Just Good Enough to Play

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Just Good Enough to Play

How Nintendo rewrote game design history books with the Wii and how Microsoft and Sony may follow suit.

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The Wii may be a "good enough system," but the games sure aren't. Even casual gamers want games that are, well, good. Unfortunately the Wii barely has a large library of good games. Yes, it has a literal metric tonne of shovel-ware, and me-too knock-off games, but a really good quality game is rare on that system. How many of those high-quality games are NOT by Nintendo?

So, maybe Nintendo did rewrite the rules of the video game medium. Unfortunately, those new rules now state that cheap, lazy, uncreative programming is "Just good enough" to keep the average gamer satisfied. About five or 10 years down the road gamers, like me, will wonder where the deep, nuanced, and challenging games went. Then we'll only have to look at the Wii and realize why those games disappeared.

I understand the point you're trying to make, but I think that there haven't actually been many good examples thus far in the game industry. As a console, there's nothing all that bad about the Wii, but the dearth of good games for it really detracts from the whole presentation. In a way, Sony is making the same mistake: both the PS3 and the Wii don't seem to appeal much to third-party developers.

I think a better example of "just good enough" might be the appeal that older games still hold. Many games (such as Super Metroid) aren't advanced by today's standards, but they're still extremely enjoyable due to well-designed mechanics. Overall, I agree that games need to focus less on the presentation aspect and more on the game... I just disagree with your examples.

It's true, the Wii has potential, but by the time it's realised, if ever, gamers will have fucked it off and the non-gamers will be onto the next fad.
Dead Space, Mad World, Zak & Wiki and No More Heroes were all excellent games but just did not get a decent push. If these games were pushed like the shovelware crap we could genuinely have a gaming renaissance. With all kinds of people discovering all kinds of games. But until the non-gamers get past all the Wii Fit, Sports resort or throw away releases it'll will always be a, admittedly very successful and profitable, past time.

The biggest problem with the Wii is that 3rd party software does not sell. The reason for this is the low hardware the Wii has. It's significantly easier to develop for, and as a result, there's a crapton of shovelware on the Wii. Once you've finished the 1st party titles, finding good 3rd party titles is a pain in the ass. So people like me turn to other systems. I play the Wii, but primarily for the 1st party titles. I do plan to pick up Zack and Wiki soon, though.

Note about your conclusion Nintendo didn't "stay focussed on the people who played it's games". They decided that they couldn't compete for those people and went and found some new people instead ^^

If only there weren't like five Wii games worth playing. There are FAR too many "My Little Pony" and "In Barbie Wonderland"-type of games for the Wii.
Also, please stop wanking off the Mario franchise. Or make something good out of it (I liked Super Mario Galaxy)

Yeah, the problem with Wii is not "just good enough" approach to graphics. It's the "just good enough" approach to games by third-party developers. No More Heroes is a proof that Wii game can be original, good-looking, and have intresting gameplay. But it won't sell very good, because the market is flooded with shovelware.

To be honest, Nintendo haven't rewritten game design history books at all. Candystand.com/Kongregate.com browser based games have been offering the exact same games as the Wii has done for decades, just without the benefit of motion control. In fact they have embraced the philosophy even more because browser game developers know they can't afford to raise the stakes and instead have to work to find innovative ways to please the player without fancy graphics OR gimmicky controllers.

I know you love to praise Wii Sports and whats it's done for game design but in truth it's an amalgamation of games on Candystand where they've switched the mouse for a motion sensor (even the movements are similar). It's just that candystand isn't brazen enough to make people pay for it.

Since the games are identical (except teh mosue has to reside on a surface instead of being able to held in the air) Nintendo can't have revolutionised game design. It's purely a marketing exercise and a very good one.

In fact just enough is a perfect phrase for Nintendo's marketing and business plan. Just enough support to get third-party developers, not enough to help them make and publicise good games, just enough good games to please fans, not enough to satisfy them. (Nintendo even seems to release less high quality first-party games a year than MS and Sony (per platform, DS support is pretty good))

The biggest question is whether the non-HD crowd will upgrade their wii to the next Nintendo console.

M$ and Sony can atleast rely on the gfx whores to upgrade to a more powerful console in the future. The casual crowd may be content to stick with their wiis for a very long time. They are content with simple gfx now, so why should that change?

The problem with all that is though the Wii did well it has a shitty line-up of games and for most gamers it has failed them, even on the "just good enough" front.

Wii Sports sold well because it was BUNDLED WITH THE CONSOLE and the console was sold AS A TOY to people who are not gamers but are just getting in on a new fad. The stand alone sales of Wii Sport have been incredibly low, very few people have seen wii-ports on the shelf and bought it.

Wii has a few decent low spec games but then equally PS3 and 360 can do the same with their low spec games that are DOWNLOADED. What you are suggesting is ALREADY being done with XBLA and PSN with games like Geometry Wars, Super Stardust HD, Braid, Flower you don't NEED a weak console to sell games with modest graphics at modest prices.

And it's not like selling a lower power machine is cheaper, Wii currently is selling for the same price as an Xbox 360 Arcade! Nintendo used to be "low performance, budget price" but they have NOT changed with the times, they currently offer the WORST value for money.

"Wii Sports was a system seller because it proved the Wii could deliver simple, accessible gameplay."

Bullshit. What you just described is not "Gameplay" but a TOY, barely a step up from "ball in a cup", what Nintendo have shown is how to sell a toy to the mass market and NOT a true gaming platform. It's just a plaything, suitable to infants who are learning their motor control or feckless adults who want something to play around with and don't want any real challenge or competition.

Boom Blox sold terribly, global sales after almost 2 years are barely 1 million to spite how large the install base of the Wii is. Now this is one of the top rated exclusive games on the Wii yet in 87 weeks barely 2% of owners bothered to pick it up. This just shows that for the majority of people who bought the Wii they use it AS A TOY. They play the bundled game that came with it and pretty much that's it.

Now don't get me wrong, I have a LOT of faith in the mantra of "moderate graphic, moderate price, great gameplay" and PC has had this for years and the console are now getting it with their XBLA and PSN games not just of new games but re release of old games that have low graphics but great gameplay.

I just find that the Wii is a TERRIBLE example of that, as it just sold itself as a Toy which is NOT what "just good enough" graphics games are supposed to be about.

Nintendo's intent with this system is simply ingenious. It has opened up gaming as a platform for other things. It is reminiscent of the old Family game night where you have friends over on a Friday or even Sunday night to cook a great dinner and then play a board game where all involved have fun. It brings together all ages as well as all walks of life. I know most people can not think of the business side of what Nintendo has done, but I know the market is still watching the wii and the DS stomp the x-box and the PS in combined sales. You can always find a better graphic machine or a high resolution game. It's the memories the wii is creating with families that is selling it so well. I know watching my own mother (48 in age) play her first video game and enjoy it was a revelation for me. She no longer razzes me when I am game testing or writing articles for video games, or when I sell my product. Since I work for a retailer who sells all sort of games and gamer tools.

I believe the Wii is making gaming a life tool and not just a fad, or an underground cult club. The game/computer programmers, creative directors, artists, testers, and everyone else in the industry is experiencing a golden age in their industry thanks to some of the doors the Wii has opened up. Yes this may just be my opinion, but this article certainly shows it is a shared one. Long live Mario and Link!!!

I have no issue with the graphics. The art design of the games I mentioned more than compensates for any so called realism.

I agree entirely with this article. Truth is, as complexity grows, it becomes more and more expensive to model a game with the quality of graphics that the consoles demand, and therefore gamers expect. Because of that, gamers will become more and more make-or-break, and designers will have to play cautiously, so innovation will be stifled. This is already starting to happen and will get worse with each new generation. Until the 'good enough' line of thought has more widespread adoption, game design will march to its doom.

Seriously, games now are so beautiful I don't even bat an eye. I have a 360 and spent the Christmas holiday playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. After you arrive at a point in which people look like people, cars look like cars and guns look like guns, any new graphical development is unnecessary and worth only a single moment of eye candy.

Treblaine:
The problem with all that is though the Wii did well it has a shitty line-up of games and for most gamers it has failed them, even on the "just good enough" front.

Wii Sports sold well because it was BUNDLED WITH THE CONSOLE and the console was sold AS A TOY to people who are not gamers but are just getting in on a new fad. The stand alone sales of Wii Sport have been incredibly low, very few people have seen wii-ports on the shelf and bought it.

"Wii Sports was a system seller because it proved the Wii could deliver simple, accessible gameplay."

Bullshit. What you just described is not "Gameplay" but a TOY, barely a step up from "ball in a cup", what Nintendo have shown is how to sell a toy to the mass market and NOT a true gaming platform. It's just a plaything, suitable to infants who are learning their motor control or feckless adults who want something to play around with and don't want any real challenge or competition.

Boom Blox sold terribly, global sales after almost 2 years are barely 1 million to spite how large the install base of the Wii is. Now this is one of the top rated exclusive games on the Wii yet in 87 weeks barely 2% of owners bothered to pick it up. This just shows that for the majority of people who bought the Wii they use it AS A TOY. They play the bundled game that came with it and pretty much that's it.

What's wrong with seeing the Wii AS A TOY? Its opening gaming up to a much larger consumer base than any previous console has EVER done before. So what if Granny and Grandpa view it as a TOY or soccer Mommy Susi uses it to do something about those TERRIBLE stretch marks she so despises. The Wii changed everything about videogames in this console generation and they did by focussing on accessibility rather than Pixel Shader 3.0.

And what do you have against feckless adults huh? There are some, believe it or not, that don't want to vegetate on a sofa whilst taking a drag and uttering racial slurs into a crappy Microsoft headset. Some people play games, you know, FOR FUN. That might not mean they want to finish Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran to fellate their e-penis. It might mean they enjoy sociable games that involve physically interacting with what is going on the screen. Or it might mean that ALL casual gamers HATE hardcore gamers as much as the JETS hate the SHARKS, who knows?

Yeah, 3rd-party developers dropped the ball in terms of figuring the market out and making games that 98% of Wii owners would want to buy. But considering that 98% of Wii owners are cross-generational and have a variety of lifestyles that range from worrying about a mortgage, whether or not they're gonna have SPAGHETTI hoops for tea, or what DENTURE cleaner to use - you really can't expect a procession of games to hit all those demographics.

In any case, Nintendo has made enough money to buy Purgatory by having the 'just good enough' philosophy well and truly down to an art. ACCESSIBILITY reigns supreme in the wider non-hardcore market and no-one, NO-ONE has done that better than Nintendo. Once that market has dried up like a spent cow's teat they'll just go back to their roots, pump out the old traditional classics and start all over again. It's just like the storyline in Mass Effect, except with money instead of ultra-trillions of human and alien lives at stake. Sadly though, we'll never see an Asari side-boob on the Wii.

And I'm SPENT.

Insulting or praising the Wii is a waste of time because it was a huge success for Nintendo-it did something new that attracted a lot of people who don't normally consider games to buy it. I'm not sure why we still have these arguments about which console is the best, they all succeeded to varying degrees. I'm more interested to see what's coming when new consoles come out-these "next gen" consoles are not next gen anymore, they've been out for years.

veloper:
The biggest question is whether the non-HD crowd will upgrade their wii to the next Nintendo console.

M$ and Sony can atleast rely on the gfx whores to upgrade to a more powerful console in the future. The casual crowd may be content to stick with their wiis for a very long time. They are content with simple gfx now, so why should that change?

I think this is a very interesting point. Yes, everyone and their dog is buying a Wii now but what will happen with the next N console, especially if it's nothing but an upgrade of their current one? This will be the true question given that Sony and MS will also have the gimmick of motion control plus more value in their overall package. Will the "non-gamers" bother upgrading at all? Will those who have realized they quite like gaming stick with N or graduate to a more well rounded gaming system?

"Good enough" isn't. A Wii with the latest computing capabilities is better than one without.

Remember that a powerful CPU, etc. doesn't just mean good graphics. It gives the developer the memory and the speed for good AI, interesting game mechanics, better multiplayer, Internet based functions such as streaming movies, the list goes on.

Remember that all Computers, given limitless memory, can preform the same functions. How fast it can do these things affects the practicalities of the feature (something that is even more important in real time gaming).

People defend the Wii's lack of power because they say "it's not all about the graphics". Has the progression of games consoles from the Odyssey to the PS3 been solely graphical? No.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to go against this entire article. In particular to...

Game People:
"just good enough"

... This.

I abhor mediocrity. There's this cult of the mediocre being formed in our society, and if there's one thing life taught me is that "just good enough" is neither truly "good" or truly "enough".

If we can do better, why not? Why strive for the acceptable when we can reach excellence?

I do understand the basic principle of what you're implying, at this day and age it's not longer justifiable to spend an extra 30 million in development just for another level of anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering. It's just redundant.

However, that's not "being just good enough", that's avoiding overkill. There's nothing wrong with making graphics good, with making a visually interesting experience. Companies just need to come to terms with the fact that we really have gone way past the point of diminishing returns when it comes to graphics, and that we shift some of the focus from improving graphics into improving everything else.

And quite honestly, Nintendo are the last people I'd want ushering in that new era... They epitomize the idea "just good enough... to sell". See, Nintendo doesn't strive for good, it strives for good enough to sell. Mediocrity. Most of the time visual, artistic and gameplay wise. They're the 50 cents, the Kanye West, the MTV of gaming. They cater to people with more money than common sense, that'll buy anything shiny or gimmicky enough to get their attention. Like MTV does to "music".

In sum, focusing less on graphics is good. Aiming for mediocrity like Nintendo does will be the death of gaming.

Some people in this thread need a soapbox and a medal. And I agree how can the Wii Sport count as a seller? It's just the game bundled with the Wii. It's like calling the Microsoft headset a stroke of technological genius because 39 million 360 users got one with the console.

And as people have said CPU doesn't equal graphics. Wii games have less enemies because they can't process them, less interesting systems because they can't process them, less really huge sandboxes because they can't process them, no 256 player online shooters. No Mass Effect. It's not bad and dev.s can make do with less but why should I be satisfied by that? By making their games less good Nintendo haven't improved the quality of what I receive in any way. If you were to offer me all the Sony first party exclusives as opposed to the Nintendo ones, where's the effin' contest?

inFamous, Uncharted 1,2. Heavy Rain, Demon Souls, Killzone 2, Motorstorm, Motor Storm: Pacific Rift, God of War 3, White Knight Chronicles, Valkyria Chronicles, Resistance 2. Modnation Racers. Even the platform genre is smashed by Little Big Planet. Flower, Fat Princess, flow, Pixel Junk Shooter, Pixel Junk Eden. 3Dot RPG Hero.

And you say we're getting a better, more player tailored games with Nintendo? That's crud. Demon Souls, Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet, ModNation Racers, Valkyria Chronicles. Sony have done far more to revolutionise games and create whole new experiences for their users. The same for Microsoft. If you want the perfect player tailored experience, play Uncharted 2.

Since the PSN can bring more quality to bare than everything but the very best and very most unfrequent of Nintendo's releases you're going to have to change the definition of quality. Obviously, this is the old fashioned idea of games. Games that thrill, exhilarate, plug you into a whole new world and let you go out and explore. Games that move you and take you on a journey are being revolutionised by browser based mini games.

And yes that has interested all sorts of new people into games, but they aren't real games. They don't hiijack your brain and take you on a ride. If Nintendo is leading the way in the new era of gaming Aeris will never die again, we'll never have the thrill of slowly struggling to become a Sith Lord and becoming so twisted that we kill of those who supported us. Our brains will never be set pumping our minds will never be set free. We'll never sit tensely on our seats as we're stalked by a Black Phantom. We'll never read books on the games we play.

You say Nintendo rewrote game design with their packaged browser games. I say it was an exercise in marketing. I hope for gamings sake you're wrong. Whats the point of introducing everyone to our hobby if we have to destroy what;s brilliant about it in the process? I'd prefer to be a pariah and have the buzz of a game in my head hours after I've completed it than to be one of everyone and put down the game at the same time as I put down my controller.

The Wii has a select few titles which are worth a play, if only after consuming large amounts of alcohol. But a majority of the games are quite poor, at least from personal opinion.

Why is that people insist graphics detract from quality? Just because it's fantastically rendered it is somehow less of a game.

The Wii is not "good enough" it's not even alright it's meh. my parents have a Wii and the ONLY games they play on it are Wii-sports and Wii-fit and thats when they can be bothered. I guarantee they won't upgrade to the Wii 2 or whatever they'll call it either. If it's as you say good enough, why upgrade?

We shouldn't have to settle for anything less than stellar. Once graphics reach a level of near-photorealistic do you honestly think the game developers are just going to rest on their laurels and churn out the same game over and over again? They won't make any money if they insist on that, so the quality of the games will have to improve or they will fall by the wayside.

At the moment we are in the middle of the shift from quality gaming to pretty gaming but soon we will reach the limits of what visuals can provide and it will need to make the return to quality or die.

The Wii cannot provide quality visuals and unfortunately is not providing quality gaming either. People talk about the 3rd party shovelware being released on the Wii but a good proportion of first party shovelware exists too.

galaxygamer:
The Wii may be a "good enough system," but the games sure aren't.

I have to ask: Those who claim the Wii lacks good games, do you even look, or do you somehow have the time and money to purchase and play a new game every two weeks for your console of choice, and therefore what the Wii has to offer pales in comparison? If the latter, sign me up for whatever illegal experiments you're participating in! I won't deny that there's less good Wii games, total, than on its competitors, but to say that they don't exist or "theirs only liek five lol" stems either from elitism, not actually looking, or because of this collective egocentrism that permeates gaming culture. You know what I'm talking about: the assumption that what doesn't work for you, doesn't work at all, and the elitism that inevitably accompanies it. The assumption that people who've never picked up a controller don't deserve to pick up a controller.

And here's the real kicker: Wii Sports, Wii Play, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, they're all fun. Maybe not to "hardcoar" gamers, but that's because you want something more than pure clean fun from your games; you want an experience. These games focus on their simple fun, not letting complicated things like plot, health bars, dialogue trees, moral choices or experience points get in the way of the fun. You could say that those things add to the fun, I'd say it's more accurate to say they add to the overall experience. I wouldn't really call the final boss of Mother 3 "fun" in any sense of the world, but god damn if it wasn't the most immersive, gutwrenching, heartwarming sequence in any game I've played. I love the game for it, but that experience there wasn't "fun" by any definition I've heard of.

But not everybody wants a full-fledged experience when they boot up their game. Lots of people just want to play a game and enjoy it. That's why games with solid multiplayer, like Super Smash Bros. Melee or Counterstrike remain incredibly popular despite their age: because what they provide us with is closer to pure, simple fun than what you'd get in the story mode of almost any game you'd care to name. And this is what the Wii supplies to the person who hasn't played games their whole life. Simple, accessible fun. I honestly don't know why people act as though this is a crime.

Graustein:
And this is what the Wii supplies to the person who hasn't played games their whole life. Simple, accessible fun. I honestly don't know why people act as though this is a crime.

Don't mean to just pick on this one piece but it Just occurred to me that yes people want simple accessible fun but it also has to justify the cost.

It might be "good enough" to play but is it "good enough" to pay for? in my experience when I owned a Wii it very often wasn't.

Nerf Ninja:

Graustein:
And this is what the Wii supplies to the person who hasn't played games their whole life. Simple, accessible fun. I honestly don't know why people act as though this is a crime.

Don't mean to just pick on this one piece but it Just occurred to me that yes people want simple accessible fun but it also has to justify the cost.

It might be "good enough" to play but is it "good enough" to pay for? in my experience when I owned a Wii it very often wasn't.

You said it yourself. In your experience. In my experience, Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate were the height of tedium, Resident Evil is boring as all hell, Starcraft can't compare to Age of Mythology and Half-Life is nothing compared to Metroid Prime. And yet I would still recommend Baldur's Gate for somebody looking for a good computer RPG, because I have heard wonderful things about it, and I've seen wonderful things in it - it's just that they didn't make up for what I percieved to be crushing flaws in my overall experience of the game. I'm still a huge fan of Blizzard and looking forward to Starcraft II, because I did love the story mode of its predecessor. Whether that justifies buying all three installments remains to be seen.

I've got no problems with people who simply don't like what the Wii has to offer. My beef is with the all-too-numerous people who seem to think that their personal experience constitutes universal human experience. The people who look at someone with different tastes and conclude, not that they have different tastes, but that they are wrong.

Graustein:

galaxygamer:
The Wii may be a "good enough system," but the games sure aren't.

But not everybody wants a full-fledged experience when they boot up their game. Lots of people just want to play a game and enjoy it. That's why games with solid multiplayer, like Super Smash Bros. Melee or Counterstrike remain incredibly popular despite their age: because what they provide us with is closer to pure, simple fun than what you'd get in the story mode of almost any game you'd care to name. And this is what the Wii supplies to the person who hasn't played games their whole life. Simple, accessible fun. I honestly don't know why people act as though this is a crime.

The crime is a) pretending these games haven't existed for decades and treating it like a fantastic evolution, b) suggesting that Sony and MS follow suit and rob us of our experience and c)when people feel they've been led on to purchase a system which isn't following through on the quality they felt they were offered, d)when it's a very real risk the quality of the better games will decrease because of it.

And Wii Sports was banal for me at best (ie it's not necessarily describable as simple accessible fun because a lot of the people this is being said to don't enjoy these games at all. Yes they are fun to many many people and we should respect that definition, but arguing that it is fun to people who actually like games where you might actually not be asked to repeatedly move two sticks up and down with little variation for ten minutes, is a doomed point.

Graustein:
You said it yourself. In your experience. In my experience, Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate were the height of tedium, Resident Evil is boring as all hell, Starcraft can't compare to Age of Mythology and Half-Life is nothing compared to Metroid Prime. And yet I would still recommend Baldur's Gate for somebody looking for a good computer RPG, because I have heard wonderful things about it, and I've seen wonderful things in it - it's just that they didn't make up for what I percieved to be crushing flaws in my overall experience of the game. I'm still a huge fan of Blizzard and looking forward to Starcraft II, because I did love the story mode of its predecessor. Whether that justifies buying all three installments remains to be seen.

I've got no problems with people who simply don't like what the Wii has to offer. My beef is with the all-too-numerous people who seem to think that their personal experience constitutes universal human experience. The people who look at someone with different tastes and conclude, not that they have different tastes, but that they are wrong.

That's why I said in my experience.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Metroid Prime the youngest game out of that list? (not an FPS fan) the age of a lot of these unfortunately does mean that they weren't just "good enough" they were the best you could get at the time.

Sadly the average person does believe that what they think should be the guiding line for everyone else, just like your belief that people who "think that their personal experience constitutes universal human experience" are wrong. Everybody at some point thinks they have it right and if people only listened to them they'd see.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 - 1944)

Often cited in engineering design, and I can't imagine game designers have never heard of it.

"The completely new take on video games..." from the article makes me chuckle. When I use a regular kitchen knife even though electric knives have been invented, am I applauded as a revolutionary?

I'm not saying the WII is in any way backwards, but I don't call it new thinking so much as economical thinking, like Majestic dumping overpriced commercial flops in favour of a few hundred cheap releases which sell.

BrotherRool:

The crime is a) pretending these games haven't existed for decades and treating it like a fantastic evolution, b) suggesting that Sony and MS follow suit and rob us of our experience and c)when people feel they've been led on to purchase a system which isn't following through on the quality they felt they were offered, d)when it's a very real risk the quality of the better games will decrease because of it.

And Wii Sports was banal for me at best (ie it's not necessarily describable as simple accessible fun because a lot of the people this is being said to don't enjoy these games at all. Yes they are fun to many many people and we should respect that definition, but arguing that it is fun to people who actually like games where you might actually not be asked to repeatedly move two sticks up and down with little variation for ten minutes, is a doomed point.

A) They existed, but they weren't anywhere near as popular. Nintendo popularised them, which is just as important as actually inventing them. A product is useless if it's not in the public eye.

B) When did Nintendo suggest that Microsoft and Sony abandon games that deliver complex experiences?

C) If you'd care to look, you'd notice that Nintendo have not slowed in their delivery of the Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Pokemon games that brought their initial legions of fans to them. When was the last time a single console had two nonspinoff Mario games? Not since the SNES, at least. And a third one is on its way. We've got a second Zelda game in the making for the Wii, and another Metroid game as well. Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver are coming out soon. The lack of quality that is so widely percieved is because, firstly, their most-publicised products - Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit - are, surprise surprise, made for the general public rather than the people who already know that there's another Zelda coming out; secondly, that Nintendo have been very lax in what third-party games they allow on their console. If you bought a Nintendo console expecting much quality beyond their main franchises, then you haven't been paying all too much attention (which isn't saying that there's not plenty, just that it's extremely hit-or-miss). And if you bought a Nintendo console despite hating Nintendo's milking of their franchises, then I'd venture to suggest that you've been living under a rock to expect something else.

D) The success of trashy vampire romance and that of gritty fantasy blockbusters are not mutually exclusive. Don't pretend that they are.

Perhaps "fun", on its own, wasn't an accurate descriptor. It would probably be better to say that they are fun for - and made for - a demographic that, shock and horror, does not happen to include you.

Nerf Ninja:

That's why I said in my experience.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Metroid Prime the youngest game out of that list? (not an FPS fan) the age of a lot of these unfortunately does mean that they weren't just "good enough" they were the best you could get at the time.

Sadly the average person does believe that what they think should be the guiding line for everyone else, just like your belief that people who "think that their personal experience constitutes universal human experience" are wrong. Everybody at some point thinks they have it right and if people only listened to them they'd see.

That's the point. Those games I cited as not liking were considered the best you could get at the time, and in many circles are still considered the best you can get. And still I found other games to be preferable. And yet I will still readily recognise that those games are excellent samples of their genres. I'm pointing out that it's very possible to accept that you don't need to like something personally to appreciate its value.

I'm very aware of what the average person thinks. It's not going to stop me pushing them to actually open their eyes. The main difference is, I couldn't care less whether or not you like what I like. I'd be happy if people could stop kicking up a stink over something that's not even designed for them.

Graustein:

I'm very aware of what the average person thinks. It's not going to stop me pushing them to actually open their eyes. The main difference is, I couldn't care less whether or not you like what I like. I'd be happy if people could stop kicking up a stink over something that's not even designed for them.

aye, BUT when the companies whom make games for them start to ignore them for the sake of the $ suggested in following nintendo's example, then there is.

Considering the WII is not a precise tool built for gaming but rather a toy a flimsy gimmick meant to get by on...... look I can give nin some credit for seeing through the haze that gameplay/mechanics is something more important to focus on but they missed the boat big time, sure they hit the trend bus but what has the WII really given us? A step backwords in control precision for toy like but well selling gimmick.....the WII has only shown us 3 things trends can do well and that they can come from anything that's marketed well enough. And that graphics are not everything to gaming of coarse most of this flies right over the heads of the suits in charge they don't know or care about mechanics or gamepaly even polish and bug work is lost on these morons in charge.

IMO graphics are not as important as control which is not as important as price, this means you have graphics at a level you can have precise control over(smooth frame rates and standard default full button and stick mapping) at a end price that makes you the console maker money that makes your partners the software makers money that's cheap enough to sell in the millions without losing you money....we all would be alot better off if this was the foundation for game design.....

Graustein:

galaxygamer:
The Wii may be a "good enough system," but the games sure aren't.

I have to ask: Those who claim the Wii lacks good games, do you even look, or do you somehow have the time and money to purchase and play a new game every two weeks for your console of choice, and therefore what the Wii has to offer pales in comparison? If the latter, sign me up for whatever illegal experiments you're participating in! I won't deny that there's less good Wii games, total, than on its competitors, but to say that they don't exist or "theirs only liek five lol" stems either from elitism, not actually looking, or because of this collective egocentrism that permeates gaming culture. You know what I'm talking about: the assumption that what doesn't work for you, doesn't work at all, and the elitism that inevitably accompanies it. The assumption that people who've never picked up a controller don't deserve to pick up a controller.

The Wii has some top-notch first party games on the system plus a number of great 3rd party games to boot, but you already know that. I can't help but laugh at a few posts here, with my favorite being:

BrotherRool:
And yes that has interested all sorts of new people into games, but they aren't real games.

Enough to throw me into fit of chuckles. Perhaps I will say something equally as brash like "He's not a real gamer." The entire audacity of this medium is astounding, in the same way it is incredibly depressing. Here we have people blatantly given to whatever companies are willing to spoon feed them and call the rest rubbish. We have the calling out of items because they lack the same bells and whistles as their preferred titles. It's the means that are interchangeable and at times frivolous, but the end that needs to remain the same. And that end is entertainment.

And I am quite entertained.

I'm not really into any kind of console gaming myself, but I really appreciate what Nintendo is doing. I'm bloody sick and tired of the industry's focus on improving graphics at a breakneck speed so that we can get prettified sequels (and it's always sequels). Shamus Young made a good point about this in his recent column about how developers can save money.

I, for one, would be totally happy to play games that look like Half-Life 2, from 2005, because that game still looks great. I would be happy to spend my money buying new games - new, innovative experiences - instead of upgrading my PC all the time (or, were I a console gamer, buying new Box or Station consoles at their incredibly high launch prices).

So basically, I'm saying I appreciate how Nintendo is refocusing the industry on gameplay - the thing that actually matters - instead of graphics. Sure, a lot of Wii games may not be everyone's taste, but no-one's forcing you to buy them. And I really don't think blockbuster titles are going to be completely usurped by clones of Bejeweled. McDonald's didn't cut their burgers when they started selling salads (although that may have had a healthy effect on the human race).

Whatever your thoughts on the plebian casuals who don't play real games, I think we need them to remind us what gaming is all about. Your grandfather playing Wii golf (or whatever) for the first time is an experience akin to you walking up the PacMan machine, plopping a coin in the slot and discovering how to move a yellow man on a TV by pushing a stick.

This philosophy isn't a new thing at Nintendo. It has been around since the Game N' Watch days.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpei_Yokoi#Lateral_Thinking_of_Withered_Technology

The Nintendo approach of "barely acceptable", is well to the general public, "barely acceptable"

It's an approach that leads to nowhere, and is grounded in greed.

Mediocrity should not be celebrated.

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