Mr.Spo Comments

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  • Hyrule Warriors review

  • Mr.Spo 17/09/2014

    This has turned out far better than I expected it to. A huge Zelda fan, and haven't been into Warriors since the PS2 days, but I'm looking forward to trying this out on Friday. Reply +1
  • US Xbox One sales rise but PlayStation 4 still top

  • Mr.Spo 12/09/2014

    @A_FAN What sense does it make for Nintendo to take Wii U off the market before the end of 2016? They need to claw back as much money as they can from it, by getting as good a tie ratio as they can, by launching as much software as possible in the next 18 to 30 months. That isn't going to happen if they attempt to cut their losses--and if they abandon the system prematurely, that won't go down well with their core base. They need to stick by Wii U as long as possible.

    Zelda, at the moment, is scheduled for 2015. Now of course, long delays for Zelda are hardly unknown, but even if it launches in 2016, it'll still be a Wii U title. At the most, it'll be cross-platform: if Nintendo launch a successor in 2016.

    But honestly, looking at the amount Nintendo are beginning to take on, and looking at Nintendo home consoles historically, I think late 2016 is the absolute earliest Nintendo will launch. The N64 was trounced by PS1, DreamCast and PS2 launched in 1999 and 2000, yet Nintendo supported the N64 into mid-2001, and launched the GC later that year (early 2002 in Europe). Look at the difference between Microsoft and Nintendo when faced with PS2's overwhelming success: Microsoft cut and ran, rushing out the 360, Nintendo stuck it out, took their time, and launched the Wii at the same time as the presumed market leader, PS3, and one year after 360 had launched.

    If Nintendo are launching New 3DS, amiibo, and their new "Quality of Life" platform, their resources will already be stretched. Even if Wii U sales remain at such low levels, I think they'll stick it out. Like I've said, they simply cannot afford to botch the launch of their new generation of device, nor can they afford to fail with their new direction. Getting things right will be a bigger priority than getting a system out quickly.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 12/09/2014

    @Malek86 I'd also point out Wii U lifetime sales are also very dependent on how long Nintendo choose to support the system. If their next systems really are a change in direction, we may not see a new generation from Nintendo until 2017 or possibly even later. I'd been assuming Wii U will be replaced in 2016, but Nintendo can't afford to drop the ball launching their next systems, as they did this time around. They may well keep Wii U and 3DS on the market as long as possible, in order to make the best preparation for their new machines and new direction. Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 12/09/2014

    @Malek86 There'll be an impact from Smash and Zelda, for sure--but that impact will only be sufficient to allow Wii U to reach that 15 million mark, that's how poor the ongoing sales rate is.

    The issue I see is that the rest of Nintendo's line up will hardly budge the baseline, and it's a shame when so much of it looks to be high quality. Smash and Zelda will have an impact, and will probably shift several million Wii U units between them. Nintendo's problem is that those two titles--presumably this Christmas and next Christmas--may well shift more Wii Us between them than Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad, Yoshi, Kirby, Star Fox, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Splatoon etc combined. The extreme niche appeal of Wii U is dragging down the sales and success of Nintendo's various franchises, and when they're taking risks on projects like Xenoblade, Bayonetta, Pikmin, Wonderful 101, Splatoon, I think that's a huge shame. I just hope it doesn't put them off from investing in those types of games in future.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 12/09/2014

    @grassyknoll Agreed entirely, 15 million looks a more likely lifetime sales figure. I'd say anywhere up to 5 million more depending on the impact of next year's software slate and amiibo, but I think with the New 3DS model, the handheld sector could be the main beneficiary of amiibo. Also, given the track record of low profile but high quality titles on Wii U (Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends, even Donkey Kong), the only title that could really boost Wii U's fortunes next year is Zelda. Even the Star Fox reboot--if it makes 2015--won't have a big commercial foot print.

    Going forward, investment in and acquisition of Western development resources would certainly help. Bar DK: Tropical Freeze, every game on Wii U from Nintendo has come from a Japanese studio. As good as that development support is, it's not enough to support a good baseline or ongoing sales rate. They need more titles, more often, from more places. Investment in the West, even greater indie support, improved Network and Virtual Console, at a sub-200 price point, and they'll do better next time around.
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 12/09/2014

    @grassyknoll Thanks for posting those.

    Nintendo have effectively squandered any momentum Kart 8 created. Waiting three months or more between major releases has killed any chance Wii U had of generating a better ongoing baseline.

    Without Smash and amiibo making a huge splash this Christmas, and a more consistent release schedule next year, Wii U is guaranteed to sell less than GameCube.
    Reply +9
  • Editor's blog: I'm leaving Eurogamer later this year

  • Mr.Spo 09/09/2014

    All the best, Tom. Reply +1
  • Hyrule Warriors originally much closer to a traditional Zelda game

  • Mr.Spo 06/09/2014

    @elfergos Miyamoto had nothing to do with Other M. Other M was ruined by Yoshio Sakamoto's writing and direction.

    And I think it's natural Nintendo protect the Zelda franchise and template from any damage, and after the Philips CDi spin-offs, you can hardly blame them for being particularly careful with Zelda. Ultimately Nintendo's high quality IP will keep them in business. They can have a platform or hardware brand like the Wii U fail, but they can't afford to have franchises like Zelda or Mario fail.

    I'd also question what Dynasty Warriors could actually bring to the Zelda template. What would the hack & slash gameplay bring to the tightly engineered dungeons, the expertly crafted puzzles, the overworld dynamic? Nintendo are already in the process of reinventing Zelda, as Link Between Worlds and the early stages of Zelda U indicate. From previews I've read, the Warriors template is actually improved by mechanics from Zelda: the Z/L-targeting mechanic, for example, allows for better one on one combat sections with enemy generals. Importing boss monsters (and the strategies required to defeat them) from Zelda, which can roam across the battlefield, changes the pace of the game. Basic puzzles are brought in through items from Zelda, again altering the dynamic in a positive way.

    I haven't played Warriors yet, but I think Miyamoto was right. Zelda has more to offer to Dynasty Warriors than Warriors can offer to Zelda. Whether that will make for a genuinely good game remains to be seen. It might be the popular thing to disregard everything Miyamoto says these days, but he got where he is because most of the time, he's pretty much on the ball.
    Reply +8
  • Mr.Spo 06/09/2014

    @wez_316 I think the loading comment has been misinterpreted. It happens with most Nintendo interviews: something is said, translated, taken out of context, rage storm ensues.

    I have Amazon credit to use up so I'm getting Destiny and Hyrule Warriors for next to nothing. If I don't like one or both of them, that'll cover Fantasy Life and maybe even Smash on 3DS.
    Reply +5
  • Bayonetta 2 release date set for October

  • Mr.Spo 05/09/2014

    @nottorp Nintendo have historically neglected Europe, but now Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of America operate in different ways.

    Sometimes American consumers get the short end of the stick, such as having to wait 6 to 12 months longer than Europe for Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower. The US also got a far smaller range of software in the Mario Kart 8 free download promotion when compared to Europe.

    It's nowhere near as bad as it used to be, basically, and it works both ways now. I'd also point out that Bayonetta 1+2 is retailing for just under 40 on Shopto (the normal price of a new console exclusive) while Bayonetta 2 on its own is 32. This is hardly the rip-off some people are portraying it as. Confusing and unnecessary, sure, but nothing terrible.

    I'd recommend a Wii U on the strength of its exclusives, eShop and Virtual Console. Plus with Wii backwards compatibility, you have access to some great games there--things like Metroid Prime Trilogy and Super Mario Galaxy 1+2 are examples of Nintendo at the height of their creative powers.

    If you can find a good bundle in the next few months, I'd recommend Wii U as a secondary system to your PS4. It's actually my primary system right now, ahead of my 360 and 3DS, but in the near future I will get either another home console or a gaming PC.
    Reply +8
  • Mr.Spo 05/09/2014

    @erp It's possible it's something to do with Bayonetta 1 & 2 having different age ratings in Europe.

    It's a huge shame that the announcement has come as such a nasty surprise, really. Retailers jumped the gun, and NoE waited far too long to clarify.

    Not sure which version I'm getting, yet. Not bothering with Game and their over-priced editions, but hopefully the double pack will be a reasonable price somewhere else.
    Reply +4
  • Nintendo's Amiibo figurines cost 10.99 each in the UK

  • Mr.Spo 04/09/2014

    @ShiftyGeezer No problem. The information on the US Nintendo site is far clearer that what's up on Nintendo UK. They're going to have their hands full explaining this to parents familiar with Skylanders etc, though I suppose there's more value in an 11 figure that can be used across multiple games. Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 04/09/2014

    @ShiftyGeezer You are wrong about it unlocking individual characters, it gives you access to customised characters, each known as an "amiibo" in tandem with your figurine.

    It's not that you unlock Mario by buying the Mario figure, you unlock the option to 'improve' your amiibo-Mario by using that amiibo in game: you don't even control the amiibo that gets imported onto your system, at least in Smash. Your amiibo can then become more powerful, and be used as an ally or enemy in Smash, or be imported into another friend's game. They'll fight as automated characters with special abilities. Not all of this is exclusive to amiibo use in Smash: custom movesets, for example, are part of the basic functionality of Smash. The more you use each figurine, the more data that gets stored on it, the more benefits you will supposedly unlock in other games.

    I'm not a huge fan of this, and I don't see the attraction, but it isn't a case of "buy Mario, unlock Mario". Think about them putting amiibo into Kart 8, where Mario is a starting character, where Link will be available in a DLC pack that you buy through the eShop, and not by buying a Link figurine. Nintendo aren't hiding characters and stages behind an amiibo paywall, they've come up with a slightly nebulous way of "improving" the gameplay experience and making more money while they're at it. For all Nintendo's faults, they aren't going to hide the basic functionality of their marquee releases like Smash, Kart etc (different characters from the Mario/Nintendo universe) behind a figurine paywall. Given that amiibo is yet to launch, or be dated, it's not surprising all the details aren't out, but the one conclusion that can be drawn is that we're not looking at an exact parallel with existing NFC toys. Nintendo are doing what they always do: take an existing idea or technology, and use it in their own way.
    Reply +5
  • Mr.Spo 04/09/2014

    @chucklepie Where are you finding Disney Infinity figures and Skylanders for so little? You can buy "special ability" packs for 4 for Disney Infinity, but the prices I'm finding for the figures are in the 10 to 15 range. The recommended retail price for the latest Disney toys is 19.99, nearly twice the RRP for these. And you won't need to buy a new 3DS for NFC, but you will need an add on.

    I'm no fan of these types of toys, but compared to what Activision and Disney are doing with them, Nintendo are hardly the devil. At least these toys will work across multiple games, and at least these toys aren't required to make Nintendo's software work.

    That being said, I'd be much happier if Nintendo were using online services to bring this "sharing custom character" business to Smash and their other games, but I guess there isn't much money in that.
    Reply +5
  • Mr.Spo 04/09/2014

    @ShiftyGeezer Transferring save data and custom characters isn't the same as unlocking the actual Mario character or the Mario level. You won't need an Amiibo to unlock any fighters in Smash: that would rightly be a huge news story and an immensely negative one for Nintendo. Locking away what looks like a 40 or even 50 character roster behind a physical paywall would be suicidal.

    I'm not a fan of Amiibo--their function could easily be met by an appropriate cloud data service or just by saving data to an SD card--but Nintendo aren't locking their characters and stages into these toys.
    Reply +7
  • Bayonetta 2 is the focus of the next Nintendo Direct

  • Mr.Spo 03/09/2014

    @vert1go Well, presumably this Direct will provide information on exactly when we get Bayonetta 2 and what we get in the box.

    I do know that Bayonetta 1 and 2 have different age ratings in Europe so have to be printed on different discs, though can be included in one box. I don't know if there's going to be a special edition or if you'll have to preorder Bayonetta 2 in order to get the original.
    Reply +1
  • Nintendo announces new 3DS and 3DS XL designs with extra buttons, improved CPU

  • Mr.Spo 29/08/2014

    @Malek86 That would have made a lot more sense, especially given the Amiibo support being built into the system. Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 29/08/2014

    @ollyn If you have a Wii I'd advise picking Xenoblade up. Main story alone will take 60 hours, and there's at least 60 hours of sidequests. If you're into JRPG's at all, Xenoblade really is worth 40. Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 29/08/2014

    @iceytoa1 I'm assuming these are wholesale replacements for the existing 3DS and 3DS XL models, as opposed to something that's meant to sit alongside them for an extended period of time. They're literally called "New 3DS" and "New 3DS XL" in Japan. Reply +7
  • Mr.Spo 29/08/2014

    That circle nub seems so small as to be pointless, but decent revisions all around. I suppose it was only a matter of time before Nintendo took a more smartphone like approach to revising their handhelds.

    I'll be buying the larger model, but I've had a black 3DS since launch in 2011, so I think going four years then getting a revision isn't too bad. Plus, Xenoblade!
    Reply +8
  • Bayonetta 2 is a sequel to savour

  • Mr.Spo 08/08/2014

    @SpaceMonkey77 Yeah, no release outside of Smash or Zelda will have the impact Kart 8 had. When I say it was a major factor in buying a Wii U, I meant it was a major factor for me personally, as was the Xenoblade Chronicles sequel/follow up. Hardly games that will improve Wii U's baseline sales like Kart 8. Even then, Kart 8 has only shifted Wii U from a terrible baseline to a modest one. It's a niche device and will remain so, but if the exclusives continue to be excellent, I'll be happy. Reply +8
  • Mr.Spo 08/08/2014

    My most anticipated game of the year, and a major factor in buying a Wii U. Looking forward to it. Reply +13
  • New Fire Emblem characters playable in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS

  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2014

    Any reason why this was initially "Xenoblade's Shulk confirmed for Smash Brothers", which led to a 404 page? Did someone jump the gun on a guess? Reply +13
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is the best Nintendo spin-off in years

  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2014

    If any studio can flesh out the concept into a great game full of content, it'll be EAD Tokyo. Hope this turns out well.

    EDIT: Also, given Nintendo are the only publisher remaining behind Wii U, I'm quite happy with them re-using engines to create new titles quite quickly. Super Smash Kart in 18 months time, anyone?
    Reply +1
  • PS4 fails to boost Japan console market

  • Mr.Spo 09/07/2014

    @grassyknoll Thanks for the reply, good points and I see where you're coming from.

    Personally I don't see products like Project Morpheus as a big area of growth. I think growth areas for gaming will continue to be affordable, mass-market products, and I don't think Morpheus will tick those boxes. Maybe a while down the line it will, but I don't think it'll have a serious impact this generation.

    Admittedly about all of this I could be wrong, and that 17% is an interesting statistic. It's very, very difficult to actually track new consumers coming and old consumers going out, or switching to other forms of gaming. My main point about 'growth' is that far less hardware is going to be sold, and consequently, less software. But I agree that's a not-entirely-accurate parameter with which to measure consumer numbers, I think it's very important to the health of console gaming to measure how many consoles are actually being sold. If there isn't the device there for the hardware that enables the software experience, that software experience is in danger of becoming increasingly niche even as gaming itself becomes truly global.

    "Indies, kickstarter, digital are all massive growth areas difficult to measure traditionally. NPD doesn't real give a clear indication of growth or contraction of software this time. "

    Agreed on this point, but the growth of indies means an increase in software units sold enabled by lower pricing. Not bad by any means, but also (given many of these digital titles being available across PC, smartphones etc) not a great indicator of a healthy console market. The health of the console market would be dictated for me by the amount of software targeting that market, and not straddling across markets. I definitely think the indie boom is a great thing for gaming, but I don't think the console industry has reconciled the painful HD transition (which largely eliminated middle-tier development, your example of Wolfenstein as a successful middle-tier product is good but the exception, not the rule) with the indie boom. There are the traditional publishers on one hand--some of whom are more bloated than ever before, relying on a handful of hits to achieve targets--and there's a swathe of indies on the other end, increasing in number all the time. I don't think that will make for a healthy market, but I do think there's room for optimism there. The indies cutting their teeth now will hopefully succeed, expand, and become gaming's new middle-tier.

    Ultimately we're not going to know about this until the generation is over. The handheld market will obviously have shrunk enormously. I believe the home console market will have shrunk, too. I don't think that's going to be a sign of perpetual decline, however. Look at Nintendo's response to this. Plenty of pundits calling for them to go third party on the back of the challenges facing Nintendo and the wider industry, and Nintendo's response is that they're actually considering launching more types of hardware to appeal to more types of consumer. With a unified development environment and operating system, that'd be an interesting path to take.

    Thank you for the discussion, though. Good to have a disagreement that's settled eloquently and civilly!
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 08/07/2014

    @grassyknoll I wouldn't dispute that Nintendo have been hit hardest, but Sony have sold around 8 million Vitas globally, which is quite a set back from PSP. Even if they hit 20 million units (far from guaranteed), that's 60 million units fewer than PSP did. And for all its initial success, ongoing PS4 sales aren't actually that high; PS4 had a bigger initial splash than PS2 or Wii or DS, for example, but it's posting lower numbers than those systems on an ongoing basis.

    Regardless, I think looking at it as "Nintendo have been hit hardest" misses the point. Nintendo did more than Sony and Microsoft in the last generation to grow the market, so they reaped the benefits then and are struggling more now. But none of the big three--and none of the major software publishers--are doing anything that will grow the hardware market in the long run, and with a booming tablet, mobile and social scene, that's not a good sign.

    I don't think it's doom and gloom, by any means. I think and hope this is just going to be part of the growing pains of the industry. But like I said, the entire market is shrinking. Even if Nintendo are hit hardest by that, the shrinkage is bad news for everyone. Who wants to be king of a collapsing castle?
    Reply +6
  • Mr.Spo 08/07/2014

    The Japanese market has undergone massive contraction across all Sony and Nintendo devices. It's going to be a far cry from the last generation, in which DS, PSP, Wii and PS3 were all successful devices, with install bases of over 30 million units, 18 million units, 12 million units and 8 million units respectively. The Western home console market hasn't been hit as hard, but with a weak Nintendo home console, a potentially weaker Xbox performance (relative to the 360) and a massively reduced handheld console market, PS4's success alone won't make up for the shrinkage. It'll be interesting to see how hardware manufacturers respond in the years ahead. Reply +10
  • Dragon Quest 10 announced for 3DS in Japan

  • Mr.Spo 08/07/2014

    @jimmyhill11 Nintendo usually step in to help with the localisation and marketing of titles like Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest, it's a big reason why the last few entries in those series have been on Nintendo systems. It's entirely possible Nintendo are going to spread out localising these titles, which is why nothing is announced yet. At least that's what I'm hoping, otherwise they won't come West at all. Reply +1
  • "It's not historically accurate!"

  • Mr.Spo 05/07/2014

    When you make something like Battlestar Galactica or Games of Thrones instead, you simply have more perspectives to work with, resulting in a richer mix of characters, motivations and outcomes. If only more games were like that.
    Great stuff, Tom.
    Reply -5
  • Miyamoto: Nintendo "gradually changing the structure" of The Legend of Zelda

  • Mr.Spo 04/07/2014

    @Der_tolle_Emil With the original, you could always access numerous dungeons at once. I played it through last year (for the first time) and did the fourth dungeon first, for example. It's just more difficult that way. You were also free to go into dungeons, get an item, and then leave, progress through the overworld and do things your way.

    I'd assume that's the direction Nintendo are going in. Hopefully it'll mean items can be discovered in the overworld, which would be meaningful rewards for exploration. It's all up in the air, I guess. I'd be happy if they can recapture the non-linear structure, sense of adventure and challenge of the first game. Combine it with some character driven side-content like Majora's Mask, and I think they'd have something special. Time will tell!
    Reply +4
  • Mr.Spo 04/07/2014

    @SuperSoupy 18 months from reveal to launch would be late 2015, which I assume is the target release window.

    2016 is definitely a possibility, though.
    Reply +4
  • Mr.Spo 04/07/2014

    @Mister-Wario Well, as Aonuma argued, Zelda Wii U is returning to its roots. Zelda was non-linear and about as "open-world" as it was possible to be in 1986 on the NES. The series has gotten progressively linear since then. It's a new direction for 3D Zelda, but it's also a return to the series roots.

    As for Mario, I think that's a reflection of Nintendo's desire to reconcile the commercial appeal of the 2D series with the creative verve of the 3D series. I don't think that's a mission they should continue, though, and like you say, it'd be great to see a new, 'singular' 3D Mario like the Galaxy, Sunshine and 64 games.
    Reply +22
  • Chibi-Robo! Let's Go, Photo! review

  • Mr.Spo 02/07/2014

    This has made me want to track down the original Chibi Robo on GameCube. Reply +1
  • Nintendo launches its first Cross-Buy game with Squids Odyssey

  • Mr.Spo 01/07/2014

    Nintendo's eShop is at the point where they can keep track of what you own and buy across both systems. Wii U's eShop can recognise which Wii Virtual Console games you own. If cross-buy is possible, as we're seeing now, then it should be implemented across all Virtual Console games at least.

    Nintendo get a lot of undeserved stick at times, but they really do deserve condemnation for their lack of foresight and effort with regards to cross-buy on 3DS and Wii U, particularly in the case of Virtual Console.
    Reply +2
  • Does Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U feel new enough?

  • Mr.Spo 01/07/2014

    Six years on from Brawl, I'll settle for new games that include new characters, stages and modes. So long as this is once per generation, it's fine. The hundreds of hours gained through multiplayer is well worth the asking price.

    Still not convinced about Amiibo, though. I mean, I think it'll be a successful money spinner for Nintendo, but why should I buy into it? They feel a little like glorified memory cards. I suppose it's only natural though that Nintendo reward the fans who spend the most money by collecting Amiibo figures and who then get some kind of customisation or benefit when they connect their figure to another Nintendo game. There's still a lot of question marks around it, though.

    If I buy Samus and Fox, does that speed up the release of new Metroid and Star Fox games...?
    Reply +10
  • Mario Kart 8 sells approximately 2m in under a month

  • Mr.Spo 27/06/2014

    @Bickle2 Do you have figures for all that?

    As for Wii U being loss-leading:

    And as I said, Nintendo do have other revenue streams to draw on in the next few years: Amiibo, whatever Quality of Life is, a rapidly expanding digital business, and of course, 3DS. Are they going to return to huge profits? No, nor do they expect to. "Nintendo-like" profits aren't forecast until 2016. Can they grind out a profit for now? Absolutely, though it won't be easy.
    Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 27/06/2014

    @Bickle2 20 to 25 million Wii U systems would be enough of a base for Nintendo to profit on. Nintendo aren't reliant on strong third party sales to generate revenue or profit, and Wii U is (or will be soon, I forget which) now no longer a loss generating product.

    So long as titles like Kart, Smash and the already released Mario 3D World continue to have strong attach rates as the Wii U lives out its life, Nintendo can grind out a small profit. Add to that revenue from Amiibo, 3DS's decent userbase and ongoing software sales, and digital revenues (which have tripled in the last two years), and Nintendo will be fine. They could be more than fine if their new "Quality of Life" business gets off to a strong start.

    In the context of this generation, they're not in a strong position. They've abandoned the growth orientated strategy that propelled Wii and DS, they won't generate as much revenue or profit as they did with those systems, and they won't sell nearly as many units. In the long-term, though? I'd say they're in a decent position. They have long-term plans in place, they're retaining the quality of their IP and software (hugely important if they want to expand their base with new machines), and importantly, both Wii U and 3DS, which initially had terrible reputations, are generating increasing positivity. Not enough to turn this generation around, but enough to help with a firm footing for the next generation.
    Reply +16
  • Video: Eurogamer plays Nintendo's Mario Maker

  • Mr.Spo 26/06/2014

    @VideoGameAddict25 They had Hyrule Warriors priced at 55 the other week, it's since gone down to 35 or less... They seemed to be wanting to snap up pre-orders based on E3 hype. Reply +3
  • Shovel Knight review

  • Mr.Spo 26/06/2014

    The least positive review I've read yet, but a good write up. I'm hoping this hits Europe in the next few weeks, it'd be great to get it on my 3DS so I've got something to play when I head to Canada next month. Plus there are all those other eShop games I need to catch up on... Reply 0
  • UK court rules against Nintendo in Wii patent battle

  • Mr.Spo 23/06/2014

    The fact that Philips amended the patents that were found to be invalid suggests this is a case of Philips seeking a revenue stream from Nintendo (who I believe refused to settle this out of court a few years ago) as opposed to defending their own technology and innovation. It's a shame, but given companies like Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have all added to their revenue streams by enforcing dodgy patents either through court battles or out of court settlements, it's not surprise other companies are taking up the practise.

    Absolute madness that an invalid patent can be validated during litigation. Surely this stifles, instead of protecting, innovation? What about tech start ups and small businesses that can't afford to take on large companies?
    Reply +2
  • How Nintendo is reinventing the shooter with Splatoon

  • Mr.Spo 20/06/2014

    @Nikanoru I've been thinking about this a bit. It seems a bit like a forced narrative to make exciting news about new IP from Nintendo even more exciting.

    I mean, a week before E3, Nintendo debuted a new IP at retail in the West: Tomodachi Life. They co-developed and published The Wonderful 101 for Wii U last year. Pullblox, Dillon's Rolling Western, Denpa Men, Steel Diver, Flipnote Studio, Fluidity, Freaky Forms, and Sakura Samurai have all hit eShop in the last three years. New entries in neglected franchises like Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion, Kid Icarus and Pilotwings in the last three years. The most structurally experimental Zelda for a decade and the biggest step forward for Pokemon since its inception, just last year.

    Yes, they rely on their old IP, but there's almost always some level of experiment going on. Nintendo's biggest successes of the last decade--Brain Training, Nintendogs, Wii series--were new IPs. Punch Out and Sin & Punishment were revived on Wii. Nintendo have taken on the Xeno-series through Xenoblade and its sequel. They funded and co-developed niche hits like Pandora's Tower and The Last Story. Things like Art Academy, Electroplankton and Elite Beat Agents on DS.

    I suppose the level of interest and excitement in this comes because the majority of Nintendo's new IP have come either from second party studios, or first party studios outside of EAD itself. Some of the gulf appears to be in the meaning-gap that exists between Nintendo-as-publisher and Nintendo-as-developer. As a publisher, Nintendo has done a lot of great work with studios it either owns or has arrangements with to provide content outside of Nintendo's usual fare. As a developer, though, Nintendo's EAD structure has largely been developing existing franchises; if you ignore their phenomenally successful work (which I wouldn't) on new IPs that pushed Wii and DS onto an entirely new audience. That shouldn't diminish Nintendo's commitment to experimental titles; often that commitment and those experimental titles are overlooked. It still pains me that Wonderful 101 was misunderstood by reviewers and ignored by the Wii U's small audience. Yet such is the commercial and fan pressure on Nintendo, it's no surprise their brightest, best minds are often care-taking and recreating the treasure trove of Nintendo's IP, while Nintendo looks outside of EAD for support on less standard fare.

    I guess it's great this year that Nintendo put two new IPS, one for either format, front and centre at E3. Even better that Code Name STEAM is coming from Intelligent Systems, one of Nintendo's best first party studios, and another is coming from EAD Kyoto, Nintendo's internal structure. Hopefully Splatoon will live up to its promise and Wii U owners will respond.
    Reply +16
  • Editor's blog: I am sexist

  • Mr.Spo 19/06/2014

    I'm glad sites like EG and Gamesindustry have been drawing attention to this, and I think Tom, you are spot on here. Rob Fahey wrote an excellent piece on the dangers AAA gaming faces by not attempting to become more representative of the growing global audience that plays games, yet like EG's coverage and other articles on Gamesindustry, it was dismissed as clickbait and feminist propaganda, not worthy of being reported on.

    Thank you for taking the time to articulate this, Tom.
    Reply -1
  • Over half an hour of Xenoblade Chronicles X gameplay

  • Mr.Spo 14/06/2014

    @Ionz0r I'd recommend a Wii U, depending on a couple of factors: If you skipped N64, GC and Wii due to a lack of third party support, try a Wii U. If you've skipped them because Nintendo's franchises have lost their inherent appeal to you, then I don't think you'd get much enjoyment out of Wii U.

    The advantage is Wii U gives you access both to its own (increasingly good) back catalogue, and Wii's back catalogue. The Galaxy games, Prime Trilogy, Xenoblade Chronicles, No More Heroes 1+2, Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, Sin & Punishment, there's some great stuff from the Wii era you could try out. eShop has an increasingly good selection of digital titles, and there's EarthBound to try out, assuming you've never played it because you were a European SNES owner. On top of that, if Nintendo get their arse into gear, GameCube and N64 games could come to Virtual Console. If not, some of the best N64 games are accessible through the Wii Shop Channel, which you can still access through the Wii U itself.

    Like I said, if you've avoided Nintendo consoles because of alack of third party support, Wii U is worth trying.
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 12/06/2014

    @skunkfish They seem to be taking a similar approach to Xenoblade Chronicles: character models and textures that are quite weak technically, but the scale and art direction make up for it. They're probably sacrificing graphical sophistication in order to maximise the size of the game world, given the studio are pushing for the largest possible game world.

    Also, (not directing this at you, skunkfish, but at EG) that opening definitely isn't CG. If it were CG, it would look more impressive. Like I said, graphically not hugely sophisticated, but that's the cost of the character model count and the sheer scale of the world.

    Hugely looking forward to this.
    Reply +13
  • "See those mountains?"

  • Mr.Spo 14/06/2014

    I'm glad they're taking the original Zelda as the inspiration for this. Dump me in the overworld, tell me it's dangerous to go alone, and leave it at that.

    Obviously this world is very to different to that of the NES original, though, which was almost a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated entirely by monsters, with the few remaining humans hiding in caves. There are goatherders in the footage released so far, and it's obviously a bright, peaceful place. With that in mind, you can introduce Majora's Mask style sub-quests here, stories that are about individual, sometimes incidental, characters. Make the game about saving the people in the world, as much as it's about saving the world itself.

    With Witcher 3 and Zelda coming next year, I think we have two good candidates to really rethink and reinvigorate open world design. I look forward to them both.
    Reply +6
  • Nintendo rediscovers the GamePad in glorious style

  • Mr.Spo 12/06/2014

    @northlondon01 That would be brilliant.

    Can somebody from Eurogamer's E3 coverage have a quick word with Miyamoto? Maybe hand him Treasure's contact details?
    Reply +6
  • Mr.Spo 12/06/2014

    Out of every publisher's line up, Nintendo are the only company who've managed to interest me in almost every title they have unveiled at E3. The only game that doesn't grab me is Mario Party 10, but new IPs like Splatoon and Project STEAM are very exciting. Particularly so since unlike most of Nintendo's new IPs, they aren't outsourced to external studios, or bound to be eShop only. Splatoon is coming from the prestigious halls of EAD Kyoto, and Project STEAM is coming from Intelligent Systems.

    Also interesting that Miyamoto wants Star Fox finished and released in around 12 months time, and that he wants an external studio to handle it. A shame Platinum are now split between finishing Bayonetta 2 and developing Scalebound for Xbox One...
    Reply +21
  • Nintendo announces 3DS game Code Name: STEAM

  • Mr.Spo 12/06/2014

    @Olemak I'm hoping that's a Fire Emblem game that's in development for Wii U; fully realised battlefield on your TV, traditional map on your gamepad.

    This sounds great. Hope it's not too far away, it already sounds like 2015 is going to bankrupt me.
    Reply +4
  • Bayonetta 2 out this October in Europe

  • Mr.Spo 10/06/2014

    As previously announced, the game will also include the original Bayonetta, updated for Wii U.
    Er, when was that previously announced? Did I miss that? I'm pretty sure this is the first we've heard of it...
    Reply +27
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker announced for Wii U

  • Mr.Spo 10/06/2014

    This is exactly what I never knew I wanted. Reply +9