The Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Turnabout Success

Animal Crossing is a series of games known for disregarding many of the established criteria in video games. This series has no particular ending, set objective (aside from whatever you choose to pursue), or even antagonist (unless you count Tom Nook, but according to some he is only severely misunderstood). I had my start on this series back in 2002 when Animal Crossing: Population Growing released on the Gamecube during September, and needless to say I was hooked. The freedom I enjoyed in this game was different to the one experienced in many games before Animal Crossing had existed, but that gave it a very unique feeling. Of course, as with many other gamers who purchased the game, I had my doubts on whether this quirky Japanese title would sell enough copies to warrant a continuation of the series. This fear was justified by the fact that this was the year when Vice City became the top dog in gaming.

Violent games were everywhere during that generation of games, and then there was Animal Crossing. An adorable game where you fished, caught insects, collected fossils, mailed letters to your animal friends, spoke to those same animal friends, and in general just spent time getting chased by bees while trying to make money for your house. The series defied those concerns by actually becoming one of the Gamecube’s system top sellers. Animal Crossing actually sold nearly 2 million copies, and ensured itself a healthy string of sequels which continue to this day. But, fears arose during this years E3 presentation when it was announced that 2 games in the animal crossing series were coming out, and neither were the much hoped for New Leaf version for the Wii U. Instead, gamers received the announcement of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, and Amiibo Festival which (perhaps due to the underwhelming reaction of the overall E3 presentation) were met with mixed reactions. A lot of fans of the series were not sure what to make of the game, and the other half were frankly pretty excited. However, once again Animal Crossing shows us how it is truly the Rocky Balboa of gaming by managing to once again beat all odds with AC:HHD.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer has been out in Japan for almost 2 months and has already sold 1.2 million copies in that country. I will be the first to admit that if you read one of my first articles in this blog regarding the E3 presentation; you will notice that I had very little (if none at all) faith in this game. Yet, I have been pleasantly surprised by the success and positive reactions that the gaming community in Japan has had to this new itineration  in the Animal Crossing series.  It is amazing to see the weight that this series now carries in the video game world, and Animal Crossing has literally carved its own niche in the gaming world through sheer willpower. Nintendo was right in placing their bets on this series (something very surprising considering the rate of games that never leave Japan). But, does this mean that I changed my mind/opinion in regards to Happy Home Designer? Not at all actually, quite the opposite.

I will not buy Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer when it releases tomorrow, nor am I excited at all for this game. I do have some newfound respect for the IP in general, but reading some of the reviews and seeing the trailers pretty much confirmed that this game is not the Animal Crossing for me. I admit that it has defied my expectations and will probably sell a decent if not vast amount of copies when it is released on the west, but if I wanted to design homes for other creatures to live with then Sims 3 or 4 will provide much more freedom in this regard. Simply put, while the Animal Crossing main series has carved its own special place in the gaming world due to its particular premise, games like Happy Home Designer don’t feel as unique for me. I have been playing simulations for years and as such The Sims series has been my go to place for this type of genre (the designing and building type of game). I’ll be missing out for sure, but don’t worry about me at all.

I’ll be right here raising a glass for those comrades who are at home enjoying their copies, decorating their villagers houses, and torturing the ones they don’t like. I am proud to congratulate Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer in its achievements, and will apologize for doubting its namesake. I’m going to sit back and wait for the next game in the main series until then; though I should have known better than to doubt the power of AC (get it?).  Nintendo, you might screw things up as much as you achieve success, but you have defied my expectations once more, and Iwata I hope you are resting in peace (I know it took me a while to say my good-bye).

AnimalCrossing_HappyHomeDJapan3DS

P.S.

I had to say this game really surprised me. I’m happy to see the ability that Animal Crossing has to bring gamers together and despite not partaking in this game it’s a good thing to see spin-offs that aren’t Mario.

***Disclaimer***

Pictures belong to their respective owners and this blog is copyright to the owner.

The Bonds we share with the Virtual World Pt.2

***When I wrote the first part of the article, it left me with a nagging feeling. I guess it was because the feelings that wanted to be conveyed in the message were incomplete, due to the fact that most articles on this page are kept to a certain amount of words (1200-1500 without counting the extra bits at the end). So I decided to extend this article and explain in 2 separate ones what each type of character represents. Part one of the article will include the parts of characters who have predetermined personalities, and this one will handle the characters that are seemingly blank spaces.***

Seriously though, if you haven’t read it you should read the first part: https://swashbucklingsailor.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/the-bonds-we-share-with-the-virtual-world/

While, the video presented in the first part of this article shed some light on the characters that we love and cherish for being who they are. Fleshed out individuals with goals and dreams, who we want to help accomplish. This left a severely under-appreciated position in the characters of whose personalities were more like blank slates waiting to be fulfilled. Now, you might be wondering if I’m referring to characters from series like Skyrim, Fallout or even Mass Effect where you’re the one in charge of determining a personality. But, you’d be surprise because I’m not. I’m referring actually to characters that have even less personality than a piece of wood, but are nonetheless important to us. These characters might be from MMO’s, adventure series such as Monster Hunter, and even games like Minecraft.

Part of me recognizes that while these characters do at least have one of the traits mentioned in the video, they aren’t enough to justify how close our attachment is to them . This is what led me to try to devise my own reasoning for how we can connect with them. Humans are complex creatures after all, and we don’t really need a specific reason to act the way we do. Sometimes it is just part of being who we are, that allows us to fill in the voids that these characters have in order to complete them. Almost every gamer in the world will have their own unique reason for connecting with a character and as such this is a phenomenon that can’t be studied by regular means. It can’t be observed because it is a subjective topic. However, being logical never stopped anyone from devising their own theories, so let’s continue with this one.

Blanks slate characters are usually from games where the nature is extremely open-ended or lack a very complex storyline. We see this in games like Minecraft (as mentioned above), Monster Hunter, World of Warcraft, and even Animal Crossing.  In essence we (the players) are instructed in the slightest of goals, such as killing a specific foe(s) or even creating your own world. The freedom that these games provide allow us to connect on a much more basic level, which becomes central to the formation of the personality we project on to the characters. By allowing us to explore the inner mechanics of the game itself, instead of distracting us with personalities, and dare I say it their humanity, it leaves us much more space to react without bias.

The other aspect of this is that humans by nature are very much goal oriented creatures. By simply providing us with something as rudimentary as a basic goal it helps us connect with our avatar. The interesting aspect of this idea is that instead of the player being the one that is assisting the avatar, it is the character that is helping us achieve the goal at hand. I mean think about it, this character doesn’t have a personality, he doesn’t have a serious urge to complete the goal or any sense or urgency in completing it. The whole world is not his responsibility because there are many others who can handle those jobs. No, the character becomes our proxy in achieving the goal that has been set for us. In turn that helps us connect with them, and in a way their personality becomes an extension of our being. In itself we are powering these characters, we are their very soul. But, that isn’t the only reason why we care about them.

We love these characters because of what we can do for each other. All relationships should be a form of symbiosis. In this case these characters provide us an outlet for our desire to feel accomplished. Unlike in our real lives, games have a clear goal for which we are constantly reminded to strive towards. We (each other) help the characters complete their (our) goals, and in the way they become an extension of us. We’re never truly clear in what our objectives (in real life) are, yet by design humans are very goal oriented. The facts that despite being built as such, humans are forced to find for themselves, what their goals are can be extremely tasking, life doesn’t always cooperate with your motivations. In video games all of this is prearranged for you, you know who you are, what you’re doing or at least have a clue guiding you to your next objective. The fact that these characters don’t have this problem can make them extremely appealing to us.

The best part about these characters is that the responsibilities that other characters usually have such as being the chosen one are not present. We can recognize that in life there are no such things as the one person specifically deemed to save us all. We can relate to the plight that hard work and dedication can pay off from these characters and they teach us a valuable lesson in humility. It’s like the tag line from Phantasy Star Online said “You are not the only hero”. This tag resonated with me on a very deep level because indeed the only way to be a hero is to work together. As such I formed an even deeper bond with the proxies of other players as well as mine.

To give an example of this, I will explain the main character in the series Monster Hunter:

A guild member who has started out his hunting career. This character has no personality, basic appearance, any real motivations except for hunting. This character lacks a lot of the traits mentioned in the video (at least at first) There is no real agency (unless the player provides it), the humanity isn’t there because hunters don’t display emotions, the contingency is practically non-existent (unless wearing the skin of your enemies count), and the only true appeal would be appearance because those armors are truly amazing. But, still players become extremely attached to their hunters because it appeals to their (own) human goal driven nature. Hunters exist to hunt (as redundant as it sounds), their goals are extremely basic, it is a part of their nature to hunt these large creatures and as such it appeals to our base instincts. As a hunter we know what our objective is, and we seek to accomplish it to the best of our abilities.

The point is, we don’t need overly complicated motives for connecting with our characters. People also don’t feel the need to be called “the chosen one”. The needs of the many are too numerous to list, and we’re simply too complicated to be broken down into basic terms. The reason we bond with our characters is unique to us. Sometimes these characters come to us in a time where we need someone the most. Players might just need someone to struggle alongside with, to help find the answer to each others hardships (problem solving can stimulate the mind), even when we actively try to make their own journey easier than ours. We understand that these characters aren’t real to the world, but they’re real to us.

You are not the only hero
You are not the only hero

I hope you guys enjoyed reading both of these articles, they were both products of a long and hard process in which I decided to rethink how to word them. At first they weren’t that great, but I believe they are now much better and clearer in their goal.

*All images belong to their respective owners***

*This blog is copyrighted to the author**

Final Fantasy 7 And the hype.

I have never been a hardcore fan of the Final Fantasy series despite playing several entries into the series. I played the first two entries on the Gameboy Advanced, Final Fantasy 3 (or 6 for your hardcore fanatics) on the SNES and 7 on the PS1. Out of all of these, I have to say my favorite one was the third. But, I have to admit that outside of the first two I have never played a Final Fantasy game from start to finish. It seemed that after a while I burned out and lost interest in finishing the quest. I don’t think it’s because the games are bad or I don’t like them, but maybe because I don’t want the journey to end so I choose to never finish it. This is, however, not a fair assessment since there were a few RPG’s out there which I devoured from start to finish only for me to replay the game over and over. Skies of Arcadia comes to mind as it’s probably the game that had the biggest impact in my life, and I actually modeled myself after the most awe inspiring traits of the main character Vyse (I’ll explain this better later on). It might be fairer to say that I didn’t have any characters I could relate to in the Final Fantasy games so I lost interest. Don’t get me wrong, if you could relate to the plight of the characters in Final Fantasy 7 then that’s all right. They appeared at an age where broody, quiet and full of angst was extremely appealing to people, and I could see where the grand scale of the game with FMV’s, bright lights, and impressive special moves had their massive appeal (it just wasn’t what I was looking for).

The Final Fantasy 7 remake was announced recently and I wrote about it on my earlier articles. I wanted to elaborate on it a little bit more in-depth, and see if I could analyze the hype behind the game. There is this idea that floats around the internet which states “whatever Final Fantasy game you played first will be forever your favorite”. Final Fantasy 7 came out in 1997 and I was around 8 years old, so I didn’t get to play the game until I was 13 at which point the game I consider my favorite RPG had already been released and I couldn’t get enough of it. This might explains why I’m not so excited to hear the news of something the fans have wanted them (Square-Enix) to re-release for almost a decade now. But, as every itineration of Final Fantasy releases it seemed like the fans liked the series less each time. I was excited when FFXIII was announced, and I’ll never forget that it released during my first deployment. However, that memory was flawed by the fact that the game was generally awful with minimal game-play. You could have called it Hallway Sim XIII and you would have made an equal impression. The game had 2 more sequels and while they fixed the issues with the original 13 it appeared like the damage was done. The reputation of the series had been tarnished, but this created a vacuum. This space was filled with wishes for the glory days of Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9. The more Square-Enix pushed fans by telling them that they would not remake the game until they had achieved a massive success of equal worth to 7; the harder the fans shouted. This finally made them cave-in during an age where we are heavily marked by a lack of titles that please the audiences. In turn this made the announcement the biggest hit in E3 this year. Not to mention how well the clip was done, the announcer’s voice could have made any woman (or man’s) panties fly off. It was short and sweet as well, so I congratulate Square-Enix on their performance.

I do have one major fear though. There is always hype surrounding new games or remakes of old ones that manage to disappoint the fans. Does anyone remember the hype around Frozen (the Disney movie)? The hype around Frozen was purely based around a single song (a song which is truly deserving of every accolade it received), but that was all it was. The movie itself was not very cutting-edge, and the subject of a strong female lead that did not need any man had been explored by Brave before Frozen even decided to take that title from it by force. The hype for Final Fantasy 7 is based on a very deep seated nostalgia the likes of which only Nintendo has been known to take advantage of before. Are we still the same people we were that many years ago? Will Cloud and Sephiroth be as relatable now that most of us have moved past our teenage angst-ridden stage of our lives? Will Aeris’ death (this is not a spoiler! If you didn’t know about this you have been literally hiding under a rock for decades) have the same impact now that Game of Thrones has desensitized us to the deaths of our favorite characters and lack of surprise? Will I buy this game for PC a year after it releases? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding maybe? The hype will continue to build in these next two years now that the game has finally been announced though. I fear this will be its own downfall thought, just like many giant clothing stores have felt in their profits that the newer generations aren’t into the same things as the old ones. The new generation of gamers might not connect the same way we once did in the era of punk and grunge. It’s hard to say if this game will be something that the new generation will continue to speak about it as if it were the second coming of Jesus to Christians.

I hope that this game meets the expectations of the fans. If it does then that will allow me to buy some Square-Enix stock in order to capitalize on the gains of the company. Hopefully this is a turn for the better in Square-Enix a company that now recognizes what made them popular and capitalizes on it to no end. Does anyone remember all the different games that capitalized on FFVII? I’m talking about movies, cameos, hidden bosses, prequels, spin-offs, and a variety of other paraphernalia to gain money off of their biggest hit. I think these things made me apprehensive to let myself get caught up in the FFVII fandom. This is why I probably stuck to less-popular, but no less decent-good RPG’s. But, I will not cast a stone at this game just yet. I’m going to hold out and hope that fans come out satisfied. That I am proven wrong in my skepticism, and this game truly surpasses the nostalgia colored glasses that it appears to have placed on the fans.

I said earlier I would elaborate on what I meant by modelling myself after Vyse. You see Vyse was a hero of a pretty generic, but truly enjoyable RPG called Eternal Arcadia in Japan. He was a hero born in an age where Cloud and Sephiroth had become the archetypal RPG hero that everyone wanted to emulate. But, the developers of the game decided to make Vyse different in this regard. He was optimistic, brave, gave hell of a speech, and never surrendered in the face of impossibility (which led him to eventually become The Legendary Sky Pirate). In those days of my life I did not have a lot of certainty. I never lacked material things in my life, but it was a less than ideal environment for a teenager to be raised in. To see someone that was so full of life (despite the irony that he wasn’t real) was probably something I truly needed. He became my hero, the one character that I could see myself emulating for the rest of my life. This was the same reason I couldn’t relate to Cloud, he was broody, angst-filled (yes, I know he overcame these aspects eventually) which was not something I wanted to become. So while the bright and uncertain world in the age of exploration of Arcadia simply appealed to me; Gaia did not have the same impact with its earlier stages being filled with garbage and misery (I had enough misery in my life as it was). I sometimes think that Skies of Arcadia had such an impact on me that it was the reason I became a sailor. This makes me wonder if the other fans of the game saw the same appeal as I did. I hope that anyone who reads these words tries to find a copy of the game and play it. If you do try to get everything you can it’s one of the few RPG’s I have invested over a thousand hours into and completed 100% (something I’ve only done on platformers and GoldenEye 007 before). It’s not going to change anyone’s life at this point, but it’s a nice change of pace if you’re used to the other styles of RPG’s.

I’ll finish with one last statement. There is a saying that certain people follow which states (and I paraphrase this) “It’s not about the destination, but the journey to get there”. Life has a funny way of giving people the results they did not expect, and sometimes the end result has barely any connection to the path taken. I’ve taken this to heart and tried to live my life with the expectation that it might change in the blink of an eye. But, until the day my life ends; I will continue to enjoy the ride for as long as I can. I will continue to game in order to explore the lives which others have created for these characters that helped shape us during our development. But, most importantly , I will continue to utilize my experiences in order to improve my life, and that of others which have not had the fortune (no matter how small) that I’ve had the privilege to enjoy.

This article is copyright of the original writer.

If Nintendo doesn’t learn from history it’s doomed to repeat it.

Nintendo finally had their E3 presentation today, expectations were high especially after the one they made last year. But, what can I say about it that has not already been said by the multitude of reviewers and graders out there? I will answer that with a resounding “not much” *shrugs*.  As I said it’s been mentioned before and it was quirky, cute and very much like Nintendo. I honestly did not know what I was getting into when I first saw the intro and couldn’t not think of much except how terrifying those Muppet’s were to me.

It appears to me, however, that this years’ presentation harkens back to a dark age of gaming called the Nintendo E3 2008 presentation of Wii Music (does anyone else remember that bomb? No? Good!) If you don’t remember I will provide a link here that you can follow (for the safety of your mental health please don’t click on it). In that years’ presentation Nintendo showcased many “casual” game titles and barely anyone had any excitement for it. It was an extremely rough year for them and 2007 was not much better either. I can’t help, but see the parallels between 2008 and the one we saw today on June, 6th, 2015. What parallels were these? Well, I’m going to list them:

  • The lack of heavy-hitting titles being announced with specific release dates.
  • The non-awe inspiring sequels such as
  • The lack of good third-party support. Both of these presentations have about five titles that were not first-party titles.
  • Both had an Animal Crossing title that appears to be underwhelming with gimmicks (The Wii-Speak and the Animal Crossing Amiibos)
  • The cringe worthy presentations (those puppets!!!!) (that Wii Music!!!!).
  • The lack of surprises and subsequent excitement that comes with that.
  • Lack of emphasis placed on actual game-play.
  • Surprise announcements for games that nobody really wants (Wii Music/ Metroid: Galactic Federation)

There are certainly more things in common with these two.  But, the most apparent aspect of this is that Nintendo did not learn from their mistakes and successes of past years. During their E3 2014 presentation Nintendo won over a lot of people. They made an excellent effort to show the new up and coming titles for the WII U with titles such as Smash Brothers 4 and Splatoon! It seemed like Nintendo could do no wrong and they “won” E3 (again, you can’t win at something which isn’t a competition), but they had to do this. Nintendo was in an extremely dire position at the time the Wii U was not doing well, and they needed to push back hard in order to gain some of the shares that had  been lost.  The scenes in that presentation were extremely humorous with Reggie and Iwata fighting only for the Amiibo Mario to take the stage was simply laugh/smile worthy. But, it seems like Nintendo loves to take one step forward and two steps back.  This is what brought Nintendo to the point they are at today.

It is said that too much of a good thing can be bad. It’s also said that when you try to make something that appeals to everyone it will come out milquetoast. Nintendo tried to please everyone with something similar to what they had last year and it just fell flat, they practically handed Sony and Microsoft a red carpet and said “you’re going to need this”. The jokes were not as funny, the games were nothing to be surprised at, they presented games that nobody had any interest in (I’m looking at you Metroid: Galactic Federation) It was simply bland and lack any of the spices which make life exciting.  I gave my spiel on gimmicks yesterday and I’m probably one of the least excited people in the world to hear about the Amiibos for Skylanders and Animal Crossing. But, for the sake of brevity let us hit a play by play of each of the titles announced.

Star Fox Zero: I could probably call myself a fan of the Star Fox Series. While I always try to look at things objectively I will say I typically ignore some of the series short-comings as part of my fanaticism. This isn’t to say that I will overlook everything. Star Fox Command was a piece of garbage, and Star Fox Adventures should have remained Dinosaur Planet (the less we speak of this title the better). Star Fox Assault fared somewhat better with their cinematic scenes and wing-rider moments (however, the parts on land without the Landmaster were extremely annoying). This game, however looks amazing the graphics look crisp, the voices from the N64 are back and I’m super excited to hear those guys reprising their roles. The multiple types of vehicles will probably raise the amount of replay value since Star Fox games are usually heavy on the re-playability.  But, the aiming mechanics for the cockpit view have me a bit apprehensive and I will not make a call on this game until it has been played in my console. Kudos to Nintendo for trying to give life back to their Wii U pad this certainly seems like an interesting mechanic to a game, but it might just make playing the game a nightmare. Hopefully Nintendo realizes that we simply want the on-rails shooter mechanics and allow for a 3rd person view at all times with an optional view from the cockpit for those who choose to play that way. All in all I would give this game a try before calling it dead on arrival.

Skylanders SuperChargers: This is not my cup of tea at all. I will not make a call because this game is simply not where I fall into the target demographics. I’m happy Nintendo let Activision create their own Amiibo’s which I have no interest in. I hope that whoever they are aiming this game to actually enjoys it, and they get a full blown legitimately good game.

Zelda Tri Force Heroes: This game looks fun, it reminds me back to the days of the Four Swords Adventures. It has the multiplayer co-op mechanics. If I’m correct it also has online which is great for someone who is constantly abroad like me. I honestly can’t wait for the game because it looks like its going to be so much fun to play with my friends. The puzzles in the game seem familiar and the boss battles might be interesting. The totem mechanics is just ripe for messing/trolling with my buddies and playing pranks with each other. The dress-up mechanics with new abilities is also something that I can’t wait to try out for myself. I love my games to be fun and lighthearted because my job often comes with a lot of heartache. Nintendo might be onto something extremely enjoyable with this title.

Hyrule Warriors Legend: I played the game on the WII U. Admittedly I had a lot of fun with the game, but the lack of online severely hampered the re-playability and once I was done with the story I never looked back. The new characters seem like fun to play with except for the King of the Red Lions, who transforms into a boat (o.0) for his combo attacks.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force: This is probably the game that is catching the most flak in the entire presentation at this moment. It’s so awful it actually got a petition for cancellation started by someone on the internet. This is very sad for one particular reason though, if Nintendo had not tacked on the Metroid Prime title to it then perhaps it wouldn’t have been hated as it is right now. It’s not fair to say that if it had been a standalone title with no connection to Metroid this title would have still failed to achieve some merit of excitement. But, as it stands Nintendo dropped the ball royally and now has to face determining what to do with a title that nobody wants because it took the spot of a game that was actually wanted (aka an actual title with Samus in it). As a new IP this would have had potential. However, as part of the extended Metroid universe all I can think of is Halo: ODST (and well all know how that turned out -_-).

Fire Emblem: This game has me excited. I am a huge fan of the series Fire Emblem and I enjoyed Awakening quite a bit. But, the whole 2 games for one has me extremely worried and I hope that the extra price is truly worth the money. I held out on buying Awakening until I found it at half-price, so I don’t think buying one and a half games for the price of two is truly worth it. I’m sincerely hoping this changes as the title releasing and it truly justifies the purchase. The storyline for the game does sound very intriguing, but the footage shown on the presentation did not leave much to work with.

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem: Some of the online critics call this game weaboo bait, and I can see where they might be coming from. It really does look like this game will appeal to the to the heavy anime fanatics. But, I say give it a chance since the Shin Megami Tensei series has a pretty good record, and all this brings to the table is a few of the Fire Emblem characters changed into zombies (I mean seriously look at Chrom those eyes!). The introduction with the Japanese song called Reincarnation on one of the previous Directs was a lot more epic though.

Xenoblade Chronicles X: I played the original Xenoblade Chronicles on the 3DS, and frankly it was quite an enjoyable eastern RPG. However,  We didn’t see any gameplay in the presentation and I was sorely disappointed by this factor. The game has been released in Japan and we’re expecting it in the west coast during the holiday season the least we could have hoped for was some scenes of the actual game, but this was too much to ask. Hopefully this game

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: Take Animal Crossing and remove everything that makes it fun and enjoyable insert a home designing simulator and call it a game. Nintendo decided that the best thing to do with this IP was not remake AC:NL into the Wii U, but make a game with all of the characters and none of the charm.

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival: This game could not be any more of a gimmick if you wrote it on the title (and they did it’s inside the amiibo). The heavy emphasis on the Amiibo support plus the lack of apparent excitability factor make me truly worried for this title. Hopefully this game is only like 10 dollars and there’s only 4 Amiibo so they can equate to 60 dollars at worst. This game is a stain on an otherwise fine series. Nintendo truly dropped the ball here.

Yoshi’s Wooly World: We had one of the designers speak on this game. She showed some really nice toys and designs of the enemies made of yarn. While I appreciated how happy she seemed while speaking of this game, we did not get anything we hadn’t seen before in the previous Directs. I was extremely disappointed to see this game again since I thought it would have been released already.

Yo-Kai Watch: A series that has picked up a lot of steam in Japan and I actually had some friends that recently transfer from there show me how popular the series is to children in Japan. While the series does look very quirky and Japanese it simply reminds me of a combination between Pokémon/Devil Survivor. I was excited about this game a year ago, but now the excitement has faded and I’m simply stuck waiting for it to release in order to judge it. You capture ghost in different locations and use them for battle (haven’t seen that concept before a million times).

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: A heavy hitter in Nintendo’s lineup this game looked amazingly fun. The game doesn’t have stickers!!! That was a major flaw in the last game of the series, and this one actually seems to bring back the heavier RPG elements. I did not play Dream Team or Bowser’s Inside Story. But, I’m excited to see Paper Mario characters once again in this series. The series is pretty fun and I can’t wait to try out this game. Way to go Nintendo sometimes you can really knock it out of the ball park.  I was really excited to see Luigi being chased by the chain-chomp? Only to use Paper Plane Mario to dodge the attack! It’s this kind of moments that I hope to see more of in the game when it finally releases.

Mario Tennis: It’s Mario Tennis and I didn’t see anything noteworthy here. If this is your type of game then go for it. I’m not a big fan of the Mario Sports Series.

Super Mario Maker: Let me preface with this statement. Mario Maker looked amazing at the Nintendo World Championship. Whoever on the development team designed the stages utilized in that competition deserves a pay raise and a pat in the back. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time while the players competed in it. I guarantee you if they had showed the crazy things you could do in the game instead of the story of how the stages were made it would have left a bigger mark than simply a sheet of paper on another one.  We didn’t come to watch game history, we came to get hyped up for these games and this direct simply failed to deliver in a significant form. Mario Maker has so much potential, people have been developing stages for Mario that are simply insane for years (look up Kaizo Mario) the fact that Nintendo acknowledge the existence for this type of game is incredible enough, but the potential is limitless. If people put in their best efforts to make some incredible levels this game will be played for years with people finding ways to abuse mechanics in order to speed run insane levels with a degree of expertise only a truly dedicated player can achieve. I have no doubt Nintendo has put a lot of love into this game, and I hope it succeeds because at this point the company needs it to be a hit.

Finally some parting words: Nintendo dropped the ball on this Direct. I was disappointed and if I had to give it a score I would give it a 4/5 out of 10 at best. I just didn’t have anything make me excited. No surprises and just more ways for them to drain my wallet of it’s hard earned cash. It seems Iwata is aware of the failure that this direct was. Perhaps they will address these issues in the next one and will put our minds at ease. Until then Nintendo, I hope you are prepared for an uphill battle.

This article is copyright of the original writer.