Category Archives: Wii

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The Game Pricing Debacle

Author’s Note: This article was written three months ago when the PS4 was first announced. However, with the current situation with the Xbox One, the points in this article are even more relevant.

The next generation of gaming consoles is nearly here, and people are preparing to pay big bucks on new hardware. However, what is more concerning than the price of the hardware itself is the new standard price of retail games. Nintendo has finally raised their game prices to $60 (along with $300+ for the console itself), but how much will Sony and Microsoft raise their game prices (if there’s going to be a price hike at all). A few weeks ago, Sony gave us some comforting news that PlayStation 4 games will have a wide variety of game prices, from $0.99 to $60. It seems like Sony doesn’t plan to raise game prices for PS4 games, however, EA has other plans. During their next-generation press conference this week, EA announced they expect game prices rising to $70 on the PS4 and the next Xbox. If that’s not bad enough, EA also announced that they’ll be implementing their controversial micro-transaction system in every game they release in the future

Mark Cerny shrug

This image will never get old

Gaming has always been criticized for being an expensive hobby and practices like those above aren’t helping matters much. Many find it ludicrous to pay hundreds of dollars for a game console and then have to pay $50 or more for each new game. Some were able to get around this via game rentals and borrowing games from friends but the expensive stigma remains. Despite this, things are looking bright for gaming in the digital space, with smartphone and social gaming bringing new people to experience and appreciate gaming as well as digital stores such as Steam and premium services such as PlayStation Plus providing “hardcore” games at cheap and reasonable prices.

But for the traditional gaming industry, things don’t look so bright. Game sales at retailers have been decreasing year after year, with some game developers failing because their games haven’t sold as much as they needed to break even, much less make a profit. Due to the poor economy, people are spending less on games, and if game publishers are expecting customers to pay $60 for a game and even more on downloadable content on top of that, it’s no surprise that people are switching to cheaper alternatives with mobile gaming, or at the very least, sticking to game franchises that they are familiar with. In order for such a market to keep its relevancy, the industry needs to change in the following ways:

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GUFUyourself Brocast Episode 9 – Pre Sony Conference Edition

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Allegedly on this episode of the GUFUyourself Brocast, the crew (Gagan, Justin, Chris, and William) talk about Bungie’s Destiny, some not so flattering stuff about Gearbox and a whole lot of cynicism about the upcoming Sony event. So join us before Sony’s See The Future event tomorrow and listen to our thoughts on the alleged reveal of the new Playstation and the state of the next generation of consoles as a whole.

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Nintendo: “E3 is for Suckers”

So maybe they didn’t actually say “E3 is for suckers”. But it’s a clear implication after the latest Nintendo Direct, which announced 3DS news a damn sight more important than anything revealed at E3. Granted, that’s not saying much considering some of the biggest news was that Luigi’s Mansion 2 isn’t actually named Luigi’s Mansion 2, but bare with us: there’s a new 3DS.

Yes, Miyamoto told the world there wasn’t. And to be fair, he may not consider a “new 3DS” to be a “bigger 3DS”. That is, after all, just what it is. There’s no second circle pad, no scaled-back 3-D. Just a rounder, bigger system with slightly improved battery life and a 4GB memory card instead of the current 2GB. We won’t bore you with the details (there is a picture), but we would like to highlight one very important detail: the American version includes an AC adapter. Contrary to initial reports, not all countries are being screwed equally.

Can you spot the difference?

The lack of a second circle pad appears puzzling at first, but we can infer that Nintendo has no plans to heavily utilize the peripheral, probably to avoid ruining any good will they earned from the Ambassador program. Third parties remain up in the air, but without a model that includes the second pad we have a hard time believing many will use it, at least to a meaningful extent. The 3DS XL releases August 19 for $200, the same day as the coin-fixated New Super Mario Bros. 2.

NSMB2 will kick off Nintendo’s initiative to launch first-party titles on the eShop the same day as retail. It’s also leading the charge with paid DLC, though Reggie made a point of stating that the content had no set release date as it wasn’t in development yet. Fire Emblem: Awakening will also charge you for DLC, though the game won’t release until 2013. The next Professor Layton game, however, will be putting out one free puzzle a day for a full year. That one hits in November.

Goldplumber expects you to die.

As for other stuff you can buy online, Nintendo’s “8-Bit Summer” program will release two Virtual Console titles every week in July. One of them is Wario Land. Buy it. Oh, and that weird Super Mario Land game where he jumps on Easter Island heads and Asian people is on sale. That one’s not as good; ignore that and buy Pikmin 2. The Wii version is $20 now, and the Gamecube version costs twice that. Used.

Kirby fans are also getting a great deal with Kirby’s Dream Collection, which collects all three Dream Land games, Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby 64 in addition to some challenge levels based on the last year’s Return to Dream Land. Basically, it’s the anniversary game Mario should have had instead of the SNES port he ended up with. Apparently Kirby is the mascot we deserve and the one we need right now since the collection is out September 16.

Fuck. You.

Also, Smash Bros. U is officially a thing. Sakurai’s still in charge, but Namco Bandai is doing the heavy lifting development-wise with guys like the Tales director and the entire Tekken team on board. Maybe someone can convince Sakurai that tripping is an unbearably stupid concept. We don’t expect the roster to deviate too sharply from the usual first-party focus, so color us surprised if there’s more than one Namco fighter. Some fans might cry foul at Namco’s involvement, but it’s a stretch to assume the Smash Bros. formula will see any big changes. The addition of seasoned fighting developers can only benefit the series, and hopefully the final results will lean closer to Melee than Brawl.

Finally, Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, which appear to put a bigger focus on classic critters, are set for Fall and Animal Crossing for 2013. If there’s one thing to take away from the news dump, it’s this: Nintendo doesn’t need your stinking E3 to make announcements.  They’ll do their own thing, even if means flushing their press conference down the toilet.

Pictured: the toilet.

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GUFUyourself Brocast – E3 2012 Edition

The GUFUyourself Brocast Crew is back after an all too long hiatus with a rundown of the biggest gaming event of the year, E3 2012…and how much it sucked.

EA: The Biggest Loser

EA has been getting a lot of complaints from gamers recently. From Origin to the infamous Mass Effect 3 ending, gamers are not happy over EA’s current games and business practices. Although the constant complaints of milking franchises and lousy customer services are nothing new, gamers have been favoring EA after scorning the actions of Activision and the controversial remarks from company CEO Robert Kotick. However, because they’ve been removing their titles from digital distribution sites, such as Steam, and forcing customers to use their file-scanning malware service, cutting content from their games in order to sell them as DLC, and having the same problems of milking franchises and horrible customer service, gamers are beginning to get fed up with EA’s practices. Even with the negative publicity, EA continues to do well with its games and franchises and is still being praised by many gamers and critics, so should they not worry about the growing hatred against them?

Apparently not, as business website The Consumerist had their 7th annual “Worst Company in America” competition, where thousands of readers have voted EA as the United State’s most ethically corrupt corporation in comparison to companies such as Bank of America, Comcast, AT&T, and other gaming companies such as Gamestop and Sony. This title has been reserved for some of the most shady, corrupt, and morally discerning corporations around, such as banks and oil companies, but news reports by Kotaku and forum threads like the one on NeoGAF have encouraged gamers to vote for EA as one of the worst companies of 2012. Previous winners of this online poll have ignored their title and continued with their agendas, but EA, on the other hand, have commented on their award, saying:

“We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year. We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.”

Many gamers and gaming journalists have denounced the successful campaign of giving EA this title. Some are complaining that Bank of America deserved the title because of their previous scandals and hidden charges while others are criticizing participating voters as “butthurt” over the recent controversies. Even with this title and the current buzz surrounding it, does it really matter?

The short answer: no.

EA is one of the biggest gaming corporations on the planet with many million-seller franchises such as Madden, FIFA, and Battlefield. The vocal gaming community makes only a small fraction of their sales even if they finally decide to boycott their games (which they won’t seeing their past history of boycotts). The millions of consumers who do not follow gaming or the Consumerist will continue to buy EA’s games without any concerns.

With this in mind, why would EA care about some random website’s online poll and why do people bother in trying to defend them?

Some of them will argue that other corporations deserved to win more than EA, such as runner-up company Bank of America. Their history of raising interests rates at random and being a cause of the 2008 economic crisis by giving mortgages to people who aren’t economically stable enough to handle them are big factors in being one of the worst corporations in the United States, but again, why does this competition matter?

The Consumerist’s competition was nothing more than a [un]popularity contest decided by everyone who goes to the site. It was a way to gain more hits for the site, and, with the current controversy with EA, they have succeeded. If online polls have this much of a meaning, does this mean that Launchpad McQuack is the greatest gaming sidekick of all time, even with most of the votes coming from 4chan and Reddit viewers trying to troll everyone?

The majority of the people who voted for EA probably realize the horrendous things that the other companies have done in the past and realize that they’re more fitting for the title. Their main goal with this poll hijack was to troll EA and their fanbase as well as (for those who think this poll actually mattered) to show people of the shady business practices EA does with their games. The people who think this competition is going to make any sort of difference are delusional, and the people who find EA’s new title from some website as a serious detriment need to calm down.

EA and their fanbase have been trolled by the gaming community and fell for it by acknowledging it. Even if it was just a simple comment trying to defend themselves, making a big deal over something as trivial as an online poll is ridiculous, and the gaming press and fanboys are not making anything better by defending (or in internet terms, “white knighting”) them. Other corporations that have won the title have ignored it and continued to be successful with their businesses, but EA failed to realize their stance in the game industry and now everyone is making a big deal over nothing.

In conclusion: you got trolled. Move on.

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The Next Console War Part 1: Nintendo Wii U

2011 will likely be remembered as the year where current generation consoles reached their peak of their gaming abilities. Many games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Battlefield 3 have pushed modern consoles to their technical limitations but are now beginning to look dated compared to games on more powerful PCs and next-generation tablets. Console manufacturers continue to support their platforms with exclusive games, peripherals, and multimedia content, but it seems that they are losing momentum. The majority of Microsoft’s offerings for the 360 were for the Kinect accessory, with only a few exclusives that use the controller. Nintendo’s offerings for the Wii have decreased dramatically, with Zelda being the only noteworthy title that was released (and Xenoblades if you don’t live in the US). It seems as if console manufacturers are moving away from these platforms, meaning the next generation is growing nearer.

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