Sibley Put: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

June 23, 2010

‘Sibley Put’ is where Josh Sibley, real American hero, boldly and unabashedly dissects the hot-button issues of modern video gaming and its surrounding culture. Everything he says is to be taken as personally as possible, so get those brows ready for some serious-ass furrowing. You babies.

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve written an article.  I have a couple of ideas in the pipe, but I was kind of hoping to write something video-game themed in the wake of E3.  Thankfully, Kotaku provided the fodder with which I could bounce off of, the fuel that activated  my writing fires.  So, there’s this article on there right now, and it’s pretty much a wrong explosion that has fouled up the Gulf of Wrongxico.

If you hate clicking things but enjoy me, here’s the article in a nutshell:  Nintendo increasingly ignored its fans in favor of gaining the attention of a new demographic.  Nearly all of Nintendo’s fans left them, but now Nintendo’s back!  It cares about the fans again, and all is forgiven after one presentation!  I mean, they won E3, everyone said they did!

Hey-A Reggie! I-A found a you dignity back a here! Reggie?

Let’s get a couple of things straight with a couple of blunt statements:  Nintendo only won because the other two press conferences sucked harder than socks on Christmas morning, and Nintendo is nowhere near clearing up all this bad blood they’ve engendered.

First off, Nintendo won in large part because they’re the only company that showed off a new system that played videogames and not unusable, embarrassing techno-wankery.  They’re the only one that had a fucking product not held together by promises and wishes.  In addition, they were the only ones who knew what the fuck they were doing with conviction.  The other big two were basically looking back at us with a panicked look going “Like this?  Do you like this?  How about this?  No?  OH GOD”.  Had Sony had their shit together for once in their life and showcased a shitload of videogames instead of half videogames and half Move related garbage, and had Microsoft actually tailored the Kinect around something any current 360 user would ever want to play, they would have obliterated Nintendo.

Pictured: Nintendo getting obliterated.

If you’ll remember, Nintendo didn’t actually announce a goddamn thing for their actual home console, other than a new Legend of Zelda, a Donkey Kong side scroller and a quirky Kirby adventure.  I could be super wrong here, as I’m not really up on my Wii news, but I don’t think anyone else announced anything worth a damn for the Wii this year either (as much as I’m envious, I’m not counting Glee Karaoke as a killer app).  Zelda’s a big deal, but the last time Nintendo announced a Zelda game for their home console and shit-all else, it was a year of waiting and then the worst 3D Zelda ever made.  YOU HEARD ME.

Oh, so that's what they were smoking. Thank you, Link.

Keep in mind, Nintendo decided to not show their vitality sensor because of the past two years of retarded disaster the last 2 E3’s were.  It didn’t go away, they’re just smart enough to realize that everyone at the show would think it was lame and gay (and they’d be right).  Nintendo hasn’t had its fill of the granny market just quite yet.

As for the 3DS, everything they’ve shown so far is awesome, emphasis on shown.  Tons of people want to make something for it, and all of that third party stuff is probably going to be rad as hell.  However, notice what Nintendo themselves are actually doing.  Yes yes, Starfox remake, Ocarina of Time remake.  That could go orgasmically well, or terribly, terribly bad.  It’s simply too early to tell.  Nintendo will gain more ground once the system is out, in my hand, and the launch day titles from them aren’t lamed-up half-ass attempts nobody wants (Mario 64 DS, I’m looking at you).

I SEE you there, asshole. Don't you run from me.

Second off, unless I missed the part where they announced the special edition Princess Peach blowjob machine, there’s no way in hell what they announced makes up for all the shit they pulled from the latter part of the life of the 64 up until now.  In case you forgot, let me refresh your memory:

Do you remember the Gamecube’s launch?  Smash Bros, arguably the best game on the system, wouldn’t come out until weeks after launch.  A true Mario game wouldn’t come out for even longer.  You had some bullshit Wave Race game, an average Star Wars substitute for Star Fox, a game about Luigi that was sort of good, and… well, let’s just say I don’t remember the rest because it wasn’t worth remembering.

Pictured: Bullshit

Over the course of the Gamecube’s life, it had some respectable entries, both from Nintendo themselves and third parties.  To this day it’s the sole domain of my favorite Capcom franchise ever, Gotcha Force.  That said, if you bought just a Gamecube as I did back in the day, you got burned.  Hard.  A year after launch, you waited six goddamned months for a single release, and god help you if that release was Mario Super Sluggers.  I remember this well.  Before Resident Evil 4 came out first on the Cube, there was a drought of six months.  Then after the game came out, there was another full six month gap of nothing.  A gap during which several Playstation 2 owners tragically choked to death on an abundance of choices for their system.  Meanwhile, as you went through multiple months where people couldn’t write a “Game of the Month” article for the Cube because there wasn’t one, you had Reginald Fils-Aime sticking his fat meat face up on IGN every other day going “We have a great line up this year for Nintendo fans!  They’re going to be excited!”.  Then you’d click the next article and you have pudgy dumpling man Satoru Iwata telling you that you’re dumb for wanting to play online, and that everyone should connect their handhelds to their home console for some reason to be revealed at a later date.  It was the only time I’ve seen a man insult me and himself at the same time.

Here, Iwata grabs imaginary titties while fielding questions. He's a multitasker.

Then, something wondrous happened over at Nintendo headquarters.  Nintendo was doing their yearly review of their business strategy, which usually meant someone put a big check mark on a clipboard beside “Put blinders on, keep your head down, and trudge forward ignoring the entire industry around you”, and suddenly someone had an idea.  “Hey”, they said.  “I don’t know if you noticed this, but we’re literally a joke.  We were once one of the most powerful companies on the planet, and now all we elicit from the industry we single-handedly saved is a sigh and an eye roll.  We have spent the last 8 solid years ignoring our colleagues, disappointing our fans, and alienating our third party support.  What if we did that in a way that was attractive to people who hate video games?”, and the Wii was born.

People think that I hate Nintendo.  I really don’t.  I think Nintendo is brilliant.  They turned a strategy that cost them their good name and their entire fortune into a fucking money-printer simply by way of loading their retard-cannon with a gadget that barely works instead of quality interactive entertainment and aiming it at the last people you ever thought anyone would ever want to point that cannon towards.  It is impossible that they thought up this plan of action without the phrase “This is just crazy enough to work” being uttered.

This is seriously what came up when I searched for "This is just crazy enough to work". There's no way this image isn't going in my article.

Of course, they couldn’t do this without basically losing the tiny portion of fans they still had, but they gambled and they hit the jackpot.  I had long since left Nintendo’s fandom once the Cube died, but I can only imagine what the few die hard Nintendo fans feel like with the Wii at this point.  Nintendo clearly only giving a token effort while they make money hand over fist doing the lamest things possible, it’s like watching your cool grandpa die slowly of Alzheimers.

So no, A couple of demos, a new Donkey Kong Country, and a third party outreach program are not enough to wipe away almost a decade of embarrassment and neglect.  They’re certainly on the right track though.

Use Your Keyboard to Yell at Us

11 comments on “Sibley Put: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

  1. I feel obligated to point out both Goldeneye and Epic Mickey as major third-party Wii titles planned for release later this year. Whether or not they’ll be worthwhile efforts is TBD, but they’re certainly high-profile projects that are gathering attention. Also Sonic Colors, exclusive to Wii/DS this Fall, which had an unexpectedly impressive showing and positive reception last week and shut up stop looking at me like that.

    Also, now that they’re re-identifying their core audience, why would they consider making a Princess Peach Blowjob Machine when a Princess Daisy one would sell infinitely better? (That’d certainly be one way to shut her up.)

    WHAT, STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.

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  2. Nintendo had an awful presentation in comparison to Sony’s. I will put Microsoft last if I’ve gotta list them all, but you’re fooling yourself if you say Sony didn’t know its audience, didn’t play the crowd up, and didn’t get them excited. There weren’t nearly as many awkward moments as there were in XBOX/Nintendo’s presentations, and when they demo’d tech it actually worked without a hiccup.

    Also, Twilight Princess was great, both in game play and style. Tell me why I’m wrong.

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  3. A few points.

    Twilight Princess was, in my opinion, one of the better Zelda games both in terms of visual style as well as storytelling. People may bitch about canon or story timeline, but this is the same company that shoots Mario through goddamn space onto planets that couldn’t possibly have their own atmosphere. When did we start getting picky?

    It’s somewhat contradictory for you rally against Nintendo for pandering its “casual-style” Wii audience while at the same time saying that one of their titles most ripe for hokey-motion-control and kiddie-storytelling was instead released with very well executed motion controls and a rather dark plot.

    I least of all will herald the return of a triumphant Nintendo that truly cares about gamers. The machine they’ve created will eventually grind to a slow halt, having exhausted its fuel of rehashed characters in cart racing games, volleyball simulators, and (perhaps the most pathetic example of pandering) Smash Brothers sequels.

    I WILL applaud Nintendo for actually understanding what you’re supposed to do when releasing new technology: show that it works (3DS). I anticipate that much of this came about from third party developers, and not Nintendo’s own necromancy of their decade-old StarFox and Mario programming. Nevertheless, showcasing technology made for gaming instead of games shoved into a technology mold (hello Kinect Adventures!)

    As for Nintendo having the best presentation of E3, well you’re aware of my opinions. Sony released more than double the games that Nintendo showcased, with actual integrated technology that accentuates gameplay instead of getting in the way. I would rather have a 3D experience with a standard controller than struggle to swipe correctly with my Wii Motion Plus. You might argue that Sony is pirating their franchises in the same manner as Nintendo, but at least they have the dignity to keep Sweet Tooth from playing volleyball against Isaac Clarke and Marcus Fenix.

    Sony is also the first company I have witnessed that uses their motion control in a game where it actually makes sense. They put some guys to work on that Harry Potter rip-off thing which showed real promise for how a genuine game with a real story could play out. Yes, they had the bow-and-arrow wii-sports ripoff same as Microsoft, but Nintendo has been running that crap on the Wii now for 5 years with absolutely no change in course.

    Nintendo isn’t showing promise as much as they are pandering to everyone possible. I appreciate a new Zelda release as much as they next guy, and a new Golden Eye is pants-wetting exciting, but there’s only so long those tired tropes will continue to put out. Eventually, we’ll get tired of the re-runs.

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  4. The Gamecube really did have a terrible launch, but Nintendo has had a history of bad launch games. I remember the embarrassingly bad Super Nintendo launch game titles, did anyone actually think that Populous, Sim City, or Pilotwings were good games? If it weren’t for Super Mario World, the SNES launch would have been a disaster, and Nintendo would have been beaten straight up by the Sega Genesis.

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  5. Okay guys:
    @ Brandon: This isn’t about third parties. If third parties are interested in Nintendo platforms and Nintendo isn’t going to be a dick to them, then there’s going to be great stuff there, just like on any other system. It just remains to be seen as to whether Nintendo has their first party chops up and ready to go after 4 straight years of basically making terrible things save for Mario Galaxy.

    And I almost said “A Princess Daisy Blowjob Machine”, I swear to god.

    @ Tom and Harrison:
    I said it was the worst 3D Zelda. Were it not part of an already amazing franchise, it would be regarded as spectacular. It’s not the darkest story: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were both darker. Wind Waker had the best villain in the series. It had the worst pacing. The story might as well not have had Ganon and Zelda in it at all. As far as gameplay goes, every dungeon was completely linear and the amount of secrets and things to get vs. previous games was practically cut in half. It didn’t even have a magic meter, you guys.

    I’ll say this right now: The only people who like Twilight Princess the best are the ones that were swayed by its graphics. You give Ocarina of Time those graphics and stand them side by side and it’s not even a contest.

    @Harrison: The only reason Sony doesn’t have fifteen Smash Bros. games out and Sony Slugger Volleyball is that Sony’s been trying and failing since day one to have a stable of high profile mascot characters. Sackboy is the first real contender for the throne, I think. I know Brandon loves Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank, and their actual games are solid, but they are never in a million years going to be mascot characters anyone cares about, mostly because they look like the stars from a rejected WB cartoon from the mid 90’s. Sly Cooper could have a real shot too if they made a game about him in the next one hundred years.

    You’re very right that Nintendo needs to create some new shit, and pronto, if they want to keep the interest of the old faithful around. My kind of sideways-not-really point is that after 4 or 5 years of straight up giving the finger to them, do they even have what it takes to do that anymore?

    I should have made this clearer in my article, but the reason that I think Nintendo “won” is that they were the only company not trying to push motion controls this time around. It had very little presence. Sony did the best at making that shit viable for actual games, yes, but Nintendo won because, at least for the moment, they’ve stopped trying to tell us after all these years that it’s rad and it works. It’s not and it doesn’t.

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    • “If you’ll remember, Nintendo didn’t actually announce a goddamn thing for their actual home console, other than a new Legend of Zelda, a Donkey Kong side scroller and a quirky Kirby adventure. I could be super wrong here, as I’m not really up on my Wii news, but I don’t think anyone else announced anything worth a damn for the Wii this year either (as much as I’m envious, I’m not counting Glee Karaoke as a killer app).”

      (1) Nintendo announced and highlighted on-stage both Epic Mickey and Goldeneye. Maybe if you’d watched their press conference, you’d actually have remembered that.
      (2) If it’s not about third parties, what in the world did you mean by “anyone else,” then?
      (3) Catch up on your “Wii News” before writing an article about the Wii and Nintendo.
      (4) I like this article, so don’t get butthurt.

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  6. Oh, and also @Harrison & Tom:
    I really don’t remember Sony announcing or showing all that many things. They showed Infamous 2 a little, they showed that Sorcery game, Killzone, and Twisted Metal. Was there more? I don’t consider Killzone a thing, I genuinely don’t care how many people play it. Infamous 1 wasn’t all that hot to me. Twisted Metal to me was really the only thing Sony did at this conference. I don’t even consider the whole Valve thing a big deal, because you should be playing Valve games on a PC.

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  7. Well, there’s a very good explaination for all of that… YOUR FACE! HA HA! HOW ABOUT *THAT*

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  8. Andrew Jun 24, 2010

    hehe virtual boy and he has to play laying down on his back. I have to agree with Tom and Harrison, Sony won the best press conference. Not saying it was spectacular, but i felt they focused more on 3D game influences and less on motion control more like motion control was an added bonus if you wanted it unlike Microsoft. I can understand that you are disappointed that it seems Sony and Microsoft were playing catchup to motion control to Nintendo, but personally it is hard for me to be excited by new nintendo games that aren’t new they are the same thing done over and over again. I heard about the new kirby game and nearly wet myself and was so excited to hear more, then I found out it was for the wii and I immediately stopped caring. Not because I dont own a Wii but because I remembered the last Kirby game to come out on a console. Kirby and the crystal shards was just too disappointing to me to get me excited about a wii version.

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  9. In reply to the “I don’t remember Sony announcing or showing all that many things”:

    God of War: Ghost of Sparta, LittleBigPlanet2, New SoCom, Killzone 3, Motor Storm, Sly Collection, GT5, Crysis 2, MK, Shawn White, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Tron Evolution, NBA 2K11, Tiger Woods PGA, Heroes on the Move, PSP campaign relaunched. 70 titles by december, Medal of Honor, Dead Space, Portal 2, FF14 on the PS3, Mafia 2, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, DC Universe online, Infamous 2, and Twisted Metal.

    And yes. I know you probably don’t care about 90% of this list. Doesn’t mean they didn’t announce it or show it.

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  10. With regard to PS3 titles announced at E3 (excepting Twisted Metal) you kind of forgot pretty much every title that made the PS3 interesting to me:

    • Dead Space 2
    • Gran Turismo 5
    • LittleBigPlanet 2
    • Final Fantasy XIV

    Add that with Steam on the PS3 and thats more than enough reason for me to say that the upcoming year will be far more interesting on Sony’s platform than Nintendo.

    As for “Mascot Characters” I personally think that a character making the leap to a product spokesperson is about the worst thing that can happen. At that point, they’ve become a hollow shell propped up to hock an ailing game or rope fanboys into a purchase they wouldn’t normally consider (HALO Spartan in DoA4 anyone?) Is there a reason why a console needs a mascot? I don’t think so. Good games should stand alone, without any Mickey Mouse shenanigans applied as weak band-aid in order to force appeal of the brand.

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