want to know what you think, after reading the question from Gamemoir and my response here, where do you side with the about of criticisms in the gaming world?

 


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#391 Finally, Finally Bought a Wii U

Consider this a follow-up to my last blog post. Friday I made it known my desire to finally own a Wii U after following Nintendo’s E3 presentation and seeing what all the games they have in store.  But just talking about action means nothing, it is performing on the action that does anything important. After banking my most recent paycheck I then went on a grand adventure of traveling around 5 stores I finally found exactly what I wanted: A limited release Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle and a copy of Super Mario 3D World.

Just getting hyped from the E3 presentations means nothing if you do not act on that hype.

This was one of my first few ‘major’ strictly entertainment purchases I have ever bought and the first console I paid for by myself.

 

I paid for the new console with my money but it is bought for the family. As I said before I bought this console for two reasons those amazing Nintendo First Party Exclusives and the Local Co-OP and I got exactly that, and the moment my brothers picked up the controllers the real fun began.  What’s amazing is that in 3D World, just like Super Mario 3D Land, the game has no tutorials everything is explained in brilliant in game level designs and drop in Co-op meant that my brothers can join me at any point in the game, especially when they start talking smack after I failed several times trying to collect of the green star collectibles.

And having just one person who is playing next to me on the couch brought me so much more excitement and fun than any 32 man FPS maps

And having just one person who is playing next to me on the couch brought me so much more excitement and fun than any 32 man FPS maps

 

This entire weekend I have been playing Co-Op with my brothers in Super Mario 3D world, that is until the rest of my family kicked us off the TV so everyone else could catch up with the most recent Fifa matches, And at that moment the gamepad feature to play the Wii U games on your controller without any quality or frame drops.

But the fun and games does not stop there, after registering my console and two games I was able to then download Zelda: Wind Waker HD because of Nintendo’s current Mario Kart 8 promotional give away and I was then able to pick up the Wii U port of Mario Party 2 from the recent boosts of Club Nintendo’s rewards points.

For about $390 I was able to get a current gen system, two controllers, and four Wii U games that I have been wanting to play with others for a while all while lowering my barrier to entry for the next Super Smash Bros game. Which looking back is an amazing bargain and after playing the games I can say it was worth it.

People on the campaign trial can say many things about me but I am not finical irresponsible

People on the campaign trail can say many things about me but I am not financially irresponsible

 


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#390 Finally, Finally Buying a Wii U

E3 ended this week and this is the first time I ended up being swept  by the hype train. I have been heavily following E3 for a few years now and while past few E3s have been entertaining to watch, none of them have made to actually act on anything after the ceremony has closed. That stops this year because this one expo have made me excited for future games and get me excited enough to finally commit to a physical purchase. Sometime this weekend I am going to make plans to buy a Wii U with my most recent paycheck. It is no surprise that I am a bit of a Nintendo fan for a while, I was raised in a Nintendo house and even though I have moved towards PC gaming during the Wii/PS360 generation, I still have a special place in my gaming heart for all things Nintendo. This year it looks like Nintendo released and announced enough projects to finally got me to get me interested.

For recap Nintendo already has the incredibly popular Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and Wonderful 101 under their belts going in to E3. During this past week Nintendo shown off a handful of new Brawl characters, more information on the Bayonetta sequel, A new Zelda title, and  whole bunch of new IPs for the console, which is exactly what a struggling console would need to get its second wind.

and the award for the most out of left field game announcement goes to.....

and the award for the most out of left field game announcement goes to…..

 

I have said it before that while the PC will always (or has the potential to) be  more powerful in every way to any console but the one thing that console always have over PC, besides the first party exclusives,  is the ability to comfortably host and support local Co-op game play. The reason I was raised in a Nintendo family was because we did not have a family computer and the Nintendo device had the history of established multiplayer videogames, which was almost a mandatory feature in our big family to make sure there was the least amount of bickering over who had control over the T.V and my family had a blast spending countless hours playing and replaying games like Super Smash Melee, Kirby Air Ride, Mario Party, and Mario Kart Double Dash.

We didnt even use the proper race tracks in this game, Kirby Air Ride was only used for the free roaming city mode

We didn’t even use the proper race tracks in this game, Kirby Air Ride was only used for the free roaming city mode

 

My plan is, over the weekend to find a store with a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle, along with Super Mario 3D World, download my free copy of Zelda wind Waker HD and spend the weekend having nothing but CO-OP fun with my family and friends. I will damned to say if I not just a little bit excited to own and play on a new console again. I guess Nintendo did success or even going as far as saying they won E3 in my eyes because they got me to view the Wii U as a proper console, and showing me enough quality content of what they already have,and what projects are in the works to justify the cost of buying another gaming device.

 

Although this weekend I am spending quite a bit of my paycheck on Nintendo games, I just hope that is no other event coming up requiring even MORE money on videogames.

uh oh.....

uh oh…..

 

 

 


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#389 Is there a true need for Exclusives?

E3 is wrapping up and while I am still trying to up on the various streams and press releases that I missed because of work for the next few day. While I am still surfing through Twitch and the YouTube highlights, one of the biggest E3 related news that I want to talk about is the announcement that Dead Rising 3 (a Xbox One launch title) and Grand Theft Auto 5 will be coming to the PC. With those two games going  multi-platform and moving to the PC I do have to ask, is there a need for third-party console exclusives any more?

I am not naive enough to claim that Super Mario 3D World should be ported to the PlayStation 4, because I know the importance of keeping Mario, Master Chief and Kratos as the respective console mascots. Between Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 and Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto and the old news of Kingdom Hearts 3 moving to the Xbox One and during the time where game developers have the first hands on experience with the new consoles, I  think we need to ask the question again.

As of right now the current generation of Microsoft and Sony console’s specs are so similar that there is no real reason why one game should be able to run on either One or the other (4). I understand that back in the day Sega’s Sonic games were created to advertise the Sega Genesis’s processing power compared to Nintendo’s NES and Super Nintendo. And during that time of the early 90’s there was a bunch of different consoles that had different controllers that provided different input controls that game developers needed to properly code. Right now there only advertised different in the two newest consoles, when it comes to gameplay and game performance, is the 720p vs 1080p resolution.

I do not need to say how good of a business model for 3 third-party videogame developers to constantly and only go multi-platform in the future and not even bother with the promotional exclusives with the console companies. Just going exclusively multi-platform means that these companies do not end up isolating their fan base or potential customers, which I know they do not want to do because these videogame companies are still porting their new AAA games to the last generation consoles (Be MOP #383)

But I want to bounce this question back to you guys reading at home, what do you think about the consoles exclusives (both first and third-party exclusives) with a gaming generation being so similar and standardized specs and controls? And where is the PC copy of Kingdom Hearts?

I think the only possible exception to my little rant to console exclusives should/may be titles that could not survive without divine intervention like what we saw with Platinum Games and Nintendo.

 

speaking of I cant wait go get around to buying a Wii U

speaking of I cant wait go get around to buying a Wii U


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#386 E3 and Going Beyond Videogames for Entertainment

For the past few years a new trend in the videogame world is developing of having videogame companies going above and beyond the consoles or PC to provide entertainment to the players. E3 was one of the first major catalyst for this trend, providing a stage for the big three console companies and all the major developers to announce their big titles and plans for the rest of the year. The rise of Twitch and YouTube, with the ability to broadcasting content and competitions has only helped to nurture this trend. I have talked about Twitch competitions quite a bit when talking about Riot’s choice of turning their LCS tournaments into more of a sports show the atmosphere with not only the shout caster desk but analyses breaking down the last game’s highlights and having professional esports players come on to discuss their predictions on which team would win in the next match (Be MOP #276).

Valve is now releasing documentaries about Indie games and the life of professional Dota 2 players for sale on Steam. Even The reveal of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was more of a multi-media event, with everything these consoles can do on top of playing next generation of games. But the tipping point, and reason I started writing this point was when Blizzard starting a web series called ‘Azeroth Choppers‘ and the news that Nintendo created and invited top competitive Brawl players in a Super Smash Bros Invitational with an early build of the Wii U Smash.

Nintendo as a company is paradoxically an early and late adopter. Early when it comes to game mechanics and features but incredibly late when it comes to the social side of gaming, like Youtube or account bound digital purchases.

Nintendo as a company is paradoxically an early and late adopter. Early when it comes to game mechanics and features but incredibly late when it comes to the social side of gaming, like Youtube Lets Players or account bound digital purchases.

 

As you might suspect I am all for these events because as a player it means more content of my favorite games and with the integration of  chatrooms and social media it provides a great way to connect and make friends with other players around the net and from a marketing point of view it is a new way for a gaming company to interact, build and solidify their install base but also from a

 

BUT…

 

As we saw with the internet’s reaction to Microsoft’s Xbox One ‘watercooler’ sales pitch, when videogame companies decide to put out and advertise non videogame content about videogames they need to remember to stay on point and talk about videogames. If I am going to tune in for the latest gaming company reveal I not want to watch the broadcast for the guest stars, or talking about the gamers, or the past  I want to see people from the company talk about the recent game This is something I hope the companies will remember with this year’s E3 and all future events, and after the Microsoft reveal and feedback I do think the AAA gaming industry will forget this fact for a while but it is nice to remind them once in a while.

 

 I was going to do a Pre-E3 post that served as my wish list for reveals this year but all I could come up with is "legit gameplay" and that's it

I was going to do a Pre-E3 post that served as my wish list for reveals this year but all I could come up with is “legit gameplay” and that’s it. No cinematics, no teaser trailers but honest to goodness real gameplay of the newest games.

 

 


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