Stop coddling me Nintendo!

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by JirinPanthosa, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why do first party Ninendo games coddle gamers so much now?

    Besides the difficulty of Mario and Zelda games and the complexity of the dungeons being toned down more and more, now they give you free hints at the touch of a button, free cheats if you die a few times in the same place, and tell you when it's past your bedtime (Ok, they tell you you've been playing a whole and should take a break, same thing). If there are any hard levels of the game you have to chug through all the easy levels and get all the random stuff hidden in them to unlock them.

    When we were kids we never had much trouble getting through Mario and Zelda games but at least we felt occasionally threatened and needed to make some sort of an effort. When did Nintendo develop such a low opinion of their fan base?
     
  2. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  3. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have never played Metroid, so I'd really like to know what they are doing wrong now.


    And I guess the article has it the wrong way. We have the Internet now. Which means that cries for help get public. People didn't become dumber. These question have probably been asked back then as well. But privately.
     
  4. Capt. Vulcan

    Capt. Vulcan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To nintendo video game systems are toys and their customers are children. I've heard from people who have worked on games for them, they definitely take this approach to everything. The question is always "Is it too complicated for them" or for hardware "will they break it?"
     
  5. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, the internet has become the new hint line.
     
  6. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    To be honest I think people overstate this. Super Mario games may start off easy but they get bloody hard by the time you're getting towards the end. Donkey Kong was hellishly difficult towards the end. They do add easier modes or help through the games but I know plenty of hardened Nintendo fans who had trouble with New Super Mario Bros Wii, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Donkey Kong Returns etc. Kirby may have been easy but it was still a good game.

    BTW why is it a problem that Nintendo make games that are actually fun?
     
  7. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, a lot of early games were fiendishly difficult, so it's not unreasonable to think unfamiliar people would be stuck in them. When I look at that image, it also makes me think that there likely is a lack of documentation with those downloads in terms of what can be done with button presses.
     
  8. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In Super Metroid, within a few minutes of starting the game, you fall into a room and acquire the "Morphing Ball" upgrade. In order to get out of this room, you're forced to use your new ability to morph into a ball and go through the small passage. A test of your new ability before the game allows you to proceed.

    However, the screenshots that you see in that article aren't from the room where you find the upgrade. Those screenshots are from a little later in the game. This means those players used morph ball and then completely forgot about it within minutes.

    Agreed, but it's still funny.
     
  9. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know if these people are "dumber" so much as they're just more lazy. But it isn't totally their fault. The issue is there's been a complete paradigm shift in the gaming model.

    Super Metroid is, conceptually, about exploration and experimentation. The puzzle is the game. Blowing up aliens is tertiary. These days, however, games are designed were blowing up aliens is the primary objective. Any obstructions like the Maru-Mari bricks are seen as an inconvenience abating the player from blowing up more aliens.

    As noted above, I think this is just a side effect of the internet (or Prima guides), as it's discouraged designers to continue with that model since "they'll just look it up anyway."

    This has just totally snowballed over the last decade and a half to where games appear to be "dumbed down."
     
  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's the problem though, that Nintendo sees their entire consumer base as young kids. Yet there's an entire community around games like Kaizo Mario 64, and it's mostly people who grew up playing Mario games and love the way they play but want the series to grow up a little with them. Hell, there are all kinds of games which copy themes from NES/SNES games directly only are equally or more challenging, like Super Meatboy, I Wanna Be The Guy, 3d Dot Game Heroes. These are people who started their video game habit years ago playing Nintendo games, why doesn't Nintendo try to make games that appeal to them too?

    Mario and Zelda games have wonderful game mechanics design. Stuff moving quickly around the screen that you have to react to quickly and use spatial reasoning to get through the levels, smooth controls, a variety of different obstacles and gadgets. And to some people the light cartoonish feel and rapid pace is a welcome break from the gory, steroidy, story/cinematography obsessed state of the rest of the gaming industry. If Nintendo is only taking young kids into account, they're missing out on a huge portion of their fan base. Why not make an easy version of the game and a hard version, and let those gamers start with the hard one?

    And you're right, modern gamers are not 'Too dumb' to play Super Metroid. They just expect games to lead them by the hand, and when they don't they get frustrated and quit in five minutes.

    It's true some Nintendo games have a couple challenging levels, right at the end. But Super Luigi U didn't have a level that really bothered me until 9-6, and that's a bonus level in the game that's supposed to be the challenging version. Super Mario Galaxy games had like two or three hard stars each. You shouldn't have to go through all the easy levels AND collect every star coin in those easy levels before getting to play the hard ones.
     
  11. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As already mentioned, it's not so much the gamers, but the cultural shift that has occurred. I think it's a little too easy to blame it on modern gamers. But if you think about it, they don't have the context in which these games were published. What might have been obvious back when they were originally published, isn't so much obvious now. From that standpoint, I can understand why gamers would get frustrated. I see it as a disconnect between modern gamers and older games. They weren't around when they were first published and might not get the same thing out of them.
     
  12. RyuRoots

    RyuRoots Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not sure I buy it. I'm capable of going back and playing games I never knew anything about and loving and mastering them (as was the case with Guardian Legend, actually). If a game is good and you're not an impatient twit, you don't NEED "context".

    It totally IS the gamers. The players shape the market, and players today are either imbeciles, impatient, or both. This whole issue isn't limited to Nintendo in any way, either. It's rare to see a game that doesn't squeeze your hand tight enough to cut off circulation as it slowly, carefully leads you about, talking slowly for you all the while. It's one of many reasons I've been digging back into older games and don't see myself heading into the now-current gen for the foreseeable future.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Commodore Commodore

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    Quite a few games these days do hold the players hand, it's not just Nintendo doing it. A lot of games now have tutorial sections at the beginning, or a button that pops up hints and solutions or outright highlights the objects you need or the path to go with the press of a button (usually disguised as some kind of hyper awareness mode).

    I have no problem with modes or options like this, using them is entirely optional for the player. In the case of some of the help modes in Nintendo games, you only have the option of using them if you are stuck. If you choose to go that route then needed collectibles in the levels don't count, so you will have to eventually go back and complete it on your own if you want to unlock or collect everything in the game.

    It's not just the "gamers" (I hate that word, what does it really even mean?). It's our current culture in general. This is the era of instant everything, from instant music, instant movies, instant communication, instant information on almost any topic. You don't need to put any effort into doing these mundane tasks anymore. You don't even need to put in the effort of pressing virtual buttons, just talk to your phone and tell it what you want.
    Translate this culture to a video game and that means "instant solution" and hand holding.
     
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If they're going to put hint systems in the games, they should at the very least have a 'hard mode' where the hint is not available.

    'Hard mode' in games usually means 'The exact same game only the enemy stats are supercharged'. It never means 'Harder puzzles', noted exception for Catherine.

    Or if they don't want to put the resources into different dungeon configurations for hard mode, at the very least give a menu option to turn the offer of hints off completely, and then maybe have a trophy if you go the whole game without turning it on. Something to differentiate playing the game with hints and playing them without. In LBW they don't even give you the option to say 'Yes' or 'No' to taking the hint goggles. They should always put an option in the configuration menu: Offer hints ON/OFF.

    In some games if you're playing on hard and you die a few times on the same boss, it says 'Want to change the difficulty to easy just for this fight?' Hell effing no, if I want to change it to easy I'll go into the menu and do it myself.

    There is a big difference between having to make that little extra effort to get the hint and having it just handed to you. If those hints were just handed to me when I was a kid I would have probably used them. But then when I finished I would have just put the game down and said 'Meh'. I look back fondly on those games because of the emotional memory of struggling through them, and if I had those hints just handed to me I wouldn't have those memories and I certainly wouldn't be nostalgic enough to buy throwback games now.

    By offering all these free hints, 'Turn down difficulty?', and things like that, game companies are depriving kids of the experience we had with games when we were younger and turning them from something you get attached to into something you finish and just move on. And for that reason I seriously doubt that this generation of gamers will still be gamers when they are our age.

    Nintendo's certainly not the only offender but they're the worst. If you die say, five times, on any level of Mario they give you a 'Win level' button like the white tanooki suit. You can't even turn that off.
     
  15. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Back in the day, they had 900 numbers where you could call in for help with how to beat something. They also let you subscribe to Nintendo Power or buy player's guides for the same thing. These days, they at least don't charge you for it and they build it into the game. Part of the reason for this, I'd guess, is because you can get the same things for free on GameFAQs or elsewhere on the internet. I think that's worth keeping in context when considering this.

    However, if the option isn't given, they really should let you turn off hints through a start menu option.

    Certainly, the original incentive for lives and game overs is gone (it was originally designed to force you to spend more quarters). But there are other valuable reasons for them related to game pacing and difficulty that need to be considered depending on the game.
     
  16. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually like the way that Nintendo handles difficulty. The Super Guide feature (which will automatically beat a level for you) only shows up after you've died X number of times and it permanently marks your save file as having used the Super Guide. It gives you the option to cheat, but it discourages you from using the cheat. I Wanna Be The Guy did the same thing with putting a pink ribbon in your hair if you play below hard difficulty.

    Yes, Nintendo games are still too easy (even Donkey Kong Country Returns), but they have a few moderately challenging parts here and there. The Super Guide is a good compromise and allows Nintendo to put some degree of difficulty in their games without worry of scaring off their casual fanbase. It's not ideal, but that's why it's a compromise.

    Oh, and for those of you who think there's too much hand-holding in games today, check out this video showing what Quake would look like if it was released today. The video has more than 2 million views on YouTube, so it clearly resonates with many gamers. It's very cathartic.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1ZtBCpo0eU[/yt]
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I also think part of it is the new attitude of gamers that they should automatically be able to beat any game they attempt. Before you didn't feel slighted if a game had a level that was too hard for you to beat. You just felt good that you got all the way to that level and wanted to try to get farther next time. You judged a game based on how fun it was to play, not whether you were smoothly moving forward all the time.

    If a level is too hard for a gamer, they should feel challenged to raise their skill high enough to beat it, not given the victory.

    And I certainly don't feel strongly discouraged from using these cheats. In Super Mario Galaxy the shadow Rosalina just kind of appears, and in LBW the hint goggles are given to you without even asking for them.

    And dungeons in that game are designed around having the thing you're supposed to do to move forward be the first idea that obviously jumps out to you. Like, Link To The Past is not that hard a game, but it had parts of the game that required you to put in mental effort to figure out yourself. Easy games can be fun if they require that minimal mental effort to move forward, but in games like LBW they do all the thinking for you.
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I think people are giving too much credit to people of the past. I already brought up the Nintendo Tip Line and Nintendo Power, but how many people used the Konami code in Contra?
     
  19. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What, me? I've never even heard of game genie! And neither has my friend Justin Bailey! ;)

    Yeah, it is true that a lot of people did cheat in older games too. But back then cheating felt a lot more like cheating, and you had to make extra effort to do it. If you beat the game cheating, you then wanted to turn around and beat it not cheating. And frankly, older games cheating were harder than newer games not cheating. And now beating the game cheating feels the same as beating it not cheating. It doesn't give you quite the same emasculated feeling.
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I feel like back then "cheating" was mostly about giving your characters giant heads.