I have taken a long hiatus from writing about the world of video games. It became too time consuming in a my life where I needed to get by, economically speaking that is. Unless you gain some sort of success it just doesn't pay the bills not matter how fervent your love for writing is. I wrote countless pieces for another website and received much traffic and praise for my reviews and articles, but despite this I never saw a cent. It's a shame that money has to get in the way of doing what you love. I have a wife to support, and I could never stop making money to pursue a dream. I need to find time for her, my job to support her, and my walk with God.
When I came to the conclusion that those were the most important parts of my life I quickly realized that I could pursue my dream. I need to set out priorities of my dream that are in line with the priorities of my life. In my pursuit of a career of writing about video games I need to integrate my wife in everything I do or at least be willing to, and I need to use my writing as a tool that God can use through me. If I actively do these things while I pursue my dream and also when I achieve my dream, God will make sure we are taken care of. I just need to keep my focus.
I have not gotten far in this journey to achieve my dream, but I intend on going all the way and learning a lot over it's course. Sure it will be a challenge, but won't it be fun.
Nintendo has spent the last hardware generation with underpowered gaming systems between the Wii and DS. With the announcment of Project Cafe rumors suggest that Nintendo is focusing more on graphics and power with their system. If there is a focus on graphics they are going to need to prove the systems capabilities right out the of the gate. I believe there is no better developer to put trust in accomplishing this more than Retro Studios.
Retro has developed some of the finest looking and playing games for both the Wii and Gamecube. They have primarily made Metroid games with the Prime series, and many would assume they would continue the series on the new system. I would prefer to see their next game be entirely original, and they have shown they could do more than Metroid games after releasing Donkey Kong Country Returns in 2010. Although I wouldn't neccessarily be dissapointed with a new Metroid.
Would anyone else like to see Retro develop a launch title, or is there another developer some would like to see in the launch window?
Nintendo has always had a certain business model for their handheld systems, and that is to make them affordable. The 3DS price has been announced at 25,000 yen or $300 by US standards. This price seems a little steep considering that the orignal DS was $150 at its launch. It's odd that the price of the 3DS will be $50 more than the price that the Wii launched at, even though the Wii is Nintendo's current home console. Does this mean that Nintendo's handheld console will be their primary focus rather than their home console? I hope that Nintendo does not stray further from their handheld business model by giving the 3DS a short battery life.
What would you pay, and does the announced price sound reasonable?
Video game fans have been saying for years that Nintendo is lazy. I have always been one of those people that would defend Nintendo till the very end. Nintendo releases most any game with an insane amount of quality and polish. I fully enjoy most Nintendo titles, but there is always a strange ommission from their games, that being voice acting.
Games like the Legend of Zelda absolutely need voice acting to stay with the current gaming market. Zelda would sell millions of copies with or without voice acting, but such a dialogue heavy gaming experience really asks voice acting. I look at Western studios such as Bioware or Bethesda, which supply spoken dialogue to most of their games. Bioware's Knights of the Old Republic 3 has voice acting for every piece of dialogue in the game. KOTOR 3 also has a much greater amount of dialogue any past Legend of Zelda title. Fallout 3 is one of the largest gaming experiences any one can have, and they supply voice acting througout the entire game. Bioware and Bethesda don't only have voice acting for story pieces of dialogue, but they also have spoken dialogue for every side quest.
I feel like Nintendo is afraid of such advancements, but I think Nintendo wanted to test voice acting in Metroid. Other M is one of the first highly cinematic titles for any major Nintendo franchise. Other M has not been received very well from the standpoint of the voice acting and story. This is worrying because Nintendo may see this criticism, and go to such lengths for a game again. The Legend of Zelda is held in higher reguard than Metroid which means there is a bigger risk of soiling its image.
Other M's biggest criticism is what the story and voice acting has done to Samus's image. If Nintendo would have kept Samus as a silent protagonist criticisms would not have been so strong. Every gamer has there own perception of the personality of their favorite silent Nintendo character. If Nintendo does not change the silent hero formula the Legend of Zelda could succeed with attention to voice acting and story.
I will admit that Nintendo is lazy in multiple areas of game development, but nothing as crucial as voice acting. Nintendo titles are usually single player experiences, and for this reason the player wants to be pulled into the story and world. Voice acting would serve the Legend of Zelda well because you would be more emotionally connected to the game.
When the 3DS was revealed it came with an overwhelming amount of software announcements. I was only thinking about what is being done on the 3DS and not what could be done. I was contemplating how Ocarina of Time would incorportate 3D, or if Paper Mario would be a remake or an all new entry to the series. I can't complain about the early support and amount of releases, but I'm kind of greedy and still want more. I want to see Super Smash Bros. make its way to the 3DS. The team behind the new Kid Icarus probably know the hardware better than anyone, and they are also the team behind the Smash Bros series.
The first time I thought about Smash Bros. for the 3DS I was looking through the trophy section of Brawl. When I was rotating and observing the trophy I thought to myself, this would be cool in 3D. I began to think that every element of Smash Bros. seems suitable for the 3DS. The core gameplay and all those other little modes could be presented well on the 3DS system.
The main gameplay of Smash Bros. takes place in 3D environments with a 2D perspective. Layering these levels together could make for an impressive stereoscopic 3D effect and the environments and characters could seemingly jump out at you. The gameplay would remain entirely intact, but you would be more immersed if a 3D effect was pulled off properly.
A particular element in Brawl stood out as a proper fit for 3D and that is the final smashes. The final smash could look spectacular on the 3DS, and a great example would be Solid Snakes final smash. When he is able to pull his move off he literally jumps to the front of the screen weilding his machine gun to clear the playing field. On the 3DS he would actually seem as if he left the screen, in order to do his final smash. That is only one example, and I believe 3D could improve most of the smashes in one way or the other.
The 3DS is not all about sterioscopic 3D, and other functions of the system could improve the game. Nintendo has spoke about improving the online for their systems starting with the 3DS. Everyone probably agrees with me that Brawl's online was abysmal, and it could rarely work with out extreme amounts of lag. If Nitendo is serious about improved online capablities they could a Smash Bros. 3DS run smooth as silk. Even though sterioscopic 3D seems like a novelty I really do believe it would be a good fit for the Smash Bros series. The people out there that don't want 3D can just turn the effect off and they would still have new elements to enjoy. A smooth online component is the only necessity, but the 3DS could add so much more to the series. Did I mention that the 3DS may surpass the Wii's graphic capabilities? Thats just something else to think about.
What do you want in a Super Smash Bros. 3DS title?
Kirby's Epic Yarn is easily one of the most charming games that will be released in 2010. I am anticipating it greatly because it seems like it may be very pleasant game to play, and it might scratch my nostalgia bone a bit. I was worried that many of the Kirby elements would not make it into the game, but it seems that this isn't the case. In a recent Japenese trailer you get to seed some new abilities of Kirby's as well as the return of his arch nemesis, King Dedede.
I beleive that Kirby's ability to use his yarn as a whip will replace his ability to suck in enemies, but the concept of stealing an enemies abilities will probably remain. It's nice to see that Kirby's Epic Yarn is looking like something new while retaining much of what makes a Kirby game a Kirby game.
All the games in Metroid franchise has garnered critical acclaim. Despite this, the series has never been met with the commercial success of other Nintendo franchises, such as Mario or Zelda. The reasoning is probably because Nintendo never starts a serious, mainstream ad campaign. It has not been since the first Metroid Prime that Nintendo has made any effort advertising for Metroid games.
Nintendo has recently began airing a commercial for Metroid: Other M, and it doesn't involve a family playing together in their living room.
I am not very fond of Nintendo mixing live action and CG sequences in the commercial. The CG that is already used in the game is so well produced it seemed unnecessary to involve live actors. Even so I am glad to see that Nintendo is actually trying give Metroid: Other M a shot at being commercially successful.