Friday, December 6, 2013

Nintendo Dropping the Wii U Is One of the Craziest "Solutions" We've Ever Heard

If you recall, we previously wrote an editorial going against the suggestions that Nintendo should drop the GamePad controller for the Wii U. Now GamesRadar's Justin Towell has written an interesting article suggesting that Nintendo should simply fold up shop with the Wii U, cut its losses, and invest in creating a new console. While the article itself was a fun read and all, its message and thesis just rubbed me the wrong way. It is my intention with my own piece to explain why such a premature decision would in the long-term be disastrous for Nintendo as a whole.

Essentially there is a core group of gamers that wish for Nintendo to drop their gimmickry and build a "real next gen console"-- whatever that means. However, were it not for Nintendo's past gimmickry, we wouldn't have many features in consoles that are now standard today. I'm alluding to things like the d-pad, the analog stick, shoulder buttons, four face buttons in a diamond pattern, rumble, wireless controllers, and motion control. Now, obviously didn't invent all of those, but they made them popular, with the gaming world following behind them soon after. Frankly, I'm glad Nintendo continues to try to innovate with its hardware, because it allows the industry to have diversity and not three similar boxes with only a token of different features.

What many gamers (the writer of the GamesRadar article included) who desire that Nintendo kill off the Wii U prematurely don't understand is that making a new console is not something that is done as quickly as pushing out a new piece of software. No, there's lots of research and development, quality assurance testing, and huge costs in designing and manufacturing a new platform. It's not done overnight.

Nintendo's early elimination of the Wii U would cause a perilous path for the company's future. Forget about all of the Wii U owners who would be jilted because of such an amateur action. Forget about consumer trust being broken. Forget about Nintendo not even being prepared for HD development now, so them working on newer, more foreign hardware would be even more of an issue.

No, let's focus on this question: what guarantee is there that third-parties would jump on a Nintendo platform that is just as powerful as its contemporaries? The answer is there isn't any. Nintendo is infamous for its horrid third-party relations in the West, and the company has burned a lot of bridges in the past, which it is still recovering from to this day. What happens if Nintendo invests in a higher spec system after killing off the Wii U early and its new console ends up where the Wii U is now? The system would have virtually no third-party support whatsoever, and Nintendo would have to support it by themselves.

Then there's something that console warriors dream about, even though they supposedly hate Nintendo. This dream is for Nintendo to go third-party and to place its games on these gamers' favorite consoles. Not only would the destruction of Nintendo as a first-party most likely result in a mass exodus of key talent and other employees, the same ones that make the critically acclaimed games the company develops and publishes today, but Nintendo software is always based on the hardware the company creates.

Nintendo's developers know the ins, outs, and all of the secrets of their own hardware. This is how the developers are able to create excellent looking games without compromise. Without Nintendo creating the Nintendo 64 and utilizing its specially made analog stick, we probably wouldn't have the revolutionary Super Mario 64. Without the Wii Remote, we probably wouldn't have Wii Sports. Whether you like these titles or not, their impact on the industry is clear, and if Nintendo hadn't had its own hardware to base these games off, they might have never existed.

What is the solution, then? It is my thought that Nintendo should simply ride out the storm. The Wii U will be lucky to sell to the levels of the GameCube, but at least the company wouldn't be cutting off its nose to spite its face or taking a panicky position in dropping its console. There is no easy way out for Nintendo, but as the company has proven time and time again, even in its darkest hours somehow Nintendo survives. I think it will keep its head above the water for the most part. Times may be tougher than ever on the home console front, but if history is any indication, never bet against Nintendo.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 Holiday Gift Guide - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of SuperPhillip Central's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. This is our third year in a row doing this special duo of articles, and we hope at least some of you out there find it useful. The final part of our gift guide focuses on multiplatform titles. From Grand Theft Auto to Call of Duty, there's plenty to stuff a loved one's stocking with. As always, if you feel we've neglected to mention a game that you think would make for a great holiday present, let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013 Holiday Gift Guide Part 1

It's time for the third annual holiday gift guide from your friends at SuperPhillip Central. This year is something very special, as we have two brand-new consoles that launched not even a month ago. Don't worry, however, as we did not forget about the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita!

This is but the first part of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Today we focus on exclusives for each platform (the PS3 will have its own article later this week). The purpose of this article is to showcase the best and brightest of each platform's lineup, perhaps swaying you on purchases for yourself or for your loved ones. Now, start your making your lists, and if need be, check them twice-- it's time for SuperPhillip Central's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide - Part 1!

Monday, December 2, 2013

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGM - Working Off the Turkey Edition

Thanksgiving is over in the states, and we've gobbled up the last leftovers of our turkey bounty. Time to start sweatin' to the VGM that we enjoy most. Our continuing list returns for another segment this Monday evening with MadWorld, Final Fantasy II, and Kirby's Epic Yarn. As always, past VGM can be found in our VGM Database.

v516. MadWorld (Wii) - You Don't Know Me

MadWorld was Platinum Games' sole Wii project. It's a shame it didn't do that well in sales, but then again it wasn't the deepest game on the market at the time. Still, it was a poor console choice to put the game on, as the Wii's market was mostly into Nintendo titles and casual games.

v517. Graffiti Kingdom (PS2) - Try One's Skill

We go to a big shift in gaming tone from impaling enemies with road signs to creating colorful creatures in the platforming adventure known as Graffiti Kingdom. This game was a cult classic, and a game that slipped under so many gamers' radars. When you have a library as impressive as the PlayStation 2's it's no wonder that a lot of lesser known games fall through the cracks. (Art by Thunder Bunny)

v518. Final Fantasy II (NES) - Rebel Army Theme (Scene VII)

From the Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite album comes the final scene of the concert, the Rebel Army Theme of Final Fantasy II. It's certainly majestic and poignant. When the choir chimes in and the brass accompanies them, we get honest to goodness goosebumps.

v519. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii) - Smooth Sherbet

For such a shoddy game, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz certainly had a lot of delightful and catchy music. The composer for the Jet Set Radio series and Sonic Rush had a hand in the music for this game. Just how far into the rabbit hole his hand reached is unknown. Regardless, the frustration of falling off a given course due to sloppy controls is lessened if only fractionally by the infectious music.

v520. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii) - Fountain Gardens

Kirby's Epic Yarn had a sublime score attached to it. You had soft jazz, bouncy piano tunes, and whimsical melodies with a hint of childlike wonder imbued to them. While the game was definitely on the easy side (Kirby couldn't perish whatsoever), the presentation, with the music being a huge part of that, made for a game that was just good to just great.

Review Round-Up - November 2013

Super Mario 3D World equals pure,
unadulterated Mario magic.
Welcome to our (usually) monthly look at the past reviews of the last approximately thirty days. It was a month of platformers this November, and we started things off with Sonic: Lost World. While it didn't live up to the hype, it was an admirable attempt all the same. We gave the game a 7.25. Following up on that was a mascot of a much much more minuscule scale with Shin'en's Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai, which hovered into an 8.5. We joined Pac-Man again after an extended hiatus, and wound up enjoying his Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures much more than we did Pac-Man World 2. Pac is indeed back, and we gave him a 7.5 as a welcome back gift. We then moved onto Big John Games' Ohno Odyssey, a unique and charming physics-based puzzle game (7.0). Next, we have one of the only games this month that wasn't a platformer, and it just so happens to be our game of the month. Not only that, but The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds garnered one of this site's few 10/10's. After the iconic Link's score, we focused our attention on Mario's latest, Super Mario 3D World. We were wowed by the game, giving it a 9.75. An extremely good month for SuperPhillip Central November was.

Sonic: Lost World (Wii U) - 7.25
Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai (3DSWare) - 8.5
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (Wii U, PS3, 360, PC) - 7.5
Ohno Odyssey (3DSWare) - 7.0
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - 10
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) - 9.75

Whether in Hyrule or in Lorule,
A Link Between Worlds was masterful.

Central City Census - December 2013

It's the start of December, so we need to quickly go over the Central City Census from November. Last month we asked you guys all about whether you're going retail, digital, or a combination of the two this generation. Here were your responses.

An overwhelming majority of you voted that you would be sticking with retail for the most part. Only ten of you suggested that you'd be taking the digital route. Meanwhile, nearly 20% of the vote is going half and half for this generation. Now that the results of November's CCC have been shown, let's find out what December has in store.

We were going to do a holiday-related census once again, but we've done that every year essentially. This year we want to improve SuperPhillip Central by getting your feedback on our scoring system for games. Do you like the current setup? Would you like to see it changed? Let us know by the end of the year, and we'll seriously consider something new or to stay where we are now.