Friday, April 24, 2009
Wiisports, as impressive as it was and still is... is just a tech demo. A template to show developers what is possible with Wii control and at the same time, introduce the motion control scheme to players. For some reason though, most publishers haven't bothered to expand upon what Nintendo has presented as an example.
Wii sports is made up of minigames because it's just a demo.
Wii sports was never meant to be a full fledged game. That's the reason it's free. It was never meant to spark some minigame renasance. Nintendo already had that on lock with Warioware and Mario Party. It's pretty silly to assume that the majority of Wii owners prefer mini games when...
1. Wiisports came free with the system. You had no choice in the matter.
2. Wii play sold well because it came with a "free" Wii controller thus only costing $10 realistically.
3. Wiisports clones are usually budget priced around $19.99-$29.99.
How can free and budget games dictate the sales trends of the Wii customer? Especially when a AAA big budget mainstream title has yet to be published on the Wii outside of Nintendo?
There are quite a few excellent 3rd party titles on the Wii such as Zack and Wiki, No More Heroes, and Madworld but let's be honest with ourselves here...
All of the above titles were destined to NOT sell millions of copies. A puzzle game with kiddy graphics that's too hard for kids, with no commercials? A cel shaded, bizarre game from an awesome developer who's best selling game previously was only around 100,000-200,000 sold combine on two systems... one with a 100 million + install base and again with no commercials? ( Thanks Ubisoft) A black and white extremely violent again.... cel shaded ( cel shaded games don't tend to sell millions unless they are Zelda apparently) that's a little too short? You see what I'm getting at here?
There has yet to be a 3rd party Wii game released that had all of the following:
- System pushing graphics
- non niche
-Big budget developement funds
-big marketing budget
If 3rd parties release games like this they will sell. Period. The upcoming The Conduit has ALL of these factors and will sell at least 1.8 million copies by the end of 2009. You can quote me on that too. Call of Duty World at War sold over a million copies on Wii despite misssing over half the features of the PS3/360 versions. That should say alot right there. Wii gamers are salavating at the mouth for these kind of games. Publishers really need to pull their heads out of their rears and realize this. I mean how many minigames do we really need? There were like 70 alone in Rayman Raving Rabbids.
Wiisports looks simplistic because of the use of Mii's.
No it's not because "OMG the Wii is not powerful enough to do good graffix!". Ninetdno picked a visual style that fit the simplistic looks of Mii's. Just because Wiisports was successful does not mean Wii gamers prefer simplistic looking graphics. We don't prefer characters will big heads and small legs. Unless your game is focusing around the use of Mii's (which is very doubtful because Nintendo is very picky about Mii intergration) and/or is aimed at a budget price point or wiiware... No thank you.
Wii can't produce the same visual fidelity as the 36o or PS3. WE GET IT. But don't give us this "Wii isn't as powerful so we had to make characters with big heads and cel shading" Umm... No you didn't. The gamecube is less powerful than the Wii yet had the majority of it's games went for the "realistic style" so what's the problem here? Realistic looking art worked for the gamecube but not for the Wii? That doesn't make any sense. What's sad is that if there were no such thing as a ps3/360/Wii and we were still using our trusty ps2's, gamecube's, and xbox's, games like Madden 2010 would probably look much better on the gamecube than the current version of Madden 2010 on Wii... and that's freakin pathetic. Every year last gen Madden games looked better and better every year and all of a sudden Wii can't improve upon that and must go with a "genre defining artstyle"??? Quiet EA.
Wiisports is a tech demo. It's time to move on and make real games...like the ones you used to make for the less powerful gamecube remember?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
If you followed Wii news during the Revolution days you no doubt knew of and/or believed (some for better reasons than others) many of the following would have been true.
1. Stereoscopic 3d- Nintendo patents galore. The message boards were spilt. Those who believed the next system would use some sort of virtual reality and those who did not. The debates on this subject were pretty ridiculous to say the least. But very entertaining :)
2. Nintendo On- Chances are if you didn't believe it was real you wished it was. Pretty much a Nintendo fanboys' dream. The awkward looking mario character model was kind of a dead give away though.
3. More powerful than the 360- All rumored specs pre-IGN featured a more powerful system than the 360. It was also being developed by the same people behind the CPU and GPU for the 360 and release a year later. Surely it'd be more powerful...right? Right!??
4. 1:1 motion control- While this is being remedied with the release of Wii motion plus... pretty much everyone pre-launch was under the impression that the wiimote could already do that... Oops.
5. 2x RE4 graphics- The Wii is at minimum twice as powerful as the gamecube so nobody was expecting Wii games to actually look worse than RE4 let alone barely better. Imagine our suprise...
6. 512MB is more than enough- According to several super genius message boards posters back in 2005 the Wii's 512MB should have been enough to and I quote " hold every single nes game ever created" and " hundreds of snes titles". Guess VC titles aren't "byte size" after all.
7.Virtual Console games will be free!- When the VC was first annnounced many thought these games would be absolutely free! (lol). Later Nintendo hinted that VC games may be given away free as a bonus with newer titles. Didn't happen.
8. Sub $200 price point- Surely a system this low spec would super cheap right? Wrong. Wii was pegged by journalist and analyst as launching at a $99 price point...then $149....then $179...then $199...then $229. When Newsweek broke the store that it would be $249.99 fanboys didin't believe because surely Newsweek would not get that kind of news before a dedicated videogame site. Surely.
9. Infomation from Fake Revolution "insiders"- Remember Seriousgamer007? I sure do. Pulled so much crap out of his rear that he was invisable. Made fake game announcements as well. Broken Saints blog also claimed to have super top secret revolution info that confirmed stereoscopic 3d. Thanks guys.
10. Make your own games- When wiiware was first rumored many believed that the average joe could simply pony up the $1,700 and get started on Wii games!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Nintendo finally delivered on it's promise of a Wii storage solution. It works great with no hassle and allows support up to 32 gig sd cards. 32 GIGS! So what's the "problem"? It was found that VC and Wiiware games aren't played directly off the sd card and that temporary Wii system memory is used to run the game. In other words... you still need to have enough flash memory available on the Wii or the game can't run.
But what makes this a silly complaint is the fact that all you have to do is transfer your vc and wiiware titles to the sd card leaving plenty of flash memory available. Depending on the speed and quality it only takes a few seconds to load the game (think: around how long it takes to load the internet channel)
I bought a 16 gig sdhc sandisk tonight and it took under 5 mins to tranfer all of my 22 vc and wiiware titles to the card. Lost Winds is the biggest file and it took only 5-6 seconds to load. Even with the 22 titles on the sd card it says I have over 260,000 slots left lol.
Can't wait 5 seconds for a game to load?
Upset that you aren't "really" playing directly off the sd card?
Cry me a river.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
If you've followed any of my prediction topics on IGN you'd know that usually I'd just tell you something was gonna happen and keep you out of the loop as to why I believe so. Well today I've decided not to be so vague. There is actually quite a bit of evidence pointing towards a GDC Red Steel 2 showing.
Let's take a look...
- Ngamer has stated that Redsteel 2 will be unvieled in an upcoming issue that hits newstands MARCH 25TH 2009.
- GDC starts on March 23 2009.
-President Iwata is scheduled to speak at GDC on... MARCH 25TH 2009.
- Red Steel 2 is confirmed to use Wii motion plus.
- Redsteel 2 was the first 3rd party game confirmed to use WM+.
-ONM teased a big Wii exclusive only to have it shown at Leipzig a couple days before the magazine hit stores (BWii).
- Tom Salta, Red Steel and Red Steel 2's composer was just confirmed to be a speaker at GDC 2009.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I know what you are thinking... what in the world is a Nintendo crash test dummy? Well... chances are if you are reading this... you are one. We crash test dummies are the Nintendo hardcore. Why are we crash test dummies? Because unlike hardcore Sony and Microsoft gamers, we must "prove" why we deserve game A. by buying game B. We are the only fanbase in the gaming world that has to buy other games in hopes of getting similar titles or titles with higher production values or depth.
It has been this way since the later gamecube days, but has gotten much worse with Wii. Developers are afraid to make anything but cookie-cutter Wiisports knock offs and minigame collections nowhere near as good at the titles they are trying to emulate. Publishers are turning down compelling ideas for core titles on Wii because there is "no market" for those kind of titles on the Wii platform. No market? Do these industry "professionals" not read the thousands upon thousands of cries from Wii fans for games not geared towards their mother or their little brother? Wii sold around 4 million consoles its' first two months on the shelf...you think that was the casual gamer camping out for those systems? Think again.
Let's discuss these "test games". Manhunt 2. Even though the Wii version was handled by a seperate team the Wii version still looks like a ps2 game? Why? Scarface. Another ps2 port except six months late to the party and full priced to boot. Mortal Kombat Armageddon. Another ps2 port 6 months late with online taken out and a much higher price tag. In fact, the Wii version sold for $49.99 even though the game was originally only $39.99 at launch on the ps2 which was also available at $19.99 the day the Wii version was available.
How about putting real effort into the development and marketing of games for what is on pace to be the greatest selling game console of all time? No more excuses. No more stupid tests. No more petitions. Give us good games.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Two years later and this is still a debate? Do the people arguing the xbox's superiority over the Wii even understand the tech of which they speak? Short answer...hell no. The fact that most developers are putting forth subpar efforts on Wii has nothing to do with the power of the system.
Here is a funny fact for you all. The gamecube was more powerful than the Xbox. Did you miss that? I said... THE GAMECUBE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE XBOX. The tech wizards at Factor 5 even stated that the GC had the most powerful general purpose cpu ever in a console in 2002. They stated that the Gamcube CPU was every bit as fast as a 733mhz pentium III(an Xbox) and even exceeded it in key areas.
The Gamcube was a beast in 2002.
Perception and bottlenecks kept the Gamecube from being the monster it could have been. There was this perception that the GC was even less powerful than even the PS2 because of the conservative spec numbers released by Nintendo as opposed to what Sony and Microsoft were touting with the PS2 and Xbox respectively. Nintendo stated the Gamecube was capable of 6-12 million polygons per second which was easily attainable on the system and perhaps a little to conservative considering a launch game for the system made in a mere 9 months were running at 12-15 million at 60 frames per second. Sony claimed the ps2 was capable 75 million which was actually 75 million "Raw" meaning it could not be achieved in-game and were essentially fake numbers that failed to calulate textures, lighting,framerate, colors...you know...things that make up a game lol. Microsoft did the same, claiming the original Xbox could do 120 million when that was a raw number as well. Which is even funnier is that if you look at the spec shet for the Xbox 360 you'll see that 120 million poly number back again except this time it's real time and not made up unrealistic raw number bs.
The truth is that for its' time, the Gamecube was a polygon monster. Didn't any of you find it odd that Rogue Leader a 2003 Gamecube title is running at double the amount of polys and double the amount of framerate of the best looking Xbox titles? It can be your opinion that Xbox had the best looking games of last generation but they certainly were not the most hardware taxing. Rogue leader could not run on the Xbox in it's current current form. F-zero GX could not run on Xbox in it's current form.
The best looking games on Xbox either:
-ran at 30 frames or less
-had very limited geometry
-limited color pallete
or most time... all of the above.
There is a reason for that. The GC could display more on screen at a time and at a better framerate to boot. This is why Xbox developers had to rely on shaders and normal maps to make things appear more detailed than they really were. A game like Metriod Prime has far more detailed well...everything than a game like Halo 2 and if you believe otherwise is because you don't understand the purpose of a normal map. Developers use normal mapping and shaders so that they can use less polygons in their models...not more. That is part of what makes games like Metriod Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy so impressive is because they use next to no normal mapping or shader effects and still look excellent.
Shader effects are possible on the Wii as evident in games like the up and coming The Conduit. However, unlike on systems like the xbox and xbox 360, these effects must be built from scratch and add a large hit to the systems performance. The Wii uses the TEV Unit for it's texture combining "shader" effects and the more stages they use the more it eats into hardware performance. The use of shader effects on the xbox and xbox 360 come at pretty much a zero hit on performance on those systems. They basically get shader effetcs "for free" so to speak. The fact that The Conduit has been known to pass for a 360 title at first glance, all while taking a huge performance hit because of the mandantory custom shader effects is a testiment to howe powerful the little white box is. The xbox cannot handle the visuals the way Wii the Wii is forced to (custom).
The Wii also has no harddive to help with texture streaming it wouldn't otherwise be capabale of.( I'm looking at you doom 3 and halflife2 on xbox). The GC's lack of disk space also put a damper on what could have been regarding the gamecube's graphics potential. Developers were forced to compress textures resulting in lesser quality. Wii however does not have this problem. It is more powerful than the Xbox is every area. It may be easier for the Xbox to create shaders but that doesn't change the fact that the Wii is a more powerful system and also doesn't change the fact that pixel and vertex shader effetcs are possible on the Wii platform if developers simply take the time.
The power is there. It's up to developers to make use of it. Let's hope that High Voltage Software and Factor 5 aren't the only dev teams interested in the potential of the Wii's while not bleeding edge...very capable hardware which happens to be quite a bit more powerful than the Xbox.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Sonic games have been...ehhh...let's say...less than steller over recent years. Even though I own and admitedly enjoy Sonic and the Secrets Rings there were some major deal-breaking problems in that title. The controls sucked. The voice acting was freaking horrible (as usual). The "new" levels were really missions in the same level but very boring and sometimes damn near impossible.(Racing a fairy?...Really?) The biggest downfall was how awkward it was to go backwards. That was ridiculously bad.
SEGA... since I love you I'll get you this advice free of charge. Here is how you make the perfect Sonic game for Wii:
Story: We don't need it. Ditch the humans. That Sonic/human girl relationship thing in Sonic "next gen" was disturbing. No thanks SEGA. DO NOT WANT. The story should be simple. Dr. Robotnik (yes call him that again. Eggman is corny) is trying to take over the world again. Simple. Just give us some of that always gorgeous FMV at the intro and ending of the game and we'll be set.
Characters: Sonic only. Bring back Tails as an NPC following Sonic ala Sonic 2-3. Knuckles as a playable character AFTER THE GAME IS BEATEN. Do not force people to use him.
Music: Sonic music of today sucks...ass. Don't sing over my sonic music. This 80's cheese rock crap needs to die. People still love the old sonic music because it was really good. As a child one of my cousins told me that a song from a bonus stage in Sonic 1 was his favorite song. HIS FAVORITE SONG LOL.
My suggestion... include remastered perhaps orchestrated tracks from Sonic 1-3. ONLY. Hardcore SEGA fans will eat it up.
Control: Nunchuck/ Wiimote only. Analog to control sonic. Camera should turn to follow Sonic if he needs to go backwards.
Item boxes...bring them back. Add the ability to hold on to these and use them with a slight flick of the wiimote. Jump with A button.
Stage design: Throw real world levels out the window. Sonic 1-3/Knuckles were so awesome to play because of clever and non-realistic level design. I don't want to see Sonic run throw the old west or new york city. Give me back my corkscrews, floating platforms, and break-away bridges SEGA. Go all out on level design. Bring the platforming back to Sonic. Sonic wasn't all about speed. It was about timing, well executed jumps, speed boosts, and multiple branching paths. This can all be done in 3D. Give it a try.
You're welcome SEGA.