Nintendo, E3, and the Wii U - There Is So Much FAIL!
Despite being a Nintendo Fan Boy since 1988, I felt that this year's E3 Presentation was very poor, and these are my reasons why.
Normally, I start off with a nice little intro to these blogs, but I've been letting this one mull for a few days with each subsequent time that I thought about it, I sink back into depression. I feel that even if Nintendo was Best of Show at this year's E3, the show was still pretty poor.
Before I list off my reasons why, I want to mention a few things about me. I am a Golden Age Gamer. I am one of those "old timers" who think gaming was better in the era of the NES. I currently own a Wii that is more often used to watch Netflix since i don't have that many games for the Wii that I want to play. I also own and frequently play my PS2 because I own more games for it than I do for the Wii. And I own a 360 because I wanted a new selection of games to choose from, but I currently am thinking that I should have bought a PS3 for its exclusives.
As a result of owning a Wii, a PS2, and an Xbox that I currently rarely BUY games for, I am most interesting in Nintendo's E3 Presentation and have little to no interest in anyone else. So when I tuned in to watch their press conference and found nothing but disappointment, I was not a happy Nintendo Boy. And I'm going to give at least 5 reasons as to why.
5: 99% Focus on the Wii U
Last year, I watched Nintendo's 2011 Press Conference twice because I thought I noticed enough of a pattern to create a Drinking Game. Boy, was I right! If you want to play, take a shot every time anyone says, "Zelda", "3DS", or "Wii U". If my count was accurate, you'd take about 68 shots, which is about 3 liters. That is quite a lot.
I thought that this year was going to show the newest Wii games, the newest 3DS games, and give us a bigger look at the Wii U. But instead, almost the whole show focused on the WIi U and what it can do. It was nice to learn, but it was shown over and over how it can be used and how it is being used.
As a result, I believe that their entire show can be turned into another Drinking game: take a shot anytime the Wii U is mentioned.
Focus on the Wii U: Even the movie Titanic didn't focus purely on the boat sinking.
4: 1% 3DS and 0% Wii
Because Nintendo focused so heavily on the Wii U, there was very little shown for the 3DS. They received an entire 5 minute window to show everything. They did, but there was so little that it wasn't satisfying.
Nintendo had a separate presentation for the 3DS. Though I did not get to watch it, I did see a play-by-play on Gamespot.com. According to it, all they did was take the 5 minutes they had in the Wii U Press Conference and expand it to an entire hour. And in truth, not much as far as new titles were revealed. They were mostly ones tht had been announced months ago. So talk about padding out your show.
On top of this travesty against the 3DS, we heard about nothing concerning the Wii. This is one of the things that I hate about "new consoles." The moment the newest one is announced and nears its release date, the old one is completely forgotten. It's like a mom completely neglecting their children just because she's pregnant.
To me, the Wii isn't dead, but with a new console on the way, it might as well be.
5 Minutes for the 3DS and 0 Minutes for the Wii. Ignore us!
3: Hardcore Games for the Wii U
I have to admit, I have never envisioned Nintendo to be the company to have the "dark and realistic-looking" games on their consoles. But say this out loud and tell me if it doesn't put a non-ecstatic look on your face:
Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U
It's almost like an oxymoron. It has been my opinion that Nintendo has never been the company with the "dark and realistic-looking" games on their consoles. Even their most violent games on the NES had a bit of abstract color to them. But games that are completely void of that are opposite Nintendo. So it makes me wonder if Nintendo is now "smoking because everyone else is doing it." And if they are, then I fear that Mario will get the Sonic 2006 treatment, Link will become dark and emo like Cloud Strife, and Samus Aran will ditch her Chozo Suit so she can become Lara Croft ... in EVERY way.
Returning back to E3 for a moment, most of these "hardcore" games that were shown for the Wii U are ones that have already been released for other systems. This means that the major difference between those and the Wii U versions come down to playing with a gimmick. And unless that gimmick is Mr. Gimmick! (obscure game reference. look it up), then I think I'll keep playing my "hardcore" games on other consoles.
Hardcore Games on the Wii U. That is an oxymoron.
2: Social Networking
This is a bit of a cop out since this isn't a Fail with the Presentation. It's a fail with what they are doing. They are adding a Social aspect to their games.
While playing your games, you can switch over to a chat room on your Wii U Gamepad. You can even see what people have to say during the game that you are playing right there on the there. Sounds cool, right?
I have a few hang-ups about this. The first is that most games are single player. While it is nice to have help, it does remove the purity of single player gaming, the idea of finiding things for yourself.
The other problem is one that should be obvious: trolls. You are going to have people who can't "play nice" and you are going to have those that argue with those people, turning a discussion about how to clear 5-4 in New Super Mario U into a pissing contest because what one or more jerks say.
To add to this, these Trolls don't even need to own a Wii U to troll. They can do it from their PC or Mobile Phones. While it is nice to add this networking aspect to Nintendo, the social aspect is not something that I'm looking forward to.
There is actually one more problem with this. In the early versions of the first Legend of Zelda, players already had the sword. But when people were saying, "Where do I go? What do I do?", Miyamoto had the sword taken away since he had always intended for people to communicate with one another to finish the first Zelda game, even back in 1986, way before the Internet existed.
If Miyamoto had intended for the original Zelda to be a game where you communicate with others to find all of the secrets of Hyrule, then what's to stop him from or anyone else for that matter from creating a game like that now? With this new social network to connect everyone, our one-player games may now REQUIRE the help of other people. And that is the kind of Paradox that could kill a sentient diabolical computer.
Social Networking. Bringing people together and possibly tearing games apart.
1: Too Much Information
This, to me, was the biggest detriment to Nintendo's Press Conference. On every single reveal, they stayed on them for longer than necessary, explaining more than needed. As a result, they told us too much.
This is the exact thing that I was talking about in my "Surprises" Blog. Because they told us everything, nothing is left to the imagination. Nothing is left to be analyzed. There is no room for rumors to create buzz or excitement. There are now no surprises.
Along with that, we were informed about how to play almost every single game that was revealed months becfore the game even comes out, from Scribblenauts Unlimited to Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition to Pikmin 3 to the Luigi's Mansion game of Nintendoland.
And if you saw Mr. Iwata's post-presentation show, you would also see how to play the Animal Crossing game of Nintendoland and the Donkey Game of Nintendoland, both accompanied by the explanation of the family playing the game as well as on-screren indicators of how to play.
This is the second reason why T.M.I. is a problem. You have essentially taken the "conveyance" out of the game. Conveyance was something that used to be in a game where a player had to recognize patterns and respond to them in order to learn how to play a game. This is why Tutorial Levels and Intro Stages are more genius than theoretical physics.
But by telling us everything, including how to play the game, you leave no surprises. It's like knowing what you're getting for your birthday: there is no excitement. There is just, "Finally, you're giving it to me."
Too Much Information. When you tell all, you leave us with no surprises to be excited about.
If Nintendo had split this show into Wii, 3DS, and Wii U, it would have worked. Everyone would have been satisfied, and Nintendo would have probably revealed some amazing things while not giving too much away, which is what they did 2 years ago when they swept E3 with a slew of new games for the long time fans.
But this year, Nintendo explained too much. They left nothing to the imagination to spark conversation, buzzes, rumors, and hype. They focused entirely on the Wii U that you should take a shot every time they mention it. And they're adding social networking to their console games.
While I still hope that Nintendo does well and that the Wii U reaches its potential, especially if they get an exclusive game that is made specifially for use with the Wii U Gamepad (which I think should be renamed the uPad), they certainly did not impress me at all with their presentation.
Let me hear from you
But am I the only one that feels this way? Did Nintendo impress you at all? Do you think the Wii U has a future, whether it is a future in gaming or a future in your living room? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
I sat down and watched Nintendo's E3 Press Conference again so I could actually count how many times they said "Wii U." And though it wasn't as high as last year, 63 was still a lot. Last year, it took "Zelda", "3DS", and "Wii U" to get to 68. This year, they reached 63 with just one of those words. To this, I shake my head, Nintendo.