Donkey Kong 3D Just a rumour, boxes taken down

Well, there’s still some hope left since Nintendo are being their standard old incredibly vague selves and not commenting on any of this, but GameStop/EB Games have said they don’t know of any such game and that the displays have been taken down.  Here’s what they said:

The displays were not supplied by Nintendo and have been taken down. It’s definitely not in the system in the U.S. I’m sure it’s not elsewhere, either, but I can’t confirm that.

However, this does still leave us with some questions which haven’t been answered.  How did boxes for games that are supposedly not confirmed end up on store shelves and as available to pre order in the first place?  Seems like something deeper might be at play here.  Perhaps the store got hoaxed by some idiot messing around, or the staff were doing the same.

There’s no end to the possible reasons behind this really.  How do we know the store wasn’t deliberately trying to con people and took them down only when people reported the matter?  That wouldn’t be the first time a retail store has done something similar (although it’d be the first time GameStop/EB Games did).  Maybe Nintendo hit them with a no disclosure agreement/breach of contact type message and asked for the displays to be removed because they reflect a game to be announced at E3.

Also, GameStop weren’t the only company stocking these games, that other games website was selling not only Donkey Kong 3D but Kirby, Final Fantasy and Dragonball 3D.  What made them decide to list all those ‘unannounced’ games?

Still, it’s best to assume GameStop and co are being honest here and that this was just a mistake, so we now know there’s no evidence of a Donkey Kong 3D in development for or about to be released for the Nintendo 3DS.  Sorry if that disappointed some people, it was certainly a let down for me.


Donkey Kong and Pikmin may have had Cameos in Super Mario Galaxy 2?

The title is accurate here, there was once an intention for Donkey Kong and Pikmin (the latter referring to the tiny alien creatures, not Olimar) to show up as cameos in Super Mario Galaxy 2.  Koichi Hayashida said this about it at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference, when asked by someone from Game Trailers:

One of the early proposals that we discussed for Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the possibility of including characters from other Nintendo franchises. For example, you might have Donkey Kong or Pikmin show up.

That would have been pretty interesting to be honest.  Indeed, the space theme could have theoretically led to encounters with quite a few other Nintendo heroes such as Samus, Fox or Captain Falcon.  Or some RPG villains/characters like the X-Nauts or Shroobs if Nintendo had thought about it.  Unfortunately, this was shot down by Miyamoto himself:

Mario enemies tend to be on the short and squat side and there’s a functional reason for that. They’re easier to stomp on. They’re lower so you can get above them and broader so you can land on them. In that sense, Pikmin are just not well suited for the Mario universe.

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Nintendo Not Doomed, has enough money to last the century

That’s not an understatement either.  You know how some sites and fanboys like to think Nintendo is doomed or will go third party or close down in the near future?  Well, someone found some of Nintendo’s financial data recently, and it suggests pretty much the exact opposite.

Nintendo apparently has Nintendo has £6.7 ($10.5) billion in the bank.  That’s pretty good already, but they can apparently make massive losses every year and still at least last the next 50 or so.  That money could keep them going until about 2052 with much trouble, and that’s just a worst case estimate.

Nintendo Gamer was where this info came from, and it said this:

Nintendo have 812.8 billion Yen (£6.7/$10.5 billion) in the bank – enough for it to take a 20 billion Yen loss (£163/$257 million) every year until 2052

So if all goes wrong, Nintendo could last… about 10 more generations even making a massive loss on every console/game. Far from being over after the Wii’s come and gone, they’ve got enough cash to screw up more times than there have ever been consoles.  Those figures also assume they’re making a loss every year, they’d only to need make a significant profit every now and then to have enough money to keep going for much longer, even the next 50 years.

If all went wrong, they’ve got 469 billion Yen (£3.8/$6.0 billion) held in premises, equipment and investments, which could keep them going until about 2075.  By now, many of the people who thought they’d be dead are probably at best retired or worst long gone, and the company would have likely outlasted all the analysts and pretty much anyone currently working in the video game industry.

Games Radar (who covered this story) also figure that about 189 new Mario games could be released in that time frame if about three of them are to be released a year.  Based on that, I’d guess we’d easily reach about the 20th 2D Super Mario Bros game, likely more.  That’s about 16 more Pokemon generations and likely about 20 or so more Legend of Zelda games too. Well, again assuming Nintendo was somehow to lose money on a Mario, Pokemon or Legend of Zelda game.  Which itself is kind of unlikely seeing how every mainstream Mario game ever made has sold at least 5 million copies, with every Pokemon game selling about 10 million and every 2D Mario game about the same.  They’d have to really, really screw up their most popular franchises to end with millions of dollars worth of losses a year and these series not covering most of their expenses.

All in all, don’t panic.  It’s very, very unlikely Nintendo will be doomed within the century.  Besides, until I see a 2D Mario or Pokemon game fail miserably sales wise, it’s pretty likely those franchises alone will do a fair bit at keeping Nintendo afloat.  Do you know how unlikely it is those series will fail?  It’d be a bit like everyone in the world suddenly deciding not to buy Coca Cola or not to go to McDonalds, it’d require a radical change in people’s tastes in video games.

Either that’d or they’d have to lose enough money making said games that the sales wouldn’t make up for it.  Kind of difficult really considering exactly how little Nintendo has to change for each next game, and the 2D Mario games in general are hardly the most expensive games in the world to make these days.

Still, nice to know Nintendo’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.


Nintendo Tokyo Not Making The 2D Mario Game for 3DS

Just a minor factoid from a recent interview that’s interesting:

Hayashida on the 2D Mario that was announced for 3DS by Iwata recently…

So the team that makes the 2D Mario games is actually a different team, so I’m not involved with that project. But I do hope that you’re looking forward to the eventual announcement with more details about that game.

Yeah, I assume it’s being made by the same team as New Super Mario Bros and New Super Mario Bros Wii were, or one of those teams with Nintendo Research and Development as part of their name.  But he does know about the game, which is neat.

Do you think a different team making the 2D games and the 3D games is a good decision by Nintendo?


Why Mario & Luigi is a better RPG series than Paper Mario

Paper Mario is an extremely popular Mario spinoff on the internet, so this probably won’t be a popular opinion to hold, but the title says it all.  I prefer the Mario & Luigi series to the Paper Mario series and honestly think the former are closer to a good Mario RPG than the latter.  Here’s why.

1. Mario & Luigi battle system is actually like a Mario game

This is why I adore the battle system in those games so much, because they actually feel completely different from the battle systems in every other Japanese RPG.  Instead of the all so common quick time event like button presses that games such as Paper Mario and Mario RPG fall back on so often (these have no real connection to what’s going on in the battle itself and exist purely to add interactivity to what would otherwise be a purely ‘strategic’ affair), you actually feel like you’re making Mario and Luigi jump out of the way or attacks or hammer away projectiles and line up their special moves properly.

Above: Blocking the Shadow Queen’s attacks or timing your own isn’t too logical.

While battling Dark Bowser here feels more like playing a Mario game, and is easier to learn

Skill plays much more of a role than intellect because of this, and I like it that way.  If you’d be able to logically dodge an attack then you can, and you’re not limited to any strict timing window (you can repeatedly jump or hammer away attacks at will until either you deflect the shot or get hit).  It means it’s much easier to beat enemies through skill despite a massive level difference due to how easy it is to time dodging their attacks.

It’s hard to explain, but the battle system just seems more logical in Mario & Luigi than in Paper Mario, and is most intuitive to learn as well.

2. The style of the Mario & Luigi series is much more like the platformers than that of Paper Mario

Both have fantastic art styles, but the later Mario & Luigi games are far less offputting to your standard New Super Mario Bros player than the later Paper Mario ones due to how much more similar to the generic ‘Mario’ style they look.  Compare below:

Both styles are well designed and look really nice, but I think the Mario & Luigi look is just closer to what a Mario game should look like.

It’s not that any one style here is bad, just that the Mario & Luigi series art style works best for the franchise in general, and is more ‘accessible’ to the casual gamer brought up on the 2D/3D platformers and sports spinoff games. The Paper Mario one is arguably what will forever keep it a bit of a niche series.

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