EpicBattleCry - Skirmish 231: One Tiny, Small Incident

On this boxed-in edition of EBC we discuss Amazon’s entry into the streaming media and gaming markets. Plus, Borderlands PS Vita Bundle and Pre-Sequel, Marvel makes a move into Disney Infinity, Nintendo talks new Mario and so much more!

 

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GAUNTLET:

TOPIC: IS AMAZON ON FIRE? With recent word that Amazon if competing with Apple for attention in the streaming media devices department, we evaluate what impact the Fire will have on gaming.


LINK: Amazon Announces Amazon Fire TV, its $99 Gaming and Media Box

BATTLECRIES:

MEMBER: Ian - Alexander Arts

Sometimes I feel a bit offended when Japanese companies talk about targeting things for Japanese gamers or American gamers. Sure, culture can influence people's opinions and so can language and translation, but a good game is a good game and a gamer is a gamer.

Bravely Default isn't popular in Japan because its Japanese focused, it's because it's well made - of course people from other countries will want to play it, too. A lot of the niche titles that are popular in Japan and not the US are just marketed badly or are just not that good in quality.

Imagine if Gearbox was complaining about Aliens Colonial Marines sales in Japan. They might give the same excuse, "We built this for an American audience, for fans of the Alien movies. It didn't sell well in Japan because we didn't target their preferences." That might be partially true, but the reason it didn't sell as well there is because it sucks! It sold more in the US because there are fans there who will buy anything with the Aliens name slapped on it. Just like they can sell terrible licensed Anime games in Japan.

Make good games, let people know about them, and they will buy them. Easier said than done, sure - but don't blame everything on culture differences!


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Comment by StarBound on April 10, 2014 at 11:31am

The big advantage apple, google and amazon have is that they aren't gaming companies. They have a product that was adapted and works well for the mass market that they have, an every day device that ended up playing games but was bought as a phone, or pc replacement or a media streaming box.

Microsoft might have had the right idea with making the xbone an all encompassing media box but it was done completely wrong. Apple, Amazon, Google surely plans on replacing their hardware annually and the benefits in that is increased performance on gaming fronts, 4k decoding and more updated format supports but consoles are set for years on the same hardware. Even the ipad air does a better job at running the crossplatform titles (maybe not play as well without a controller) than something like the xbox 360.

The so called AAA developers has more reason to fear this than MS or Sony. A game might be judged on its visuals and the more powerful consoles will fulfill that need but for your mass that just want to play something, anything that passes the time in a fulfilling way might choose going for a good game that costs only $5 and is available on the machine you have running your entertainment hub.

Comment by Ian - Alexander Arts on April 10, 2014 at 1:37pm

Thanks for reading my Battle Cry! I really think companies spend way too much time dividing up their products by region locking them, limiting translations, and marketing only to certain groups.

Here in Taiwan I can buy games that come in Chinese and English, but I still don't understand why every game doesn't have subtitles in every language. Are .srt subtitle files really that big? You already made them for the other regions, just include them on all copies.

They complain about bad sales and piracy, but then they won't even sell legal copies with useful language options... really lame. Of all the game companies Nintendo seems to be the worst about that, at least in Taiwan.

Comment by Michael Petco on April 10, 2014 at 4:12pm

Alright, I'm going to have to come in and defend Nintendo seeing as I'm probably one of the few who believe that while they don't make the wisest decision, they still know what they're doing.. sometimes...

I'll begin by saying that if a new Mario game is in development it could well be for their QOL platform coming out next year, or for the WiiU or 3DS. If there is, I strongly hope that it's a 3D Mario game for the WiiU as they only scratched the surface of what the WiiU could do with 3D World, which if you guys haven't tried, you're really missing out on a wonderful game. 

When speaking about future consoles and development, Iwata mentioned he would like for the two to have closer parity in terms of graphics so that they could speed up dev time by using similar assets in both and I think the reason they don't leverage a cross "connection" between the 3DS and WiiU is because they weren't necessarily designed for it like I'm assuming their next handheld and home console will be. 

The Nintendo direct featuring Smash Bros. was indeed phenomenal and has truly continued the hype train that Mario Kart 8 started. 

The GBA games being released on WiiU are a question of timing. The WiiU needs games, and giving and incentive like VC games that aren't available on 3DS is a smart move. While I do want cross-buy in the future, I think Sony has really spoiled people with that feature, which they only really released because of a struggling platform known as the Vita.

As for a Nintendo theme park, I do believe they had planned one and scrapped it. Too many variables that are out of their control. Disney Land was not profitable from day 1 and right now Nintendo can't afford to take a hit because some kid who fell off a roller coaster and his family is suing. Besides, playing with the human genome to make workers resemble the like of Mario, Bowser and other Nintendo mascots is dangerous business! Have you not read Jurassic park?

Well that does it for my rant on Nintendo. I do hope they improve as a company but in the last two weeks they've showcased two games that prove to me how talented they are at making games. 

Comment by Michael Petco on April 10, 2014 at 5:13pm

The whole Nintendo on other platforms is frustrating to hear.. *Facepalm*

Comment by Michael Petco on April 10, 2014 at 5:16pm

Glad to hear that there was actually a Discussion happening, as opposed to three people flat out saying Nintendo is F**ck** and needs to release games on other platforms. Really appreciate hearing multiple opinions, despite my refusal of the whole idea.

Comment by Our Lord Despair on April 10, 2014 at 7:39pm
NO AUSSIES DON'T DRINK FOSTERS!!!! Jesus. I worked in a "liquor store" (in Australia we call them Bottle shops or 'bottle o') and we had 2 slabs of fosters, when I asked about them they told me they ordered them specially for an American customer. He got one every week and one week he didn't pick it up, hence the spare. It's our biggest export, in Aus we either drink VB (vic bitter), Northern Australians drink 4x or German beer. Or Mexican. Basically anything but fosters.
Comment by Averagus on April 10, 2014 at 10:37pm

It tends to go state by state for Aussies though there are always exceptions. I'm from South Australia and I usually order a Coopers Pale Ale or perhaps a Sparkling. Or, you know, any Coopers really. I drink lots of different beer but usually Coopers.

But once again, anything but Fosters.

Comment by Tim on April 11, 2014 at 3:11pm

My battlecry is going out for something that is quite unrelated to what everyone else is talking about, but it'd be cool if I could get a conversation going. My battlecry goes out to next gen gaming. Are you guys happy with your ps4/xbox one? Cause I am seriously starting to regret spending my hard earned money for the newer console so far. There doesn't seem to be any difference at all between next and current gen consoles, beside graphics. Are we just expected to dish out 4 or 5 hundred dollars for just a graphic upgrade, and then on top of that pay extra for the next gen games?? Hardly seems worth it. I tried to convince myself otherwise, telling myself to wait for the good games later that will be better. But most of them all have ps3/360 ports that are the pretty much exactly the same thing, besides graphics. Take Titanfall for example. This is the one's system seller, but it's the same on 360. "This is the first game that feels next gen," everyone said, and I was so excited to see what that felt like. Turns out, you don't have to buy an xbox one to find out. You guys were joking a couple episodes ago in saying that March is actually when the next gen consoles were being released, because up to that point there wasn't any games. It still doesn't feel like this has happened yet, and we are well into April already. What can I experience on the ps4/one that I can't with a 360/ps4 besides graphics? What do you think? Please give evidence to prove me wrong! 

Comment by Michael Petco on April 11, 2014 at 6:13pm

Hey Tim! 

I'll come out and say that my "Next Gen" started with the WiiU a year and a half ago and I can promise you I've experienced things that I hadn't in previous generations. Yes, the WiiU is essentially a dual screen experience similar to the that of the DS or 3DS however I can attest to it has fulfilled it's purpose. Games like ZombiU have fully integrated it's use into the world that you are suppose to be experiencing, whereas other games have simply used it to make menus, maps and so on less cumbersome to navigate. These games would be Assassins Creed, Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 etc.. In certain instances, like Pikmin 3, I used Wii remote/Nunchuck in conjunction with the gamepad as my map to navigate the terrain and to plan out my strategy for each given day and it felt great when it would pan out. So I feel like I have experienced next gen from a certain perspective. 

I recently bought my PS4, and wasn't too impressed with Need for Speed Rivals. It looked very similar to NFS Most Wanted on the WiiU, in terms gameplay and graphics.

Killzone Shadowfall was fun, but hardly anything next gen. Even the graphics weren't all that impressive; I feel mainly due to a lack of proper art direction.

Resogun is alright, and has lots of particles.. not really anything too impressive nor all that much better than something like Nano Assault Neo on the WiiU.

The exception comes with inFamous Second Son. The added horsepower definitely made the characters more believable and the world far better looking than anything I had seen before. Even if something like GTAV had a bigger map, SS managed to have a lot of detail. But like you said, this is all graphics.

Let's be honest.. This gen won't introduce many new gameplay mechanics simply because most core gamers got what they wanted.. a conventional controller. The problem with a conventional controller is simple, and Nintendo has figured this out.. Most in game gameplay mechanics have been used. Most genres have been created, most control schemes have been found and with this said the only way to change the way we experience games is by changing what we put in our hands, or even heads (with VR). 

Honestly, I'm just looking to have fun. I hate people that are so serious about gaming that can't take a step back and enjoy something colorful and artsy like Mario 3D World. The WiiU will be my primary console because it will have exclusives with the sole purpose of delivering fun in new and intuitive ways. I still want my Mass Effects, Evil Withins, and more mature content which is why I bought a PS4, but I know nothing will beat the fun I'll have on my WiiU.

Comment by Michael Petco on April 11, 2014 at 6:30pm

If gamers continue to define "Next Gen" as what is inside the box as opposed to the means to how you play the industry will stagnate and ultimately crumble. Mouse and Keyboard is not the epitome of gaming controls, neither is DS4 or the XboxOne controller. People need to stop hating on Nintendo for attempting things like Wii Remotes and WiiU gamepad. They are truly the only ones trying to innovate anymore. If counting the individual snowflakes in The Division suits your fancy then thats fine, but don't moan 10 years from now when you're playing the same games... Alright, Ive posted waaaay too much.

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