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Sony Punked Nintendo: Nintendo Goes From Bully To Coward

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Nintendo, its time to knuckle up and fight back!! 

Let me start off by saying this first. I am, always have been, and probably always will be a huge fan and supporter of Nintendo as a company. I believe they are the reason gaming exists today and I have always applauded Nintendo on their family focused efforts in a world and industry were violence and sex sell. I believe that Nintendo brings a fresh and innovative approach to gaming that Sony and Microsoft could only dream of. With that said, Nintendo is NOT without their faults and I’m going to point out the major ones as I see them, so be warned. This article isn’t to bash Nintendo but I will not pull my punches. If you are a fan boy then stop reading now. If you are level headed gamer that loves Nintendo or just loves gaming in general, then I hope that you can appreciate what I’m trying to say in this article. Once again my intention is not to bash Nintendo but to try expose what I see as Nintendo’s biggest flaw at the moment. That huge flaw is the fact that they are cowards.

Nintendo Has Cowered Long Enough

Why does it seem as if Nintendo has become a shell of their former selves? Why does it seem as if Nintendo no longer has the desire to fight? Nintendo is fully capable of competing and they have done so since the early 80′s. Granted there wasn’t much competition then, but if you look at how they battled Sega and the Genesis you can see that Nintendo is a company that can go toe to toe with any company in the business. Remember when Nintendo was the bully on the block? Throughout the 80′s and 90′s, third parties had no other choice but to create games for Nintendo platforms especially if they wanted to remain relevant. See back then, Nintendo was top dog. Remember when Hiroshi Yamauchi would make third parties kneel before him in fear as they presented their latest piece of software? The gaming industry was Nintendo’s yard and everyone else was just playing in it. That is until Sony came along.

The truth is, Sony Punked Nintendo and now Nintendo acts less like the gaming giant we all know and love and more like cowards. When Nintendo backed out of the deal with Sony that would have resulted in hybrid gaming console between the two Japanese giants, that lit a fire under Sony’s butt. Ever since that day, Sony and its mighty Playstation brand has dominated gaming. Financial losses aside, the Playstation brand carries more weight the Nintendo today. What does Nintendo have to say about it…

“…Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market.”

This is a statement that was made by Nintendo President Iwata back in late 2013. I find it to be a cowardly statement from Nintendo and an excuse on their part to not meet their competition face to face on the battlefield of gaming. I honestly feel that Sony scared them off with their original Playstation. They showed Nintendo that they are not the only game in town and that third parties in fact do NOT need them. Instead of responding with more aggression, they became more and more passive. Its a shame to watch. This is NOT behavior befitting the greatest gaming company of all time. Yes, I called them the greatest gaming company of all time but that title is slowly slipping away. It will be all but gone if they don not turn the ship around and head in the direction of the cannon fire. Nintendo can NOT be afraid of a good fight.

Get In Or Get Out

Now I’ll admit that Nintendo still had a bit of that fighting spirit left in them when it came to the Gamecube. I believe that most of the problems then were do to Nintendo not embracing popular trends and that problem still exists today. The real problem began when Nintendo just simply gave up fighting. Last generation Nintendo Introduced the Wii to the gaming world. It had an interesting motion control mechanic that got millions of non-gamers to board the hype train. It was a huge success and the second best selling home console of all time. So what’s the problem? Simply put, the console sucked! Outside of Mario Galaxy and maybe a few others, the Nintendo Wii pushed coer gaming aside in favor of the casual experience. While fun at first, it quickly wore thin for most. Nintendo called it their new “Blue Ocean” strategy which in theory makes sense. It simply means that Nintendo strives to find an avenue to explore that no one else has done before or is doing so currently making them the only ones to explore this unique space. This is all fine but when you get so insulated that you forget what is going on around you then you become unaware of your weaknesses because you have nothing to compare yourself to. With the Wii, Nintendo got lazy and weak. They bet on the casual crowd and in the end they bet on the wrong horse so to speak.

This was done so that Nintendo did not have to compete in the same space as Sony. Iwata has no confidence that Nintendo can win a fight when competing in the same weight class as the Playstation and I think he is being a coward for running the company in such a way. Why am I using such a harsh word like “coward”? A coward is someone who looks at a situation that may seem bigger than what they can handle and gives up without trying even though they have all of the necessary skills and tools to handle what is ahead of them. They choose not to push forward because they are too afraid to take up the challenge. That to me is a coward. Iwata is being a coward.

I’ll end with this. Nintendo has better software than Sony hands down. Nintendo’s ip’s are more popular and far more profitable. Nintendo has better developers at their disposal. Now don’t get me wrong, Naughty Dog is a beast but they only make one type of game. Nintendo has what fanboys refer to as a “war chest” of money that Iwata probably spends his time diving into like Scrooge Mcduck. The idea that Nintendo cant afford to spend money on a high end gaming console is nuts! Nintendo has been in business for more than one hundred years and has been in gaming for more than 30 years so they definitely have the expertise and the knowledge. It’s time that Nintendo changed their thinking and started viewing themselves as the great gaming company they are. They have the capability to rule the gaming industry but to do so they must first face their greatest rival. The Sony Playstation. Nintendo needs to look Sony in the eye and commit to a good fight on equal ground. No gimmicks, no smoke and mirrors. Just a good ol’ fashioned console war fought with cutting edge hardware, advanced online capabilities, and outstanding software. Nintendo can do it. I know they can.

That’s All Folks

My hope is that through all of my harsh criticism of Nintendo that you can see my passion for them to succeed. Lets get something straight, though. Nintendo wont succeed as long as they are being coddled by fanboys. Nintendo needs tough love and a kick in the butt. This only comes if you hurt their wallet. You mess with a companies money and they are bound to make changes. I won’t go into that now because I’m saving that topic for another day. Oh, and just in case you were wondering why I didn’t mention Microsoft its because I don’t feel they are any threat to Nintendo simply because MS carries no weight in Japan. Well there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed reading. See you next time.

The WiiUmadGamers show Ep.1 The Road Ahead

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The first ever WiiUmadGAMERS show. I cover topics ranging from the state of the industry, to the impact of the media and fanboys. Tune in every Friday for new episodes. Are you a gamer? Love Nintendo? Than what are you waiting for?


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Does The Gaming Industry Need A Reboot? Yes

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We Need This!

Why The Industry Needs A Reboot

First off, I’m not advocating for an industry crash. The massive loss of jobs would be overwhelming and that’s something I would not wish on anyone in any situation. With that said, the gaming industry does need a reboot. Its become bloated, greed fulled, and stagnant. The large gaming corporations are more concerned with taking over your living room by offering you yet another way to watch Netflix by plugging your consoles cables directly into your anus. Ok, not really but when did the hype surrounding a new console become more about the apps than the games? I applaud Microsoft for trying to expand their home console into new territories by offering a new why to approach live tv and letting users Skype while gaming but we buy consoles for one thing. Games.

Speaking of games, why are we now spending 60 dollars on a title just to be told we have to spend hundreds more in microtransactions? Forza 5, Ryse, and GT 6 all make use of this cheap, lazy, and borderline criminal feature. It’s cheap because it allows someone to pay to get ahead in a game while I’m grinding my arse off. Lazy because the developers clearly haven’t put enough time and effort to make their game interesting enough to play through in such a way that gamers wouldn’t even dare consider paying to win. This approach is borderline criminal because how dare a developer charge full price for a game and then expect to nickle and dime me, forcing me to pay for content that should be free. It’s on the disc, right? Then let me unlock it the old fashioned way by grinding.

Speaking of the old fashioned way. One of the reasons why I believe that devs are beginning to nickle and dime us gamers is because they spend so much money putting together overly bloated teams to create a 4 hour experience that is more cutscene and spectacle than gameplay. The problem with this is that when the game doesn’t sell up to expectations, developers doors begin to close. Your waiting for the reference I made to “old fashioned” to pay off, I know. It’s coming, bare with me. So, the object is to release a spectacle disguised as a game with the hopes of making that GTA/COD dollar. Such a compromise diminishes game quality. Example…Resident Evil. Capcom publicly stated that they wanted COD fans to play Resident Evil. The result was Resident Evil 6. Yes…that garbage of a game was the result of a respected developer wanting to chase after the success of the COD fad. So here it is…Old fashioned gaming, or the oldschool days of gaming would see no such blasphemy come about. It was about gameplay and the experience of beating a game. You got what you paid for, for better or worse. In the end it wasn’t about hype, metacritic scores, or exclusive DLC packs. It was about sitting down in front of your tv with controller in your hand and enjoying the wide diversity of experience gaming had to offer.

Speaking of diversity, why is everything a shooter? Are gamers that obsessed with blowing off someones head? Are guns really that cool? I mean I’d rather be able to eat a mushroom and grow several stories tall over shooting off rounds from an AK-whatever any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying shooters are bad. I’m saying that every since COD and Years of Boring…sorry, Gears of War blew up the gaming spot, everyone saw their success and wanted to make shooters. That would be ok if there were some originality thrown in but how many shooters can you name that truly do something remarkably new? What happened to pushing the platforming genre? Outside of Mario and Rayman who is doing that? I’m glad fighting games made a huge comeback but I want to see more JRPG’s. Don’t even give me that “Japanese developers are years behind the west” crap!!

Cream Rises To The Top

Iv’e said it before…Indie devs are the future. An industry reboot would force the big guys to re-think their stupid development strategies and put gameplay first. Look at all of the indie developers coming out. They are everywhere thanks to public funding and awesome platforms like Steam. Nintendo and Sony are doing a good job of courting indie devs to their platforms and Microsoft is is Microsoft. Take that how ever you like. Lets be honest, if the industry has any hopes of surviving 20 more years then it cant rely on the likes of EA, Activision, Microsoft Sony or any other big name company. Why? Because their greed and short sighted mindset if left unchecked will run this industry into the ground. They don’t focus on what is important. Gamers! If they did, we would be forced to buy into the hype of these so-called “Next-Gen” all in one electronic device that cooks your meals while wiping your butt, too expensive and comes with a bunch of crap we don’t need or care about gaming consoles! For everything that Nintendo gets wrong, they constantly and consistently get one thing right. Games. They know how to make them and NO ONE does it better. They get it. This is why the Wii U is so inviting to indie devs. Games are why we love this industry and if the indie scene cant breath originality into it then IT WILL die. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo would be fools to not court as many indie developers as humanly possible throughout this new generation of gaming.

An Industry Crash?

Like I said, I don’t want to see it happen but by the way things are going I’m not too optimistic about our industries future. Screw microtransactions! Screw day one DLC! Screw voice commands, Skype, and uploading crap to Youtube. Hell, screw online multiplayer at the cost of a good single player experience! These are the type of things killing gaming. The industry is slowly suffocating and choking on its own mistakes. Lets get back to what made this industry so awesome and thats games. No filler. No hype. No BS! I’ll take Super Mario 3d world or yes, Knack, any day over Killdrone and Call of Booty. Not that kind of booty, son. I’m a gamer and if you claim to be one too then quit buying into the hype and supporting the nonsense. Tell Microsoft to stick Kinect back up the hole it was crapped from! Tell Sony not to be afraid to put money into Jack and Dexter and Sly Cooper. Mario doesn’t have to be the only platformer in town. Tell Nintendo to kill anything that has Mii, or party in the name. Remind them that casuals don’t care about there product like us gamers who have supported them since the NES. Speak up. Let Capcom know that if they take Resident Evil back to its roots that everything will be ok with the franchise. Or stay quiet and just wait for the eminent “reboot” headed towards the gaming industry. Its coming. If nothing changes, its coming. Peace out. Image

Will History Repeat Itself? I Hope Not


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Gamers Need To Grow Up: Not Nintendo

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So many gamers these days are criticizing Nintendo for not being more mature. They try and make the argument that Nintendo hasn’t grown up with them but instead insist on making “kiddie” games. Gamers want more mature experiences not found in games like Mario or Zelda. Gamers have supposedly outgrown Nintendo because they are now adults. Well my response to that is if your so grown up, why are you still playing videogames? Could it be that your not as “all grown up” and as mature as you think you are? Yes. That is it. What else could it be?

A Gamers Definition Of Mature

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A gamers definition of mature can’t possibly carry any weight behind it. How can a toddler lecture an adult about the facts of life when that child can barely wipe his/her own butt. Gamers are too busy burying their heads beneath the swearing, violence and perversion to understand what real maturity is. From a gamers perspective maturity is gritty, bloody, dark and full of swearing and dismemberment. Subdued colors, explosions and guns make up the bulk of what today’s gamer thinks of as mature. Its a sad truth, but the truth no less. Its as if gameplay no longer factors in anymore so long as there is competitive multiplayer matches where prepubescent brats can scream and curse at one another over their choice of online service provided by Microsoft and Sony. How long can this obstructed view of gaming maturity hold up? If the last generation was just a sign of what is to come then the gaming industry is in trouble. In its current form its becoming a joke. A shell of its former self in the sense that gamers are loosing sight of what has made gaming what it is since the beginning. It has been, should be, and should forever more be about having fun.

Let Me Guess, Should Mario Smoke Crack Too?

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You see the image above? Do you think that looks cool? Do you think it would be a great idea if the Super Mario games went all GTA and let gamers shoot Kooplings and bang Toadetts? If you do then your not alone and your also what’s wrong with gaming today. I remember when I visited a local Gamestop and one of the employees said to me that he thought it was time for Mario to grow up and go “GTA”. He actually thought it would be a good idea to make Mario more mature in the sense that he would now curse, kill and steal from the friendly citizens of the Mushroom kingdom. As humorous as watching Mario go Kart jacking would be, it would be the dumbest move Nintendo ever made allowing their famous mascot to be apart of a GTA style world. Why do people think Nintendo should make Mario mature or any other franchise for that matter? Should Mario sell crack too? How about smoke it? Clearly the people bashing Nintendo for its family friendly image are smoking it.

Nintendo Is Like Disney. Family Comes First

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Would anyone be taken seriously if they actually suggested that Disney make a Mickey Mouse Penthouse cartoon in which Mickey sexes Minnie, mouse style? How about a Disney Pixar film in which the protagonist is kills people and uses profanity? Would Mickey ever be seen smoking a cigar? The answer is HELL NO! Disney is a family company. They have been around since the 20′s and have catered to the young and old ever since. How come no one criticizes Disney for being too kiddie? Where are all the adults who grew up on Disney demanding that Donald pimp out Daisy? You know why you don’t get that from Disney fans? Its because they understand what family entertainment is. They understand the value of leaving something positive for the next generation after them. The gaming industry is the most childish and immature of them all. How dare you demand that Nintendo forget about what made its company in the first place. Do you know what the name of Nintendo’s fist console was? The Famicom. What does Famicom mean, you ask? FAMILY COMPUTER. Emphasis on the word FAMILY. Simply put, Nintendo provides entertainment for families. Yes I understand that Nintendo’s core audience as of right now are made up of gamers in their late 20′s and early 30′s but lets not act like the gameplay experiences that Nintendo provides isn’t as good or in most cases better than anything out there. Name one action adventure game that does what The Legend Of Zelda does as well or better. Name a better platformer than Mario. How about a better mash up fighter than Smash Brothers? Cant? Didn’t think so. So when gamers sit there and say they can’t enjoy Nintendo games anymore because they are too kiddie, what are you really saying? Your saying that you don’t care about gameplay. You want state of the art graphics and you want to watch crap blow up. Oh, and you want to shoot, stab and kill things. Be honest. What is the top game mechanic used this entire last generation? Shooting. Doesn’t matter if it was a 3rd person shooter or a 3rd person shooter, just shooting.

My point is that Nintendo thinks about how to best serve the family. Not everyone gets off by shooting people in the head or cutting their throat in a videogame. There are still those of us who just want to save the princess and that’s ok. Nintendo’s titles may look kiddie at times but if you know anything about gaming you understand that their games often represent the pinnacle of gameplay and best represent what is good in this industry. Sure, they don’t give you everything you may want on a technical level, things such as blood and sweat dripping off a character model but just look at how beautiful Super Mario 3d World looks. Its like a Pixar film. Immediately Pixar films appeal to children do to their colorful nature but behind it all is a deep and rich story in which all adults can enjoy. That is Nintendo. Simple yet complex.

Look, I’m not saying that liking games that feature explosions and shooting is wrong. What I am saying is that if you feel that EVERY game should be similar to that and anything that is geared towards family is somehow inferior, then you are just plain dumb. I understand that most people who play games today are adults but how can you expect a family company to forget about its most important customer…the family? Nintendo will always cater to its core fans with titles like Mario and Zelda but they can not deny the younger audience who will one day take our place as Nintendo’s core fan base. Think about the experience today’s kids would be getting from gaming if all they hat to play was GTA and Gears of War? Is that fair? No. We all grew up on Mario and it turned us into the core gamer we are today and it even turned some of us into developers. There is little substance in today’s gaming. You aim and shoot. Little more. With Nintendo they do their best to preserve the legacy of what gaming is all about. Fun gameplay. You shouldn’t be able to separate the too.

A Little Mario In All Of Us

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Lets stop being critical of what Nintendo is doing in the industry and start being more supportive. I hate when people make the statement that they “used to be big Nintendo fans” until they got older. Nintendo’s emphasis on gameplay is the same its been since the 80′s. If you were a Nintendo fan all those years ago, why should you stop now? Sony and Microsoft can often behave like Zombies. They rarely innovate, they just feed. On your wallet of course. The regurgitate the same ideas over and over again except that each time they just add more. More power, more power, more money you have to spend. Nintendo thinks about how they can deliver the consumer a fun experience that won’t violate their bank account. Listen we need all three console makers to survive and do well so that this industry can do well. When you route for Nintendo to fail, you route for the industry to fail. Period. Grow up.


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Top Tuesdays: Top 5 Games Of The Current Generation

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Who Will Be Number 1?

Here We Go again Folks. I’m back with another Top Tuesday edition. This time I’ll be focusing on the best games of this generation. Keep in mind that these are my favorite games of the current generation so with that in mind, enjoy.

5. Metal Gear Solid 4

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Snaaaaaaaaaake!

This game is the main reason why I bought a PS3 in the first place. Metal Gear Solid 4 kept me hooked from the first moment I booted up the game, with its impressive visuals and Kojima-style storytelling. MGS4 is the definitive stealth game.

4. Uncharted 2

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Naughty Dog are kings of story telling

What can I say about the Uncharted series? The game is a masterpiece in cinematic storytelling and action. I loved the first Uncharted game but the second one blew me away. The characters were very interesting, the story was engaging, and the action was fun and addictive. I can see why many regard Uncharted 2 as the best in the series. 

3. Red Dead Redemption

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Probably The Only Rockstar Game I’ll Ever Play

I’m not a huge fan of Rockstar’s other game offerings but I loved me some Red Dead Redemption. What I loved so much about this game was that it made me feel like I was actually in the wild west. The world felt so alive to me that I would hardly try any of the missions, instead I would just hop on my horse and see what situations I could find myself in. With so much variety in the world of Red Dead, I was able to squeeze many hours of playtime out of the game before I decided to actually play the missions and finish the main story. I can’t wait for a sequel. 

2. Batman Arkham City

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Two Heads Are Better Than One!

This franchise isn’t considered the greatest among the super hero genre for nothing. I spent countless hours gliding around Arkham City beating the crap out of the inmates. Simply put, this game is outstanding. This game is as close to perfect as a game can get and a step forward for the super hero genre of gaming. Too bad no other super hero game has been able to match its quality yet, but oh well, there is another Arkham game on the way in Arkham Origins. If you have not played Arhkam City and you claim your a fan of the caped crusader, slap yo’self. Here’s a little incentive. I bought the game on Steam for 7.49 cents. Yup. 

1. The Walking Dead

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Story Telling Perfection

I had no interest in trying The Walking Dead simply because it is a point an click adventure game and those always seemed pretty lame to me. So I skipped it. One day I saw a Steam sale that had The Walking Dead season one at around 6 bucks or so and I said to my self “what the heck, I’ll try it”. Best decision I’ve made in long time concerning videogame purchases. 

The Walking Dead is the best game I’ve played this current generation by far. No other game had been able to keep me as involved in the story as this game did. I don’t remember playing another game where I cared about the characters as much as I cared about Lee and Clementine. Th scenarios that played out were excellently crafted and overall this game is a testament that you don’t need over the top action and explosions to make an impact in gaming. I recommend this game to anyone who loves good storytelling. The Walking Dead will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times. I can’t wait for season 2. 

 

 


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R.I.P. Hiroshi Yamauchi

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The Real Reason You Play COD


I just wanted to share my thoughts on Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi who recently passed away at the wise age of 85 years old. I just wanted to give respect to whom respect is due. I encourage all of you to go and read the article that IGN did on Yamauchi because I feel it was a very respectful and positive article that gives insight on a man who in my opinion is solely responsible for gaming being what it is today.

We all credit Miyamoto for making Nintendo what it is today because of his creation of franchises like Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and of course Mario. What about the man who hired him? Would Miyamoto be who he is today without Yamauchi? No. He wouldn’t. Lets talk about the fact that Yamauchi took a gamble on the videogame market and decided to risk his entire company by tasking them with developing a gaming console and releasing it in western markets right after the western gaming industry had just suffered a crash. Hiroshi Yamauchi ran Nintendo as its president all the way through the release of the Gamecube. So everything good about Nintendo that you celebrate, a little of that credit is owed to Yamauchi. I’m not sure if major corporations even have presidents that last in the same position as long as Yamauchi did and not to mention push an entire industry forward with innovation after innovation throughout there entire career. This seems very rare.

Growing up with Nintendo, I have many fond memories. From the Original NES, to the N64, to now, all of those fond memories I have playing on Nintendo systems are because of the hard work and dedication of a man who was put in a position and made the decision to step into that position with boldness. What am I trying to say? What I am not trying to say is that we should lift people up on a pedestal. No. Not at all. What I am saying is that we often look at the end result of something without really factoring in the individuals who worked effortlessly behind the scenes to get that end result to where it is. I know most of us who grew up with gaming know the name Hiroshi Yamauchi but not many of us knew what he truly contributed to the industry and what he really meant to Nintendo and its legacy. Hiroshi Yamauchi will be missed and his influence will be felt in this industry for as longs as it stands. Even if the industry folds I believe Nintendo will be left standing again and in return preserving the Yamauchi legacy.

Please check out the link below and head over to the IGN article on Hiroshi Yamauchi.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/25/hiroshi-yamauchi-nintendos-legendary-president

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