On Remakes and Nostalgia

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Xirdarch:
around

starwarsgeek:

Multi-Kill:

After space, where the hell are you supposed to go? And don't say Alternate Dimensions and cross overs please.

Technically, Mario already did alternate dimensions (Super Paper Mario).

Anyway, as Mario has very, very, very little plot in his games (JUST enough for him to have something to do...ignoring the rpgs, of course), I really don't see the problem in heading backwards in a series like this, especially when the gameplay is greatly refined when compared to Super Mario World, his last console 2D platformer.

But your forgeting Mario Party 4-8 in which the whole cast of mario were simply standing around when a giant box full of drug fuelled fun astounded them with shitty minigames and dice rolls whilst simultaniously stealing all their cash.

In other words, good times.

well... i haven't played "new" super mario bros. wii, but i am somewhat looking forward to it. even if i do despise the wii and curse my wife for bringing that abomination into our home. the ONLY mario games i have ever liked are super mario bros. and super mario bors. 3. every other mario game ever created can go suck a cock for all i care. so naturally i'm some what excited to play a mario game that is actually what a mario game is to me... a 2D platformer. thats what i want out of mario...

... Except that people NOT blinded by nostalgia enjoyed the Transformers movies, like me, and a lot of the people that yelled "Ruined FOREVER" at the movies were nostalgia-blinded. Oh, and Transformers was never a minor thing enjoyed by only a few people.

Cocamaster:

Fronzel:
But does Tetris have any presence in anyone's minds when they aren't actually playing it? Any emotional impact?

Yes: the emotion is called "fun", and once you have it, the next time you want it, Tetris will come back to your mind.

That's how cravings work.

squid5580:

No one said the story has to be good. It just has to exist. Doom wouldn't be very good if all you got was go kill that! Why? Because I the developer said so. Instead you get go kill that because they are bad guys. It may not be deep or complex or even good and that doesn't matter. As long as you are getting a reason to do what you are supposed to other than "because I said so"

That's not a story, that's a setting.

"Rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong" isn't a story, not is ascending the building evading barrels and flames.

Pacman's setup is "Pacman eats dots while he's chased by ghosts!"; there's no story whatsoever. Ms Pacman's "story" is "This is Pacman's wife".

Videogames, fundamentally, don't need stories, only setups or goals. Sometimes stories enrichen the experience, but believing that they are required is a flawed notion.

It's like asking for the backstory of Simon from "Simon Says".

Donkey Kong kidnapped Pauline is the story. PacMan and his wife being chased by ghosts while they eat is the story.

Simon Says, Tetris and Peggle to name a few are the exceptions. They are the crossword puzzle next to the Sunday Funnies. Their only purpose is to challenge the player. All other games that aren't puzzle games are designed to challenge through motivation.

Yahtzee, it's hard to put mario down when he's nintendo's mascot. That'd be like Bungie putting down the Master Chief, or you putting down the imp.

No, I don't agree we should abandon Mario all together. How about Nintendo get's together a team of crack specialists to find something interesting to do with the Mario franchise.

I propose Nintendo makes an adult mario game. something with more mature themes. I mean, afterall, mario's core audience back in the 80's are now adults anyways, so it's about time Nintendo takes that into account. maybe somthing dark and very self aware in terms of it's humor. Give Princess Peach, Mario, Bowser, and Luigi some human qualities. Make a legible universe that parodies our own.

It's not like Nintendo Can't move on, it's that it chooses not too. All the franchise remakes make me sick. I think it's about time they take there trademark videogames and characters and have fun with them.

Whether it be gods or gaming, those that embrace fanatic zealotry over them will always do more harm than good, if not all harm and no good.

squid5580:

Donkey Kong kidnapped Pauline is the story. PacMan and his wife being chased by ghosts while they eat is the story.

I "suppose" this is intended to support your argument, but it actually doesn't; it supports mine.

If you altered those words to mean something different (Pauline is a construction worker and donkey Kong is throwing her barrels away) or removed them entirely from the universe, the objective of the games would remain the same: "get to the top of the building" and "eat all dots".

In any case, the so-called "story" ends before the game even begins, creating the setup for the game and then dissapearing completelly.

Narrative is none-existant. The game flows because the goals, not the story, drive the action. Pretty much every early videogame is an example of this and making claims of the importance of story equals dismissing gaming's roots.

He REALLY likes his branston pickles, doesn't he?

It may be just toast, but it's the best damn toast you'll ever have.

yourbeliefs:

samaritan.squirrel:
I really can't understand this antipathy towards this new Mario game. Hasn't every Zelda game follwed what is essentially the same formula as it's predecessors with a new gimmick or two?
Even with the transition into three dimensions, they kept the core gameplay, and those games would have worked in the old top-down format.
Look at the DS iterations of Zelda. Quite similar to the SNES/Gameboy era. Utilizing the stylus, but essentially unchanged.
Adding new elements to a much-loved formula is okay.

What I'm worried about is Mario Galaxy 2. Couldn't they think of a new setting?

I understand your Zelda comparison, but I think Yahtzee's big beef with it (as well as mine) is that this is basically the first new console side scrolling Mario game in over 14 years, but this game really brings NOTHING new to the Mario series in terms of innovation or new gameplay. This game should have at LEAST been more robust than SMB3, but it isn't. There's less suit powers, many of the levels blatantly rip off elements of previous Mario games, and the additions of Wii waggles, Toad escort missions, and multiplayer seem to degrade the experience more than anything. I mean hell, the plot and mission style is a direct copy of SMB 3. If this game had come out for the N64 or even the Gamecube, these issues would be a bit more tolerable. But in this day and age, it just seems to come across as lazy and falling back on "Nostalgia" as an excuse to not try and make any real improvements to the formula, which the Mario series is in DIRE need of.

"Blatantly rip off?" I know you said a great deal more than this and I agree with some of it but I just cannot become un-stuck from this "blatant rip off" notion. Just call me Billy Pilgrim, but did you really say that the makers of Mario blatantly ripped off the makers of Mario?

Hey, didja hear the new U2 album?

Nah, I stopped listening after they started ripping off all of U2's old stuff.

No hard feelings, please don't flame...

Razhem:
Who cares if the game doesn't do anything new and who cares if it doesn't have a compelling story? The point is that it's fun, you just pick up the pad, play for a while and have fun. I don't care that it players like Mario 3, Mario 3 isn't magically going to make pop and get new levels nor power ups. Also, who cares where you go to after space? The point is that it is still enjoyable. I just see this as another example of Yathzee's pretentiousness and another fantastic showing of why I preferred him when he just did the Zero Punctuation and didn't get a column.

Games are supposed to be fun, and the new Mario does that, the reason Nintendo can get away with doing this year after year is a track-record of quality on the core franchise and it is still there, not like some poor Hedgehog who doesn't know what to do anymore. As long as that quality is there, they will still be marketable and people will still enjoy them, the moment it starts screwing up like Sonic, Mario will start getting ignored, it's as simple as that.

Amen

Regarding the opening paragraph: I'm getting the impression (not really from this article, but still) that many members of both the religious/spiritual side of things and the atheist/nihilist side are fully assured of the truth of their beliefs. I'm not talking about the GOD IS REAL!!!!!! types or the THERE IS NO GOOOOD!!!!! types, but the ones who are filled with such calm certainty that it's impossible to get a serious emotional response out of them, let alone change their preceptions.

I think that to jump to either side of the fence requires a great big leap of faith - nothing more, nothing less. Ultimately, it's really just a matter of how one feels the world ought to be.

Went off on a bit of a tangent there, I know. Slightly more OT:
Is it just me, or has Yahtzee started sounding angrier as of late? I know that he's always been a badass critic sort of person, but these days it feels more like he's trying to inject the required amount of caustic wit into the material. I'm wondering if he really is still this angry about stuff (you'd think that, these days, he'd have a good deal less to gripe about, what with the wealth and fame and accolades and all), or if he's simply trying to put on a good show for us. Either way, it's kinda wearing thin for me.

I will have to rely on Yahtzee's own words on Painkiller to defend Left 4 Dead 2: "any game in which you can make all of the enemies' limbs fly off in many different directions is already a work of art." Lack of story be damned.

Ohhhhh that's right, the Australian version didn't have limbs flying off. I can understand why he wasn't very impressed now. :(

I don't give a damn about what future histories one hundred years from now will think of our generation since we won't be alive to witness their recounts. So, I'll continue to blissfully feed the cesspool of escapist cultural faggotry by purchasing and playing new Mario games Nintendo continues to release, as well as watching shitty 80s cartoon feature film remakes, and enjoy it, thank you very much! =)

Reading this after reading the article about games developers keep playing makes me think about L4D(2). He's wrong when he says that games that get by without a plot and are pure gameplay aren't lasting. They have some of the best replay value. A game that tells a story is like a book -- once you finish it, you know the story, and there's little reason to play it again. If you do play it again, it's different the next time around.

A game like L4D, the civilization games, or my favorite TF2 doesn't have that degradation of story, because there is no story. These games are different every time you play, and they still have all the same fun mechanics.

Also, this argument that Mario has gone 3-d and now can't go back because it's going backwards is just wrong.

Any game company makes new game for old franchise -> They are smart and deserve our money.

Nintendo makes new game for old franchise -> ZOMG THEY EXPLOITING NOSTALGIA 2 STEAL UR $$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Super Mario Bros is the best selling game of all time. Yes, ever, in the history of all videogames. Go ahead, look it up.

Considering that NSMB Wii is poised to outsell Mario Galaxy (if it hasn't already) could it be that people just like 2D Mario better than 3D? NO! It must be "nostalgia" putting a gun to all these people's heads and forcing them to buy the game!

My friends and I still play Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World to this day, nostalgia or no they are damn fine games. We have all been aching for some new good sidescrolling Mario action for twenty years. Yet for whatever reason my love of 2D gaming somehow "doesn't count" because dumbfucks like Yahtzee declare it is "nostalgia." Whatever the hell that means. People just want Nintendo to fail. When you look back at the staggering popularity of 2D Mario games, the question isn't why does NSMB Wii exist, it's why did it take them twenty damn years to make it?

I've never even bothered to think about this stuff before. Thank you Yahtzee, for opening my eyes.

The two reviews before were good, but I was thinking you'd touch more on about how utterly shit the Australian version is. I know Good Game gave that game what it deserved, despite how poor the show has become as of late.

The whole gaming industry is riding on nostalgia and classics in some way now, or originality is completely out the door. Even new games, like Metro 2033, remind you of STALKER and Fallout. Though I suppose I'm overdoing it, asking for somebody to basically create a new genre.

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

It's like one of those experimental prog rock records from the 60s that inspired countless musicians and came to be a defining influence of some truly great bands, but judged musically on its own isn't all that good.

Then why are people still playing the game and making new MODS and levels for it? And why has the game been ported to almost everything that has a monitor on it during the past 16 years?

If the game weren't that good and only became famous as a result of begin new and interesting at the time then you would have sort of expected people to have abandoned it by now instead of constantly looking for more ways to play the game.....

For the same reason we might now be getting a new Ghostbusters movie with just one of the original Ghostbusters in it. People can't let go.

[double post]

DrDeath3191:
*sigh*

First of all, this is not a retread of any sort. You claim that this game is a remake of Mario 3? Mario is far more maneuverable in this title than he is in that game. He can wall jump, butt-stomp, and pretty much do anything he could in 3D in a 2D plane. You might immediately claim that therefore this must be a carbon-copy of the DS game. Again, no. There are many new levels, some new power-ups, a 4-player versus option, a 4-player versus component, motion controlled areas and the Super Guide. This is not the same game.

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

The only reason I even finished the last 8 or so games I played was because of achievements and story.

Most modern day developers are fairly terrible at concocting an enjoyable game. At least the ones who have the money to advertise are.

Speaking of remakes, YC (convieniently?) omitted Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, another remake/reimagination/cash-in, etc. in this article. What do you get when you mix YC's imfamous hate of the Wii + his obsessive love of the SH series (well, except for the last 2-3 releases)? Hopefully, we'll find out this week!

BTW: my SH:SM review in one word: meh.

Cocamaster:

squid5580:

Donkey Kong kidnapped Pauline is the story. PacMan and his wife being chased by ghosts while they eat is the story.

I "suppose" this is intended to support your argument, but it actually doesn't; it supports mine.

If you altered those words to mean something different (Pauline is a construction worker and donkey Kong is throwing her barrels away) or removed them entirely from the universe, the objective of the games would remain the same: "get to the top of the building" and "eat all dots".

In any case, the so-called "story" ends before the game even begins, creating the setup for the game and then dissapearing completelly.

Narrative is none-existant. The game flows because the goals, not the story, drive the action. Pretty much every early videogame is an example of this and making claims of the importance of story equals dismissing gaming's roots.

It supports both actually You just want to call it a different word saying "setting" instead of "story". What do you think gives you said goals? Would a game be very much fun if you do what you have to do for no other reason that the dev said so? No! You need something more to hold the game together. Otherwise you might as well have two pixels bumping into each other. Early systems even realized this. Pong is tennis there is your "story". Battle tanks is 2 tanks fighting there is your story. You want to call it "setting" instead fine. They both mean the very same thing.

I hope nobody buys any more Mario games so we can finally kill off the annoying little red cunt. I enjoy reminiscing on old games as much as any 20/30-something gamer. What I don't like is seeing retro regurgitation - something I believe could eventually diminish Nintendo's fanbase. I'm already shuffling away from my Wii...

You and your grilled cheese sandwiches.

In regards to the whole toast analogy, you can say the same thing about pretty much any real sport too.

Why not judge games that fall under the "for the gameplay" category on their own merits rather than dismissing them outright because of their focus?
If you look at the manner in which matches play out in left 4 dead 1 compared to 2, most players seem to agree number two is quite an improvement (Or if not, in the very least quite a different experience). Being much more dynamic and varied than the first one.

Lumping the two games in with each other as more or less the same thing simply because there hasn't been much of a change in the aspects the series was never focused on or intended to develop in the first place doesn't seem all that sensible to me.

I scanned most of the posts to this entry. As a (unfortunate) child of the 80's, I've witnessed first-hand the rise of Mario in America. There is virtually no where left for Mario to go from here... short of The Matrix. It does go to show that even after a horrible live-action movie and a kid's variety show that Mario has more staying power than a senior with a fistful of Viagra.

While we will all acknowledge that Mario is the very cornerstone of Nintendo, it will be a very cold day in hell before anyone gives up on Mario. It is only a matter of time before AR takes Mario to the next step in digital revolution to becoming a (semi-)real interactive image.

There are only a few things that Japan has given us as icons: Mario, Godzilla, and Hello Kitty. Each successive generation seems to have it's own icon (kids from the 90's got Jet Li who isn't a video game character YET), and it appears that each of those three are in some strange competition to see which one is going to die first... I realize that Godzilla has been killed in the movies already, don't point that out since they made movies after that with Godzilla very much still alive. I agree that while it would be nice to see an end to Mario, it creates the cyclical problem of filling the void that Mario leaves. Without Mario, the vacuum will get filled by one of the other characters from that serious, except for Luigi. He's already proved he cannot stand on his own as a solid character from previous attempts. Princess Peach? Bowser? Toad? Or even worse, a Mario clone? Not completely out of the question. While we've made it to a new millennium without flying cars and transporters, we do have cloning under our belts. Short order to make a clone of Mario with some strange tie-in to Bowser... I could see that as a Capcom joint venture, turning him in to a Mega-manesque sort of creation... or else say to hell with it and just make a Mario Metroid. Yeah that's right... picture Samus saying "It'sa me, Mario!". Just remember: in space, no one can hear you complain.

Unless time claims Mario, this beast will never die. Nintendo has ridden this horse for far too long and with too few improvements on the franchise. They ran in to a wall a long time ago since you can't please everyone. If you update him, than the old-school fans bitch that he's being remade into something too modern and forgetting his roots. If they leave him as a strict 2D platformer, then people simply tune out of the old style. Aside from making him an interactive hologram, Nintendo has run themselves into a very tight corner. I serious agree it is about time to retire Mario instead of just killing him off... but then don't be surprised at the next incarnation: Son of Mario! You've been warned.

FINNALLY!
I thought Crosshaw would never make a Branston Pickle refference again, as that mere thought twisted my neck.

Fronzel:

Cocamaster:

qbanknight:
That's ridiculous to consider that gameplay must take the front for a great game. Great games, the ones that everyone plays and come back to (Uncharted, MW2, Assassin's Creed, GTA, Half-Life, Portal, etc) have a great story with great gameplay. It's not unrealistic to demand in our medium that people make games with great stories. Story is an important centerpiece for many game players, and without it, a game thats fun can be considered good (but not fantastic and deserves retreads).

Tetris wants a word with you.

But does Tetris have any presence in anyone's minds when they aren't actually playing it? Any emotional impact?

I'd argue that Tetris can change your very persepctive on life if you look deeper into it...

Failing that, playing it can also give you the Tetris Effect:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris_effect

okayy so as far as Left 4 Dead 2 goes he wasn't...satisfied

haha that makes sense
personally, I'm just barely getting into the series for the first time so I'm a bit behind in zombie co-op fun

I do have a lotta nostalgia for super mario brothers, but yea the "new" game's appeal seems mostly with the fact that it's on the Wii (unfortunately my Wii-owning friends aren't interested in it sigh)

FROGGEman2:
You and your grilled cheese sandwiches.

lol well I love grilled cheese sandwiches...and now I'm getting hungry =/

i'm sorry but the mario wii still looks outstanding to me
Super Mario World 3 is by far one of my favorite games of all time
and sure we didn't need a remake but i'm feeling a total lack of platformers from nintendo currently
and this might hit the spot
DAMN THIS REVIEW FOR MAKING ME HUNGRY

and I'm enjoying L4D2 currently, i still like killing zombies
but the "new" items feel a little forced

MuD3:
well... i haven't played "new" super mario bros. wii, but i am somewhat looking forward to it. even if i do despise the wii and curse my wife for bringing that abomination into our home. the ONLY mario games i have ever liked are super mario bros. and super mario bors. 3. every other mario game ever created can go suck a cock for all i care. so naturally i'm some what excited to play a mario game that is actually what a mario game is to me... a 2D platformer. thats what i want out of mario...

i disagree with you, mario games are still brilliant if you play the right ones
and since i don't feel like making a list here
i'll just laugh at your baw avatar

Any Brits out there.

Buy Rage against the Machine's "KIlling in the name" on itunes. . . for the LULZ!!

"Left 4 Dead is a piece of toast, and that's fine. But Left 4 Dead 2 is just another piece of toast from a different loaf of bread. With a sprig of parsley."

I couldn't agree more.

huckleberryhound:
Any Brits out there.

Buy Rage against the Machine's "KIlling in the name" on itunes. . . for the LULZ!!

I couldn't agree more. I'm a Brit working in Beijing so I'm counting on you guys to represent!

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