Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nintendo Direct - A Few thoughts

We've all pretty much seen the Nintendo Direct on 6/21 by now and had a chance to digest it a bit.  Here are some quick thoughts on the matter before I run out of time:


Yeah, this was the big 'shock' in some ways even though many have been predicting this for awhile.  And hey, if you keep saying there will be a hardware revision you'll eventually be correct.  My initial reaction after seeing it didn't have additional buttons was I don't get it, but I think there may be some positives.  Let's go over some of the changes:

Screen Size:

Unless you're ultra-concerned with portability I can't see how you wouldn't like extra screen real estate.  I'm old and half-blind anyway so this is a welcome change for all games and may even help with titles like Zen Pinball which suffer from the 3DS's small screen.

Then I started thinking about DS and VC games and if they would look even more blurry and pixelated.  My guess is that they would, but then I started thinking about the 1:1 size mode.  It seems I wasn't the only one and it's encouraging that this may actually enhance DS/VC viewing.

I usually don't play in 1:1 mode because it's usually too small even if it delivers a pretty sharp picture.  (despite the fact of it being a bit of a pain to hold select or start - you'd think they could do better)  Another situation is trying to use the lower screen in games like Spirit Tracks that requires extensive use of the touchscreen.  You end up moving the stylus off the square too easily and your character stops moving.   So it's back to the stretched version.

Overall Size:

Increasing the overall size is probably a good thing with regard to hand fatigue.  Now that I've been playing with a grip exclusively for months the 3DS feels way too small without it.  Though at the same time I suspect a very thin case/grip would be needed for protection that didn't increase the size too much.

Battery Life:

The 3DS's battery isn't that great even with WiFi off and other brightness settings in place.  So more is always better.

4GB SD Card:

Pretty cool, right, and just in time for those large digital downloads. :)

No Circle Pad / Shoulder Buttons:

Oh yeah, the topic that has everyone all up in arms...  It does seem odd that they would go through all the effort of a hardware revision and not take the time to at least add another circle pad.  Are we to expect a CirclePad Pro XL soon to accommodate the few games that support it?  Were they trying to not drive a large wedge in between these first two models with the intention of releasing it later?  I have no idea and while I'm not terribly troubled by the lack of a second pad I agree that it may be helpful in some games.

For example I played the Spiderman demo last night and while you can rotate the camera view via the d-pad or L/R shoulder buttons, I felt an analog pad/stick would lent itself better to this task.  eg:  You would be able to spin the camera faster which may help in a number of situations.


Well, there are a number of good points to the XL and if I didn't already own a 3DS I would probably buy it over the standard size for a new purchase.  Though at this time I just can't see buying another or losing money on a trade-in/used sell situation.  Even if I sold it for $120 (or worse $88 amazon trade-in) I'm $80 in the hole for a unit I only bought ~9 months ago.

8-Bit Summer:

Now this is the kind thing we've been asking for and maybe they're finally starting to listen to the three of us via comments on club surveys.  :)  Now if they can only keep VC going on Wii and 3DS that would be great.  Overall I think it's great that they're actually taking the time to market this sort of thing and I hope it keeps the 3DS VC alive.  Why did they let the Wii's die?

Before I mention the games one thing that's been bothering me is the lack of home console titles on the 3DS VC.  While I enjoy some of the GB/GBA/etc. games, the 3DS is clearly capable of more so why don't we see very many?  While I'm on this rant, where the hell are the TG16 games they talked about at launch last year?

Ok, the games: 
  • The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Kirby's Pinball Land (GB)
  • The Sword of Hope II (GB)
  • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (GB)
  • Tumblepop (GB)
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (GB)
  • Sonic Blast (GG)
  • Sonic Labyrinth (GG)
Having the original Zelda on 3DS is very cool, but I'll probably skip it for now.  I'm primarily interested in Kirby's Pinball, Kid Icarus and Wario Land.

New Super Mario Bros 2:

NSMB2 and NSMBWii U feel very much the same to the previous DS/Wii titles which is apparently by design.  In some ways I'm a bit disappointed by that where I'd like to see more effort.  (even though I know it's alot of work and not just a few skins)  On the other hand I think it's great as I can buy the new upcoming title which offers DLC and also get a similar mario feel to the games I missed.


I know there were a few more games like Professor Layton (which looks interesting) and some others, but that's what mainly piqued my interest.  What were your thoughts on the announcements and did I leave out anything major?  (probably :D )


  1. Here are my thoughts. There are a few.

    *NSMB 2/NSMB U: OK, I am officially sick of the New Super Mario Bros. series. They are killing it off with the amount of titles branded "new". It's not new after four games!

    *3DS XL: Bad timing. Does Nintendo understand that E3 exists?

    *TG16 games missing: I'm not really caring since they probably won't make it to Australia anyway.

    That's my 2c. Overall, I'm disappointed that they didn't do more at E3. Far out, Nintendo!

  2. Am I seeing things right?! A POST?!!!!!!!!!!!

    "And hey, if you keep saying there will be a hardware revision you'll eventually be correct."
    Looking at things in the market, and having sources (like Nikkei does), doesn't mean anybody was "saying" anything...just stating the obvious. #dontbemad

    "Unless you're ultra-concerned with portability I can't see how you wouldn't like extra screen real estate."
    Price? Also, extra screen makes it less portable...
    Next up? Nintendo joins PC market with 3DS XLLaptop edition. Retailing for just $299.99.

    "...I'm not terribly troubled by the lack of a second pad I agree that it may be helpful in some games."
    Fortunately, you can buy the Circle Pad Pro for your current 3DS, which I wonder how much of a "grip" it would add considering you use one already.

    "Why did they let the Wii's die?"
    You have got to be kidding me right? The Virtual Console on the Wii is full of win, and so is WiiWare...Nintendo really is showing great support for the WiiWare developers that have put games on the system. Just give me a few weeks/years, and I can put a list together for you...MAYBE...of how Nintendo did a fabulous job with WiiWare.
    As for the Virtual Console on the Wii, I don't know why haven't done more games on it, and seem to have issues with keeping certain games available for it, but I have been playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Virtual Console, and our oldest Bean enjoys telling me what level I should go in..."Dark Castle!" "Dark Castle with Ship!" and when I reach a world "boss", "Who's that buddy?" "It's a Koopa!" followed by either identifying the "question mark" or "key" that is dropped. Magic wand = key, if you're wondering.

    As for your ranting, what TG16 game(s) do you want?

    "even though I know it's alot of work and not just a few skins"
    New skins aren't bad, but I expect something them knowing it's 2012 and people use the internets a lot these days. How about online leaderboards? Nah. Facebook integration? Don't think so. Oh, I know what they have been busy doing with the games...ONLINE MULTIPLAYER!? Nope, not a word.

    StreetPass for NSMB2? How about WiFi pass? CoffeeShopPass? OnlinePass? Nothing?

    As for the 8-Bit Summer deal, I thought it was great they actually discounted some games after the conference, and did a double-take when I read that. Wish they would extend that to the Wii.

    Overall though, the 3DS lacking a 2nd Circle Pad did nothing for me, other than keep me uninterested in the system...especially now that I know Mutant Mudds is trying to get a PC release through Steam, and has been confirmed through one other PC video game system already (Gamers Gate maybe?).

    As for now...go on Twitter and tweet:
    @NintendoAmerica #3DSXLisaFAIL

  3. NSMB:  I can't argue there.  It works out well for me, but seems far too similar to the previous games.  Makes me wonder how long they're going to try and keep up the series.

    Thanks for the comment!

  4. 3DS XL: Like the size factor, but think not including the extra slide pad was an odd choice. Like you said, does this warrant a Circle Pad Pro XL? More battery and bigger SD card are welcome additions.

    8-Bit Summer: Love the concept, wish they would try doing an 8-Bit Year though...

    New Super Mario Bros 2: I'm excited for it, mostly because it's another Mario game for me to digest. I didn't like the New Super Mario Bros. style for some years, but it's growing on me lol.

    Would like to see Nintendo revisit an NES/SNES sprite based look sometime though.

  5. I agree with Play Nintendo that the extra pad should be included, much the way the Wii went to including motion plus eventually.

    The 8-bit thing is nice, but with me having so many of my original NES games, it's just hard for me to justify spending money to pick up the same games, though the portability factor is nice.

    I would have probably enjoyed getting a larger 3DS because I agree - the extra real estate would be nice on-screen, but it won't convince me to trade up from my current model either.

    I'm interested in the New Super Mario - whatever, though I agree with SteveO that the 'new' moniker seems a bit silly by this point. :P


    I'm not too concerned about the price or size at the moment.  I'm not going ultra portable or anything.

    VC:  It is full of win and I've had some great times reliving game memories, though the issue of games slipping 'off' the service and them not adding new games on a regular basis is bad.  That's awesome about SMB3 and the big bean btw.  :)

    WiiWare:  sigh..

    TG16:  anything actually just to show support.  The Bonk series, legendary axe, etc..  I would say Dungeon Explorer, but the screen might be too small.

    Having online co-op in a SMB game seems like it would be so awesome.  (plus voice chat!)  I wonder if they aren't able to pull this off or don't want to put that level of development into it?

    Yeah, hopefully MutantMudds will get a Steam release, but should be on a few other sites as well.  I suspect it'll also end up in a humble bundle soon enough anyway.  Too bad you can't experience the full 3D love.  #hashTagsInABlogPostAreFail

  7. Lot's of similar comments about the 3DS XL all around the internet.  Or maybe everyone is just being so insatiable..  #Regginator

    "Would like to see Nintendo revisit an NES/SNES sprite based look sometime though."
    Now there's a cool idea.  They should fire up a new line of "Classic Super Mario Bros" with that sprite feel, but modern gaming options like DLC and online interaction.  :D

  8. Hey Chalgyr, I know what you mean to a limited extent.  I don't have the originals, but it's a good point about not re-purchasing.  I have that debate with titles like The original Zelda and Metroid on the 3DS.  Is it really that important to have them in a portable form factor and 2) play them now vs maybe later this summer when the Wii returns?

    They certainly have worn out the 'New' title by now..  I guess Same Old New Super Mario [insert system/revision here] doesn't quite work.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. As for, 
     #hashTagsInABlogPostAreFail, have you tried using the @ followed by a twitter name, for example @idxman01 should show up. I think you can sync your Disqus and Twitter accounts somehow, so the comments flow together...

    *needs to go research that tonight...

  10. Not sure on the Twitter stuff as I originally thought it was referencing other users disqus replies.

    As for online multi, that's a good point.  If the engine is indeed the same/similar it seems they should have more time to spit-shine some MP in, right?

    For MM I didn't get the impression that 3DS sales were bad, just that it was time to strike while things were hot with reviews as the 3DS Europe release was this month.  But, I could be completely wrong.  I sure hope it's a better deal for devs than WiiWare.

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