Dear video game journalists: Go Home

February 9, 2012

Quite the ressurrection here, but I just have to get this out there quickly:

 In the same fashion as a lot of “articles” over the past few years, Gamespot published another text explaining why the PlayStation Vita will fail, because of smartphones.  Are you effing kidding me? First of all, I´m neither a fan of Sony´s or their upcoming new handheld. To be honest, it´d be delicious to taste the tears of oh so many obnoxious Sony Super Fans over at NeoGAF, if PSV failed. DAGA! SUKASSHI! But what the hell is the video gaming media´s problem with handhelds and smartphones? More explicitly, why aren´t they arguing in favor of traditional handhelds?

I´m not sure how much more vomit-esque Apple-fellating I can bear.  Sigh, I feel an instant rage coming up inside me when I remember some of those bad, really bad texts on The Wire. It is always the same two to three examples that are supposed to prove smartphones´ superiority in terms of popularity. Cut the Rope, Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds. Effing Angry Birds! Gamespot goes to compare it to Uncharted: The Golden Abyss. Well, guess what? No matter how much I don´t care about the PSV, it will see a lot of other great titles for its respective audience. Meanwhile, Angry Birds is, like, super old and any enthusiastic gamer would have finished it a long time ago. But unlike the PSV, smartphones such as the Apple iPhone don´t see lots of great new titles all the time. Instead, you get shitty knock offs, crappy ports and, most importantly, a whole bunch of games that feel way too similarly because of the limited controls.

And yet, somehow video game journalists won´t tire to herald the advent of these overly, necessarily simplistic games. Why, I´m asking. Being one of those video game journalists myself (although one that actually likes handhelds. I know, wow, kinda shocking at this point), I can only guess that these folks have lost sight of what they´re supposed to do, because of their job´s routine. Attending all kinds of events, rushing from one 360-game to another PS3-game and so on, they lost any motivation for sophisticated gaming on-the-go. It kinda makes sense: Your whole day consists of big games – making the more simple experiences of smartphones more appealing than continuing to play the same stuff even on-the-go. I know this from first-handy experience, choosing to play some Solitaire over my 3DS. These situations do exist, yeah. But for effness´ sake, dear colleagues: It is your duty to realize that mistake -and a mistake it is- and adjust the content of your articles accordingly. If you honestly think smartphone-games are better than handheld games, sorry to hear. However, I do not believe this to be the case. You guys entered this business because you liked video games at one point. A daily routine can blur this original motivation, but it can be re-found.

In the end, there´s two options: Help the potential downfall of traditional handheld gaming and further alienate yourself from your readers – OR – start giving sophisticated video gaming on-the-go the praise and positiveness it deserves. The 3DS as well as the PSV.

Nikkei confirms 6″ Touchscreen-Controller for Project Café

June 3, 2011 again confirmed some soon-to-be-official news regarding Nintendo: The controller of Project Café/Stream/Wii 2 will feature a 6 inch touchscreen. Just as rumors of the past months implied. Further, the controller has a built-in battery and can function as a full-fledged portable device, not needing a TV-screen. Last but not least, there is also a built-in camera that the player can, for example, create an avatar of himself. Launch date is set to the middle of 2012, following in line with Nintendo´s press release that stated that Wii 2 wouldn´t launch before April 2012. More information should be available at Nintendo´s E3-press conference the upcoming Tuesday.

E3-conference times

May 23, 2011

Not much to comment on in these rumor-filled days. Or quite the opposite? Anyways, to keep you updated, here are the times for the three major companies´ E3-press conferences:

Microsoft: Monday/June 6th/10 a.m. PST (7 p.m. for Europe)

Sony: Monday/June 6th/ 5 p.m. PST (2 a.m. for Europe)

Nintendo:   Tuesday/June 7th/ 9 a.m. PST (6 p.m. for Europe)


Nintendo also published their own stream´s website already, which you can find here: Nintendo Press Conference Stream

Project Café is real

April 25, 2011

Enjoy the following message that Nintendo sent out into the interwebs today. Looking forward to potential more news at Nintendo´s investors meeting that´s also happening today in Japan (tomorrow for the rest of us). See you on the other side.

It begins …

April 14, 2011

From Game Informer

From Kotaku

From IGN

From CVG


From Neowin

From Edge-Online


Exciting times 🙂

Edit before bed time: I think CVG either didn´t get all the details or misinterpreted the screen-stuff. It won´t be a built-in hd screen in the Wii 2´s controller, but the Wii 2 itself will be a tablet that´ll feature an HD screen. Yes, I am further clinging onto my tablet-console-hybrid theory. And tonight I will dream of the future of video games and E3 … or some hot girl, hm …

Another Edit: Here´s a mock up I just made. Just a quick thought on the whole 6″ screen and such. Enjoy.

Xenoblade Chronicles comes to Europe!

March 31, 2011

Sorry for the long break, but anyways, great news: Today, Nintendo of Europe announced that Xenoblade will be released in Europe this year under the new full title “Xenoblade Chronicles“. The Monolith Software-rpg for Wii has been permanently praised for its vast, open game world and has been voted number one-rpg of this current generation of consoles by a certain Japanese hardcore-rpg-fans´ website. A release date isn´t known, neither if the game will see a US-release. But it certainly would be stupid to release both this and Zelda: Skyward Sword at the end of the year, so maybe we´re in for another pleasant surprise soon?

The Man of the Industry – and Skyward Sword

March 2, 2011

In this video game industry, honesty and fairness is something not often displayed. It´s been a rough competition ever since the days of Nintendo versus Sega. It seems hard to imagine that one of these competing companies could talk in a manner that transcends typical boundaries between each competitor. Today, Satoru Iwata, head of Nintendo, managed to do exactly that. His GDC keynote speech about the event´s 25th anniversary made the Nintendo-boss look not so much like a Nintendo-guy, but someone who can speak out for the whole industry that he´s part of, too.

It was great to see Iwata take such a clear stance regarding Apple´s business model of cheap games. High-value games need to be sold at a certain price point, otherwise the gaming industry can´t keep creating these great experiences. Iwata talked about how all of them, be it Nintendo, MS, Sony or all the attending developers, have to make sure to innovate and to value their own work. And not to give in to a new business model of a company that has no own view about video games.

Now, obviously, GDC is not E3, but Nintendo indeed DID deliver E3-like announcements. The completely new Mario 3D is going to be a 3D-Mario platformer for the Nintendo 3DS-handheld and seems to follow the footsteps of both Super Mario Galaxy-titles, yet offering new features, like the hinted tanooki-suit and the revival of the traditional health-system, where Mario shrinks when hit by an enemy. Iwata said that the game would be fully revealed at E3.

Most interesting, though, is Zelda. And indeed was a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword shown. Admittedly, on my first time watching it, I felt underwhelmed. After several times now, I feel like there is a great game in the coming. But I´m still trying to figure out as to why it felt underwhelming. For one, they color saturation looks extremely washed out. Maybe that´s due to the video quality, but it really doesn´t help. Then there´s the occasionally bad enemy-design, like that fat guy with the wooden shield that pushes Link to the left. Then again, the Stalfos knight seems to be incredibly improved compared to the goofy model in the E3-demo. Personally, it´s these static, un-dynamic gameplay instances that get my hype down. For example, take a look at the tightrope scene. This looks as if it was very slow, very time-consuming and thus annoying. I remember smoothly running over tightropes in Assassin´s Creed 2 and … yeah. Then there´s those very blocky environments. The big room where Link fights the small spider is made of wide, bland walls and objects. There´s no detail to be seen and I almost get the feeling of it being the parody of a Zelda-dungeon. For last, the HUD looks awful. Some people claim that it´d be optional and can be deactivated, but I´ll believe that once I see it. The wiimote-overlay, the constant notice at the bottom middle that tells you how to use an item … that has to go away.

Now, on the positive side, the new main villain is gorgeous. I love crazy, arrogant menaces, and this guy looks like a mixture of Skullkid and Zant. Also, sword combat seems to be really complex. Notice how all the more aggressive enemies are blocking every sword-attack in that short trailer. Doesn´t make the impression as if hitting foes was as mindlessly easy as in Twilight Princess. I absolutely love the look of the desert-area, though I hope it isn´t too enclosed, too small in sheer size. But it´s hard to make out if the white wall is supposed to be an area limiter or just an object inmidst a bigger desert. The rolling enemy looks like a small Barroth btw., fellow Monster Hunter 3-fans. In general, as underwhelming as parts of Skyward Sword look, the overall feeling I get from both its E3-showing and now this trailer is that something new is on its way … something unknown.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword GDC-Trailer

We literally don´t know much about this Zelda-title, but with all previous series-entries, each game gave gamers a pretty distinctive impression early on. The Wind Waker was announced as a light-hearted adventure, Twilight Princess was always presented as the big, epic Lord of the Rings-entry. Skyward Sword is … Skyward Sword – whatever that´s supposed to mean. One might call it a lack of identity, but I feel like that could mean just the opposite: That this is going to be a different kind of Zelda-game, exactly the kind of big change that fans have wanted for a long time. Because let´s be honest: The clear focus of past 3D-Zeldas gave each series-entry its very own flavor, but it also limited them as a whole. Up until Ocarina of Time, Zelda-games didn´t have a perfectly defined flavor. Zelda-games were just mysterious adventures, sending the player on a big, unknown journey full of exploration. So far, Skyward Sword feels like it´s turning out be exactly that.