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Why Nintendo Will Stand When The Rest Fall

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Don’t Think Nintendo Doesn’t Have It In Them!

I know, I know. The last article I wrote didn’t really go over in Nintendo’s favor. I called them Cowards! I stand by that for the most part. I called them cowards because I know that Nintendo is better than what they have shown us this past year and a half. I called them cowards because if someone has something special about them that if shared, would definitely benefit the world yet they decide to stifle their own potential due to fear and lack of confidence, I believe they are deserving of the title of coward. That person should still try! I believe Nintendo is that person. I believe that Nintendo has something so unique to share with the world and every inch they give up to Sony and Microsoft is such a tragedy because that means more people will now be turned away from getting to know the Nintendo that I grew up with. This cannot continue. Nintendo must dig down deep inside and pull out the desire to compete. Here is why.

Family First

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In Life, This Is What Really Matters. 

Ever since Nintendo released very first home console, the NES, it was evident that they were all about family. In case you weren’t in the know, the Japanese name for the original NES was Famicom. It means “Family Computer”. As you know Nintendo went on to create the Super NES or Super Famicom as it is known in Japan. Throughout Nintendo’s entire gaming history they have always been about bringing families together in the living room. All of Nintendo’s characters appeal to children, teenagers, and adults. Nintendo’s IP’s are meant to be enjoyed by a wide demographic, not just older ones. I like to refer to Nintendo as the Walt Disney of the gaming industry. You loved Disneyland as a kid, right? Going there was almost like a magical experience for lack of a better word. Even as an adult the magic really never fades away. It doesn’t matter what age you are, I feel Nintendo is the exact same way. For the young and young at heart there is Mario and everything Mario related. You can be a 7 year old kid or a 17 year old young man and still enjoy the pure fun there is to be had when playing a Mario title. I’m much older than 17 and I still love to visit the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat Bowser and the Princess. The experience is even much more meaningful now that I am a father and I can watch my kids play together and see the smiles on their faces. It is simply priceless.

No other console manufacture strives for this level of family fun. Sony and Microsoft try there hardest to cater to the most “core” of the hardcore gaming crowd. Much like the gaming media, Sony and Microsoft see family gaming as “kiddie”. I mean, how many times has Nintendo been accused of creating kiddie games in the last decade alone? The truth is no other developer can capture both the young and older markets like Nintendo. I often compare Nintendo’s approach to software creation to that of Pixar and the way that they can create a movie that will immediately attract kids while still having enough emotional impact to make a grown man cry. Pixar and Nintendo have a few things in common. When you look at Mario what do you see? A brightly colored character who runs and jumps through a brightly colored world full of sights and sounds that would attract the attention of any child with a set of senses. When you move beyond the visuals then you begin to uncover a gameplay experience so rich that several Mario titles have been rated and referred to as the greatest game of all time.

My point is this. It’s not Nintendo’s job to create mature content. Its not Nintendo’s job to cater to those gamers that have “grown up”. However, it is Nintendo’s job to preserve its legacy of amazing content that like no other can create such an amazing atmosphere fit for families of all sizes and ages. With Nintendo there is something for everyone. Nintendo caters to the youngest child to the oldest person with experiences like catching little critters called Poke’mon, to exploring the Tolkeinesque land of Hyrule in the Legend of Zelda. What you won’t find is sex, profanity and violence. That’s just not Nintendo’s style and I’m thankful for that.

I understand that Sony broadened the gaming demographic with the very first Playstation and as a result, gaming is enjoyed by men and women in their late 20′s all the way up to their early 40′s. Lets not forget about the generations that are coming after us gamers that grew up in the 80′s and 90′s. Lets remember that our kids deserve to be able to play games that aren’t filled with goals that require you to blow someones head off from across the map or sneak up behind another player and snap his neck. I know that I can let my kids play on a Nintendo platform while I’m out of the room and feel confident that they won’t be exposed to anything that their little eyes cant handle.

Its All About The Gameplay Experience

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Innovation Or Gimmick?

Say what you want about Nintendo and the Wii U but one thing you can not deny is that Nintendo has a strict focus on gameplay experience. You may think the Wii U Gamepad is a gimmick but it’s clear that when Nintendo designed it they had in mind the unique ways that gamers could potentially interact with the game they are playing. Dating all the way back to the original NES Nintendo was always thinking about control and how it effects the player experience. From adding more buttons, to less buttons all the way to motion controlled gaming, Nintendo is all about re-thinking what it means to control your game.

Zombie U is a perfect example. Yes I know the critics weren’t so nice to this title but I don’t think ever wanted it to succeed in the first place. Zombi U required the player to use the gamepad to interact with the environment while being mindful of the dangers on the tv screen. Using the gamepad as a virtual backpack, the player must rummage through it to find an item while being exposed to any potential dangers lurking on screen. While in this state, the player would be somewhat helpless until the virtual backpack was closed. Now some reviewers claimed that this process broke the experience for them because it felt out of place to look down at the gamepad and then have to lift your eyes to look at the tv screen. What a lazy thing to say. Its not like they had to look in a different direction or get up and start flailing their arms or something like that. This is to be expected though. In a generation of gamers and journalist more fixated on system specs, how could anyone expect them to admire anything that only benefits gameplay?

For the most part, gamers today only care about the level of graphical fidelity that a game displays. Hardly do I ever hear an argument over what game controls better than another or what game is more fun to play. Don’t believe me then just go on any gaming related message board and see for yourself. Everyone is worried about what console does 1080p and what console runs games at 60fps? All this is going on while Nintendo is focusing on gameplay. The fortunate thing about Nintendo’s development teams is that their games speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter what resolution they run at because regardless, they look awesome. It doesn’t matter what fps they run at because regardless, they run awesome. While Sony and Microsoft try and outdo each other, Nintendo just sticks to business as usual. In some cases that is a bad thing I will admit, but in the case of gameplay it is the best course of action for them.

No Money, Mo’ Problems

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Real Talk…

The Gaming industry seems to be in a bit of a transition and I’m not sure if it is entirely for the better. Don’t get me wrong, change is definitely good but something else seems to be going on. Publishers and developers seem to be closing their doors left and right and even the “Big Three”  seem to be taking some hits. Now I won’t make this about who’s got more cash than who, that’s not my point. My point is that there is a bad trend in the gaming industry that really became noticeable within the last 4 or 5 years. Lets take Capcom for instant. Capcom is one of the most talented and beloved developers in gaming history yet they seem to be on the verge of closing their doors. Why? For one, taking a beloved franchise like Resident Evil and pouring an unnecessary amount of money and resource into changing the franchise into “The next big thing” was definitely a blow to Capcom and its fans. Speaking of fans lets talk about DLC. On disc DLC anyone? How about what overcharging for crap that should already be in the initial purchase of a game? Look at what Kojima just did with Metal Gear! $30 dollars for a over glorified demo! THQ is gone! Irrational Games is gone with the hopes of restarting with a new studio focused on digital downloads. Why? For one, fans are getting hooked on what I am now referring to as the “Fast Food” of gaming syndrome. They rush out and buy these yearly iterations of games that are barely different from what they bought the year before and instead of waiting for something better to come along, gamers buy these titles out of habit. What happens when the sales start to slip for one of these franchises? I’ll tell you. The publisher becomes Capcom or Square-Enix. How is it that Square can sell 6 million copies of Tomb Raider and not turn a profit? Developers try and cram as much over the top audio, visual filler into these games as possible instead of just relying on gameplay, all of which requires bigger teams and more resources which in turn results in more risk. When the risk isn’t outweighed by the reward then we begin to see companies file for bankruptcy, and even close their doors entirely.

My belief is that if developers created games with a greater emphasis on gameplay over graphics then the quality of that game would sell itself. Nintendo has often talked about their approach to game development versus the way most developers tackle game creation. When you look at behind the scenes documentaries on the matter, you often see developers try and sell you on concept art and high quality character models and environments. They often go into how grand the story will be and so on. While there is nothing really wrong with this approach it does bring up an interesting point. Using this logic, one would come to the conclusion that most developers fancy visuals and grand spectacle over gameplay. Nintendo’s approach to game development is quite different. First, Nintendo nails the core gameplay element that will be featured in a particular game. They make sure that they have a fun, unique and interesting gameplay structure that will hook the gamer and bring them into the experience. Once they have solved how the game will play, they can begin to decide what franchise would best be suited to this style of gameplay. So a game may start out as an idea for a Zelda title but could turn out to be the next Mario or Metroid.

What does this all mean? I’m glad you asked. Nintendo is often seen as being cheap and unwilling to take risks but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact I believe they take more risks than anyone else, that more likely than not, end up resulting in huge rewards for Nintendo. Because of Nintendo’s focus on gameplay, gamers know what to expect from them. I personally don’t know any gamer that says they will wait until they see the review of the next Zelda before they buy it. It’s Nintendo’s proven track record when it comes to software quality ensures that gamers have no problems “blind” buying their software. Nintendo’s software tends to sell steadily over long periods of time resulting in the price of that software retaining its value. How often do you see price drops for Nintendo titles? Not often at all. So while other companies pump out sequel after sequel as they watch the value of their IP’s steadily decline along with  revenue, Nintendo takes a slow surgical approach ensuring that the quality of their games as well as the revenue generated from them retains its consistency resulting in a healthy business.

That’s All Folks

Now don’t get me wrong. Like I said before, Nintendo has their work cut our for them. The Wii U seems to be all but a failure if the mainstream gaming media is anything to go by and Iwata seems to be unaware of how to fix Nintendo’s misfortunes. I’ve already spoken in the past about how I feel Nintendo let Sony come into the industry and punk them out of their market share, and why Nintendo needs to compete directly with the Playstation brand. It’s no secret that Nintendo dropped the ball this generation. Horrible marketing efforts as well as inferior hardware are just a few of their problems.

With that said, Nintendo is still the king of software, and the “Once and Future King” of the gaming industry. Even with the Wii U not selling as well as everyone hoped it would, Nintendo can and will still release what will eventually be considered some of the greatest games this generation will probably ever see. No matter what missteps Nintendo has taken this generation, none of it should detract from the fact that as a company, Nintendo holds a higher moral standard than what is expected from an entertainment company. Nintendo should still be applauded for going after the family unit. Nintendo’s efforts to get the next generation of the young as well as the old into gaming should not go unnoticed. The fact that Nintendo refuses to dump unnecessary amounts of money and resources into making a “cookie cutter” title should be praised by the industry. Nintendo uses business practices that while may seem ancient and out of touch, has kept them alive and strong for over 100 years. Yes, they need to adopt some of the more current trends. Yes, they need to pay more attention to what their competitors are doing, just not at the expense of loosing what makes Nintendo…Nintendo. They are a family run company that focuses on family. I have more respect for them as a multii-billion dollar corporation then I probably ever will for any other billion dollar corporation that focuses on entertainment. I truly believe that when the dust settles, Nintendo will still be around doing thier thing long after that inevitable day passes when Sony and Microsoft both bow out of the gaming industry to pursue other business ventures.

One last thing. There is this notion that if you play games on a Nintendo platform then your somehow a “man child” or you need to “grow up”. Have you ever thought to yourself that the very fact that you play videogames as a grown man, that this means you are a man child that needs to grow up? Now I believe that videogames were meant to be enjoyed by people of all ages but if your going to have that sort of attitude towards one corner of gaming than have that attitude towards all of it. Include yourself, ok?

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my latest article, I hope it was a good read for you. Come back soon, thanks.


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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 than 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 due 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 core 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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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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Indie Developers Are The Future

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The Future Of AAA Is Right Here

The indie game scene is exploding with more and more great content at a rapid pace. With the help of crowd funding sources such as Kick Starter, indie game developers can do what may have seemed impossible just a few short years ago and that is to get their game idea off the ground, funded, and on to a major home console. I sincerely believe that in order for the game industry to survive the next 10 years it is going to need the help of independent game developers. The industry needs their originality, their creativity and their raw passion. Without it the industry will remain stagnant and eventually find itself becoming irrelevant.

The Originality

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What is the biggest genre in gaming? Shooters. What are the biggest games in the industry year in and year out? Shooters. The gaming industry is in a season where over-hyped “Dude-Bro” shooters sit atop the alter to be worshiped by the masses. They capture the attention of millions and generate billions, but popularity isn’t exclusive to good game design. Gaming is in dire need of originality from the major publishers but they care more about their bottom line than integrity of the industry. For them its more about large set pieces, explosions and profanity because lets face it, this is what sells units. Fortunately originality isn’t something that is lacking in the indie gaming industry. Indie developers can afford take risks on gameplay ideas that would otherwise go untouched by the so-called “Triple A” developers.

In 2009 programmer Markus Persson, better known as “Notch”, developed a little game called Mincraft and released it on PC. Mincraft is an open world game with no specific goals for the player to achieve, just a large procedurally generated world for them to play in and re-create to their hearts desire. Seems simple, right? Simple yet very deep. This sort of game is almost sure to never have seen the light of day had it been pitched to a large development team yet Minecraft went on to sell over 33 million copies across all platforms. How many “Triple A” titles sell that much? The mighty Call of Duty sure hasn’t.

The Creativity

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One Of The Best Games Of Last Gen

Indies are free to explore new gameplay ideas without the fear of someone looking over their shoulder, worried if their design decisions will be attractive enough to the global market. Luckily indie games tend not to attract the prepubescent, loud-mouthed, obnoxious crowd that loves to just shoot stuff in the face. Gamers who enjoy the majority of indie titles seem to have an appreciation for one thing .Gameplay. Unique an interesting new types of gameplay mechanics may not be exclusive to indie games but it’s where it seems to stem from the most these days.

Take the game Journey for instance. Journey is a PS3 exclusive that is the complete opposite of what current gaming trends demand. You play as a mostly silent character who’s main goal is to get to the peak of a distant mountain top. Gameplay mechanics include the ability to interact with cloth, forming your characters scarf that allows the player to defy gravity to reach new areas. That’s it. No shooting, no upgrades, no perks, no real enemies and no real combat. There is one thing Journey has in common with its “Triple A” big brothers. Journey can be played online but not like your used to. Every now and then another player will enter your game and they only way you can communicate with each other is by having the character make sounds to alert a near by player. You can help each other progress or completely ignore one another. Very simple yet very effective. So much so that there have been many mentions and references towards Journey for having made the industry re-think how we see online gaming. Because the crew at That Game Company, the folks behind the development of Journey, we now understand that online play doesn’t have to be intrusive, and plagued with foul mouth idiots. Once again, an indie game leads the way.

The Passion

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Say What You Will About Kick Starter, It Opens Doors That Are Otherwise Shut To Small Devs

Their are a wealth of indie devs that have a passion for games. Most of them don’t have the means to create and publish their own games on the various platforms available. That’s where Kick Starter comes in. Crowd funding is responsible for giving many indie devs their time in the sun. Young men and women who have a deep passion to create exciting game worlds for us to play in can now continue to dream big knowing that they have every opportunity to be successful.  Passionate developers no longer have to go to big publishers and potentially sell out their creations just so their games can see the light of day. They can interact directly with their audience who are as equally passionate to play these games as the devs are to make them. All of the hard work and dedication that indie devs put into making their game can be appreciated by all. The only thing that can hold them back is themselves.

Mighty NO. 9 is probably the biggest example of this. Created by famous Mega Man co creator Keiji Inafune, Mighty NO. 9 is a direct result of what the passion to create can produce. No just the passion of a developer but of the fans eager to get their hands on something they understand will probably never be made by the likes of EA or CAPCOM. Many well known developers choose to go down this same development path as well. It’s not about Kick Starter or any other crowd funding source, its about developers knowing that true creativity and freedom cannot properly be nurtured and cultivated at a large development house but only in an environment where creativity wont be stifled by the need to create the next blockbuster.

The Future

Independent developers are the future of the gaming industry. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo know this all too well. Nintendo has done and excellent job at inviting indie devs to make games on their platform even going so far as to waive the costs of dev kits. Sony has been hard at work courting indie devs for their Playstation 4 platform and Microsoft has made sure indies will be able to create for the Xbox One by making every Xbox One console an actual dev unit. The industry needs to continue to support indie developers and gamers need to support them with their wallets. Who knows, the next indie game you purchase on  XBLA, PSN, and Nintendo’s eShop or support on Kick Starter could be made by the industries future Naughty Dog. Think about it. Indies are the future.

mighty-no-9

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightyno9/mighty-no-9?ref=live


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Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Home consoles

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Which Home Console Is King?

 One Console To Rule Them All

Here it is, folks. The first edition of Top Ten Tuesdays. This week I will be taking a look at what I believe are the top ten home gaming consoles of all time. So take your “fanboy” hats off, sit back and enjoy.

10. Xbox 360

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Online Wouldn’t Be What It Is Without Xbox

Microsoft’s second home console is their most successful to date selling over 70 million units worldwide. The Xbox 360 helped usher in HD gaming in 2005 and single-handedly raised the bar for what to expect from online gaming on a home console.

Notable Exclusives: Forza Motorsport, Halo, Gears of War

Innovations: Enhanced online gaming features

9. Dreamcast

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You Were Gone All Too Soon My Friend

The Sega Dreamcast launched in1999 in North America as Sega’s 4th major home console to much fanfare. The Dreamcast was set to do battle against Nintendo’s Gamecube, Sony’s Playstation 2, and Microsofts freshman console, the Xbox but didn’t quite make it into battle due to being discontinued only 2 years later in 2001. The Dreamcast went on to sell just over ten million units and is one of the most beloved home consoles of all time despite its short life span.

Notable Exclusives: Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, Street Fighter 3 Collection, Crazy Taxi, Ready to Rumble, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, NFL 2K, NBA 2K, Shenmue, Marvel Vs Capcom, Capcom Vs Snk, Power Stone.

Innovations: One of the first home consoles to connect to the internet.

 

8. Genesis

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…Does What NintenDONT !

The Sega Genesis launched in North America in 1989 and directly challenged Nintendo for the crown of industry king. With an aggressive marketing campaign aimed directly at “dissing” Nintendo, the Genesis became known as what many would call today a “hard core” console. Going on to sell just under 30 million units world wide and stands as one of Sega’s most impressive and beloved home consoles.

Notable Exclusives: Sonic, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Vector Man, Road Rash, Hang On, After Burner, Phantasy Star,

Innovations: Blast Processing !

7. PS3

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Overcame Adversity 

The PS3 launched in 2006 at two price points, 499.99 and 599.99. While overly expensive, Sony stood by the price point arguing that its value was worth every penny. The PS3 came with a built in Blu-Ray drive and for many years to come was one of the best Blu-Ray drives on the market. For many the price point  was not justified and for years the Playstation was plagued by “Doom and Gloom” articles that could be found all over the net. Sony’s 3rd home console eventually found it’s stride as Sony began to invest in new franchises and put their support behind several indie studios. The Playstation 3 has currently sold just over 70 million units world wide and is a shining example that a console can struggle early in its lifetime and still turn out to be a success.

Notable Exclusives: Uncharted, Infamous, God of War, Journey, Gran Turismo, Killzone, Little Big Planet, Ratchet and Clank

Innovations: Like no one else can, Sony was able to create a powerful piece of hardware and pack it with enough features making it truly futur proof

6. Gamecube

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Underrated And Underappreciated 

Nintendo’s 4th home console was released in 2001 and still stands as Nintendo’s most underrated console. The Gamecube was heavily criticised for being a “purple lunchbox” with a handle and even nick-named a “kiddy console”. The Gamecube went on to come in at 3rd place in the console race selling just over 20 million units worldwide and is seen by many as a failure by Nintendo. Despite foolish journalism claiming Nintendo’s demise, the Gamecube was one of the industries best consoles delivering some of the greatest games of all time.

Notable Exclusives: Wind Waker, Mario Kart, Smash Bros Melee, Wave Race, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 4, Mario Sunshine, Animal Crossing

Innovations: One of the only Nintendo consoles to not usher in any type of gameplay innovations, the Gamecube did sport a unique controller that is still considered the prefered way to play Smash Bros.

5. PS2

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Greatest Selling Console Of All Time

The PS2 was a behemoth of a console. Launching in 2000 and selling around 155 million units worldwide, the Sony Playstation 2 left its competition in the dust. Equipped with a DVD drive and an outstanding lineup of 3rd party software including exclusives like GTA and Devil May Cry, the PS2 is well deserving of the label as “one of the greatest home consoles of all time”.

Notable Exclusives: GTA, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Jack and Dexter, Tekken, Silent Hill

Innovations: Not much to see here. The PS2 pretty much improved on what its predecessor brought to the industry a generation before it.

4. N64

ULLLLTRRRRRAAAAAAAA !!!!

The N64 was Nintendo’s 3rd entry into the console market and it came in with a bang. Introducing the gaming industry to a brand new way of playing 3d games via the analog stick, the N64 revolutionized how we play games. One of the strikes against the N64 was Nintendo’s reliance on the old cartridge based storage format over cd as this caused several developers to skip Nintendo’s new console in favor of their competition over at Sony. Many of the franchises on the N64 revolutionized their respective genre and remain some of the best reviewed games to this day. The Nintendo 64 launched in 1996 in North America and went on to sell just over 32 million units worldwide.

Notable Exclusives: Mario 64, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart 64, Wave Race 64, Super Smash Bros, Animal Crossing, Pilot Wings 64, Majora’s Mask, Perfect Dark, Golden Eye, Killer Instinct Gold

Innovations: Built-in four controller support, the analog stick, force feedback

3. PS1

Brought The Hardcore To Gaming

Sony’s first home console, the Playstation is the result of a botched deal between Sony and Nintendo. Nintendo backed out of a partnership that would have seen the two behemoths collaborate on a cd based home console and Nintendo’s back step  resulted in something similar to Frankenstein creating a monster. The monster was called the Playstation.  Swallowing up almost of the third party support from Nintendo’s 64-bit home console, the Playstation launched in 1995 in North America and went on to become the first gaming console to ship 100 million units.

Notable Exclusives: Crash Bandicoot, Twisted Metal, Final Fantasy, Tekken, Street FIghter, Resident Evil, Silent Hill,

Innovations: Improved on the already stellar SNES controller design.

2. SNES

Now Your Playing With Power. Super Powrer!

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES for short is absolutely one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time. An argument can be made that the console should sit at the top spot and you would be hard-pressed to come up with valid arguments against that. Releasing in 1991 in North America, the SNES was the highly anticipated successor to the original NES. The console boasted vibrant 16-bit graphics and an amazing sound chip, not to mention one of the greatest software lineups in gaming history. The SNES went on to sell just shy of 50 million units world wide cementing itself as arguably the most beloved console of all time.

Notable Exclusives: Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, Super Punch-Out, A Link to the Past, F-Zero, Pilot Wings, Yoshi’s Island, Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox, Killer Instinct

Innovations: The SNES pioneered what has now become the standard controller layout by placing four buttons on the face and triggers on the top.

1. NES

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Now Your Playing With Power

This was a no-brainer. The original NES is simpley the greatest console of all time due to the fact that it virtualy had no competition. Sure, Sega had a home console on the market during the same time as Nintendo’s first console but how many people do remember owning Sega’s home console in the 80′s. The NES had just about every developer undr the sun making games for it and 90 percent of them could only be played on Nintendo’s platform. When Atari failed and the Gaming industry crashed in 1983,  Nintendo was there to pick up the pieces and revive gaming in the western markets. The industry had never seen anything like the likes of Mario and company and would soon find itself benefiting greatly from the success of Nintendo and its NES console. The NES was launched in 1985 in North America and went on to sell over 60 million units worldwide and single-handedly revived gaming in the west

Notable Exclusives: Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Zelda, Excite Bike, Donkey Kong, Punch-Out, Duck Hunt, Kid Icarus, Kirby,

Innovations: Introduced a brand new controller complete with a d-pad and two face buttons making it the forefather of the modern day controller. The NES also single-handedly raised the western gaming industry from the dead


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WHY NINTENDO WILL BE JUST FINE

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Screw What The Media Says, Don’t Give Up On Nintendo. Ever !

NINTENDO DOES WHAT NO OTHER COMPANY CAN

Nintendo makes game’s that put fun and interesting gameplay ideas front and center over game graphics and system horsepower. This has been the case since Nintendo’s first ever home console back in the 80′s and still to this day no one does gameplay like Nintendo. Here is why Nintendo will be just fine and the Wii U will be a success even in the face of competition from the likes of Sony and Microsoft.

LIKE I SAID, NINTENDO DOES FUN AND GAMEPLAY LIKE NO ONE ELSE

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Many Have Tried to Imitate but can never duplicate

“Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren’t selling propositions, and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence.”

http://kotaku.com/nintendo-of-america-chief-on-xbox-one-and-ps4-being-ne-1227028093

That was a quote from Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime taken from a recent article in Kotaku where the NOA President spoke on Nintendo’s beliefe that new and exciting experiences are what drive the industry not graphics. Guess what? He’s right.

Look at the original Wii. Nintendo’s last home console was vastly underpowered compared to the 360 and Ps3 yet it completely destroyed them in the sales department. Why? It’s Simple. The Wii offered gamers something that they had never experienced before. The Original Wii offered experiences that were new, innovative, fun and refreshing. In the case of the Wii U, Nintendo has admittedly had a tough time conveying the benefits of the Wii U’s Gamepad to those who have never held one in their hands before. On top unclear messaging, the Wii U has lacked meaningful first party content which is the main cause for sluggish sales of the console.

I’m excited to announce that the drought is over! Nintendo has just cut the price of the Wii U, making it 100 dollars cheaper than its closest competitor and has also dropped holiday release dates for many of its highly anticipated first party titles. Titles like Super Mario 3d World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD all represent that classic, patented Nintendo charm and will definitely contribute to moving Wii U’s off store shelves come this holiday season.

While Nintendo’s competitors will offer you the chance to jack cars and commit murder, stab people in the throat Roman Centurion style, and score head shots, Nintendo will deliver something that none of those experiences will quite match. Nintendo’s games often reminds me why i play games in the first place. Often times when i boot up a Nintendo title a certain level of nostalgia kicks in and a smile begins to form across my face. It’s not just nostalgia that keeps me coming back for more, either. It’s Nitntedo’s uncanny ability to keep reiterating their franchises with new gameplay ideas making them feel like new and fresh gaming experiences. What other developer in the gaming industry can consistently put out the quantity of games that Nintendo does with the level of quality that Nintendo titles demand? Anyone? No? I didn’t think so. while Sony and Microsoft are trying to lure gamer’s in with the definitive “Dude-Bro” experiences, Nintendo is aiming to deliver an emotional experience that in the end beyond all of the smoke and mirrors will resonate with gamer’s the most. That experience, my friends is pure Joy. Delivered the way only Nintendo can. Unmatched and unrivaled. This alone is the reason Nintendo will be just fine going forward into this upcoming console generation. Nintendo will be just fine.

As always, tell me what your thoughts are on the subject and remember to let me know what make Wii U Mad !?

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This Is What Happens When You Call For Nintendo’s Doom. They Go Super Nintendo !


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SHOULD NINTENDO RETIRE?

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Time To Hang Up The Gloves, Nintendo?

FORMER GLORY

I will keep this one short and sweet. Nintendo is not who they used to be. The Nintendo we all grew up with has changed from being the gaming industries prize fighter to an old legend desperately trying to hold on to glory. All is not lost. This former champ definitely has what it takes to step back in the ring with the competition and regain the title. It won’t be easy. Nintendo’s training regiment needs an overhaul. They must get stronger. They must get faster and hit harder and above all, they must find the heart to once again compete with Microsoft and Sony. It feels as if Nintendo has already given up on that fight but if things continue to go the way that they are going then Nintendo may have to consider retirement.

NINTENDO = BOXING

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Once The Greatest

Like boxing is to combat sports, Nintendo is to the world of gaming. Boxing is known as the “sweet science”. Nintendo is known as the “innovator”. As a fan of boxing, i can appreciate  this beautiful art and as someone who has strapped on the gloves a numerous times i can also appreciate the skill involved as well. Nintendo is just like the great sport of Boxing in that they are the oldest gaming company around and have accumulated much respect over their long life. Millions have lined up to buy Nintendo’s consoles much like millions at home watched the great fights of the sport of Boxing. At one point in time, Mario was even more recognizable than Disney’s famous rodent, Mickey Mouse. At one point in time the mere mention of the name Nintendo sparked excitement among gamer’s. Just as with Boxing, though,  some things never stay the same.

Like Boxing, Nintendo is loosing fans rapidly. Sure, the most hardcore fans remain (The smart ones i might add) but like Boxing, the excitement seems to have died down. Less and less fight fans talk about the Sport of Boxing like they used to. Equally less and less gamer’s talk about Nintendo like they used to. It would seem as if the gamer’s who grew up with Nintendo are the ones displaying unwavering loyalty much like  older fight fans are with Boxing. It would also seem that as with the sport of Boxing, the younger generations could care less. And by younger i mean tweens and young adults in their twenties. So what do they care about these days?

SONY/MICROSOFT = MMA

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This Is How Sony And Microsoft Battle It Out!

Mixed Martial Arts. Or MMA to the uninitiated. MMA is one of the fastest growing sports and like MMA, Sony and Microsoft have a hold on the 20 something year old demographic. When you ask people why they prefer MMA to Boxing you pretty much get a unanimous sentiment. “Boxing is boring”. “MMA fighters are more complete”. MMA is more exciting”. Although i think its complete BS, must people may agree. In fact when you look at why most gamer’s today choose Xbox and Playstation over Nintendo you also see a similar sentiment. People say that Nintendo is stuck in the past and they don’t innovate anymore. People don’t seem to want the familiar experiences from Nintendo even though they have brought them joy in the past.  Boxers stick to punching and Nintendo sticks to Mareio, Zeldo and Metroid etc. On the other hand MMA brings knees to the face, takedowns, ground and pounds and chokes. This is very exciting to newcomers who watch the fight game. To Some, MMA brings advancements to the fight game that the sport of Boxing can’t match.  Likewise with Sony and Microsofts machines you get exciting new advancements in tech  capable of rendering visuals that Nintendo’s last and current console clearly can’t match. Like it or not visuals are what attract people to games just like the violent blood shed of a cage fight attracts younger fight fans today.

Simply put, people want more. There was a time when using your fists was enough to entertain the fight audiences around the world  just like good solid gameplay used to be enough to entertain gamer’s. Now fight fans want blood and brutal knockouts. Gamer’s want over the top set pieces with explosions and head shots. They want cutting edge visuals complete with realistic army dogs. The old ways are not enough anymore. People are moving on. Boxing and Nintendo are being forgotten.

NOT OUT OF THE GAME YET

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The Oldest Fighter To Ever Win A World Title

Boxing can still draw an enormous crowd and generate revenue that MMA wished it could duplicate. MMA has no fighter with the draw power of Mayweather or Paquio and old fight fans still come out in droves to support what i call the greatest combat sport on the planet. Similarly, neither Sony or Microsoft have an IP with the selling power of Mario or Zelda. Gaming fans of the 80′s and older still turn up to support the greatest software company in gaming and like Bernard Hopkins they are not out of it yet. Nintendo just needs to adjust its fight strategy. They need to be more aggressive. Here are my keys to success for Nintendo going forward

  1. BE AGGRESSIVE. FORCE MICROSOFT AND SONY TO FIGHT NINTENDO’S FIGHT. (SOFTWARE QUALITY AND INNOVATION)
  2. ADVERTISE. SHOW THE WORLD NINTENDO STILL HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHAMP AND REGAIN THE TITLE.
  3. INVEST MORE IN INDIE DEVELOPERS. THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF THIS INDUSTRY
  4. INVEST MORE IN 2ND PARTY PARTNERSHIPS. NINTENDO NEEDS MORE COLLABORATIONS LIKE WHAT THEY HAVE WITH PLATINUM GAMES.
  5. DONT MAKE ANYMORE GAMES WITH THE NAME WII IN THE TITLE. NO WII FIT, NO WII SPORTS. ETC. THAT BATTLE IS OVER
  6. FOCUS ON THE CORE GAMER’S THAT GOT YOU TO THE TOP
  7. IF THE WII U IS GOING TO BE JUST A NINTENDO DELIVERY SYSTEM THEN MAKE IT THE BEST ONE NINTENDO FANS HAVE EVER SEEN. TOP OCARINA OF TIME AND MARIO GALAXY. AND BRING BACK DORMANT FRANCHISES

I believe that if Nintendo can do these things than they can have a comeback story like Bernard Hopkins and regain their title. Nintendo may in fact need new leadership since it seems Iwata spends most of his time apologizing for mistakes (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong) and we have yet to see him really improve on any of them. Nintendo’s reputation is hurting. I don’t even know if i will ever purchase another Nintendo console day one again because of how they handled the Wii U. Nintendo’s only saving grace is to make this console the best damn first party machine they have ever created. They can salvage this mess but they have to do a hell of a lot more than what they are currently doing. Boxing needs to change the way it’s perceived. They need to make sure that people know they are still relevant. Nintendo needs to do the same.

So, as always…What makes WII U MAD?

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