Nintendo Articles

Our exclusive editorials about the 3DS and its games, as well as Nintendo as a whole.

We Need Longer Games on 3DS

Really we do when you look back at the console’s history of ‘important’ games so far, since it seems like at least half of them can be beaten entirely within a single day.  Examples include the following:

Super Mario 3D Land

Extremely easy Mario platformer than can be beaten in just a few hours despite having 16 worlds to play through.  It’s a fantastic game, and I know it’s been intended as an introduction 3D Mario games for new players… but it really leaves fans of the older games like Super Mario 64 and Sunshine rather wanting as far as content goes.

Above: This battle was great, pity I got there and beat it in about three hours.

Think about it.  It has about 70 unique levels with only one objective, which even doubled isn’t really the same amount of content you’d find in any of the older 3D Mario games like Galaxy.

Mario Kart 7

Another great game which seems to have it’s replay value halved by the complete lack of a single mode with substance to it.

Or just a lack of options, since with no single player vs mode, mission mode, time trial leaderboards, competitions or anything else to keep people playing if they want to try stuff other than wifi races, it feels like a rather empty Mario Kart game.

Above: No Nintendo, making you get thousands of coins for stuff like this is padding, not content.

Which is a bit of a pity really, since the game had the best track selection of the series to date and so many reasons to want to replay it time and time again, but just got a bit dull quickly because you’d done everything too soon.

Most Nintendo 3DS launch games (especially Pilotwings and Steel Diver)

These apparently have only a few hours worth of content at best from what I heard, hardly the best value for money for anyone who bought the console at the launch date.

Tekken 3D

Supposedly feels more like a tech demo due to lacking an arcade (main single player) mode or character customisation, or even character specific endings.  Official Nintendo Magazine said it had an impressive game engine and not much else to it.

So that leaves us with considerably fewer options for 3DS games sold at retail that also have a significant amount of content in them.  Ocarina of Time 3D is a pretty good exception to this rule (you should know by now the game’s almost overflowing with side quests, mini games and bonus options to keep your interest) and it seems Kid Icarus Uprising looks to be another one (being made by Sakurai, the guy behind the Super Smash Bros and Kirby series helps here, he can’t seemingly make a single game without filling it with as much stuff as possible), but by and large it seems a lot of 3DS games that are out now tend to be quite short.

Above: At least Kid Icarus Uprising looks to have a decent amount of content in it.

On the bright side, the future looks to have a few 3DS games that’ll hopefully buck the trend and have a fair amount of content in them.  We’ve got the inevitable Super Smash Bros 3DS (we all know by now that the Smash Bros series has more content in one game than some other franchises do in their entire history), Paper Mario 3DS (Paper Mario games always offer at least eight long chapters minimum as well as at least one pit of 100 trials to keep the interest of fans) and New Super Mario Bros 3DS will most probably offer a fair amount of content as well (2D Mario games always offer a high amount of levels, and they’re usually longer than those in Mario 3D Land).  Not to mention Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, many RPGs and if it turns out to be real, Donkey Kong 3D (the Donkey Kong Country series is at least hard enough you won’t breeze through it in a day, and it usually comes with a lot of bonuses to collect as well).

Above: And if it turns out Donkey Kong 3D is a Donkey Kong 64 remake, that’s enough content to last a life time.

Still it would be nice to have some longer 3DS games soon, right?  Because I’m getting a little tired of the games that seem to be over and done with in a few hours and don’t give me a whole lot of incentive to go back and replay them.

Do you want 3DS games with a greater amount of content in them?

More Mario Kart 7 Glitches

Not so much shortcuts, in fact one of these is the very definition of an ‘anti shortcut’ in some way.

First of all, a glider speed trick at Toad Circuit:

Apparently you gain speed and shoot down and forward when the kart gets out of the ‘stuck’ state.  You can also end up inside the ground if it goes wrong, which is interesting.

But that’s not the only interesting new Mario Kart glitch around…

This trick at Maple Treeway is kind of hilarious:

Above: One cool glitch with some interesting uses.

Yes you saw that happen, he jumped from the last part with the houses and glider ramp all the way BACK to where you land afterthe barrel cannon.  Even better, it’s a real glitch, I did it just now and ended up back at the exact same place.  Even Lakitu accepts you’re going the right way once you land.

But seeing as you end all the way near the start of the level and effectively wasted a third of a lap, you really do not want to do this in any setting outside of time trials.  Nice glitch though.

One cunning Japanese hoaxer did find a use for the above glitch though, to fake a new ultimate shortcut in the same track.  You see, you can also find this video on Youtube as well which supposedly shows a massive glitch that can break Maple Treeway.  Initially I assume people will panic and assume the worst:

Above: If this was in English, everyone would be in panic mode by now.

But note a few factors.  Like how his time is suspiciously high for so early in the lap (I assume he’s on lap 2 or something, but still).  Or how if you try and jump off the track in this exact same spot you’ll either get put back right before the Wigglers (98% of the time) or the middle of the turn before (2% of the time).

So I then rewatched the first video and thought ‘maybe he used this glitch to set up the ‘shortcut’.  And then I used the same glitch, got back to the spot and jumped off again…

Voila, now Metal Mario was placed on the bridge below.  Pretty cunning way to fake a Mario Kart 7 shortcut, don’t you think?  Race round most of the track, glitch back to an earlier section then fall off with the correct timing.

What breaks the illusion even more is that one you end up ‘back’ on the earlier section of track, the game thinks you’re still by the bridge/glider ramp.  So you don’t need to fall at any one particular point, just by falling off the track ANYWHERE you end up in that exact same spot on the exact same bridge. To prove this I even raced past the Wiggler filled mud section and following boost pads and then fell off the track there, and I still ended up at the same spot from the video.

This guy demonstrates what I mean:

Above: Taking apart fraudulent Mario Kart shortcuts like Mystery Inc take down fake ghosts.

With that all said, two more interesting glitches in Mario Kart 7.  Nothing game breaking yet, but give it time, since it took months for Mario Kart Wii’s latest glitch shortcuts to be found (they only found the later Mario Circuit and Coconut Mall ones after people generally stopped playing the game).

Above: Very few people probably cared about this one now, the hackers got to the game before the glitch could be used to break online.

Still, what do you think of these new glitches?  And more interesting, what track do you see as being next to have an ‘ultra shortcut’ found for it?

If Super Mario 3D Land is supposed to be a Gateway Title for Mario fans…

Then where are the more ‘advanced’ titles that these new fans should be moving onto?  Because while Nintendo have said this about the game’s purpose:

We thought of setting the difficulty level about as low as we could go realistically for this game because we saw this as an entry point to the Mario games for a lot of people. So the way we see it is someone would pick up Super Mario 3D Land and play that, and then maybe they would move onto Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario 64 after that.

It doesn’t really make a lot of sense when you think about it.  So let’s suppose some past 2D Mario fan plays Super Mario 3D Land after New Super Mario Bros Wii and decides they want to try a more ‘complex’ 3D Mario title.  Where they going to get one again?

Every single 3D Mario game released since Super Mario Sunshine has been trying to tone down the series to make it more and more accessible for new gamers.  But doesn’t that kill a lot of the point as far as making the games ‘entry level’ goes?  If every new 3D Mario game from now on is less complex than every 3D Mario game made before hand, why would anyone need to know how to move onto Super Mario Galaxy or 64?

Something tells me this current arrangement isn’t pleasing anyone.  The newer fans don’t have the incentive to try more 3D Mario games since they don’t really require much more skill or time/knowledge than 3D Land does.  The older fans don’t get another experience like Super Mario 64 or Sunshine and the people who stuck to the 2D games don’t really care less; they’re not buying the 3D ones anyway.

Hopefully since Super Mario 3D Land has come and gone (and been fairly received as far as sales go), Nintendo are going to make the Wii U Mario platformer a lot more complex to please the people who want a more interesting 3D Mario game.  On another note, maybe a Super Mario Sunshine remake would be a good test of this ‘entry game’ theory Nintendo has?  If Super Mario 64 DS did so well back in the DS days, and Super Mario 3D Land is supposedly an introduction to 3D Mario games to make the 2D game fans want to try the more complex ones, then shouldn’t in theory a Super Mario Sunshine remake be evidence of whether said fans have moved on?  If it sells about as good as 3D Land did, we know Nintendo’s right and people introduced into the series by said game are willing to try more complex games.  If it fails miserably, then we know Nintendo’s idea is totally off the mark and the games are not catching on.

Is this a good point?

Sources:

Quote from Koichi Hayashida

Image from http://vgboxart.com/view/42086/super-mario-sunshine-3ds-cover/, design by ‘Warioloaf’.

My Top Five Most Wanted 3DS Games for 2012/2013

Not that there’s currently a vast choice in regards to the games that could plausibly be on this list, but here are my five most wanted 3DS games of 2012/2013.
Usual rules apply here; the games must be confirmed to exist/be in development and the list only covers 3DS games, hence no Mario Party 9 or Wii U games.  That said and without further adue, here’s my list of most wanted 3DS games for the coming year.

1. New 2D Mario Game

Should have seen this coming right?  If there’s anything I really like, it’s a traditional Mario platformer.  3D, 2D, who cares.  If there’s a good old Mario platformer I will buy the game on day one.

Is it the series?  Maybe.  But perhaps it’s just that I really tend to like platformers.  It’s not just Mario either, I tend to buy Wario Land games day one, and now Donkey Kong Country games day one as well.

However, the fact it’s a 2D Mario platformer is the interesting part, since every recent 2D game has brought back a significant amount of stuff from the classics.  New Super Mario Bros brought back everything from the flag pole to the Bowser bridge, then New Super Mario Bros Wii introduced Yoshi, the Koopalings and new power up suits for the first time in who knows how many years!

I still remember people’s reactions when this boss was revealed.

This raises one easy question; What’s the big thing Nintendo is bringing back this time?

The Hammer Suit?  Reznor?  Chargin’ Chucks? Either way, I want them all.  I want this to be New Super Mario World.  To have an overworld like the SNES classic and bring back most of its enemies and items (at least those that haven’t already made an appearance in either the New Super Mario Bros games or Super Mario 3D Land).

There’s no better way to say it.  If you’re not excited for a new 2D Mario platformer on the 3DS, you’re not a Nintendo fan.  This is that one game that will sell the most copies of any game to be released on the system (the last two of its kind sold about 20 million copies back in the DS and Wii days) and in all practicality, the number one game of the year.

2. Paper Mario

Second on the list because while it’s not quite as exciting to me as a new main series Mario platformer is, Paper Mario is exactly the kind of game I need on 3DS right now.  This is because it’s probably going to have an absolutely enormous amount of content and hence keep me playing for at least a few weeks.

Is that a Chain Chomp as a partner?

Look back at the last two Paper Mario games and you have to admit they certainly didn’t skimp out in regards to how much stuff there was to do.  Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door had not only a lengthy eight chapter main quest with a new theme in every single one, but also the pit of 100 trials and enough side quests they had to set up a bulletin board system to document them all (the trouble centre in the right side of Rogueport).

Meanwhile, Super Paper Mario had a similar length main adventure plus TWO pits of 100 trials, more side quests and another random 100 opponent gauntlet to fight your way through.  Oh wait, and that capture card system thing…

That’s what I’m hoping for in Paper Mario 3DS and why I really want the game.  Mario 3D Land only took me about two days and Mario Kart 7 even less than that, so I really need a long adventure game just about now to keep my interest going.

Besides, the story’s probably going to be pretty funny (the writing in the series has always been fantastic and the characters entertaining), while the music and graphics are likely to be amazing (we’ve already seen a few pretty nifty screenshots already).

The areas in Paper Mario 3DS look great.

My only concern is that the sticker system and general Paper theme has gone a little too far and that Intelligent Systems have neglected some of the stuff that made the first two games so entertaining (we’ve not seen any unique partner characters yet).  But all in all, Paper Mario for 3DS seems like it’ll be one of the better games that’ll be hopefully out this year.

On the bright side, the sticker system let them bring back the Frog Suit!

3. Super Smash Bros*

Wait, Smash Bros is only third?  What kind of heresy is this? But seriously, as much as I like the Super Smash Bros series, this is a most wanted 3DS games listed.  Hence this entry only refers to the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros 4.

That’s the issue.  Super Smash Bros 4 Wii U is probably going to be one of the greatest games ever made due to its multiplayer. This is because four people sat round a TV playing local multiplayer has always been one of the best experiences in video gaming for me, and I think the Wii U version is only going to continue that trend.

Super Smash Bros 3DS on the other hand… yeah.  I don’t know a single person other than myself who owns a 3DS in real life.  That’s kind of a problem for a game series which takes about 90% of its entertainment value from the multiplayer vs modes, is it not?  Because you likely need at least one 3DS for every single person wanting to play at once.  But unless by some miracle I happen to meet about three people in real life who not only happen to own 3DS consoles but also decided to buy Super Smash Bros at about the same time, then brought both of these things with them at the same time, I’m unlikely to be able to play this game against anyone other than random strangers on the internet.

Continue Reading…

Nintendo Needs No More Franchises; Why the Misconception of Nintendo as not Innovating is wrong

Apologies for the lengthy title there, but the point it makes is clear.  Despite many an internet article ranting about how Nintendo never tries anything new and always relies on its old franchises, you can clearly see the opposite in action all through their history.  Nintendo hasn’t been getting stale or not trying to create the next Mario or Zelda, it’s just not what people are looking for.

For one thing, they’ve been trying all sorts of new things on the 3DS.  Seen Pushmo or Dillon’s Rolling Western yet?  Both may only be download games, but they’re both possible new franchises for Nintendo and star new characters that could possibly end up in the next Super Smash Bros game.  That’s not all. Remember a certain submarine based game that came out at the 3DS launch, Steel Diver? That was a new ‘series’ for Nintendo. More to the point, it acts as a great illustration for why video game companies don’t ‘innovate’ more; the game bombed and failed miserably.  A sequel is at least guaranteed decent sales

To say Nintendo has no new franchises right when this game comes out is plain stupid.

But it’s not just with the 3DS that Nintendo has tried new series.  What series do you think Nintendo owns? Many people would probably remember these:

  • Mario
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Metroid
  • Pokemon
  • Kirby
  • Super Smash Bros
  • F-Zero
  • Star Fox
  • Donkey Kong
  • Pikmin (which is very new I may add)
  • Earthbound/Mother
  • Fire Emblem
  • Advance Wars
  • Animal Crossing
  • Wii series (new as well)

But that’s a tiny fraction of the many different franchises Nintendo has.  You’ve also got Golden Sun, two Wario based series, Kid Icarus and Nintendogs.

Oh wait, that’s not it either.  You’ve also got Endless Ocean.  Adventures of Lolo (funny how no one remembers that one), Pilotwings and various others.

Endless Ocean is a fairly new Nintendo series and had two games on the Wii only a few years ago.

Continue Reading…