Posts tagged #mario

2014 is off to a great start for me

I haven't touched my Wii U at all this year, so far. And it's not because there's nothing to play on it, there's plenty waiting for me there to finish off. I actually spent most of the pre-Christmas break playing and finishing SUper Mario 3D World, which is a great game. But I'm not here to talk about that.

Instead, it's the 3DS that has commanded most of my gaming time in 2014. Fire Emblem: Awakening, in particular, and then the Bravely Default Demo, more recently. There's just something about being able to grab a few minutes pr gaming (or a few hours) here and there, wherever I happen to be, that's just magical. Fire Emblem: Awakening was my first Fire Emblem game. Approaching it as a noob, I really appreciated the new "Casual" mode offered this iteration, which lets you play through the game without permadeath of characters found in what they call "Classic" mode. I figured, I have no idea how to play, this should be the perfect mode for me.

And it was. I fought, I died, I continued on without major consequence. But then a funny thing happened along the way. Around about Chapter 12 I found that I was really enjoying the game. I mean really enjoying it. Something clicked for me.

I decided to restart the game on "Classic" instead of casual, and started right from the beginning again. It was a wholly different experience. No longer could I make a mistake near the end and just throw everyone at the last boss to win. I had to keep everyone alive, and I played much more conservatively. Any mistake was usually punished by losing a character, accompanied by the frustration of having to restart the game and try again.

But I learned through those restarts, and through the mistakes. I began to understand how to position my units, who was going to win which encounters, and who would die if I left them there.

And the game rewarded me with a wonderful little story, told in anime, and layered moving stills, and in game engine rendered sequences. I wish there were more of the anime cut scenes, but what was there was excellent. (I wish they had an anime series for Fire Emblem, it would be great)

This year is my "Year of the Pile", and after Fire Emblem I am working on finishing Dragon Age 2, and then maybe dip into Dark Souls a little bit. February I'm looking at the release of Bravely Default (also for 3DS) and then working through New Super Mario Bros U. Through 2014 I want to get at least 12 games off the pile, if not closer to 20.

Wish me luck, and here's hoping your gaming 2014 is filled with great experiences!

Posted on January 13, 2014 and filed under Article.

Miyamoto, The Creator: interview with

I didn't know that Sports Illustrated covered much in the way of video games, but here they are, with an in depth interview with Shigeru Miyamoto.

Nintendo more than any other gaming company features characters that have recurred and been a part of people’s lives for 30 years now. Can you talk about the importance of tradition at Nintendo?

Miyamoto: There are two things that we really focus on. The first is maintaining the “Mario-ness” of Mario. We talk a lot of about what it’s OK for Mario to do or what Mario should be — and what Mario shouldn’t be or shouldn’t do. In terms of what he should do, we’ve always viewed Mario as being a character that should always be doing something new. And then in terms of what Mario shouldn’t be doing, we really want Mario to be a character that people can trust. We want parents to feel that they can trust the character and they can sit down to play Mario games with their kids. We would never use Mario in some type of gambling product. We don’t have Mario engaging in a lot of violence or things like that. We want him to be a friendly character that is welcoming for people.

The other challenge that we often have is that, as time passes and we have younger and younger developers joining Nintendo, they now are at a point where they’re joining the company and they have in their mind their own sort of fixed image of what Mario should be based on their experiences with Mario. And oftentimes they think that Mario should be more child-like because of their childhood memories with him. So when they join the company, they have a tendency to want to try to bring Mario closer to their image of what Mario is or what he should be. Instead what we have to do is educate them and help them understand this is the sphere that Mario exists in and this is what Mario is, to try to help them understand how they should handle the character when developing games.

Catch the whole interview here.

Posted on March 11, 2013 and filed under News.

1 day out from Wii U... the games

Ready for launch!If you would have asked me what games I thought Nintendo needed to successfully launch its next console, I would have said "Mario." Historically we all know that a Mario game sells like hotcakes, and boosts the sales of any hardware associated with it.

Many have been critical of the launch line-up of games, either panning it for having too many old games in it, or for not having any 'core' Nintendo franchises like Metroid or Zelda. Others bemoan the fact that there isn't a Wii Sports equivalent, there's no system selling 'killer app'.

There's no question that the number of launch games is pretty good, with over 20 games available. Look at the list, and the strategy this time around is apparent. Nintendo is fortunate to have a lot of third party games coming out at launch, and so has the luxury of reserving some of its games for later on in the launch window. Three months from now, six months, a year from now, Nintendo plans to keep the games coming in a steady flow, rather than release everything right away.

Nintendo itself has only Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U in terms of its own franchises at launch. It is also publishing Ninja Gaiden and Sing Party. All the rest are third party.

The Wii U is not going to launch into a void, where there are only a handful of games available. There is something for everyone in the list of launch titles. And lets not underestimate Nintendo Land just because it's not Wii Sports. It has the potential to be a lot of fun.

The rest of the line up is third party, and of those the strongest, most unique game is Zombi U, which is both innovative in its use of the Gamepad as well as exclusive to the Wii U. Second is perhaps Call of Duty Black Ops II, given that title's massive popularity some players may opt to try it on the Wii U for the new Gamepad features. Remaining are mostly ports of games that have already been released elsewhere (Assassin's Creed 3, Mass Effect 3, FIFA 13, Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, etc.)

As I've written before I'm looking forward to some of the smaller indie games that will be available on the eShop, and some big name games that will be releasing in the next six months to a year. That list consists of titles like Nano Assault Neo, Little Inferno, Rayman Legends, Pikmin 3, and Injustce: Gods Among Us.

There's so much variety in the launch games, which ones are you most interested in?

Posted on November 16, 2012 and filed under Countdown.