ONM Remembered – #145

Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 11:00 am Comments Off on ONM Remembered – #145

“Tiger Woods 2005 should have more commentators and what about some classic golfers, too?”

from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 147 (February 2004)

Gamers have a bit of a reputation as privileged, whiny little shits (guilty as charged, guv!), and this short-lived feature in Official Nintendo Magazine probably didn’t help alleviate that: a page dedicated to people’s complaints over what the games’ developers should have done. Because what every hard-working, deadline-challenged programmer needs is an army of entitled British teenagers telling them what to do.

Bug fixing and design tweaking is an aspect of video games that sounds particularly joyless, but in my view is vitally important in the long run. I’ve played some fair games that could’ve been excellent had they touched up a few faults or modified some dodgy features, and it’s so disappointing acknowledging it can’t offer the enjoyment it should be delivering.

That said, some of the complaints are more than a little unjust. F-Zero GX is a crackin’ game, but it’s very much an arcade game. It’s a racer built around improving your skills, beating old records and learning new tricks. The story mode is a luxury at best! Heck, it’s hardly even trying to tell a story; it’s a glorified challenge mode with some movie scenes offering a bit of context. I would certainly have appreciated something longer or more in-depth, but that’s simply not what they were aiming for.
The same stands for Metroid; it’s about exploring a harsh alien landscape. The hell is it going to let you save whenever you want just so you can have dinner.

I do agree with the remarks on Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, though I have no concrete ways to improve it. I mean, it’s a functionally sound game. It’s got heaps of items and racers, the usual sixteen courses, smooth controls and lovely visuals. It’s good… but not good enough. My pals had a fair time with it, but Mario Kart 64 still brought the most satisfaction. It’s a bit croaky in comparison, and some of the courses were duds, but the good courses were really good, and the battle mode has yet to be equalled by any of its sequels.
But that’s just stating that I like the old one better. Nintendo are always trying to innovate (well, usually, sometimes, maybe), and Double Dash is an example of doing something different. I respect it, but it simply wasn’t to my taste. The same applies to Smash Bros. Brawl for a lot of folks – it tried to do its own thing, but people were just looking for an expansion pack. Which is a concept they’ve finally caught on to with the New Super Mario Bros. series… in the most unsatisfying manner possible. There’s no winning, is there?

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