Apologies for the downtime at Nintendo 3DS Daily…

It wasn’t our fault, it was the fault of another customer hosted on the same web server. You see, unless you’re a large corporation with their own inhouse server farm or you’re making enough money to own your own web server, you’re hosted on a server with numerous other websites. This is true of Shared, Reseller and Virtual Private Server hosting…

Unfortunately, it also means anything someone else on the server does can theoretically effect every other website hosted on it. And in today’s case, another customer hosted on the same server was doing something against the terms of service and hence knocked service offline for every single website hosted there, this one included.

So for a few minutes/hours, Nintendo 3DS Daily and Nintendo 3DS Community have been offline due to technical issues. I apologise for the downtime and hope it doesn’t cause anyone too much hassle.

Pokemon Black and White 2; Keldeo Footage

Well, not just Keldeo footage, but we have two new videos of Pokemon Black and White 2 to post here, one showing Keldeo learning Secret Sword or whatever that comes from the Japanese Pokemon TV show, and some miscellaneous extra footage from wherever.  First up, here’s the Keldeo footage:


Secondly, here’s the other footage of the game.


It shows the new Kyurem forms in action, the movie part of the game and a battle with Misty from Pokemon Red and Blue/Gold and Silver.  Looks pretty nice I’d say.

So yes, there’s some new Pokemon Black and White 2 footage, which looks pretty interesting.  What do the Pokemon fans here think of it?

Nintendo Comments on ‘Yellowing’ 3DS Screens, says there’s no problem

If you’ve been reading the news on our various competitors and a few other general Nintendo news sites you can find online, you’ll probably recall some stories accusing Nintendo of using lower quality screens for recently produced 3DS consoles to lower costs.  There’s the usual arguments about how this is ripping off the consumer or saying that it’s necessary to keep costs down so Nintendo can make a profit off the system, but Nintendo are now saying its nothing to worry about at all.

First though, here’s a comparison picture or three showing the difference between the screens.  As you can see, there seems to be less clarity and a generally lower quality display on the Flare Red 3DS, hence the accusations of Nintendo deliberately using lower quality screens to save costs.

But here’s what Nintendo says:

Due to LCD manufacturing processes it is possible for system screens to look different from one another. The image may appear slightly darker, or have a different tint when compared to another Nintendo 3DS. This is within manufacturing specifications, and the unit does not need to be repaired.

In other words, they say this difference is perfectly normal and is no sign of Nintendo trying to ‘cheapen’ the quality of the screen to save money. I guess everyone’s concerns were kind of unwarranted.



Well, it’s a slow news day…

No updates here I’m afraid.  I mean, I upgraded the forums a bit to the latest versions and hopefuly hence added some features to them, but as far as Nintendo news goes, it’s pretty much an extremely slow day. Doesn’t help that this site is 3DS specific and doesn’t generally post about the Wii U, since that’s the console most discussion nowadays seems to be about.

But yes, keep watching the Nintendo 3DS Daily home page, since some new general Nintendo related articles will be available tonight, and I’ll be updating with more news whenever there’s actually something to talk about.

Want to make Zelda fun again? Scrap the tutorials!

As you may or may not know, Shigeru Miyamoto and his team are thinking hard about how to make the Legend of Zelda series more fun again.  No wait, they’re thinking about how to make it so the player reaches the entertaining part of the game more quickly and how to teach them to play in a way that doesn’t feel like a dry, boring tutorial or add more and more obstacles in the way of the game’s content.

But I don’t think they get it.  The problem with the Legend of Zelda series now is a simple one, there is too much pointless fluff present before you actually get to the core of the game.  Ocarina of Time introduced what was in essence a tutorial (Kokiri Forest), but it was fairly simple and over with quite quickly, with full freedom granted to Link right when he entered the Deku Tree.  But every Zelda game since then seems to be putting up more and more barriers and more and more pointless chores in front of the actual game.

Majora’s Mask had you mess around doing various errands for the first three days, The Wind Waker had you do various things on Outset Island before heading off on the adventure (and the forced stealth section at Forsaken Fortress was a pretty bad idea too, maybe it should have been the second or third dungeon instead), Twilight Princess had Link doing various farm/village related tasks and learning all those basic controls and Skyward Sword had quite the intro/tutorial on Skyloft and the whole bird racing/ceremony thing that took up a fair amount of time.  But what if there was a way to avoid all this?

How about if Nintendo took a leaf out of Donkey Kong Country Returns’ book and had small Wii mote icons or things pop up in the first level?  They were unintrusive, they didn’t pose an obstacle between the start of the game and the first level and they were never seen again afterwards.

Or how Wario Land 4 had neat little animated pictures on the back wall with the necessary controls and a picture of Mr Game and Watch doing the required action. That was fairly low key as well, at least compared to ‘lets do a bunch of sword training with the old guy in the village’.

But why even go that far?  You could just do what Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Island did and have message boxes you use to get small tidbits of advice littered throughout the early levels.  Seems quite easy to build that into Zelda, just make it so you get advice by reading the signs or talking to NPCs.  It’d at least be less annoying and intrusive than having Fi jump out and give advice every four seconds or that owl from Ocarina of Time give a monologue about your next location.

And if you’re really, really ‘smart’ about it, you could pack in a tutorial DVD and have no tutorial in game whatsoever.  Maybe label it ‘How to play Zelda for the complete moron’.



^Or like that parody

But for a video game, there’s a much simpler way to make a tutorial.  Instead of acting like the game’s reading an on screen instruction manual and assuming your players are complete idiots, you design the levels so they encourage the player to figure out how to play the game themselves.  For example, do you ever wonder why the start of Super Mario Bros 1 looks like this?

It’s because the level is meant to be a sort of tutorial in itself.  Not a blatantly obvious one that forces itself down your throat because some executive thinks players are complete morons


Above: The problem with modern video games and tutorials in a nut shell, they assume people have the attention span of your average fictional goldfish.

But a subtle one that teaches you without you really realising it.  Mario faces right, the screen only scrolls right, all encouragement to get the player to go right.  The Goomba encourages Mario to avoid it, at which point he’ll probably either land smack on the Goomba’s head (realising you can jump on enemies to defeat them) or hit the ? block (realising you can do this to get items)  Even the Mushroom has been placed so it automatically comes towards Mario and so the player often gets it and realises that getting items is beneficial.

That’s how quite a lot of Super Mario Bros 1 works. Heck, that’s how Nintendo’s NES era games as a whole work, they teach people how to play in a way which is all but invisible to te end user.  Pity they seem to forgotten this recently, complete with the giant arrow sign added in New Super Mario Bros:

Ideally, something similar would be how The Legend of Zelda 3DS/Wii U would have a tutorial work.  Instead of having a huge part of the game devoted to running around the starting area/village and doing various menial tasks with assistance from NPCs (hey Japan, we don’t like playing as kids and boring everymen with no interesting abiities!), you’d just start off in the field somewhere and have the exploration be designed in just the right way that you’d figure out how to play the game as you went.  Not sure how this could be achieved, 3D games are always a bit trickier to make good tutorials/first levels for and the increasing complex combat only makes things even harder in this respect, but I think maybe either a small outside area or a first dungeon could be a great place to introduce a sort of ‘invisible’ tutorial.

So in conclusion, the answer to Miyamoto’s questions is simple, make the game’s ‘level design’ teach the player rather than including a dull, lengthy intro and tutorial to start the game off.