Let's discuss Avengers: Infinity War -- a movie BOUND to make you feel so good!

October 5, 2015

Two consoles enter, one console leaves!

The title implies as much, but this is actually pretty cut and dry.  So let’s get to it and not think about Mad Max any longer than we have to -- because it’s just going to bring up thoughts on Fury Road, and I imagine that would be a pretty big distraction.

Alternatively, it could bring up thoughts of the recent Mad Max game, and I imagine that would plunge readers into the depths of despair.  Maybe.  I haven’t heard the most glowing recommendations for that one.

So.  I’ve been thinking about the posts I want to try and get up here at some point, and I already have several ideas -- by which I mean “these are must-haves, because I’m a huge nerd”.  The most notable of them is a three-parter that I’ve been sitting on for several months; incidentally, those three posts have been ones I’ve been dying to write for more than a year, at a bare minimum.  What is it?  Well, if all goes as planned, you’ll see the first part go up this Thursday.  The others will follow, presumably, over the next couple of Thursdays.  If you’re looking for substantive material, mark your calendars -- and be disappointed as I pander to niche, esoteric tastes.  Partly, at least.

But in terms of playing the long game, I’ve been thinking ahead.  And I noticed that the year will be over in a flash -- hard to believe, but it’s true.  As a result, that means that the holidays will encroach upon us yet again, though it seems my theory that we’ll start busting out the mistletoe in the second week of September was disproven.  In any case, this would be the point where I’d say “Yo, Season’s Wii-tings III is on the way”.  But not this year -- and here’s why.

I’ve said before -- and multiple times -- that there isn’t a single game out there that justifies the presence of the PlayStation 4 (and the Xbone even more so).  But that was a good while ago, and in the time since?  Yeah, there are definitely reasons to own one now.  (And I guess the Xbone, even if that’s only by virtue of multiplatform releases.)  Don’t take that as an excuse to rush out and snatch a spiffy new console, because it’s still kind of slim pickings unless you go the indie route -- which kind of defeats the purpose of the big-budget releases that should push the console and the medium to their limits, but whatever.  Semantics. 

What’s important is that there are games worth talking about, and I’m going to talk about them -- though I’ll be the first that I’m doing that later than everyone else, but hey.  Given the choice between pumping out fast posts and pumping out good posts, I’ll choose the latter every time.  As such, my plan is to go as in-depth as I can with some of the PS4’s brightest, all of which came out this year.  Granted I’m not going to talk about those games from their start to finish, because that would take like a million hours (and according to this blog’s dust-covered canon, I’m technically dead), but I can still get some substance out of the games.  To my credit, I HAVE finished Until Dawn -- and there’s a good chance you’ll see multiple posts on that.

Look forward to that soon, I guess.  But one question remains: what about the Wii U?

As always, there’s a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the Big N’s latest console -- and even though it has the best library of the eighth-gen bunch right now, it’s still essentially on its way out.  Nintendo’s been toiling away with the NX, so the assumption is that they’ve turned their backs on the Wii U; plus, the delays of Star Fox Zero and the new Zelda haven’t exactly inspired confidence.  As much as I love the Wii U for the joy and hope its games have given me, I have to admit that in the grand scheme of things -- in the face of gamers and an unshakable, if ignorant, zeitgeist -- the Wii U just doesn’t work.

Bad marketing, a lack of modern features, and -- most devastating of all -- a sheer lack of third-party support crippled the system.  It’s a real shame, because some of the best games I’ve played in years are on there, and I’d like to think that people would stop singing the Nintendoomed song if they gave it a chance.  But they have every right to sing it, because the public perception and the industry-wide popularity contest -- wrongheaded as they are -- can’t be ignored. 

It doesn’t matter if Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash are all due out before year’s end.  The PS4 coasted its way toward more than twenty million copies sold -- and it did that by riding on the back of a “Greatness Awaits” marketing campaign, which at the outset didn’t even show footage of its games.  It won based on the promise of greatness, which -- as I’ve argued again and again and again -- were promises quickly broken.

Can you tell I’m salty?  Because I’m a little salty.  Just a little bit.

The Wii U has never really been in a good place in terms of facts or raw numbers.  But spiritually, it’s the winner.  It’s the moral victor, if you want to get a little haughty.  I can’t stress enough how good its games are, and how many times it’s given me some delightful experiences.  I’m as close to a fanboy as it gets, and I still haven’t played every good game that’s out there for it right now; Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is at the top of the proverbial to-do list, that’s for sure.  In the meantime, there’s always Splatoon, which has only gotten bigger and better as time goes on.  It’s no less fun, though.

It’s worth noting, though, that the console recently got a breath of life in Super Mario Maker.  As you can guess, I haven’t gotten around to playing that yet; if I did, I probably would’ve written something about it.  And…well, truth be told, I had my reservations about it.  Would it have lasting power?  Would it find an audience?  Would I even like it?  There’s one good answer out there, at least: Mario’s latest has passed the million-seller mark.

Part of the reason why I was worried about Super Mario Maker was that it could have run into the problem any game that banks on user-generated content has: its quality is heavily dependent on the quality (and quantity, to a lesser extent) of its levels, which means putting faith in people who aren’t exactly world-class game designers.  Beyond that, I didn’t know if I could handle it; based on the Game Grumps’ videos as of this post, it just seems like an excuse for people to try and troll and torment others.  That’s probably not the vision that Miyamoto and his team had with any given Mario game, and beyond that?  I played I Wanna Be The Guy(‘s first level).  I’ve had my fill of digital chicanery.

But based on what I’ve seen and heard, SMM’s doing what it was intended to do, and quite well at that: it’s putting the tools in the hands of players so that they can bring their divine designs to life.  People are making Zelda tributes, Contra tributes, and more; stories are being told in less than five hundred seconds; players are tasked with making difficult choices with emotional impact.  It’s a platform for trolling and tormenting anyone who wants to have a good time, sure, but the potential is there to make master designers out of the common man.  That’s something to be excited about, if you ask me.  So, here’s hoping that the momentum keeps going -- and that the game, and others like it, give the Wii U the respect it deserves.

And that’s about all I’ve got for now.  Look forward to posts on that certain, super-nerdy subject in the near future, fate permitting.  I’ll toss up other stuff, too; there have been some short topics on my mind that I could use a second opinion on, after all.  Plus I just recently learned that Avengers: Age of Ultron is on Netflix, soooooooooooo I guess I should be an American and watch it.  In the meantime?  Until Dawn is definitely on the docket.

Guess I’ll see you guys then.  If there’s a game you’ve had on your mind that’s captured your heart and…er, mind, then go ahead and talk about it in the comments.  And as part of my “let people know that this blog exists” initiative, don’t be afraid to share this post or others with your pals.  Gotta start building my empire somehow.  I just need an attractive lure…some sort of bait to pull people in with little more than a few choice words…there must be something out there that can --

You know what?  Why don't I just burn this blog and every last bit of the internet to the ground?  That seems like the only way I can save face -- and/or unyielding torment.

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