New Smash Bros. Games Won’t Feature Single Player Story Mode, Cutscenes

Smash Bros Wii U

Fans of Super Smash Bros. Brawl‘s highly entertaining Subspace Emissary single player mode are apparently to blame for the lack of a similar mode in the new Smash Bros. games coming to the Wii U and 3DS. According to game director Masahiro Sakurai, via the Escapist, too many people uploaded videos of Subspace Emissary’s elaborate cutscenes to YouTube.

“Unfortunately, the movie scenes we worked so hard to create were uploaded to the internet,” said Sakurai. “You can only truly wow a player the first time he sees a [cutscene]. I felt if players saw the cutscenes outside of the game, they would no longer serve as rewards for playing the game, so I’ve decided against having them.”

This takes us back to an era where cutscenes served only as rewards for successful play, and not narrative devices meant to help drive a story forward. Perhaps the attitude of treating cutscenes like… well, treats, is partially responsible for this decision. Or, it could be based on Nintendo’s decision to attempt to control rights and revenue for YouTube videos and live streams of their properties, most recently seen in a quickly overturned decision to ban Super Smash Bros. Melee live streaming from EVO2k13.

At least we’re still getting some kind of cutscene treatment, albeit in the form of promotional videos for new characters like Mega Man, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer. These videos “potentially benefit by being spread around,” which I can personally attest to. The second a new Smash cutscene comes out, my social media feeds are generally abuzz with posts, re-blogs, and gifs of these infinitely re-watchable little vignettes. Maybe the game’s cutscenes would have helped serve to promote the game as well, but now, we’ll never know.

The Wii U is doing way worse than Nintendo predicted

Nintendo makes second consecutive annual loss as Wii U misses expectations | The Verge:

The Wii U has sold 3.45 million units worldwide to date, missing Nintendo’s goal of 4 million units for the financial year — itself a lowered expectation after the company initially predicted it would sell 5.5 million systems. Three months ago, Nintendo announced worldwide Wii U sales of 3.06 million.

I just started using my 3DS again after not touching it for nearly a year. While the games are more expensive and it sucks to have to carry a second device, having the dedicated buttons made playing a better experience than what I’ve gotten used to on my iPhone. I hope Nintendo isn’t forced to get out of the hardware business this generation.

What the next generation of video games needs to succeed

playstation 4 controller

Clifford Unchained – 4th and Inches for Sony

My biggest thing about this “Next Next Gen” is that the biggest winner will be the one who has several things going for them:

  • The games. It’s all about the games.
  • The ecosystem. Apple knows that Itunes and the App store are a HUGE factor in their success.
  • The ability to remain adaptable in a fast moving world. Fast title updates from developers. The “Minecraft test.” If the hardware is great and the system sound then the biggest deciding factor will be how much each console creator allows the community to take over in an organic fashion. It sounds like the Sharing feature is a great step. The next one? Indie games, mods, user levels…you know, the things that the PC is so darned good at.

This is exactly how the next generation console war will be won. Consoles can no longer rely solely on their first and third party games to “win the war.” Robust game libraries are a must, of course, but they must be combined with robust media ecosystems and more PC-like interaction models. Sony is certainly attempting to do this with the PlayStation 4.

Take the Xbox 360, which has remained the best selling console on a month-to-month basis for well over a year now. The Xbox is more than just a game console. It is a brand associated with media, from music to movies to games. Games and the operating system are updated on a frequent basis, in a fashion not so dissimilar from the PC updates consumers have come to expect. As a result of this evolution of the Xbox, Microsoft stands on a much stronger foundation than its competitors moving into the next generation.

Penny Arcade on the PlayStation 4

Penny Arcade – Augurism:

The bump to eight gigs of ram was clearly a recent addition, and there’s a lot of gesticulation toward the more “wibbly-wobbly” and “timey-wimey” aspects of the backend.  By the end, though, they showed a machine that was exquisitely tuned to this particular nanosecond.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Wait, what?

Just kidding. Here’s what Tycho really thinks:

After absorbing the presentation, I feel confident in saying that the Wii U is the last of the traditional consoles, perhaps the last one ever.  Sony’s hour-long apology to publishers for the Playstation 3 (coupled with the leaked Durango specs) make this fairly clear.  Dedicated PCs with custom operating systems are the future, if not the present; it might be worth taking a moment to really let that soak in.

I agree completely. This is exactly why I don’t plan to buy another game console – with consoles becoming increasingly similar to PCs, I expect that we’ll see more major releases coming to PCs on day one. Also, screw spending another $400 bucks on a new console and $60 on games when already I have a badass XPS desktop ready to go and and a larger Steam backlog than I care to admit.