The Nintendo news and discussion thread

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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clippa
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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by clippa » July 19th, 2019, 5:59 pm

Yeah, I think that's fair to say. One day people will be saying something similar about us. Poor grandpa nes, it comes to us all.
There's probably a handful of other games that still hold up, but yeah, the nes has had it's day, the games are definitely feeling creaky now.
Loads of the 16 bit era still holds up really well, but nes is starting to feel ancient by comparison. Amazing how far that generational leap was!

As much as I love the first zelda, I remember getting stuck a lot. I persevered because it was like one of 3 games I had to play (and even that I borrowed off a friend), but folk nowadays wouldn't stand for any of that crap, even with the internet being full of pages telling you what to do.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Alex79uk » July 19th, 2019, 6:01 pm

Thanks all. Yeah Stan, I'd have to agree unfortunately. The idea of 40 odd NES games on my Switch seems so cool, but a lot of them are virtually unplayable. Even the first Super Mario suffers I think, I had to persevere to get through it. SMB 3 is still excellent though, as is the first Zelda. Hoping Metroid at least swings a little more in that direction. The thing I struggle with the most with a lot of these NES games is there's no point to playing them. Of course there's a point, it's fun (debatable), but without a story or at least clear goals a lot of games fall down for me as I really need something to aim for. Mario has no story of note of course, but that a whole different level of fun which makes up for it. But stuff like Balloon Fight and Ice Climber, whilst they're fun for five minutes I soon get bored of them and have no drive to keep playing. And I'm really not complaining though, as a piece of gaming history I really love what they've done and its almost always worth giving each one a go for a bit at least.

Apologies for what was a total steam of consciousness post there, had no idea of where it was going - just kept typing!

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by clippa » July 19th, 2019, 6:26 pm

It all made perfect sense!
I'm the type of bozo who skips all the cutscenes and story bits in games. The more arcady a game, the better for me, but even those sorts of games on the nes, they're usually lacking in a lot of ways, especially the speed. The hardware just wasn't up to the task most of the time.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by KissMammal » July 19th, 2019, 6:38 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 6:01 pm
Thanks all. Yeah Stan, I'd have to agree unfortunately. The idea of 40 odd NES games on my Switch seems so cool, but a lot of them are virtually unplayable. Even the first Super Mario suffers I think, I had to persevere to get through it. SMB 3 is still excellent though, as is the first Zelda. Hoping Metroid at least swings a little more in that direction. The thing I struggle with the most with a lot of these NES games is there's no point to playing them. Of course there's a point, it's fun (debatable), but without a story or at least clear goals a lot of games fall down for me as I really need something to aim for. Mario has no story of note of course, but that a whole different level of fun which makes up for it. But stuff like Balloon Fight and Ice Climber, whilst they're fun for five minutes I soon get bored of them and have no drive to keep playing. And I'm really not complaining though, as a piece of gaming history I really love what they've done and its almost always worth giving each one a go for a bit at least.

Apologies for what was a total steam of consciousness post there, had no idea of where it was going - just kept typing!
I can see where you're coming from, and it's why I never bought a NES Classic despite adoring my SNES Classic. It's probably down to my particular age, but as far as I'm concerned the 16 bit generation is when gaming really came of age - ie when developers started making games primarily for the home experience and not the arcade experience, and started making games that you could really get your teeth into vs a blast of exciting - but ultimately rather disposable - fun.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Alex79uk » July 19th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Yeah same here, never owned a NES as a kid, in fact I've never even played on one, as in the original hardware, as far as I know. We had an Amstrad and Master System, but as you say it was the 16 bit era that really got its hooks in me. I can pretty much pinpoint Flashback on the Megadrive as the pivotal moment for me realising games could be so much more than just arcade fun.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by clippa » July 19th, 2019, 7:48 pm

I had the cracked version on the amiga that was all in french so I don't know if I missed anything important. I remember it being very "show, don't tell" like another world though.
Man, that game was so good. Did anyone play the smelly remake/reboot? Heard really bad things about that.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by ratsoalbion » July 19th, 2019, 8:22 pm

Yes, I completed it for review and thought it deeply mediocre (at best). Literally no reason to play it when you can get the original on current gen platforms (or just emulate it).

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by KissMammal » July 19th, 2019, 8:44 pm

The original/remaster of Flashback is on sale right now on Switch (in the US eshop at least). $5.99 i think.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by ratsoalbion » July 19th, 2019, 9:22 pm

Yes, also on sale on PSN.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Michiel K » July 20th, 2019, 10:19 am

I know that I shouldn’t let other people’s experiences and opinions affect my own, but reading this last page makes me feel a bit sad. :(

I was playing a bunch of NES games on the original console and the Wii Virtual Console the past week and having a grand time. My boy and me especially enjoyed playing Balloon Fight side by side and playing through the full length of Kickle Cubicle was a real pleasure. Then reading that people agree that the majority of the library is virtually unplayable and that these games have had their best time when coming high off my own experiences is a bit of an unexpected downer.

Maybe a major issue is Nintendo’s oddball subscription service vs. the likes of PS Plus and GWG. Somehow this has led to the whole NES era of gaming coming under fire by a lot of people. And like I was saying to Leon before, going back to 8-bit games made before their time just isn’t for everyone. But to me, good games are good games, regardless of when they were made.

I remember seeing a horridly ignorant video on YT titled ‘BAD GAME DESIGN: NES games’. People often talk about games of the 80s as if they prefaced actual thoughtful design, but don’t realise a lot of the ground work was laid back then. As we highlighted on the Mega Man show, even a fairly rough and unfriendly game like the original Mega Man had a lot of thought put into its enemy formations and patterns (as opposed to what you would see in bedroom coded home computer games of the time). It’s just that the designers expected more of the players and consumers expected more challenge, longevity and investment out of the limited packaged lines of code they purchased.

The original Metroid is much like the original Zelda: you were going into uncharted territory and maybe you even drew out your own maps while playing through them. Now, as someone who 100%ed the original Metroid back in the 80s, I would say that even for me the game is tough to return to and has some real issues, such as tile sets that keep on repeating and having to grind for energy refills, but you might argue that Zero Mission went a bit too far in holding your hand, losing the sense of mystique and unknown danger that the original had.

I don’t know, or maybe I’m just old. :(

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Suits » July 20th, 2019, 11:00 am

Michiel K wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 10:19 am
I don’t know, or maybe I’m just old. :(
I don't think so man, I agree with you.

We've all had this discussion before on old games, such as the NES games on the Switch.

I do however recognise people criticisms of them and agree that they valid, I just come out on the other side of the fence.

It's cool, not everything is for everyone forever.

If I told you Nintendo had a new release of over 30 NES games, with some special remixed versions of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, Nija Gaiden and others, with save states and rewind feature built in - for £20, would anyone be interested ??

I think that sounds like a hell of a deal.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Stanshall » July 20th, 2019, 11:59 am

Michiel, I don't mean to be a buzz kill but from a pure single player perspective, I find most of the games too simplistic and stiff when I go back. If I were playing on the couch with someone else, though, I think some of these would still have plenty to offer.

I remember going on a school French exchange when I was 12 and couldn't really speak any French and my exchange partner couldn't really speak any English so we communicated almost entirely through NES Volleyball for about two days. This was a great bonding and we were soon out risking life and limb on his scooter and smoking ciggies and chatting up French girls in his town and we ended up having a brilliant week. I returned home a MAN (kind of) and I can put it down to NES Volleyball. Twenty-seven years later, I was so excited to fire it up and relive some of those memories and I quickly realised that I should have left it as a memory.

I would add Zelda to my list of games which stand up well, but I'd say it's still a few rungs below SMB1-3. An amazing achievement and I have the best memories of figuring stuff out with my brothers and hearing tips and secrets from mates' older brothers or neighbours and stuff like that, so I feel like I got the very best of it at the right time, but much of it is pretty obtuse now.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by clippa » July 20th, 2019, 12:08 pm

People are straight up wrong all the time. Couple of great example on this page.

"realising games could be so much more than just arcade fun"

"when developers started making games primarily for the home experience and not the arcade experience, and started making games that you could really get your teeth into vs a blast of exciting - but ultimately rather disposable - fun."

Some say gaming has evolved, others say it's been diluted. I personally think that tight, arcadey gameplay, "gamey games" to use the technical term, are the pinnacle of gaming and the reason why so many games of that ilk are still being made to this day. I'd gladly fish the arcadey games out of alex and kissmammal's bins and they can have the "story rich" tripe I've lobbed into my own bin! :D
We're all different. One man's trash is another man's sausage roll.

I bet there are plenty of folk who disagree that the nes is better off in a skip too, now that you've started the ball rolling, they might chime in.

Plenty of folk making and playing homebrew for the nes still, they'd agree that there's life in the old dog yet. We played a caravan shmup called blade buster for the nes for a shmups subreddit high score competition last year and it was great fun!

Stanshall playing volleyball again recently - https://twitter.com/daftlimmy/status/79 ... 56?lang=en

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by KSubzero1000 » July 20th, 2019, 1:03 pm

Michiel K wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 10:19 am
going back to 8-bit games made before their time just isn’t for everyone. But to me, good games are good games, regardless of when they were made.
That's exactly the way I look at it.

I think we just have to acknowledge the extent by which gaming culture is shaped by recency bias. Casual consumers obviously tend to assume that the latest FIFA / CoD is automatically going to be superior to the one that came out twelve months beforehand and rush out to buy it, no questions asked. But it can still be observed in more dedicated enthusiast circles such as this one. Even if people are being significantly more polite and civilized about it than in most other places, of course.

Whenever I try to make sense of something related to video games, I like to go and see the ways other communities handle things.

So if you go to, say, a classical music forum, you'll witness a completely different mindset. People talk about their favorite instruments with genuine love and passion and they share tips and techniques as to how to maintain them properly. Money is very rarely brought up. They debate the works of various composers based on their own merits. And when they do, they talk about the music itself and not about their vague memories of having listened to that one track on the radio decades prior. They analyse, compare, critique, appreciate. They never use terms such as "aged" or "dated". They also understand the importance of perseverance and dedication. If they want to learn how to play a particular symphony, they sit down and practice until they've mastered it. In other words, they're grown-ups who are primarily motivated by love and respect for their art form. And they're willing to put a lot of effort into it if necessary.

Meanwhile, 90% of the wide gaming discussion at large primarily consists of various loudmouths arguing with each other about the latest and shiniest for as long as their atrophied attention spans allow them to and they all "move on" to the next big thing. Not to mention the rampant insistence on viewing everything through some crass monetary lens. You won't hear many of the aforementioned musicians talk about selling their sheets asap in order to recoup their buying costs or about trading their old piano in every two years whenever Fazioli brings out a new model, that's for sure.

Because most video game players don't actually respect video games. They view them as convenient shortcuts to their brain's pleasure centers to be consumed at the lowest possible amount of personal investment (be it financial, intellectual, temporal, energetic, etc...) and immediately uninstalled and tossed away afterwards. The entertainment equivalent of fast food. No more, no less.


This cultural bias even seeps into the language people use instinctively. And it's not just musicians. When bookworms talk about literary works that have been written thousands of years ago, they use the present tense. Because even though the authors come and go, their works are timeless. Because art is meant to be kept alive through the enrichment it provides, no matter when and where. A book will never die or fade into the past as long as there is someone willing to read it. That's why preservation is so important.

Video games, though? Anything "older" than three months gets shoved into the past tense, to be compartmentalized, derided and ignored. And whenever somebody does take on the burden of playing an "old" game, there are usually gonna be two paragraphs dedicated to mention how hard it is for this poor decrepit fossil to live up to modern standards. Even the phrase "modern standards" is insanely loaded and something you will almost never hear in relation to any other medium. Like I said, our entire culture is basically centered around this stuff. Whenever any classic game is being re-released, just look at how much time reviewers spend talking about the game itself as opposed to all the noise surrounding it.


Anyway, I don't think that the production year of any particular work should dictate its worth, but for a lot of players, it does. I don't have a dog in this specific fight, btw. I never owned a NES and don't share Michiel's affection for most of its library. Just a... wider observation.


...Yes, I know. I'm on my elitist soap box again. /rant over


PS: I'm aware that many of you feel the exact opposite from me on this, and more power to you. Nothing wrong with having preferences. I'm not trying to pick a fight, I promise. :)

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by clippa » July 20th, 2019, 1:20 pm

If you didn't have a nes then I think you're the perfect test subject since we'd be bypassing the nostalgia variable completely.
Get a nes emulator (mesen for example) installed on your laptop and grab a handful of games. For science!

Can I recommend snake rattle n roll? That was immense. Oh, and blades of steel, and Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, and mario 2!

There was this really good emulator I used to have, I forgot which one it was, but you could speed up the games by little increments, it really made a huge difference for some of the games that were slower paced because of hardware limitations.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by ratsoalbion » July 20th, 2019, 1:22 pm

And with Cane and Rinse we very deliberately try to steer away from that mindset and that type of coverage. Individual contributors may have more or less patience with some older tech, aesthetics or mechanics though and they’re always free to express that (in a way that isn’t disrespectful to alternative views).

Certainly none of us would dream of lumping (say) all NES games or all games from pre-1988 or whatever together as being uniformly worthless though. Or all post-2001 games or all PS4 games or whatever. Ludicrous!

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by KSubzero1000 » July 20th, 2019, 1:35 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 1:22 pm
And with Cane and Rinse we very deliberately try to steer away from that mindset and that type of coverage.
Of course man, and I appreciate that! Trying not to hold a game's age against it is probably the one aspect that made CaR stand out to me among all other podcasts when I started listening to it.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Flabyo » July 20th, 2019, 2:13 pm

I mean, I’m never going to say ‘most nes games are bad’, because I’ve barely played more than about a dozen of them. But I’ve not really enjoyed the ones I have except for the three Mario games.

I guess my perspective is a little different in that I’m a game coder and designer by trade, so when I play something that old all I’m really seeing is things that you just wouldn’t design that way anymore. Some of the design decisions they made are due to hardware constraint, but just as many come from ‘we’ve never done this sort of thing so we don’t know what is actually good’.

I wouldn’t say that no thought went into those designs, but you can’t ignore the fact we’ve had more than twenty years of getting better at designing games since then too.

(Though for me the platform that’s suffered the most from the March of time is the N64, so few third party games on that console have held up)

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Suits » July 20th, 2019, 2:30 pm

Flabyo wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 2:13 pm
(Though for me the platform that’s suffered the most from the March of time is the N64, so few third party games on that console have held up)
Oh, this.

Doom 64 is very good. I think.

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Re: The Nintendo news and discussion thread

Post by Alex79uk » July 20th, 2019, 4:44 pm

I think it's the use of words to be honest, which people, myself included, use without thinking too much about it. Change the word good to enjoyable.

"Most of the NES games I've played have not been good, in my opinion".

Of course that's nonsense if you take it literally. A lot of them were groundbreaking, some inspired entire genres. Saying something is good or bad is an absolute definition of it, no room for subjectivity.

"Most of the NES games I've played have not been enjoyable, in my opinion".

That makes a lot more sense. Because they haven't.

I also maintain that age does make a difference. Not to a games quality, but to most people's ability to enjoy it. Just because a game was excellent in 1992 doesn't mean its not a pig to control now and entirely unenjoyable to play. You can only judge the enjoyability of something relative to right now. It's not the same as assessing somethings quality.

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