Zero Punctuation: Tomodachi Life - Nintendo Life Simulator

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I kind of want Seņor Koqueonfaes to be a recurring ZP character, in as far as those exist. Distant relative of Gareth Gobblecoque, perhaps? Something about the floppy features and source of humor just makes me want to see him stick around.

The Last Melon:
Leaving aside all the controversy that I'd never heard of, I'm a little confused as to why Yahtzee is review this game. Slow release period? Baiting fanboys? Just a sort of general "fuck you"?

He literally said why he did it in the video. The part when he said it was sad why he's doing the review.

tm96:
I didn't expect this but really should I be surprised since the internet got into furore over the patch that removed same sex relationship and also was a gamebreaking glitch that nobody understood, forcing Nintendo to say something stupid. Any publicity is good publicity i guess.

Fixed that for you.

Toblo1:
I can't help but think that Yahtzee made this video JUST so he could add "NINTY IS HOMOPHOBIC" to his list of why he hates Nintendo......

Even if this were the case, I'm glad he waited so long to do a video on Tomodachi Life. Now that the issue has passed, people can stop being complete idiots about it and we can have a thread about the game that won't devolve into a nonsensical argument.

Regarding the video, Yahtzee did a good job in showing what the game was about: inserting characters you want into the game and seeing what happens. Great ZP this week.

This game was certainly an odd curiosity to me. It looked like a clone of Animal Crossing which seemed needlessly redundant since anyone interested in AC isn't likely to jump ship just to play with Mii's instead of cute animals. Additionally its also a 3DS game which only added to the feelings of a fifth wheel to a wagon. This is all before getting to the gameplay that, well...it didn't seem to have any. The few short trailers and clips I had seen had stuff happening but non of it looked like what could be called a game. Even just from a cursory glance it seemed obvious that TL was mindless filler, nothingness trying to give the illusion of substance. If there is a reason for this game (and using that term generously) to exist it's not apparent to me, and I'm someone who does enjoy Animal Crossing...for a little while.

I ordered Jam the 16th of January through my local retailer and it still hasn't arrived! It better be really good now or i'll be pissed.

geier:
I fail to see a problem with excluding LGBTQAQ. I'm obese. Just like 50% of americans and mexicans or 30% of the germans. How many games are there that let me play as a fat guy?
Ask any fat person how they are treated from others. I don't think LGBTQAQ are treated worse then fat people. Am i supposed to protest now until all games include fat people?

And I fail to see how obesity (which is in many ways a lifestyle a person chooses, be it actively or passively) is comparable to sexuality (something a person just is/feels). You can get rid of body fat through changing habits, you can't do the same with sexuality (anyone who suggest otherwise are insane).

That said, yeah, I wish I had a wider variety of choice in player character bodytype, especially in RPGs.

LaoJim:

I've not played Tomodachi life, so I'm not sure how it handles relationships, but presumably every characters has some values regarding their opinion of everyone else in the game. If we assume love is just a strong version of like, you don't need to have any more values. (And even if you do it probably only need one byte more, assuming there's 100 characters in the game we talking 100*100 bytes = about 10k which shouldn't break the bank unless the hardware is already up against the limit) Whenever an event happens between these two characters the values move up or down. If the values pass a certain threshold then there's the chance for a relationship to start. Done this way I don't see that it needs any more memory or time than just doing hetrosexual relationships.

If everyone can match up with everyone then there are more possibilities for relationships so more calculations to do , assuming a 50/50 split and a 10 person "town" before each person would have 5 possible partners, now there are 9. Assuming you do the calculation once from one side to save before you would have a possibility of 25 calculations to do, now you would have around 45 (assuming first person 9 calcs, second 8 cause ones already done etc). I assume this is sort of thing done with the 3 person i love you situations to find the highest 3 friend values.

Again this is all conjecture as we have no idea how it all works, if we were writing everything from scratch yes this would be no extra work, but its not from scratch hence work.

And this is not factoring in any flags set by the user about straight/gay/bi etc either cause if you allow same sex you would probably need a way to set preferred gender somewhere. (again, additional work on the design side)

LaoJim:

I don't see that its flat out wrong. I think the idea is that allowing homosexual relationships/marriage shouldn't be regarded as an additional feature. I think its better to say that if its in the design document from the start than it is pretty much exactly the same amount of work.

It likely wasn't in from the start because this is actually about the 4th in the series so would have been built up from old code at a guess. This situation has literally never come up in japan. There were 2 or 3 other ones in the series in Japan before, this is the first one to make it to the west. Again if it was in from the start true, but then you have other design considerations to make (can they have kids, how is it refereed to in game, father and father etc, then need flags to display that in any stats, are there differences in treatment between genders and preference, transgendered individuals etc etc)

Again its more work, not much, but still more, its not as simple as removing a if statement (in my eyes anyway)

LaoJim:

Again this is not a problem if its in the design document from the start. As it's a family friendly game you just have
a stork bring the new baby to the (same or different sex) couple, no questions asked.

Assuming this is how you do it fine, but as a external factor we have silly homophobes who don't want any sort of male/male relationships shown to little timmy cause he might actually expand his horizons outside of the values of the parents :P

This isn't really a coding one, but still one from a family friendly design that you have to consider. To be truly family friendly for the American and British crazies you can't show gay relationships at all or you get protested. Its stupid and its a shame that people are like it, but business considering this... at the design phase.

LaoJim:

If you're making a modern life simulation you have to take a stand on this issue. Not having gay marriage isn't being neutral these days (maybe twenty years ago it would have been), its taking a anti-gay stance. As a company you have to decide on one stance or the other, and either way you are going to upset some people. In this case, regardless of anything else, I think this angry middle American mothers kids are going to realize that gay people exist sooner or later whatever she does.

The easy way around this is to have a slider setting the ratio of homo/hetro/bisexual people in the game (Or let it be set on a character by character basis). This allows people to create a completely gay community, a more balanced community or a "traditional" community as they see fit. Will your hypothetical mother be happy with this solution? Probably not, but its now firmly her problem.

Its not a modern life simulator, unless modern life includes people praising the virtual boy or 50 ft versions of friends emerging from the see, or impromptu rap battles. Its not like the Sims or anything like that from what I've seen. Its a toy and a game, not every game needs to make a social statement. This is what Nintendo said (that got them a lot of flak) but its kinda right in some sense, its a game it doesn't need to make any statement on life and how it works. If it does then i'm really missing out on the random signing competitions.

I agree that a slider should be a good idea, as i have said many times same sex relationships should be added.

You seem to be under the impression I've said it shouldn't be added, every single post I've said that it should, but at the same time I don't think they should HAVE to , but do if they choose to make the point.

I've also said it would be more work , and i think the thing that is the point of contention is this. The idea that its more work to exclude than to add, whereas in the whole picture (coding, design, marketing, blowback from press and idiots) its a lot more work to include because of all the extra features you need to include everything properly and not just have a token gesture which is a lot worse in my eyes (its why i dislike the ass cred thing when people said just reskin a man, as male and female physiology is different so re-skinning feels like tokenenization, if your gonna do it , do it properly)

Not going to discuss this any more cause I've basically said everything I can say about it, anyone reading this can see my thoughts on it and why I think Yahtzee is wrong, but maybe pointing this out in a thread about zero punctuation wasn't a good idea a sits not the best place to discuss it unfortunately due to internet based reasons.

[EDIT]

Blachman201:

And I fail to see how obesity (which is in many ways a lifestyle a person chooses, be it actively or passively) is comparable to sexuality (something a person just is/feels). You can get rid of body fat through changing habits, you can't do the same with sexuality (anyone who suggest otherwise are insane).

That said, yeah, I wish I had a wider variety of choice in player character bodytype, especially in RPGs.

Obesity isn't always a lifestyle choice, it can be based on many things, sometimes genetics, sometimes illness, but yeah sometimes lifestyle, or a mix of the 3.

The level of comparision would depend on if you think people are born gay or if its a choice based on lifestyle later in life. Which is right, are you born gay or choose to be? I don't know although I think personally that its a mix of the two and its not 100% one or the other. Until we can 100% map the brain and genome and understand it we won't know (and even then the heart wants what the heart wants, in the case of people that fancy a single member of the same sex, but aren't "gay" in the traditional sense).

I'm a bit tempted to get it, just so that I can make a house filled with various warlords and leaders from the Yugoslavian Wars. Imagine a cartoon Karadzic and Praljak sharing a flat, that would at least rival a sock puppet.

Kinitawowi:
I'll say the same thing I say in every Tomodachi Life thread: THIS?! This is what the LGBTOMGWTFBBQ community got so pissed off about? Of all the fucking problems non-straights face around the world, this is by some distance the most trivial and irrelevant.

Looks shite, sounds shite, looks stupid, would not part with any amount of my money to obtain. What an utter waste of time and energy. Yahtzee asks an excellent question - what exactly is this game meant to achieve? who is it for exactly? - and we've got nothing.

No. Some people and communities got pissed off about Tomodachi Life, at best. I imagine an overwhelming proportion simply didn't care, since, as you said, there are far bigger problems than Nintendo being a bit traditional on what true digital pretend romance can be.

Of course, most of the people who did get pissed off likely weren't even angry, just noting that it was a descision they didn't like. But since this is related to gaming, it is impossible to look at things with a modicum of restraint.

I'm not sure why some feel this episode was entertaining. Unlike other games that are trying to take themselves seriously, Tomodachi Life is very self-aware about its weirdness and the game mechanics. When Yahtzee says that the Mii's are rolling on the floor with their friends, that is not an exaggeration. They literally do that. It isn't a keen observation that exposes the silly stuff that the game tries to hide. Likewise, the absurdity of having Mii's like Lady Hitler on the island is part of the intended design. That is why the advertising has invited people to include Miis of celebrities on their islands.

It is disappointing that people still believe that including homosexual relationships would've been easy. A huge chunk of the game remains locked until your islanders get married and they have kids. This game is also text heavy, so it would also require adapting a lot of romantic conversations between Miis. These changes would involve significant changes to the game mechanics. It is far more practical take account of this in the next game than to overhaul everything and risk breaking the game.

Oh wow, this was a fantastic episode. You were on your A game for this one Yahtzee. The ending was probably my favorite part.

FFMaster:

Assuming this is how you do it fine, but as a external factor we have silly homophobes who don't want any sort of male/male relationships shown to little timmy cause he might actually expand his horizons outside of the values of the parents :P
...
Its not like the Sims or anything like that from what I've seen. Its a toy and a game, not every game needs to make a social statement
...
You seem to be under the impression I've said it shouldn't be added, every single post I've said that it should, but at the same time I don't think they should HAVE to , but do if they choose to make the point.

Ok, we'll wrap up the debate. I understand you're not against the feature, sorry if you've got the impression that I did.

I take your point about legacy code. I still think the additional processing time is not going to be at all significant because you only need to do once every five minutes or so and I doubt its too complex, and if there are 100 people it should be fairly simple.

The question is, given you're going to offend someone who should it be silly homophobes or sensible homosexuals. If you have the option to turn gay marriage on and off and they're still complaining there's not a lot more you can do. I do have a problem with the idea that if you include two people in a gay relationship, without having any sexual content, its somehow not family friendly, but I understand there are people who feel this way. The issue I think I and other people would have is this idea that these day, when making a sim style game involving relationships you can avoid making a statement on the issue. If you don't mention it, you are effectively on the anti-gay side because the anti-gay side wants to pretend it doesn't exist.

Thinking about it, what you could do is ask the player which country/state they are from when they start the game. If gay marriage is legal there, have gay relationships enabled by default. If it's not turn the feature off. Anyone can change the settings to what ever they want later.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Tomodachi Life - Nintendo Life Simulator

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Tomodachi Life.

Watch Video

I really hope this game inspires you to make a Super Smash Yahtzee All Stars game In which we can have all of your characters and imps and whatnot beat the crap out of each other at the whim of your uncaring disembodied hands.

After every match you can tell us all how our technique sucks while not pausing for breath.

Occasionally someone will land a solid upper cut and an image of Jim Sterling will appear shouting TOASTY! Just because.

Okay, I must admit that after this review, I am now more interested in playing this game then ever before.

Although without same-sex relationship options, trying to recreate characters from my stories will be kind of a bummer.

FFMaster:
You also have to consider then that even if they did allow gay marriage people would still complain because they can't have kids so can't progress further through the game (cause by my understanding of it , sending out your kids is an important part of progression).

It is? Well, then that's even worse then, innit. Now it's basically reached Game of Life levels, where one of the goals is to get hitched and splut out as many spawn as possible like any good red-blooded American who's not some sort of Commie subversive should. Bleah. And, hell, even that game lets you get gay-married if you want, thanks to vaguely-worded rules... not that it makes the game any more enjoyable to play, which is to say enjoyable at all.

Mangod:
I really don't get this genre of gaming at all. Why would I play a "life simulator" when I can just walk outside and live my own life? I always thought games were about escapism; that's why you play games like Tomb Raider, because you'll never get to be an adventure archeologist/grave robber in real life.

Maybe you won't. :P

Joking aside, real soldiers play Call of Duty all the time, or so I've been told, so there's that.

But from the way Yahtzee described it, it doesn't sound like even people who have no life would see any appeal in this. You don't have enough control over things to make it a challenge, and the characters aren't interesting enough on their own to make leaving them to their own devices worthwhile either. So, just like the Game of Life, the only enjoyment to be gotten out of it is the sense of moral superiority you can have by complaining how backward it is. Luckily, that will never stop being fun.

Yes but more importantly who married Slippery John? I won't be able to sleep well until I know.

I like how many people think they are tricking the game by dressing up male characters as female and are thus more smarter than Nintendo. Because there is no way a company as big as Nintendo who go over almost every detail and ensure you couldn't dress up as female if it really did want to exclude teh gays! Maybe i'm giving them the benefit of the doubt but it seems more likely to me the cross dressing was a back door way to include it without risking the backlash. And about the more of less work argument, since you don't tell your Mii who to bum, it would need an additional check for orientation. How much more work it would be is ambiguous since there are many ways to program relationship possibilities, but no, it would be more work.

Mangod:
S, H, U, B, N, I, G, G, U, R, A, T, H...

... has someone checked if those kids have gills or something?

What? What do you have against the final boss of Quake?

Funny how the primary bullet point that Yahtzee had to say about Tomadachi Life was that it caused Nintendo to lose some political correctness points.

Honestly, this game should have done pretty well. It's a game about metadrama. The Internet loves metadrama, it's the primary reason behind most players of EVE Online, most visitors of 4chan, and the primary topic of the most popular user-generated forum threads on the front page of The Escapist. Apparently, here on the Internet, the greater bulk of us are evolved monkeys who flock to drama like moth to a flame.

So here's Tomodachi Life, a game where you do nothing but add little computer people and watch the metadrama unfold. Not being able to control the greater bulk of the happenings therein is just necessary streamlining: you're there to heckle, not play. Metadrama was popularized by reality TV, so here's "Reality TV: The Game" where all you can do is change the channel and vote who gets to stay on the island.

God saw that, got really pissed off, and said, "You know what? Your game is not going to sell because that's fucking detestable you'd make a game all about metadrama. And, because I like ironic punishments, the reason your game will not sell will be metadrama related."

One of Yahtzee's funniest yet. We got the return of Seņor Coquonfayse! Lady Hitler was a surprise. As long as we're speculating about Yahtzee's fan-fix apartment life, I'd like to know who Jim from Mogworld hooks up with. Maybe the nice zombie girl who helped him settle in to their Necromancer's army.

[/quote]And I fail to see how obesity (which is in many ways a lifestyle a person chooses, be it actively or passively) is comparable to sexuality (something a person just is/feels). You can get rid of body fat through changing habits, you can't do the same with sexuality (anyone who suggest otherwise are insane).

That said, yeah, I wish I had a wider variety of choice in player character bodytype, especially in RPGs.[/quote]

I urge you to search the internet for "Obesity Genes".
I for my part was at birth (a point where i did not have any agency about how much i eat) nearly 30% bigger (more fat, larger, more bone mass) than normal kids. Ever wondered why some people always stay slim/skinny no matter what they eat or how old they get? -> Genes
This can (and very often does) occur the other way around, causing obesity. I don't deny that calorie intake is a problem too, but genes (something i can't do anything against) are a much bigger parameter.
You also fail to see that obese people are harassed all the time. A LGBTQA person has to tell you what their sexual preferences is. You can't (in normal cases) see what drives their lust. But fat people? Can't hide anything.
Even Yahtzee (who defended LGBTQA people and their cause with this review) makes regularly jokes about fat people.

This is the hypocrisy of our time.
Going on about including all people and be understanding. But as soon as a fat person enters the room, everyone thinks "that fat lazy tub of lard". This is nothing different than dismissing a person holding the hand of someone their own sex. And i bet, everyone reading this thinks the same.

Mydnyght:

Mangod:
S, H, U, B, N, I, G, G, U, R, A, T, H...

... has someone checked if those kids have gills or something?

What? What do you have against the final boss of Quake?

Final boss of Quake?

... *google* ...

Oh, I thought he was talking about Lovecraft's Shub-Niggurath, The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young. You know, the Cthulhu Mythos deity? This Shub-Niggurath:

image

Steve the Pocket:

Mangod:
I really don't get this genre of gaming at all. Why would I play a "life simulator" when I can just walk outside and live my own life? I always thought games were about escapism; that's why you play games like Tomb Raider, because you'll never get to be an adventure archeologist/grave robber in real life.

Maybe you won't. :P

Joking aside, real soldiers play Call of Duty all the time, or so I've been told, so there's that.

But from the way Yahtzee described it, it doesn't sound like even people who have no life would see any appeal in this. You don't have enough control over things to make it a challenge, and the characters aren't interesting enough on their own to make leaving them to their own devices worthwhile either. So, just like the Game of Life, the only enjoyment to be gotten out of it is the sense of moral superiority you can have by complaining how backward it is. Luckily, that will never stop being fun.

Well, from what I've understood, real wars and "Call of Duty: Press X to Dog", really don't have that much in common either.

Still, yeah, I cannot see what anyone would get out of Tomodachi Life specifically, outside of a fanfic plot-generator. Plop a bunch of characters into a building, and then just write a story based on what happens between your Mii's.

This game legitimately sounds like the most boring, pointless software ever created. Too bad this was unknown when all the backlash started months ago, so that the collective response of the internet could have been "Who cares? It's not like we're going to play it..."

Mangod:
S, H, U, B, N, I, G, G, U, R, A, T, H...

True story: I created a Mii named "Shub-Niggurath" the first day I got the game.

Also true story - I found this article because I was trying to find QR codes of Mogworld & Jam characters.

I've also done the "lie about the gender" trick to get homosexuals into my game, which works better than expected because the "having a baby" mechanic has virtually no resemblance to IRL reproduction.

I'm amazed that there was no mention of the especially creepy thing that they left in the game... You can change adults into children and children into adults using one of two sprays. Children who are changed into adults can then engage in adult relationships.

Example: I made a Mii of Rollo Tubbs from The Cleveland Show, so of course I made him 5 years old. Literally; his birth year was set so that it was five years prior to the current year. A day later, he asked to be sprayed with the adult spray, which I did, and within an hour one of my other Miis said she had feelings for him (the one based on my roommate... ugh...). I decided to see how far that rabbit hole would go.

They're about to have their second child.

My roommate is in her mid-30s. Rollo's birth year is still five years ago.

So, you can carry to full term the creepy implications of the movie "Big", but no dude-on-dude stuff, 'kay?

geier:
I fail to see a problem with excluding LGBTQAQ. I'm obese. Just like 50% of americans and mexicans or 30% of the germans. How many games are there that let me play as a fat guy?
Ask any fat person how they are treated from others. I don't think LGBTQAQ are treated worse then fat people. Am i supposed to protest now until all games include fat people?

captcha: milk was a bad choice
Realy? Only if it is the milk of mice.

Well I know it's called "life simulator" but the emphasis, going from the reviews, is mostly on simulating relationships. Halving your choice of relationships from the get-go is a shoddy move. Like a fitness simulator in which there're no fat people.

I feel vindicated in not giving a crap about this game at all.

I think calling Tomodachi Life a "life simulator" is like calling any given Mario game "a day in the life of a plumber". TL in many ways is The Sims by way of Monty Python.

That said, I do agree with the LGBQAQ folks who feel that the game didn't include them. That's why I was happy to see Nintendo stating that the next installment (if there is one) will be more inclusive (source: http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/c4fwbi-uave2t9r1h7sfzx0aoa-d4pgx).

Are there prizes being handed out for defending homosexuality or something? Seems like the thing to do these days if you have a public voice. Personally Id be pretending to care about womens rights, more likely to get a root that way at least.

Geier makes a good point, there are 100 minority groups not represented in the mainstream media, I guess this is just the one that's trendy right now. "ooh look Ive got gay friends and I understand their needs".

Yeah most impressive.

Razorback0z:

Johnny Novgorod:
[quote="geier" post="6.854268.21143674"] Like a fitness simulator in which there're no fat people.

You seriously used that example for this response?

And I thought I was Asperger's.

Calling me autistic because you don't like my choice of analogy is very rude and mean, good sir. You're class of 2009, you should know your Code of Conduct by now.

Johnny Novgorod:

Razorback0z:

Johnny Novgorod:
[quote="geier" post="6.854268.21143674"] Like a fitness simulator in which there're no fat people.

You seriously used that example for this response?

And I thought I was Asperger's.

Calling me autistic because you don't like my choice of analogy is very rude and mean, good sir. You're class of 2009, you should know you Code of Conduct by now.

Pot/Kettle.

Read Geier's post. You may as well have called him fatass.

Razorback0z:

Johnny Novgorod:

Razorback0z:

You seriously used that example for this response?

And I thought I was Asperger's.

Calling me autistic because you don't like my choice of analogy is very rude and mean, good sir. You're class of 2009, you should know you Code of Conduct by now.

Pot/Kettle.

Read Geier's post. You may as well have called him fatass.

I did no such thing. He equated lack of obesity in a relationship game to a lack of possible relationships in a relationship game. All I did was explain why in my opinion that reasoning was illogical. No personal attacks were hurled.

Just mentioning that off-handed Lebedev choice joke. That has to be the only time in Deus Ex I felt I actually had quite a lot of choice. I could listen to him and Navarre would kill him. I could kill him immediately. I could kill Navarre then talk to him. I could set a trap for Navarre so she died when she arrived (which would change peoples reactions) I could kill her after she shot Lebedev and people would treat me a bit more understandably. And if I killed her then, I'd avoid a boss fight later I wasn't even aware existed because I didn't reload being shocked it even gave me the choice to kill her when I played the game.

Wait, wasn't the reason behind the removal of gay relationships due to the fact that the same part of the program which ran them also caused save file corruption?

Lack of LGBTQ aside, *Insert mutterings* I like the game. Yeah, there's not a ton to do, but it's oddly something that I like playing. There's a demo out now, so I suggest at least that.

Also, yeah, I lied to the game about my gender, so it could be worse. I mean make a Mii that looks like you, but the other gender, an fill in the rest as you normally would, and it's close enough. Not great, but close.

Also, I wish he included his QR code in the review. :P

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