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May 7, 2010 11:00 AM   Subscribe


 
on the other hand, you might be allowed to walk left.
posted by 256 at 11:04 AM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, the good old days when the learning curve involved, "Oh shit, I've fallen into a pit" and "God damnit, fucking die already." I miss old games.
posted by khaibit at 11:05 AM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


on the other hand, you might be allowed to walk left.

And save your game.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:06 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is a thing already, but not like the article suggests?
posted by boo_radley at 11:10 AM on May 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I hoped he was talking about the movie.
posted by benzenedream at 11:10 AM on May 7, 2010




Hey!
posted by shakespeherian at 11:14 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The graphics and sound would be better, but proper use of the subjunctive would be strictly prohibited.
posted by TBAcceptor at 11:16 AM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a gruetorial.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on May 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


I guess the facebook stuff was directed at Farmville etc., right? No console or PC games actually prompt you to do facebook connect stuff, do they?
posted by codacorolla at 11:19 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Proper" use of the subjunctive?

Hate to be the one to break the news, but language is malleable.
posted by 256 at 11:20 AM on May 7, 2010


I've noticed a recent disturbing trend towards Facebook integrated social crap in iPhone games lately - see Angry Birds, Zombie Smash.

Steam games have achievements of course, but it's mostly harmless.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on May 7, 2010


No console or PC games actually prompt you to do facebook connect stuff, do they?

I know you can publish Modern Warfare 2 shit to your Facebook stream, because I have had that garbage pop up in my news feed from friends.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:22 AM on May 7, 2010


I thought Super Paper Mario for the Wii was very cool and clever. Loved playing it, but the text--God, the TEXT!

There had to be a 250-page story's worth of unskippable text. There would be nights when I would say to my wife, "I'll be to bed in a minute." And then I'd finish the level a minute later, but would spend ten minutes skipping text screens before the next save.

After that, and then playing two or three more levels, I never got to bed when I said I would.
posted by etc. at 11:24 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The kids and I have this. It's totally frickin' wicked awesome.
posted by Mister_A at 11:24 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


1. Unskippable cut scenes at the beginning and after every level.
2. Convoluted back story regarding the love triangle between Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach.
3. Wily, 4th-wall breaking commentary by Toad.
4. Angst-ridden pre-final battle speech by Bowser about being the last of his kind.
5. Terrible PC port version on Steam.
posted by cog_nate at 11:26 AM on May 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


They forgot Deathmatch and pay for special costumes as options.
posted by yeloson at 11:26 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


on the other hand, you might be allowed to walk left.

Super Mario Crossover lets you play as Mario, as well as Samus, Megaman, etc. Oh, and you can walk backwards.
posted by delmoi at 11:27 AM on May 7, 2010


They left out the ESRB rating screen, the screen that says online interaction is not rated by the ESRB, the screen telling you how to hold the controller, a studio screen, another studio screen, another studio screen, another studio screen, an intro screen, a menu, another menu, another menu, another menu, a screen asking if you're sure you want to connect to the network, a screen telling you you're connected, a wait screen, another menu, a screen telling the unnecessary backstory, a countdown, a screen showing your opponents, another countdown, and then, finally, the game.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:29 AM on May 7, 2010 [27 favorites]


Sys Rq that is so sad but entirely accurate.
posted by fusinski at 11:33 AM on May 7, 2010


Bugs where you get stuck to the right of the castle and can't move backwards, or jump over the flagpole and the game cannot end
Fire flowers only unlocked after beating the game on easy difficulty
Extra levels as DLC
posted by meowzilla at 11:34 AM on May 7, 2010


As a game producer, this really, really made me laugh out loud. I've often railed at colleagues that the mainstream audience was smarter than we give them credit for, just based on other media we know they're consuming (e.g. compare the relative levels of plot density and complexity between the original Battlestar: Galactica and the reboot). There's only so much hand-holding we should be doing...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:37 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


No console or PC games actually prompt you to do facebook connect stuff, do they?

The Xbox 360 now has a Facebook connection you can set up, but it's not totally interconnected with games yet.

I haven't yet seen this on "core" PC games ... but casual PC games (e.g. Diner Dash and its kin) are cramming this in as fast as they can. The limiting factor on the latter right now is the teeny-tiny budgets of these casual games, where spending a few extra grand here and there to have an engineer hook this up is actually out of the question.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:41 AM on May 7, 2010


BROTHER MARIO! I am so glad you come to see me! I hope you have not had too hard a time in Mushroom City. Come, brother! Let us go to the strip club, where we will look at BIG MUSHROOMIAN TITTIES! On the way, I want to tell you about a little proposition. What? Why are you looking at me like that! Trust brother Luigi. Listen, this guy, Bowserov, he is big pain in my asshole. He is telling me I owe him money, but I tell you, brother, I owe him jack shit. But listen to me, going on about business! My brother is in town! Tonight, we hit the town! Tonight we go to strip club and look at titties! BIG MUSHROOMIAN TITTIES!
posted by shmegegge at 11:42 AM on May 7, 2010 [40 favorites]


This would be better with regenerating health - if you get hit by a Gooma, just hide behind a pipe for several seconds and you'll magically turn back into Super Mario ("big Mario").
posted by marchismo at 11:47 AM on May 7, 2010


Also missing: senseless grinding, hours of backtracking, avatar customization (Pimp Mario! Afro Mario!), box opening minigames, dlc...
posted by daniel_charms at 11:58 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]



Also missing: senseless grinding, hours of backtracking, avatar customization (Pimp Mario! Afro Mario!), box opening minigames, dlc...


Actually, minigames have been one of the most notable features of the Mario franchise!
posted by schmod at 12:08 PM on May 7, 2010


I was going to make a crack about dialogue trees, but it might've turned out Super Mario RPG invented that or something.
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on May 7, 2010


The mushroom is a lie.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:10 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wikipedia, the history section of your article is fucking useless.
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on May 7, 2010


Bugs where you get stuck to the right of the castle and can't move backwards, or jump over the flagpole and the game cannot end

This bug actually exists in SMB1.
posted by 256 at 12:11 PM on May 7, 2010


On the subject of social media connectivity, I know you can allow Uncharted 2 to constantly send updates on your progress to Twitter.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:22 PM on May 7, 2010


Wikipedia, the history section of your article is fucking useless.

hahah i am now totally in love with the idea that video game dialogue trees were somehow invented by borges.

Similarly, James Joyce devised the first QTE, and the entire genre of side-scrolling shooters can be traced back to Virginia Woolf.
posted by magnificent frigatebird at 12:37 PM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


(I mean, there are definitely ideas in Borges that anticipate later developments in areas like interactive media and expanded textuality, but somehow that line in the article is just so useless and inane.)
posted by magnificent frigatebird at 12:38 PM on May 7, 2010


Where's the useless item that you get through preordering at Gamestop?
posted by hellojed at 12:39 PM on May 7, 2010


Where's the useless item that you get through preordering at Gamestop?

Luigi.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:44 PM on May 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


Missing:

* PC port where left, right, up, down is mapped to WASD, "jump" to "P", "fire" to "H", "Start" to "F10" and "Select" to "RghtCtrl". Keys can be remapped using an external, unsanctioned third-party utility.

* Graphics appear to be 2D but are in fact 3D, rendered internally at 1680x1050 resolution and then downscaled for the actual monitor resolution. Non-widescreen monitors will show strong distortion, which is supposed to be fixed by patchlevel 3.7, which simply cuts off the left and right fifths of the image to fit the full screen.

* Because today's audience hates long games (no, seriously, that's what the developers say!) the game's levels will be split up into a projected 10 "episodes" which all will retail for full price, come out in two-month intervals (subject to delays) and will be quietly dropped from the catalog after the third episode comes out.

* Pre-rendered cutscenes that have nothing, absolutely nothing in common with the look and feel of the in-game engine, featuring ridiculous action sequences in which Mario grasps a fire flower, runs into an abandoned factory and uses bullet time to throw fireballs at enemy ninjas.

* Princess Toadstool will be an under-aged yet totally sexy, slightly gothy girl that only speaks in double entendres.

* The game's packaging will claim to have "n different endings!!!" where n is equal to the number of different deaths that Mario can fall prey to.

* The game will be hyped as "The ultimate mix of fantasy, sci-fi and steampunk, a cross-genre thrill ride that combines action gaming and shooters with RPG elements and fiendish puzzles that push the envelope of what is possible!"
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


This is one of those things that is funny and "true" if you are addicted to Facebook, right?
posted by General Tonic at 1:53 PM on May 7, 2010


It's funny they should pick Mario Bros though, as the Mario franchise continues to really not be so bad with most of these things. Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros. Wii are both light on the cutscenes (there is one longish one that you can't skip through early on in SMG; the rest are totally bearable and very occasional); they are both fairly long games, neither spend much time loading, and then only between levels...

I'm not saying these aren't completely valid criticisms of gaming in general today, but the Mario games I've played lately (those listed above) have really been pretty good about not doing these kinds of things to excess.

And not coincidentally, guess which games you never see in the discount bin? Ever? I have never seen Mario Kart Wii, for instance, in the discount bin and it's 2 or 3 years old now. Nintendo totally gets their audience for this stuff, and knows how to deliver great value, in general.
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on May 7, 2010


Because today's audience hates long games (no, seriously, that's what the developers say!) the game's levels will be split up into a projected 10 "episodes" which all will retail for full price, come out in two-month intervals (subject to delays) and will be quietly dropped from the catalog after the third episode comes out.


Was listening to Another Castle and heard Jeremiah Johnson, better known as Nullsleep describing his love of shooters, because he knows that as an adult he'll never play another RPG again. He just doesn't have time. I felt this surge of identification when he said this. So I don't know that it's corporate greed pushing the episodic thing entirely. I'm enjoying the PA episodes (when they were actually publishing them). I sat down last night to play Braid and was looking at the 5 rooms feeling relieved and like this was actually accomplishable at least compared to my stalled GTA 4 game.
posted by edbles at 1:55 PM on May 7, 2010


It's funny they should pick Mario Bros though, as the Mario franchise continues to really not be so bad with most of these things.


He picked Mario because Mario is canon and had enough flesh on it to be parallel. The joke is: If the people making this classic applied the same rules as the people making trashware today this classic would be terrible, too.Which actually misses the point, if you aim to produce a quality product and spend time, attention and money on making that then you end up with quality. If you want the biggest audience and spend time, attention and money on that you end up with spam.

Mister_A I think you actually are saying this but in another way. I'm more commenting to a bunch of people who've been like Super Mario Wiiiiii (which is a fantastic game).
posted by edbles at 2:00 PM on May 7, 2010


Yeah, but then you get some FPS with a single player running time of 6 hours and it just gets ridiculous.
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on May 7, 2010


I bet the Princess will still be in another castle.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:39 PM on May 7, 2010


Ever thus, NoraCharles. She should really be more careful.
posted by Mister_A at 4:16 PM on May 7, 2010


And not coincidentally, guess which games you never see in the discount bin? Ever? I have never seen Mario Kart Wii, for instance, in the discount bin and it's 2 or 3 years old now. Nintendo totally gets their audience for this stuff, and knows how to deliver great value, in general.

Nintendo just doesn't discount their main franchises. For the other systems, you can pretty much count on any game going down in price. Either through price drops on poor selling titles, or half price greatest hits reissues. Nintendo doesn't do that. I was recently looking for a copy of Mario Kart DS, which came out in 2005(!) and it is consistently priced even higher than most new releases.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:26 PM on May 7, 2010


Missing: epilepsy warning because of that Pokemon thing that happened 20 years ago. Or maybe it was Mary Hart. I forget which. Anyway, the screen lasts longer than the studio title screen(s).

Also, "Sometimes when we say PRESS START, we really mean YOU CAN PUSH ANY BUTTON TO START THE GAME, but other times when we say PRESS START ... WE FUCKING MEAN PRESS START. And we'll never tell you why we do this."
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:31 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and then, finally, the game.

"Downloading latest update....Downloading latest update...Downloading latest update...Internal server error, please try again later..." *desktop*
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:12 PM on May 7, 2010


Sometimes when we say PRESS START...

That's bugging me most recently about Dragon Age, which I only bought the other day twelve years after everybody else. The developer/publisher loadup screens are unskippable and then I have to PRESS START twice just to get to the menu screen. And even though I've downloaded the content it still wants to be connected to the EA servers for...whatever reason. On the other hand my dude is totally getting it on with the kinky swamp witch chick so I guess it's a Virtua-Swings & Roundabouts 2.0 kind of situation.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:17 PM on May 7, 2010


it is consistently priced even higher than most new releases.

I would posit that one of the reasons for that is that they don't have to discount their games. You're looking for a 5-year-old DS game... because it's a really good game!
posted by Mister_A at 7:32 PM on May 7, 2010


Shoot me; I like achievements. What I don't like is Nintendo's current fashion of "one really hard completist achievement".
posted by smackfu at 6:49 PM on May 10, 2010


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