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Getting really tired of seeing this >Wii U meme all over the place. Figured I'd flip it around and have some fun with it. Anyway, perhaps I made the mistake of watching the Xbox unveiling while in a bad state of mind, because this conference annoyed me and infuriated me. There is far, far too much fluff going on with this new Xbox. It's getting harder and harder for me to consider the Xbox an actual gaming platform now. When you unveil your new "gaming system" to the world for the first time, and the first feature you talk about is ... TV integration? THAT'S A PROBLEM!
Instead of getting excited for the upcoming Xbox, I see a console that is no longer a box. The box cannot exist without about 300,000 other boxes called servers spread throughout the world. MS has put so much of an emphasis on the Cloud that they've spent hundreds of millions improving their networks. The next XBox isn't what you buy at the store; it's what you pay per month. Quite frankly, you cannot enjoy the Xbox One without an always online credit card connection. At least that's the impression I got.
Oh, and of course, there's the reports about the always online crap and the used games fees again.
(According to Xbox Support's Twitter, the GS article is false https://twitter.com/XboxSupport3/status/336937800702238722)
Obviously, MS wouldn't be spending any of their unveiling time denying or confirming these reports. We probably won't receive official confirmation until E3, but damned if what I've heard isn't damning.
As for the next Kinect, I don't want it. I made the big mistake buying one back in 2010, which is still sitting in its box. The problem is, I simply don't have the room for it. I won't have the room for Kinect 2.0. Same goes with Illumiroom. Why push something so hard that can't be enjoyed by everyone? Push more games. All you need for games is a TV and a controller. Don't keep pushing Smartglass. Don't keep pushing Kinect. Push games. PUSH GAMES!
This is embarrassing. This is MS at its most embarrassing, and I'm talking more embarrassing than Kinectimals. More embarrassing than Usher Raymond. It's so embarrassing, it makes me embarrassed just to know that I own an Xbox 360. It is appauling to see a company who practically bullied their way into the industry full of people who felt they had no business being there and shut them up by bringing freaking gamesm into shifting so much into social and media integration and focusing on games as an afterthought (turning Rare into a shovelware Kinect developer is reprehensible). Yeah, Sony's doing more social things too, but they're actually doing it alongside games.
All this XBL and Cloud fluff. All this Kinect. All this SmartGlass. These futuristic integrations because we're too lazy to look for a freaking remote. It's so god damned unnecessary, and MS will have one helluva time convincing me that I need to buy their machine. It doesn't matter at this point now. I'm so done with MS that I don't care how many new exclusives they release, it's not worth putting up with all the MS BS that comes with it. Oh, and what the hell is with the name? Xbox One? The first Xbox was the Xbox One. Is MS so inept that they forgot how to count?
Yeah, you can bash the Wii U all you want, but it's more of a gaming console than the Xbox One will ever be. Don't agree?
I love the Mario vs Donkey Kong games. In fact, I finally got around to finishing Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem just a few weeks ago. There's only one title I know of that I haven't gottan around to yet, and that's Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again because I never owned a DSi. I should probably check to see if the game's available on the eShop now that I have a 3DS. Anywho, my interest was piqued in this game when I saw it announced a couple of Nintendo Directs ago, and for 10 dollars, I simply had to get it.
I will say this, though, the game is lacking in presentation. Is it surprising? It's only 10 bucks. But, there are no little cutscenes of Mario going after Donkey Kong with his minis. I miss those. As for gameplay content, the game's packed, especially for just 10 bucks. The main game has four seperate puzzle modes with three of them having at least 50 puzzles. The other mode, Giant Jungle, has three massive puzzles that took me more than a half hour to solve on each one. Unfortunately, I can't help but wonder how much better this game could have been had it not been relagated to an eShop title and had actually been designed as a full priced retail 3DS title.
So basically, the game works like this. The playfield has holes everywhere, and you have a tube that fills up with tiles that have pieces of track on it. Curves, straights, intersections; you place different tiles around the playfield for your mini to make his way to the goal. Along the way, he can pick up M coins for extra points. Collect all three in a level and earn a star. There are also coins that sit on clouds, and to get these, you have to create a closed loop. Do so and that segment raises up and also spawns extra time pick ups. Make a mistake? You can also drop a bomb and shatter a tile.
The game's highly addicting. The first mode, Mario's Main Event starts out ridiculously easy and for the first 20 or so levels begins to get boring, but once the difficulty ramps up, you get hooked. It can get pretty hectic trying to manage your path while keeping your mini clear of obstacles at the same time not lettting your tile pipe get backed up. If that happena, it's game over. The more you play, the more modes unlock, and you also unlock mini games and toy minis.
The mini games are nice little distractions that involve you pulling a slingshot back and firing your mini at targets, or chipping away at an object until it's blown to pieces or raising and lowering a mini on a platform to collect coins and dodge Bullet Bills. Even though they're just mini games, they aren't really engrossing, so you - or at least I - won't feel compelled to play them for long. You'll just want to dive right back into the main modes.
I got to tell you, though, the later modes of the main game have some evil puzzles. Peach's game has you using only a select number of puzzles while Toad's has you moving rotating titles and swapping other titles around. I already told you about Giant Jungle, and those puzzles are just nefarious. Still, I'm having a lot of fun with this game, and everyone with a 3DS who likes puzzlers would do good to download it. Again, it's only 10 bucks!
Content ID matching is a topic that I haven't keep up on, but know it's been around for a while. Basically, it's something that YouTube does to YouTubers who make income via advertisements on videos that contain content held by copyright owners. Instead of taking the videos down, they redirect any ad revenue generated away from the content producer and to the copyright holder. So, anyone who makes a Let's Play video and received income from the ads now loses it to the publisher, provided they claim it. Nintendo has now laid claims.
Personally, I feel Let's Players should be left alone. I don't think copyright law particularly applies to this situation, as I see it differnently than animated music videos or recut films. For a song artist, they can potentially lose a sale of their song because someone can hear it off of YouTube. For a movie, someone can watch it off YouTube. For a game... you can't really play a game off of YouTube. And honestly, if someone just wants to see the game played without playing, they're still not going to buy the game, regardless if the LPer gets ad revenue or not.
Let's Plays are valuable sources of information. Not only do they demonstrate a game being played to help out a person struggling through a specific level, but it's also a resource that a consumer can use if they're researching a potential purchase. Stealing away an LPer's income source for making these videos is akin to charging writers for reviewing their games, or for writing FAQs and strategy guides.
Should Major League Gamers be charged for training on a publisher's video game? Should a portion of the prize money be allocated to, say, Capcom because someone won a tournament playing Street Fighter X Tekken? Now, I know what you're thinking. "No, because they're sponsored." or "No, because it's promotional; they're advertising the game." Well, Let's Players are also promoting these publishers' games. The publishers don't have to pay these YouTubers to talk about their games, but instead are stealing their income for doing so. This is like CBS signing over checks to Square-Enix every time a GameSpot employee talks about Tomb Raider.
Here's an interesting thought. Why not Sony charge whoever plays the game that's being shared to them over the PS4? Why should some guy on the other side of the country be able to play someone else's game for free? "That's unfair!" Right, and so is taking ad revenue from LPers, who BOUGHT the game in the first place! And in case you don't want to read the article I linked, I'll just pluck a quote out of it.
"Theyre [Let's Plays] a great form of advertising and sadly, the way Nintendo is punishing people for playing their titles is going to do more harm than good, when it comes to exposure for their games. YouTube personalities will be less inclined to make lets play series based on Nintendo games since they get no revenue, which decreases exposure. Word of mouth exposure has always been one of the most premium forms of advertising for games."
Exactly. The only difference is that these LPers are making a few dollars doing it. They're taking time out of their day to spend playing YOUR game, which they BOUGHT, and spreading the word. If you as a publisher are really bothered by that, then how about you pay them instead? You didn't play the game for them, so how dare you take away what they earned?
I know this is a grey area, and I can see exactly how copyright law would apply to these situations, but that doesn't mean I think it's right. I don't like the way it works, and I think it needs to be reformed. It also sucks for me personally, because I was thinking about doing this in the future. Now, not so much. If I really have to agree with this copyright law, then I figure I how about 100 different publishing houses money, because I earn a living shelving their books in my library.
Bonus Content: Rich's take on Nintendo's claims.
My Recent Reviews
I review the new Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant
I rattle off a bunch of unopened games I own.
This talks about what I purchased from Best Buy for Tuesday, December the 9th.
May 22, 2013 5:58 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Wii U > Xbox One
May 20, 2013 11:31 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Now Playing #125: Donkey Kong and Mario: Minis on the Move
May 18, 2013 6:07 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Let's Pay: Stealing the LPers' Income
May 13, 2013 9:01 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Options should always be a standard
May 13, 2013 7:34 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic Has ACIII gotten any DLC yet? on the Nintendo Wii & WiiU board
May 12, 2013 5:27 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic So yeah, anyone who loves hip hop should buy the new R.A. The Rugged Man on the Off-Topic Discussion board
May 5, 2013 11:36 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Now Playing #124: Fire Emblem
May 2, 2013 6:39 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly of Kriss Kross found dead at 34 on the Off-Topic Discussion board
Apr 27, 2013 3:05 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Now Playing #123: A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Apr 25, 2013 8:16 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Nintendo communicating differently