Mr.Spo Comments

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  • NX won't be sold at a loss

  • Mr.Spo 02/05/2016

    @FMV-GAMER Before you go off on a rant like that, best to do some basic research first.

    Wii U was sold at a loss due to the yen being very strong against the euro and dollar at the time Wii U launched, which meant once Nintendo transferred their overseas profits to yen, they actually lost money. Hence in most markets, Wii U was sold at a loss.

    Wii U is not built from the same chipset as GameCube, that's a basic misunderstanding. Wii U ' architecture belongs to the same (Power) architectural family as GameCube, but that's about it.
    Reply +5
  • Sony's PSN is making more money than all of Nintendo

  • Mr.Spo 28/04/2016

    @grassyknoll Good points. People also fail to take into account Nintendo's lack of manpower versus the publishers used to launching huge games on a year in year out basis like clockwork, and the jump in development costs that would ensue, which combined with the lower royalties per software unit and the lack of hardware revenue, Nintendo's software sales volume would need to mushroom massively in order for them to succeed as a multi-platform publisher. Given Nintendo's serious missteps transitioning from one console cycle to another, I'm not really sure why people expect them to handle a transition onto software-only with ease. Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 28/04/2016

    @grassyknoll Yeah, I think that's an important clarification. It's a shame the article has gone for that spin, which skewers the conversation towards Nintendo's weakness and all these "Nintendo is doomed posts". It is, ultimately, a fallacious comparison, and one that's not really impressive. Nintendo's results are weak, and 2016 will definitely be their weakest (calendar) year since they entered videogaming.

    Instead it's important to acknowledge these are a seriously impressive set of results for Sony and PlayStation almost regardless of how their competition is doing. PS4 sales for the year were 17.7 million, up more than 20% year over year. If PS4 follows the typical sales curve of home consoles and peaks in the next year or the year after, it'll join an exclusive club of systems that sold more than 20 million units in a single financial year (PS2, DS, Wii). Sony's online revenue figures suggest (even if they include streaming, videos, music) that they've re-orientated their gaming business model around generating money from services, which is an area they really struggled against Microsoft in the last generation. With VR and hardware revisions on the way, Sony look set to run away with the market they and Microsoft have contested for the last 15 years. Xbox One is on track to do far better than the original Xbox, but to put these figures in perspective, Xbox One's install base was recently estimated as 18 million, only marginally higher than Sony's latest 12 month figures for PS4.
    Reply +7
  • Nintendo fans can cheer themselves with an excellent Wii U, 3DS Humble Bundle

  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    @abigsmurf It was but this one is available in Europe. Reply +5
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    Great bundle, £9 for the lot and they're all games I've been unable to get. The reduction on Affordable Space Adventures alone is amazing, if you pay $1 (or 60p) you'll get what's meant to be one of Wii U's best indie titles at a massively reduced price, it's normally £17. Reply +8
  • Nintendo's NX console launches March 2017 globally

  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    Woah, hang about, folks:

    "NX will not make an appearance at the upcoming E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June and will be unveiled later this year," reads Nintendo's statement. "Nintendo changes its approach to the show every year. This June, Nintendo will focus its attentions on the upcoming game in The Legend of Zelda series. The Wii U version of the game will be playable for the first time on the E3 show floor, and it will be the only playable game Nintendo presents at the show, in order to provide attendees a complete immersion. Additional information about Nintendo’s E3 plans will be announced in the future."
    Zelda is the only playable Nintendo title at E3 this year, and only the Wii U version will be playable.
    Reply +4
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    For those 3DS/Wii U owners who'd like the humble bundle link Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    @northlondon01 If you're into JRPGs, Tokyo Mirage Sessions got excellent reviews in Japan. If you've played and enjoyed Atlus's role-playing games you might enjoy that. That being said, it is an incredibly bizarre and niche-looking game. Beyond that Wii U's line up is anemic. I've not got Super Mario Maker, Yoshi or Pokken Tournament, so I have options to catch up on, and there's plenty of indie stuff I missed, but I can imagine for a lot of Wii U owners there's going to be little or nothing they'll want to buy. Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    NX skipping E3 doesn't seem like a particularly great idea. Nintendo have Zelda and Paper Mario for Wii U. 3DS looks better with Monster Hunter Generations, the Dragon Quest remakes and Pokemon Sun & Moon (plus Fire Emblem and Kirby before E3), but however amazing Zelda is there'll be no escaping an anemic E3 showing. My main concern here is that Nintendo are leaving themselves too much to do with NX. In the next 12 months, we need to get information on what the hardware actually is, how the account and online systems will work, what kind of first party support is coming, what kind of traditional third party support is coming and what kind of indie support is coming. Then we need to get the final name and branding, the price point, the final release date, and marketing going. That's a lot do if this is "a brand new concept" for playing games, and Nintendo's record the last few years communications wise is, well, extremely mixed to say the least.

    There are a few more points coming from this briefing that I'm sure Eurogamer will cover soon, but, here you are: profits dropped 60% year over year, this was mostly attributed to 3DS sales slowing; Miitomo has hit 10 million users; and Nintendo's next smartphone apps are coming in the autumn, and will be feature "more game elements" than Miitomo, and will be much closer to Nintendo's traditional style of game. One is an "accessible" Fire Emblem game that will bring the series' role-playing strategy to smartphones, and the other is an Animal Crossing app that will feature game elements but will also tie in with other Animal Crossing games somehow.

    Finally, IGN are reporting a great-sounding humble bundle is available on 3DS and Wii U from today.
    Reply +3
  • There's a Welsh language cover of PES's Euro 2016 game

  • Mr.Spo 21/04/2016

    @BigOrkWaaagh No, it doesn't. Typical anglo-centric ignorance and arrogance. Reply +11
  • Mr.Spo 21/04/2016

    @BigOrkWaaagh What does that have to do with anything? Does also being able to speak English invalidate Welsh? Reply +10
  • Mr.Spo 21/04/2016

    @Bagpuss Welsh is spoken by 800,000 people. It's far from dead. Reply +13
  • Star Fox Zero review

  • Mr.Spo 20/04/2016

    Given my biggest concerns were the controls, it's disappointing to hear there's a lack of polish and some poor camera work going on. That's not the end result I'd expect of a major Nintendo-published first party title.

    Still, looking forward to it. Wonderful 101 got a similarly mixed reception and I really enjoyed it. Roll on the weekend. Will a review of Star Fox: Guard be going up?
    Reply +4
  • The end of Nintendo's weird GamePad era

  • Mr.Spo 13/04/2016

    Utterly bizarre to read an article about the gamepad and not see any mention of Mario Maker until the comments section. Mario Maker is the launch title Wii U needed. As with others, I really like the Wii U and am glad I bought it.

    I wouldn't rule out some kind of dual-screen mechanic with NX, either. There are rumours circulating that in addition to Zelda, NX is also going to see upgraded ports of Smash Bros, Splatoon and Mario Maker. Mario Maker in particular benefits from gamepad control, and we still don't have much of an idea what NX is.
    Reply +16
  • Miitomo now live in the UK, in-app purchase prices listed

  • Mr.Spo 31/03/2016

    I've downloaded it and linked with My Nintendo, I've already qualified for £8 off Yoshi's Woolly World on Wii U eShop and got Flipnote Studio 3D for free on my 3DS. Miitomo seems like a stripped down version of Tomodachi life, so I expect anyone thinking it's to be used for more than a few minutes a day will be disappointed.

    Looks like the gold level rewards are less generous than in Japan, but they're still much better value for money than Club Nintendo and a pretty decent reward scheme. A shame Nintendo aren't allowing My Nintendo discounts to be applied to physical software on the Nintendo UK store, though.
    Reply +6
  • Nintendo fires marketer after sustained online hate campaign

  • Mr.Spo 31/03/2016

    Firstly for those who want to know more about abuse campaign waged against Rapp and broader issues of localising Japanese games, Kotaku covered it a few months ago. Secondly we don't know what Nintendo's policy on moonlighting is, or what Rapp's second job was, so we don't have the full details here. American employment protections aren't as stringent as those in western Europe, that much is certain.

    What's absolutely clear to me is that both Rapp and Nintendo (more so Nintendo) have a lot to learn from this. If you're using social media, and have a role as a spokesperson or make clear your affiliation with a particular institution, you have to be very, very careful with what you share. Kotaku are reporting that Rapp linked an Amazon wishlist that 'fans' could use to buy her stuff; is that really something Nintendo would be ok with? I use Twitter with two separate accounts linked to different email addresses, one set to private for friends and family, another public for use with my current institution. I wish Rapp well in the future though, her career and personal life have been enormously damaged by this abuse over the last few months and it's not something anyone in gaming should condone.

    For Nintendo, though, they really should have stuck up for Rapp when the abuse started months ago. It's shameful they didn't and haven't mounted a more robust defense of her, or done more to explain localisation changes. Rapp was used as a bogeyman by irate fans who mounted a sustained and disturbing assault on her career, education and character, and they did so because of Nintendo's company policies. However warped these individuals are, Nintendo are not responsible for them, but I think Nintendo absolutely are responsible for defending their employees from this kind of abuse, and it's crystal clear in this case they've failed to do so. And if it's true they have certain social media and moonlighting rules, then make damn well clear to your employees, and (if they can, legally) open up now about what rules Rapp broke. Right now it looks like Nintendo caved to trolls, and even if that's not true, you can be certain those that have spent months insulting and abusing Rapp will be celebrating this news. Doing a better job of explaining what happened wouldn't hurt. Even if Rapp broke the rules at Nintendo, Nintendo seem to have failed to explain those rules properly and Nintendo certainly have failed at protecting their employee from unwarranted abuse that was directly related to Nintendo company policy.
    Reply +32
  • Nintendo NX controller reports gather pace

  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    I was skeptical of the white image, that looked more doctored with the indecipherable stuff displayed on screen. This could be a very elaborate fake, or the real thing. The important part of patents aren't the over-all design in the patent illustrations themselves; only the piece of technology being patented is actually properly represented. That being said, I'd really have to have hands-on with this kind of device before I bought it. Would haptic feedback really make for a good button replacement? How comfortable is that oval shape? What would happen with backwards compatibility and Virtual Console? And, given reports in the Japanese press, which suggested we'd see a portable this year, compatible with a home console unit launching next year, this isn't just the controller. This could be Nintendo's next handheld device we're looking at, which, I think, makes more sense. Maybe there'll be an add-on to make it more comfortable for home play. Until we see something from Nintendo, though, this could just be a more elaborate mock-up building on that dodgier looking white NX unit and the patent that came out a while ago.

    Finally, I'd again throw serious doubt at the idea Nintendo can just launch a slightly more powerful console than PS4/Xbox One and then sit back, watch third parties come on board, and it's job done. There's so much ignored in that line of thinking it's ridiculous. How is it a good idea for Nintendo to attempt to go head to head with two successful rivals who've had a three year head start, one of whom is a runaway success with a VR device coming? Why would the mainstream market buying multi-platform titles suddenly be interested in a Nintendo device, especially when by Christmas 2016, upwards of 70-80 million users will already have a PS/Xbox? You can like it or lump it, but whatever Nintendo do next needs to be different if they're going to survive as a platform holder. They can't turn back the clock, they can't compete in a race where they're clearly out-gunned, and they can't sit it out with 3DS and Wii U much longer.

    Challenging times ahead for Nintendo, that's the only thing I'm really certain of, but I'd wager they know what their hand for the next five years is: a combination of mobile, a strong network, and NX device(s) working in tandem with their loyalty scheme to retain a larger pool of Nintendo users in total, with a core audience somewhere in the region of the 3DS userbase (40-60 million) and higher software sales per unit than 3DS. For software support, I'd expect they'll target multi-platform family-friendly Western support (LEGO, Skylanders), the mid-tier Japanese support that powers 3DS (Atlus, Square Enix, Capcom), widespread indie support, and a more consistent stream of Nintendo software: think the Wii U/3DS libraries combined. You don't need to shift 100-150 million devices to be successful, especially not if mobile is driving "Wii-like" profits as Kimishima wants.
    Reply +23
  • Nintendo plays down claim it will end Wii U production this year

  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    @SuperShinobi Given the existing home console market would (hypothetically) prefer a conventional console, surely Nintendo launching something less conventional is the riskier course?

    Personally I think any course Nintendo take now to remain one of the biggest publishers in the industry is fraught with risks. Whatever NX is come launch day, it's the toughest transition Nintendo have ever faced by some distance.
    Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    @abeeken I think the biggest point for Nintendo will be to increase software sales, and that's what the new loyalty scheme will attempt to encourage. There's the possibility of a digital only device there, with users rewarded for purchasing more (and more expensive) software. Even if the hardware base is in the 40-60 million range, higher software sales, and revenue from mobile, would make up for the lower hardware revenue versus previous generations.

    And as you say, Nintendo look set to do something different rather than iterate. I can't offer any solid assessment of whether the hypothetical strategy I outlined would be successful, but then no-one, as of yet, has really tried to leverage the mobile market to increase sales for gaming hardware. It'd be a risky gambit, but if it worked, I think it would result in firmer foundations for Nintendo as a platform holder than the success of DS and particularly Wii did.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    Leaving the possible end of Wii U production to one side for a minute, I'm not sure why people see a PS4-level Nintendo home console as some kind of automatic win for Nintendo. Let's assume Nintendo keep to a reasonable price, and hit similar or better performance than PS4. They launch this Christmas with some strong games, presumably something from Retro Studios or EAD Tokyo, who've been quiet since late 2013, and probably a souped up version of Zelda U. Some of the core Nintendo fans no doubt jump on board, and the system sells a few million units because new systems always do well in their launch week/month. Nintendo's branding is clear, they have multi-platform support, the price point is good, and there's a steady stream of software. That's a best case scenario for that hypothetical machine.

    And even in that best case scenario, which relies on Nintendo nailing a lot of factors they messed up for 3DS and Wii U at launch, and which relies on major Western publishers being willing to give Nintendo a better shot, Nintendo will be up against two rival systems with better software libraries, better third party support, tried and tested online networks, lower price points and much, much bigger install bases. PS4 would be passed 50 million units by the time this hypothetical NX has a shot at hitting 5 million units. Add to that, Sony are already drumming up hype for their VR device this year, which has the advantage of selling into a huge install base that's still expanding rapidly. Even in the best case scenario, a straight-forward home console launching this year would face so much tough competition and so many hurdles I have to ask, who honestly thinks Nintendo would pick that fight? Why go toe to toe with Sony, who are the clear market leader, and already have a new device pitched at the Christmas season? Add to that Nintendo's software development overheads face a substantial increase, and the pressure on such a device is huge. And, ignoring the enthusiasts who stalk these boards (don't be offended, I'm one of them), who is actually going to buy that NX device going forward? If you don't already like Nintendo games, why would you switch over to Nintendo in 2017? Why would the audience for Destiny, FIFA, Assassin's Creed--the true mainstream console audience Nintendo would need to buy that device--be interested in NX?

    If Nintendo attempt that kind of console, it's a failure before it heads out the gate. It'd be swimming against the tide with one hard tied behind its back. I highly doubt what we'll see with NX is a straight forward console or portable designed to go head to head with Sony or Microsoft. Nintendo have said we're not getting a straight forward replacement for Wii U, and they're also obviously orientating new developments around an online network, as Miitomo and their loyalty scheme demonstrates, and as they've been saying in the last 18 months. Their hardware engineering teams are finally integrated, and it makes a lot of sense going forward that Nintendo reduce the pressure on their development teams to support two completely different types of hardware at the same time.

    I'm still not sure what NX is going to be, but I suspect it'll be somewhere on a spectrum of one device that incorporates home and handheld gaming, up to a series of devices that share an operating system etc and share some of the same software. Personally I think a powerful handheld with some kind of micro-console unit is most likely, because Nintendo aren't going to win the straight fight with other hardware manufacturers. A low price point, good advertising, a strong online network/account system, a steady stream of Nintendo software and Unity support will be more important that getting FIFA or Assassin's Creed. Nintendo can target their 50-60 million portable market in the short-term, and I assume their long-term strategy is to convert at least some of their new smartphone consumers into NX hardware owners, which is why there's so much emphasis on developing a networked ecosystem rather than a single boxed platform.
    Reply +22
  • Halo 5 Warzone Firefight looks like a blast

  • Mr.Spo 21/03/2016

    Sounds good, and should help me get back into Halo 5's multiplayer. Had a lot of fun with Warzone, but too many games and too little time meant it got dropped.

    Post-launch support is up there with Splatoon to show publishers and developers the way.
    Reply +1
  • Hyrule Warriors to get Link's Awakening, Phantom Hourglass DLC

  • Mr.Spo 18/03/2016

    @IronSoldier That's interesting. A lot of things seem to be a little behind schedule at Nintendo, so this Kart 8 DLC could either be cancelled or simply coming at some point in the next few months. Major support for Smash and Splatoon (bar balance patches/weapons & Splatfests) has come to a close by now, so maybe along with Hyrule Warriors, Kart 8 will be another title to get some DLC love. Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 18/03/2016

    @vert1go Yeah, I'm 90 hours in, one chapter of the main story left, and around 45% completion rate. It's certainly one game that doesn't cry out for even more content... Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 18/03/2016

    @JamesSwiftDay Yeah, as much as I like Hyrule Warriors and as reasonably priced as the DLC is, my initial excitement at this news has died down somewhat.

    I'm not sure if I'll buy this stuff, I'd really like a few more maps. I'm also not that keen on the fact the 3DS version is getting more exclusive content. Surely the better thing to do would make the 3DS content available on Wii U as well as paid DLC? Great for those that are going to get it, and I'm glad to see Link's Awakening get some love.

    EDIT: I'd also happily pay a chunk more than £9 for a new campaign mode that incorporates these characters and games into a small, bonkers story. Launch it on both platforms instead of giving the newer version more content than the Wii U version, and use the new characters in it.
    Reply +6
  • My Nintendo reward scheme free game downloads and discounts revealed

  • Mr.Spo 17/03/2016

    @IronSoldier Yes, as I've just pointed out by doing some rough calculations on what kind of monetary value you get for your Gold points (below your reply). It's more difficult to calculate with Platinum points, which are rewards for using and playing Nintendo games are services. Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 17/03/2016

    For those not able to grasp how generous this is in comparison to previous efforts from Nintendo, consider that when Nintendo offered Wii points in exchange for Club Nintendo stars, they did so at an exchange rate of 4 stars to 1 Wii point. That meant you needed 2000 stars to buy a NES game at 500 points, 3200 stars to buy a SNES/Mega Drive game at 800 points, and 4000 stars to buy an N64 game at 1000 points.

    I'll be generous to Nintendo here and say that you could perhaps get 250 stars for every £30 you spent on software, as an average (given price fluctuations between new DS/Wii releases). Using the Wii points to £ rate when Wii launched, you had NES games at roughly £3.50, SNES games at roughly £5, and N64 games at roughly £7. If you wanted a £7 N64 game as a reward through Club Nintendo last generation, you'd need to have bought and registered roughly 16 Nintendo games, so you'd have spent £400 to £500, which is insane. It's not as if things got much better this generation, with Nintendo asking for 3900 stars for a GBA game (£6.19) from the eShop on Wii U shortly before Club Nintendo closed.

    If we do a direct exchange rate, the 7000 yen spend is roughly £45. On this information, you get 40% off a full price title after buying two full price games. So you've spent £90, and you effectively get £18 cashback, or 20% cashback. Important to remember New Super Mario Bros U isn't discounted in Japan, because there's no Nintendo Selects range over there.

    Now obviously we won't know exactly what the rates are until we get European and UK pricing and discounts confirmed, but if it's anything like the Japanese model, it should be fairly generous. We'll also need to wait and see what kind of software Nintendo are discounting here, because if your £90 to £100 spend only gets you 40% off of a title reduced to £20, that's obviously a very poor deal. Compared to Club Nintendo's approach to software rewards, it looks incredibly generous and a big step in the right direction. Hopefully Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe do a good, clear job of communicating the new rewards scheme.
    Reply +12
  • Mr.Spo 17/03/2016

    @IronSoldier It's a shame it's so complicated, but friends in Japan have suggested to me this is actually a very generous scheme in comparison to Club Nintendo. This seems to be a combination of a loyalty scheme and an achievement system: getting rewards for playing games, logging in connecting accounts, and getting discounts for buying games, seems better than the Club Nintendo system of needing to buy 10-12 games to maybe get something decent. The platinum points are rewards for using Nintendo games and apps (hence the higher amounts required to purchase discount games, and the lower tier rewards tied to platinum points generally), while the gold points should be earned with every title you buy. There's some mention of 'coupons', so I don't know if this is digital only or if you get points when your software is played on your account. If it's digital only, what does that mean for NX? If NX was digital only, you'd very rapidly end up with large amounts of gold points and would be able to buy more discounted software.

    The fact the gold rewards operate on tiers rather than fixed prices also means you'll get more reward points in general. Club Nintendo worked on 250 per retail game regardless of price, and 50 per download game. This gives you more points in exchange for the money spent, so you'll get points in exchange for eShop games, Virtual Console releases and dlc. If you buy two top tier releases, that's 40% off another game. It's difficult to work out the UK equivalent until we get a similar chart, but the gold scheme in particular looks to be a good deal. Again, it's a real shame that's obscured by this information dump.

    Regardless, this'll only fully come to fruition when NX launches.
    Reply 0
  • Satoru Iwata remembered at this year's Game Developers Choice Awards

  • Mr.Spo 17/03/2016

    @riceNpea Very well said, and agreed. The rest of this post is largely in response to Wilhelm.

    I'd also point out that with someone like Iwata, who worked as an engineer, programmer and designer, the lines between indirect and direct influence over peoples' lives are pretty blurred. If you've played the games he worked on, listened to his GDC lectures, and watched him every couple of months in Nintendo Directs and E3 broadcasts, then there's every chance he had some direct influence on your life. The nature of technology in modern life means people have a direct influence on your life without you ever meeting them. Similarly, creative works have an influence on you without you meeting the people involved in their creation. How many of the people who mourned David Bowie's passing ever met him?

    Iwata was a major figure in the industry, as CEO of one of the largest publishers and developers in gaming, who oversaw the most successful hardware/software generation of any developer, and had a hand in games as beloved as Earthbound, and as popular as Pokemon and Smash Brothers. It's not as if every week now we have some collective outpouring of grief over Iwata's passing. This is the first GDC since Iwata died, and it was an event where he gave several keynote lectures, including the much praised "heart of a gamer" lecture referenced at the end of this video. It is no way surprising, and in no way comparable to the months long mourning of Diana, that this tribute appears now. It makes perfect sense that an event Iwata contributed to, a major event on the gaming industry's calendar, marks the passing of a major figure in a tasteful way.

    Finally, while I don't think Eurogamer have covered this, other gaming outlets have touched on the deaths of two figures in gaming just this week. Pokemon creative designer Eric Medalle died in a tragic accident, and Akira Tago (a Japanese academic who designed the puzzles for the Professor Layton games) died aged 90. I haven't seen this reported on Eurogamer, but both deaths were picked up on a number of other websites. Iwata's death gained coverage because of his stature and standing in the industry, but it's simply untrue to suggest that the deaths of other figures in gaming aren't covered.

    EDIT: Having double checked, Eurogamer did at least report on the passing of Akira Tago.
    Reply +7
  • BioShock: The Collection spotted for PC, PS4 and Xbox One

  • Mr.Spo 17/03/2016

    Never played the second, and only ever borrowed Infinite from a friend, and didn't get any dlc... So yeah, I think I'm in. Reply 0
  • Pokkén Tournament review

  • Mr.Spo 15/03/2016

    Reminds me of Hyrule Warriors. A software announcement that initially seemed baffling, but then turns out surprisingly well. I'll be taking a pass on this, though, I'm limiting my game purchases as I attempt to finish my PhD. I still have Bravely Second unopened...

    Sounds very good, though. Hopefully over summer I'll be able to catch up on this, Yoshi and Super Mario Maker.
    Reply +2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD review

  • Mr.Spo 07/03/2016

    @greenwichlee I'm about 14 hours in (done the first set of dungeons, got the Master Sword) and hooked, enjoying it far more than I thought I would. To be fair my original comment on this article maintained the review is harsh to imply Twilight Princess is either a mid-tier Zelda or mid-tier adventure game (it's not clear which is meant), but I have to agree. Visually the game is much more attractive than I thought it would be, and while the art isn't as timeless as Wind Waker, it comes through far more strongly here than it ever did when I played it on Wii.

    I've also appreciated the wolf sections more now that they're a little shorter. Each wolf section introduces you to the lay-out of each new section of the overworld, which is there to service the sweeping story, not as a playground for non-linear exploration. That's the key design philosophy that's overlooked when people dismiss the world as empty, I think. I've enjoyed it so far because it's at least partially driven by Link's relation to a decent cast of characters, most obviously Midna (who is wonderful), but if I'm right, that fades in the second half of the game and there's less of a narrative link from dungeon to dungeon.

    I still don't think this is "the template" or formula Zelda needs, and that the obsession with identifying a new formula Zelda can stick with obscures good and bad points about individual entries in the series, but I really am enjoying and appreciating the game more than I felt I would so far. I hope the new Zelda does something different, but I largely like what Twilight Princess does.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 01/03/2016

    @FrostedSloth Not at all, I think not giving this a "Recommend" is a little harsh. There's very little between the 3D Zeldas in terms of quality, but Twilight Princess has suffered (and suffers here) because so much is close to what Ocarina did and perfected at the time of asking, but also because what is expected of a large overworld (side-quests etc) was barely present. It's a world that exists purely for a sense of scale, and for the limited bits of horse-combat, than for anything else. Combine that with an uneven aesthetic, and Twilight Princess felt archaic and empty at the time it was released. Contemporary criticism of Zelda also hones in for the need for exploration and a sense of adventure, and I'm a fan who's asked for that, too; a return to the sense of wonder you got in the original. Zelda U is obviously a response to that. Twilight Princess is a product of its age: an age in which people wanted more Ocarina and in which Wind Waker wasn't celebrated the way it is now.

    I'd judge Twilight Princess a Recommend because there are several points here that aren't really taken into consideration. After Ocarina, this is the only home console Zelda that rigidly follows the pattern that Ocarina and LttP established: Majora's Mask, Wind Waker and Skyward Sword all deviate in different ways (and to differing extents) from that rulebook. It might be conservative Zelda, but for me that isn't the damning indictment it seems to be in the review. Conservative Zelda still results in a largely excellent videogame. You can criticise Twilight Princess for not matching Ocarina, or not proving as timeless as Wind Waker, but that criticism holds true for dozens or hundreds of videogames. Ocarina is still regarded as one of gaming's greatest single achievements, after all, and Wind Waker is surely one of the most beautiful videogames ever with a timeless aesthetic.

    Even if it's formulaic and at times archaic, I still think it's worth playing. I'd say that the labrynthine dungeons are largely brilliant, and some of the best in the series. The barren overworld is a fault, sure, but the rafting, fishing and Malo-Mart sub-sections (?) are some of the best in the series. While the combat isn't massively challenging, it is engaging and surprisingly deep, allowing you to learn extra moves, giving your repertoire a level of variation that isn't present in the other 3D Zelda games, and something that should be built on for the series' future. It's true you don't get the same "sense of adventure" that you get in Wind Waker, but it's an epic, enjoyable adventure-narrative in and of itself. It's worth sticking through some of the slog to experience those positive factors: for Snowpeak dungeon, for the horse fight on Eldin bridge, for the labrynthine Arbiter's Grounds. Twilight Princess is still valuable to me for those reasons, and I still look forward to revisiting it for the first time in years.

    I don't want another Zelda like it, in the same sense I don't want another Majora's Mask or another Wind Waker. They remain special to me because they are singular. I think that's one problem when we criticize Zelda: fans and critics too often search for what Zelda should be as a series, rather than concentrating on the merits and flaws of single titles. You see that conundrum at play in Twilight Princess, even as parts of it reach for Ocarina, it teaches us we shouldn't want a Zelda 'formula'. The real flaws (particularly the overworld) are addressed here, and overall I think this is a good review. But just because I don't want another Twilight Princess, that doesn't diminish the great things the game does accomplish. And I'd still recommend Twilight Princess on the basis of those great things.
    Reply +16
  • Mutant Mudds sequel dated for Wii U and 3DS

  • Mr.Spo 05/03/2016

    So an indie developer can manage not only cross-buy, but a 15% discount for fans, too? This makes Nintendo's shameful decision on SNES games even more ludicrous. Reply +11
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash announced for Wii U in 2016

  • Mr.Spo 03/03/2016

    @TheMightyEthan On Wii U? Yes. Wait for NX for another 3D Mario. Reply 0
  • Monster Hunter: Generations announced for summer

  • Mr.Spo 03/03/2016

    @Dysisa I thought it was about average for a Nintendo Direct. Good mixture of stuff for 3DS, some dud announcements and baffling decisions, in addition to decent content support for a handful of titles and the now expected slim pickings for Wii U.

    I'd agree this was a highlight, though, it looks great. And the summer release is earlier than I was expecting. Capcom take so long to localise Monster Hunter I was worried this wouldn't make it out in 2016 in the West.
    Reply +1
  • Fire Emblem Fates finally has a release date

  • Mr.Spo 03/03/2016

    @karlo87 Presumably because Europe has been catching up on Legend of Legacy, Etrian Oydssey 2, gets Bravely Second before the US, and has Hyrule Warriors: Legends, Mario & Sonic at Rio and Yo-Kai Watch launching by the end of April.

    I'm actually glad it's May, so I can put money down for the collector's edition, and get the Star Fox collector's edition and maybe Yo-Kai Watch in April.
    Reply +3
  • SNES games come to New 3DS Virtual Console

  • Mr.Spo 03/03/2016

    Unless they're cross-platform with Wii U, I'm not interested. I'm assuming they're not cross-platform, given they're more expensive on 3DS than they are Wii U. Bonkers. Reply +28
  • Star Fox Zero finally has a release date, and it's not alone

  • Mr.Spo 03/03/2016

    It's Starfox: Guard, the "project" has been dropped. Looking forward to the special edition. Reply +5
  • Our best look yet at Mass Effect: Andromeda's main character

  • Mr.Spo 03/03/2016

    Embiggens is a perfectly cromulant word. Reply +23
  • The best Zelda games: Eurogamer editors' choice

  • Mr.Spo 01/03/2016

    @seeyoshirun If we don't count remakes, Twilight Princess is actually the best selling, if you have GC/Wii versions combined, which I think makes sense. I'd say on that basis, if Zelda U is an NX launch title, it has a decent shot at selling comparably to Twilight Princess/Ocarina. I honestly think part of the difficulty in matching Ocarina comes from the fact that Ocarina was one of those land-mark titles in the transition to 3D, too. Launched the same year as Metal Gear Solid and Half-Life! Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @Das_Plok Link's Awakening might be one of the most profound games I've ever played, and all packed into a GameBoy cartridge! If you've not heard the anniversary symphony's Link's Awakening movement, look it up, Ballad of the Wind Fish is gorgeous. Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @seeyoshirun I think it's an indication of how close Zelda games (generally) are in quality that the fanbase can be so divided about which is the best. A Link to the Past and Ocarina are the 'classic' Zeldas, which most clearly follow the Zelda tropes, and two of the best selling (edit: two of the best selling Zeldas), and two of the most important games ever made, Ocarina especially. New Zeldas (and many new videogames on consoles) will struggle to have the impact Ocarina did. I also think that while some Zelda games are 'better' than Ocarina and LttP in areas, Ocarina and LttP are the least flawed games in a series that often excels. How much does Twilight Princess's bloat and slow opening hold it back? We can see that Skyward Sword's linearity and motion controls are integral to how well perceived the game is, because these methods weren't standard Zelda. Ditto Majora's Mask and its 3 day cycle structure. And the handheld entries will suffer simply by virtue of being handheld games, though it pleases me immensely to see Link's Awakening so high up here, and to see Link Between Worlds escaping some of the accusations of same-ness that hobbled it when it first launched. I would replace Phantom Hourglass with either the original or Minish Cap, though. I've often thought PH was a great demonstration of what DS could do, but not a particularly strong Zelda game.

    13 years ago, it was Wind Waker's aesthetic that held it back in the Zelda ranking. Personally, after playing Wind Waker HD in Hero Mode a couple of years back, I found myself thinking that if Nintendo hadn't rushed it to market and cut a couple of dungeons out, Wind Waker would be recognised as the single greatest Zelda. It has certainly benefited from the widening of aesthetic styles in videogames generally, as well as how gracefully it has aged. Sadly we'll never see those extra dungeons restored, so I think, unless something momentous comes along in the next 10 years, a similar 40th Anniversary list will still see LttP and Ocarina battling it out for number 1. Who knows? Perhaps if Zelda U returns to the open-world leanings of that very first outing, we'll have a new contender for number 1 later this year.
    Reply +6
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon will rise on 3DS this year

  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @brigadier You are correct, and my theory is entirely wrong, then! What kind of software support does it get? Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    My bet is Sun/Moon will have a region based on China and will launch 3DS in China.

    Please pay me money when I am proven correct.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @brigadier That could genuinely be the most significant bit of information in this Direct. The 3DS is not available in China, Nintendo don't launch or release their games in China, so the signs are Nintendo are launching 3DS in China with Pokemon Sun/Moon as launch titles. Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @Pulford If it's cross-platform I'd bet it's cross-platform with a portable NX, and not a home console, but Nintendo have precedent for launching new Pokemon titles shortly before new hardware. Black/White 2 for DS launched the same month as 3DS in Europe and North America. Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    Absolutely baffling that they announced them without showing any footage. The fact that the Virtual Console releases of Pokemon will be compatible with Sun/Moon is pretty neat, but this is such a big wasted opportunity from Nintendo. Nothing on Pokemon Go, Detective Pikachu or Pokken Tournament, and no footage of their next Pokemon generation. What a shame.

    EDIT: The emphasis on Chinese language support could actually be very, very significant. Have any major Nintendo releases included Chinese language support before? Not counting the iQue range, of course. We could be seeing Nintendo finally making a bigger play at the Chinese market, starting with 3DS and Pokemon, and presumably including their new apps.
    Reply +2
  • Nintendo cuts yearly forecast, but still targets profit

  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @vert1go They're reassessing the Direct format now that Kimishima is in charge. Last year they suggested that the final couple of broadcasts of 2015 would be the last in the Nintendo Direct style, but here we are in 2016 with a (apparently) 5 minute Pokemon Direct scheduled for this afternoon.

    I assume Nintendo are trying to come up with a new form of 'Direct', but as with everything in their new direction (like Miitomo and new accounts) it's running behind schedule.
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 26/02/2016

    @Kami Yeah, I think there's more logic in Nintendo targeting a handheld market with some kind of "booster box" or micro-console. They have, after all, recently patented a cloud unit designed to plug in to your TV and boost the processing power of devices connected to it, and it wouldn't be too difficult to stick a HDMI port on a handheld unit. There's also the simple fact that a home console NX would be launching mid-generation against a revitalized Sony, without the benefit of any major Western third party franchises being established on a Nintendo system. Why would Mario or Zelda suddenly tempt the crowd playing Destiny or FIFA to switch away from Xbox or PlayStation? I think the ship sailed on that idea when the Wii launched. Reply +2
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon trademarks pop up a day before Nintendo Direct

  • Mr.Spo 25/02/2016

    @ItsAlcidesAgain I'm not suggesting they postpone these games, I'm questioning why (if it's true there's a portable NX coming this year) Nintendo didn't put these titles in development for their new hardware as launch titles. They know their last two hardware launches (and subsequent early periods on the market) were massively undermined by a lack of must-have software, and (potentially, which is why I posed my original post as a question and said we'll know by E3) Nintendo may be preparing to launch new versions of their biggest handheld titles ahead of the launch of new hardware, instead of making sure their new hardware has the biggest portable franchise, built from the ground up, there on day one.

    If, buts, and maybes, but we've seen it before in the West with 3DS and Black/White 2 both launching in March 2011.
    Reply 0