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Rumors of the Wii's successor have sparked some discussion about Nintendo's relationship to "hardcore gamers," which I guess would be defined by most people in these discussions as dedicated gamers who want traditional, non-watered down games.
The only hardcore audience that matters to Nintendo is their own dedicated fanbase - the hardcore Nintendo fans. And before you stereotype, I'm not just talking about Nintendo fanboys on the internet who defend Nintendo to the death and hate every other console maker with a passion (though they are part of the hardcore Nintendo audience). Anyone who loves Nintendo's brand of games, whether it's their cIassic franchises like Mario or Zelda, or their new stuff, like the Wii series or Nintendogs, is part of Nintendo's most important audience.
In this sense, Nintendo has never changed. Their strategy with the Wii and DS brought in more fans (outside of the existing hardcore fanbase) than any other generation, but they've still managed to make a greater-than-average number of cIassic Nintendo games this gen. They've been going after their own hardcore fanbase all along, so to say that "now Nintendo is really going after the hardcore gamer" doesn't really make sense to me.
Nintendo is going to stick with what they do best, maybe innovate a little, who knows, but they've said for years that "faster and flashier" is a dead end, and they don't want to contribute to the rising costs of game development. Making a high-end spectacle of hardware innovation with expensive controllers to attract "hardcore" gamers doesn't seem to fit with what they've been doing.
I came across this article about Pilotwings Resort, which was what I was going to blog about, but he said it better (well... as good as) I would have, so I'll just link to that and go from there.
Now I've only put 10 hours into Pilotwings and experienced about 98% of it (only four more missions to perfect... free flight is already finished), so that'll probably put me at about 10:30-11:00 total, but that's still four or five times longer than many people are citing for the length of the game.
There's more to experience in most games than just the critical path. I called this "vertical gaming" in a previous blog, but I'll make it even simpler now and just call it mastering a game. It feels good. That's pretty much all there is to it.
I know that I've almost mastered Pilotwings at this point because the early missions are extremely easy now and I feel totally comfortable with the controls.
It was the same with Super Meat Boy. I did everything possible in that game, which took a lot of perseverance and dedication, and the result was extremely rewarding. And it's not just like one big rush of accomplishment when you see that final level beaten.... Every little victory along the way feels just as great.
How often do you really sit down with a game you enjoy and try to squeeze everything possible about of it? I still have Donkey Kong Country Returns to finish (Mirror Mode only... already did everything else), Epic Mickey (it'd be great to find all the collectibles and try using thinner instead of paint more often), Trauma Team (a few more missions to S rank), Goldeneye (still a few more difficulties to go through), Mario vs DK: Miniland Mayhem (almost through Plus Mode), Super Scribblenauts (working on gold crowns) and probably more that I may or may not get to.
It's literally impossible to get to everything in every game, but do you find yourself even trying? For some reason, it really bugs me to see that someone has just worked through a game to get to the credits and move on to the next one, even when they enjoyed the game. If you really liked it, then why wouldn't you want to spend more time with it?
I'm almost to the end of Trauma Team now, and it has seriously gotten better and better the whole way. Once you play each character's own story progression, you unlock a single progression that has a chapter or two from each character and builds from seemingly minor points of each character's previous story. I'm really impressed by it. And again, the game was only $10. I've put about 35 hours into it. I think that might be the best deal ever.
I've had Mario vs DK: Miniland Mayhem since Christmas but just started it up in the last few weeks, just finished the main game last night and holy crap is there a lot of content in that game. On top of the 81 regular levels are 20 unlockable special levels and 20 unlockable expert levels, and you can play through the entire game again in "plus mode," which I haven't tried yet but it looks like it adds more characters to each level rather than just Marios.
It's challenging, but in the new Nintendo kind of challenging, which I've found to be pretty easy but somehow still rewarding. It makes you feel like you just did something that most people couldn't do, even though they probably can. I beat most levels with a trophy (by getting past a set number of points), the Mario coin (one per level, accumulate to unlock extra levels), and the letter card (which unlocks a bonus minigame level if you collect all of them in a world) on the first try, but like I said, it still feels like I accomplish something each time I do that. Now that I've started the special levels, I'm finding it much more difficult to get everything on the first try, so it feels like the game is really coming into its own in the unlockable levels.
Also, Infinity Blade for iOS is more than just eye candy. I got it on sale a few weeks ago for like $3 thinking I wouldn't like it much, but I love it. I figured it would try to be too "hardcore" and end up being a terrible mobile game, but they really nailed what makes for a good pick-up-and-play, addictive mobile game. You can play in spurts of just a minute or two, or you can sit and play for an hour or two if you want. It DOES look amazing visually, but that just adds to the total package, which really shines because of its intuitive swipe and icon-touch controls.
I also finished Wind Waker last week and started up Twilight Princess to continue on my Skyward Sword Anticipation Spree. Beyond Good and Evil HD is still waiting to be finished.... I think I stopped at the same point that I did when I originally played it on the GC. It's not that I lost interest or anything... I guess there's just something about that point in the game that doesn't compel me to continue. I WILL finish it this time, though.... maybe after I beat Trauma Team.
My Recent Reviews
A consistent glitch in Noki Bay that won't let you shimmy across a ledge to get a blue coin. You can get it a different way, but this is still stupid.
Everyone is scared to death of the person behind him and thinks that the person in front of him is running to safety. Brilliant!
After about a hundred million tries, I finally did it.
Jun 9, 2013 3:34 am GMTJordanElek began Following The Wonderful 101
Jun 9, 2013 3:34 am GMTJordanElek began Following Sonic Lost World
Apr 20, 2013 9:20 pm GMTJordanElek posted in the topic You love Toki Tori 2 but you don't know it yet on the Nintendo Wii & WiiU board
Apr 18, 2013 1:10 pm GMTJordanElek began Following Yoshi's Island
Apr 18, 2013 1:10 pm GMTJordanElek began Following The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 3DS
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