Nintendo's Ungaming

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Nintendo's Ungaming

Nintendo's demo mode is a bad idea that perpetuates the problem they're trying to solve. But at least they patented it!

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Why ain't I surprised? Seems like Nintendo will make playing games obsolete in the long run.

So, apparently using cheats, like infinite lives and invincibility, are not enough for a game you can't beat on your own? This is just another reason for me not to buy a Nintendo Wii, even though they have only patented this demo mode. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it makes better.

So they dont need to pay people to test the game anymore? If it's too hard or broken in places the AI will magic carpet you to the next level? :/

This reminds me of the idea to make video games more like a DVD where you can skip "chapters" of the game if you get stuck so you could just pass the boss fight and get onto the next level without having to actually play it.

I still don't think it's that bad an idea. I guess my faith in humanity is, in a fit of supreme irony, just too great.

While I certainly can't fault the suggestions of making the consequences of failure lower, or making control easier (why do you even need an option to turn that off? Bragging rights?), there is always more fun inherent in playing a game than watching it played. I'm fairly certain my friend would have preferred to make those jumps in Devil May Cry himself, rather than turn to me for help, but as a result I'm also equally certain that he'd never ask for it if he really didn't need it. Considering the stigma that's been attached to the word, I'm hesitant to use it, but "casual" play doesn't always allow for the time needed to master a game. To quote Cracked.com out of context, "Game designers: We're really busy. Lots of us got kids now, and second jobs and mistresses on the side. You want to sell your console games to the millions of people who are lucky to get 30 uninterrupted minutes to play a game? Fix [loading times] first."

So yes, the other suggested options would be nice, but I don't see anything wrong with this one, either. I guess I'm more concerned with peoples' entertainment than whether they truly become "gamers."

Ehh.. Just give every game the Sands of Time and call it a day.

Well, actually I think part of the problem is the fixation on real time. I think that turn based games (RPG, Strategy, etc..) are ideal for older games, and have actually figured this is one of the reasons why these series survive and see remakes/ports to new platforms despite the biting jibes of both younger gamers and the gaming press (who will both appreciate such titles when they get older).

Right now, I agree that "Demo Mode" (turning things into a barely interactive movie whenever the going gets tough) is a bad idea, there are already plenty of "introductory level" games ranging from action games to RPGs out there. To use RPGs as an example there are plenty of RPGs out there ranging from SOME of the Final Fantasy titles, to things like "The Legend Of Heroes" series for the PSP for newbies to cut their teeth on before jumping into more advanced RPGs like say the "Shin Megami Tensei" series.

Other examples using things like shooters are games like Army Of Two which feature a pretty consistant level of difficulty throughout (and are fairly easy as far as such things go), as opposed to less forgiving action games/shooters like say "inFamous" (in my opinion) or "Red Faction: Gueriella".

The problem I see right now is actually that we see too many "introductory" level games and not enough games for people who are truely beyond that level. This is why games like "Demon's Souls" are such a big deal and see such heavy importing. Ditto for the SMT franchises.

"Demo Mode" seems to be primarily aimed at those for whom introductory level games are too much, and honestly I have to wonder why people at that level are even trying to game. Surprisingly I'm not trying to be elitist here, but it seems to be a huge money grab which is bad for everyone when they are talking about lowering the point of gaming that far at all.

I also have to look at things like Achievements/Trophies which I think dragged a lot of people into gaming this generation (though I am admittedly not as into them as a lot of people). Once you start catering to slowbies, and putting in things like demo-modes, I can virtually guarantee half the point of Achievements/Trophies for those that collect them will vanish. If you wind up bringing in gamers that casual, the are going to start demanding "points" and such as well as part of the whole experience, which means that I can guarantee that as soon as you get "Demo Mode" you might as well forget about the validity of most achievements, never mind "Hard Mode only" achievements

I guess part of my attitude is that it's hard to take a "People should be entertained, I don't care if they become gamers" attitude because I feel that gaming is something very specific and once you dumb it down, then it loses a lot of it's appeal. Over the years a lot of things have gone from "awesome" to "meh" because of attempts to mainstream it so any fattie or arthritis ridden oldster can do the same thing.

Trust me, if someone could find a way to add scooter paths to Mount Everest so Fatties could "Climb the mountain" while sitting on their blubber, they would do it to make money. It would make a joke out of mountain climbing, and being able to say you got to the top of Mount Everest, but that wouldn't mean anything to the dude renting the fatcycles.

*Preface: I consider myself a "hardcore" gamer, and my post reflects this POV*

I use the old tidbit: give a man a fish, he's fed for a day. Teach a man to fish, he's fed for the rest of his life.

The "hardcores" earn their beaten games. They earn their achievements, their K:D ratios, their bragging rights. They have mastered the double jump, the spin drift, the headshot. They have put time and effort into perfecting their skills, mastering levels, memorizing spawns, shaving nanoseconds off of times. They have INVESTED in the games in a way that most people don't.

This is the equivalent of putting an untrained driver in Nascar and letting him push a button that lets the car drive itself, while everyone else is fighting their way through it. Then when he crosses the finish line first, saying he won fair and square. What this does is furthers the gap between the hardcore (who will damn well grind their way though anything) and the casual (who can now just sit back and let the game beat itself and feel proud of having beaten it).

But more so, why even bother playing these games? I mean really, if the game literally plays itself why are you going to spend $50 or $60 or more on something you are going to not even bother playing yourself? But then if there are people out there willing to shell out videogame dollars for glorified DVDs, I guess Nintendo has already won this round.

Its optional and won't affect 'teh hardcorez' lives in any way. I absolutely suck at Zelda puzzles. If this feature will show me how to do them IF I get stuck then I'm all for it. Just means I won't have to go to gamefaqs.

I really doubt that the people who need a leg up now and them are going turn on demo play and just watch the game. I still believe everyone is overreacting to this.

redmarine:
Why ain't I surprised? Seems like Nintendo will make playing games absolute in the long run.

Are you saying that Nintendo is making gaming perfect? If not, look up the word absolute because I think you're looking for obsolete.

WanderFreak:
*Preface: I consider myself a "hardcore" gamer, and my post reflects this POV*

I use the old tidbit: give a man a fish, he's fed for a day. Teach a man to fish, he's fed for the rest of his life.

The "hardcores" earn their beaten games. They earn their achievements, their K:D ratios, their bragging rights. They have mastered the double jump, the spin drift, the headshot. They have put time and effort into perfecting their skills, mastering levels, memorizing spawns, shaving nanoseconds off of times. They have INVESTED in the games in a way that most people don't.

This is the equivalent of putting an untrained driver in Nascar and letting him push a button that lets the car drive itself, while everyone else is fighting their way through it. Then when he crosses the finish line first, saying he won fair and square. What this does is furthers the gap between the hardcore (who will damn well grind their way though anything) and the casual (who can now just sit back and let the game beat itself and feel proud of having beaten it).

But more so, why even bother playing these games? I mean really, if the game literally plays itself why are you going to spend $50 or $60 or more on something you are going to not even bother playing yourself? But then if there are people out there willing to shell out videogame dollars for glorified DVDs, I guess Nintendo has already won this round.

I bet this magic button for those that suck has some sort of limit. Nintendo isn't stupid.

WanderFreak:

But more so, why even bother playing these games? I mean really, if the game literally plays itself why are you going to spend $50 or $60 or more on something you are going to not even bother playing yourself? But then if there are people out there willing to shell out videogame dollars for glorified DVDs, I guess Nintendo has already won this round.

Egg-Zack-Tall-Eye
EX-AC-TL-Y
But the Amazon Patent 1 click - I guess someone else could Patent a 2 click system where you double-click the thing! That would truly piss Amazon off (who I now severly dislike for one reason)

It is too late for alternatives. Soon every other developer will make the same thing, but without the ability to turn it off so that Nintendo can't sue them, than all games will be non-interactive! To the bunker!

WanderFreak:
*Preface: I consider myself a "hardcore" gamer, and my post reflects this POV*

Sorry I stopped listening to you because you started using those labels. Labels which I am sick of and serve only to further the image of gamers as misanthropic people with social problems and only try to compare the size of their e-boners. Apparently you can only game if you "earn it". And that you shouldn't try at all or be helped by anything. I suspect you've used cheat codes and strategy guides before, I would be pleasantly surprised if you didn't. I've played games for 19 years, and I don't act like an elitist up my own ass with delusions. Gaming should be accessible to all who wish to play, not just those of us who spent countless hours playing just to get an achievement that ultimately means nothing in the grand scheme of things, or those of us who only think FPS's belong on a certain platform, or those of us who think PC gaming is the alpha and the omega of all gaming.

Time for more reiteration as I drag this back on topic. This "feature" or "bane of existence" or whatever you want to call it is optional and if affects nobody here, least of all anybody who professes to be "hardcore". I do not fear something optional destroying gaming as we know it. And if you are afraid, then I believe it's because you're afraid you might use it.

That's sad and all, but sensible publishers would probably rather have the baby boomer millions than the grudging approval of maladjusted teens with self-esteem issues.

Don't forget though, it's the grudging approval of maladjusted teens with self-esteem issues who probably got the game off of a torrent and aren't paying customers anyway.

WanderFreak:
*Preface: I consider myself a "hardcore" gamer, and my post reflects this POV*

I use the old tidbit: give a man a fish, he's fed for a day. Teach a man to fish, he's fed for the rest of his life.

The "hardcores" earn their beaten games. They earn their achievements, their K:D ratios, their bragging rights. They have mastered the double jump, the spin drift, the headshot. They have put time and effort into perfecting their skills, mastering levels, memorizing spawns, shaving nanoseconds off of times. They have INVESTED in the games in a way that most people don't.

This is the equivalent of putting an untrained driver in Nascar and letting him push a button that lets the car drive itself, while everyone else is fighting their way through it. Then when he crosses the finish line first, saying he won fair and square. What this does is furthers the gap between the hardcore (who will damn well grind their way though anything) and the casual (who can now just sit back and let the game beat itself and feel proud of having beaten it).

But more so, why even bother playing these games? I mean really, if the game literally plays itself why are you going to spend $50 or $60 or more on something you are going to not even bother playing yourself? But then if there are people out there willing to shell out videogame dollars for glorified DVDs, I guess Nintendo has already won this round.

A big problem with this argument, though, is that people don't get satisfaction from watching something happen if they are not a part of it. People don't feel proud that they watched an entire movie because they didn't do anything. What people will feel like after watching a game beat itself is "so that's what the ending is." I think haze had a level skip feature, but nobody heralded that as the death of gaming. The demo mode won't make people feel accomplished, it will just make them bored.

Ka_huna:
So they dont need to pay people to test the game anymore? If it's too hard or broken in places the AI will magic carpet you to the next level? :/

you make a good point this not only defeats the purpose of gaming but it could also make developers lazy idk nintendo is shooting themselves in the foot by abandoning there hard core gamer fans because they will buy games no matter what (I know I will) and the regular people that aren't gamers will stop buying games as soon as money is tight.

When I was a kid, not so long ago, we had these things called "difficulty settings." They ranged from "Easy" which was often the easiest setting, and would give you lots of ammo, or health, or lives, or reduce the number of enemies, or types of enemies, or how much damage they did, etc. etc. to "Very Hard" which was often the most difficult setting, and basically did the opposite of "Easy."

And see, if you played a game, and you weren't getting very far, you could go down a difficulty setting, which would make the game easier to play.

I guess the best way to illustrate my point is to relate an apocryphal story about the early days of space exploration:

When NASA was confronted about the difficulties that zero gravity would create in terms of writing utensils, they immediately put American gung-ho innovation to work. They spent a million dollars to create a pen that would not write upside down, but also in the vacuum of space. The result is the absolute pinnacle of writing utensil technology. They were assured of having no problems when it came to writing beyond the pull of Earth's gravity.

The Soviets, on the other hand, not having a million bucks to blow on pen design, promptly switched from pens to pencils.

turkinaa:
This reminds me of the idea to make video games more like a DVD where you can skip "chapters" of the game if you get stuck so you could just pass the boss fight and get onto the next level without having to actually play it.

You mean like the new Alone in the Dark?

Anyway I commented on this when the news came out a few weeks back. Now I don't know who in their right mind would do this, but they could easily just let the game play the whole level for them if the entire thing is too hard.

You know what a good idea that has stood the test of time, a gentle learning and difficulty curve with difficulty settings that set where this curve ends. Maybe platforms move more slowly on easier difficulties or enemies are more frequent on higher difficulties

HobbesMkii:
When I was a kid, not so long ago, we had these things called "difficulty settings."
[...]
And see, if you played a game, and you weren't getting very far, you could go down a difficulty setting, which would make the game easier to play.

Assuming every game has both perfectly balanced difficulty settings which flawlessly accommodate their respective skill levels at all times, and gives they player the option to change the difficulty setting without starting a new game, then yes, this is the solution to all of our problems.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with every game.

hagaya:

redmarine:
Why ain't I surprised? Seems like Nintendo will make playing games absolute in the long run.

Are you saying that Nintendo is making gaming perfect? If not, look up the word absolute because I think you're looking for obsolete.

I was wondering why it sounded so odd. Thanks.

Just another reason that I read books now.

At least literature (twilight aside) hasn't gone to such shitty depths as gaming.

I am starting to wonder if I'll even be playing games 5 years from now. They have gotten so poor its almost insulting.

...Shamus, did you just take two pages to recommend difficulty settings?

An excellent example of the first solution being offered in a game can be seen through Guitar Hero's practice mode. A tough section failing you? Switch to practice mode, select that section, nail the finger movements at slower speeds, then return to regular mode to kick that part's ass.

I disagree with the OP its not a problem or a "ebile" idea, and the only thing hardcore about gaming these days is consumption since modern gaming is the epitome of shallow gameplay and design, sure its pretty and compelx eye candy but thats abotu it.

What this dose is allow gaming to compete with film, you put it in and you can play it if you want and if you do not wish to be mired in poorly implemented gameplay or something that was rushed and unfinished you don;t have to play it merely watch it and hopefully in time that will expand the market enough to were games are the price of a film, sure it won't happen in the next 5 years but hopefully the indutry will make the switch sometime in the next 10.

I’ve been in and out of this argument since this patent was announced so many months ago, and I’ll say the same thing here as I have elsewhere: wait till it’s out, then see how it works before you write it off completely.

I mean, we’ve got the gist of it, but I still haven’t heard the details of how it all works.

How does it activate, through a menu, or with the press of a button?

What does it show, the specific part of the level where it’s used, or the whole level from beginning to end?

Does it show what buttons are being pressed, or simply run the movie assuming the watcher knows how to do a butt stomp?

Does it reveal secrets?

Does it actually skip parts of the level for the gamer and let them continue on without having to play that part, or does it show them how it’s done then dump them back at the spot they started the video, armed with the knowledge of how to do it?

I haven’t heard any definitive answers for any of these questions, mainly cause I haven’t heard of anyone, anywhere, getting any hands on time with this Kind Code thing.

It’s still a complete mystery to people, and I, for one, am gonna wait till I try it out myself before I condone Nintendo for trying something new.

Plankhead:

HobbesMkii:
When I was a kid, not so long ago, we had these things called "difficulty settings."
[...]
And see, if you played a game, and you weren't getting very far, you could go down a difficulty setting, which would make the game easier to play.

Assuming every game has both perfectly balanced difficulty settings which flawlessly accommodate their respective skill levels at all times, and gives they player the option to change the difficulty setting without starting a new game, then yes, this is the solution to all of our problems.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with every game.

No, see, my point was that there was an easier fix already at hand, not that such a fix had already been applied. That was the point of the NASA space pen story. Sometimes, you don't need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to change tires.

If someone wants to pay $60 to watch a game play itself, that's none of my business. I just get to sit back and laugh if they ever want to try and play online/multiplayer.

The problem I have with people's reactions on this is Nintendo said the demo mode won't keep scores, or allow you to save past the demo mode, so something like zelda, you couldn't save after solving the puzzle using demo mode.

LewsTherin:
If someone wants to pay $60 to watch a game play itself, that's none of my business. I just get to sit back and laugh if they ever want to try and play online/multiplayer.

Unfortunately if the game sells well they will omit quality gameplay for a play itself game. This will become common and you will find yourself playing nothing because all new games will be mediocre poorly balanced AI driven software.

As it stands there is a note able drop in quality already, it will only get worse considering the sales they still get.

The response to this is pretty terrible. What is wrong with you people?

Have any of you ever played a Nintendo game that was ever hard? Was Metroid on the SNES even made by Nintendo?

I mean, look guys. They made this for kids. Kids. You know, 2-5 year olds.

Some of you really miss the point of some of this stuff.

It also sounds like some of you don't really understand what this is at all.

Credge:

I mean, look guys. They made this for kids. Kids. You know, 2-5 year olds.

I always find this argument interesting. When I was 5, I was kicking my parents' ass in games. And as a kid, I had way way way more time to play them than my parents ever did. No, it's actually the adults that are vocal about wanting it easier (they have kids, they have wives, they have jobs, they tell us). I can bet your sweet ass that your average kid has way more patience with, say, jumping puzzles than your average adult does.

But yes, if it's an option that I don't have to touch during the game, it doesn't concern me in the slightest. Besides, I've been more excited about smaller but harder games like White Butterfly and Spelunky than big hitters this year (or the last). I'm not afraid for my gaming at least.

theultimateend:

As it stands there is a note able drop in quality already, it will only get worse considering the sales they still get.

If you don't like what the big companies make, have you tried going outside of that pool of games? There's plenty quality stuff floating around.

Woe Is You:

Credge:

I mean, look guys. They made this for kids. Kids. You know, 2-5 year olds.

I always find this argument interesting. When I was 5, I was kicking my parents' ass in games. And as a kid, I had way way way more time to play them than my parents ever did. No, it's actually the adults that are vocal about wanting it easier (they have kids, they have wives, they have jobs, they tell us). I can bet your sweet ass that your average kid has way more patience with, say, jumping puzzles than your average adult does.

But yes, if it's an option that I don't have to touch during the game, it doesn't concern me in the slightest. Besides, I've been more excited about smaller but harder games like White Butterfly and Spelunky than big hitters this year (or the last). I'm not afraid for my gaming at least.

theultimateend:

As it stands there is a note able drop in quality already, it will only get worse considering the sales they still get.

If you don't like what the big companies make, have you tried going outside of that pool of games? There's plenty quality stuff floating around.

Yeah I've played plenty of great indie games.

World of Goo, Defense Grid, the likes. But I miss the days when I could also pick up large scale games and be genuinely entertained.

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