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 January - March 2013 Quarterly Review

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Balladeer
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PostJanuary - March 2013 Quarterly Review

Welcome to the first edition of the GNamer Blog! Every quarter, Stu and I are going to have a Skype conversation about the previous quarter's Nintendo, other format and GNamer Forum experiences. A Skypecast, if you will. We'd like to have other people taking part in the conversations as well, so let us know if you'd be interested in contributing. Hope you enjoy it!


Balladeer: Welcome to the GNamer Quarterly Review! (cue cheers) I'm Balladeer: I'm 23 years old, I'm the Smithers to Stu's Mr. Burns, and I think that The Thousand Year Door is the best game in the Paper Mario series!

Stu_the_great: Welcome from Burns Central! Ahoy-hoy! I'm Stu_the_great, the twenty-nine-year-old giffer and general Banhammer master. Not that I've ever used the thing. Sonic for president!

Balladeer: NO. No Sonic. Sonic bad.

Anyway, it's been three months (almost) since the Good Ship GNamer set forth from the stormy seas of port CVG, so we thought we'd give our views on the quarter that's just gone by. A bit of forum-specific stuff, a bit of Nintendo stuff, and a bit of Other Formats stuff. Like the old "Meanwhile" section from NGamer. We're an equal opportunities forum. Grin

Stu_the_great: It's been three very turbulent months all-in-all, has it not? As I remember it, we went from hearing that NGamer Forum was dead in the water on a Sunday, and by the following Tuesday/Wednesday almost every loyal GNamer forumite had leapt to messedupcables, AKA GNamer forum. And then there was the whole 'NGamer's not actually dead thing'.

Balladeer: Yeah... Sad Poor Chris. Did his best to save both the website, and then the forum. All in vain.

Stu_the_great: I felt really terrible about stealing NGamer's loyal followers when I learned of Chris' efforts, but amazingly, everyone was unanimous and the benefits of running a forum without higher-ups became apparent pretty quickly. Have you enjoyed your three months as an admin, Balla?

Balladeer: MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ahem. Yes, it's been pretty good. Truth be told, we've got a lovely lot over on the forum. No rudeness, no anger, very little swearing. They've been a pleasure to manipulate silently from behind the scenes. Stu, would you say a bit about the forum's origins, seeing as you made it originally?

Stu_the_great: I would indeed! The forum has been around since 2008, facts fans! I created it one afternoon just messing about with a Forumotion account, learning how to use the tools. The site lay abandoned and forgotten, until 3DS Tribe came to be (remember those guys?); we needed somewhere to talk, so I suggested messedupcables.

Nick Ellis (NEllis) wasn't keen on the idea of a public forum, so the place lay further abandoned and forgotten until 2013. The rest is history. Maybe it was fate that brought us here?

Balladeer: It's possible! But... incredibly unlikely. But this is not a place for my worldviews.

Anyway, we're all incredibly grateful. Curiously, while looking through old forum data, I found the name of a person long-term NGamerites may remember: Mrs. 741! She'd never answered her e-mail activation, so that was the end of that.

Like you say, the place has been going great guns since the beginning of the year. I feel rather sorry for the Retro section: it's had most of its thunder stolen by General Gaming (including the Music Weeks, obviously the lifeblood of the forum Razz ). But it's nice to have the Other Formats sections, not to mention Xelviar's lovely logo and The_Jaster's Grackler mascot!

Stu_the_great: I do wonder if people would've voted to move here had I not frantically rearranged the furniture as people were checking it out. The original forum looked very different to this, and was more akin to NGamer Forum before it received its latest facelift.

It's been great to have forum headers updated without year-long campaigns to the CVG admins, and it looks much more utilised, if I do say so myself. All the forumites here have been great, and the new additions we've gained since the move have helped make it seem even more worthwhile.

Xelviar's logo and Jaster's mascot have been the icing on the cake, and it's made such a difference to the look of the homepage. Cheers, fellas!

Balladeer: There were plenty of problems with the old place and its association with CVG. If it'd never happened, I'd never have been tempted to start looking at CVG's Article Comments, and I'd have maintained many more brain cells. Meh

I'd like to say a big thank you to some of our new people too. They know who they are. (They're NOT the ones who joined up in the first week and haven't posted since!) I'll mention one name now, although I have many more in my head: Vidofnir's Nuzlocke challenge was one of several that helped the forum through the dry games patch in January and February, so kudos to him!

Stu_the_great: We have had some very worthwhile contributions in our short time, and ones that are always being updated with a steady trickle of content. More than I recall having on NGamer Forum, in actual fact. The voting thread, the Nuzlocke challenge, weekly music updates, Let's All Play to name but a few.

I'd love to name-drop a few of the newbies we've had here, but I won't do because I always miss someone important out.

The only question I've had regularly on my mind since we moved is: are we in any danger of stagnation? The forum has exceeded my expectations up to now, as NGamer Forum could've only dreamed of approximately twenty multiple posters (on average) in one day.

Balladeer: I don't think NGamer ever stagnated, even with a much reduced userbase, even in the dying breaths of the Wii. Stop being a worrywart, Stu! We'll be fine. Wink

Especially as the games flock in. Shall we talk about the games now? Especially given the timing of this review...

Stu_the_great: Yes, let's!

Balladeer: So, 3DS. Two years. Remember when it was dead in the water and Sony was going to destroy it and Nintendo were going to go out of business/become software only? (Or is that Wii U?) Razz

Stu_the_great: 3DS is a strange one, and honestly I feel it's only received so much criticism in its brief life because of the monstrous success it had to pick up after. Remember DS' first year? I remember it vividly, and it was a complete disaster.

The only real thing that's harmed 3DS recently is the unfortunate timing of its release schedule (or lack thereof). Games between December 2012 and early March 2013, anyone?

Balladeer: I don't actually remember DS that well! And I think that's a problem that many gamers (especially on the Internet) have: short memories. (SM64DS was sexy though, although primarily for being SM64 again.)

There's been a dry patch recently, certainly, but in March alone I've picked up three titles I'm enjoying very much; and I'm a picky bastard. Not just Picross e2 much, i.e. I'll play it through because it's something to do; but "Ahaha look at Luigi's face!" much.

Stu_the_great: For all its quality releases, I haven't indulged in eShop much recently. HarmoKnight is the first downloadable title I've bought in months, and I don't regret it (even if I think the price will perturb a few buyers).

Gunman Clive is probably my biggest eShop surprise, and it made me realise how much I'd adjusted to paying higher prices. It's a genuinely fun game, and to see that it's outsold iOS and Android sales combined (I believe) very recently is a heartening sign for the platform.

If you'd have asked me about 3DS last week, I'd have been slightly more negative than now, but Luigi's Mansion 2 landed on my doormat and proved that opinions can be reversed by one Nintendo game. Never underestimate Nintendo!

Balladeer: I also picked up Castlevania of the Ridiculous Title, so I've been optimistic since slightly earlier in the month, but the idea's the same: the 3DS is getting better. Anything you're particularly looking forward to from Nintendo Direct, Stu?

Stu_the_great: Animal Crossing is the only game (on 3DS, at least) that currently leaps to mind. I'm hoping to catch up on a few games I've shamefully had to miss up to now, including Castlevania, as I enjoyed the demo very much. I'd also like to support Konami for sticking with 3DS.

How about you, Balla?

Balladeer: Ooh, where do I begin! Oh I know, in my voting thread from earlier on in the year. Wink Give me a moment...

Luigi's Mansion 2... oh wait. Grin

Other than that:
-Mario and Luigi: Dream Team;
-Mario Golf: Dream Tour;
-Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move;


...that may be it actually. 3D DKCR's a remake of a game I played too recently; Project Cross Zone's another maybe, but I won't know any of the characters; possibly Code of Princess, but the heroine's armour makes me feel dirty for considering it. Meh I feel I should mention Fire Emblem Awakening too, even though neither of us cares for it.

And then there's all the NSMBU Luigi DLC, too: DLC done right. Speaking of which, poor old Wii U... Sad

Stu_the_great: In all honesty, the Wii U is holding no interest for me at all at this moment in time.

It's not all doom and gloom as far as my opinions go, though. I'm delighted that we've received Need For Speed, LEGO and Monster Hunter over the last week or so. I'm not leaping upon any of those games, but apparently they've created a much-needed sales spike (at least as far as Amazon have reported). Who knew that games sold consoles?!

How do you feel about the situation at the moment? Are you still using your Wii U regularly?

Balladeer: Let me post you some of CVG's opinions on the Wii U...

(reads)
(breaks down)
(doesn't post)


Ignoring the ravings of those seemingly glad to see Nintendo's demise, there really aren't many games for me out now, or coming out. The last great game I played was NSMBU. Sad Still, glad to hear of a sales spike - first I've heard of it.

So, am I using my Wii U regularly? Well, there was that time I played Kirby's Epic Yarn, after you badgered me to Wink and years after everyone else: that doesn't really count, does it? So, short answer: no, not really.

I am looking forward to E3 though. We've been promised a 3D Mario and a Mario Kart. They might give the console a kick up the backside. But we need things out this year, really.

Stu_the_great: Those that are apparently gleeful of Nintendo's demise aren't seeing the bigger picture. They forget that Nintendo have TEH MEGA MONIES, that 3DS is doing very well (at least in its homeland), and that Wii U, despite its possible graphical shortcomings, has one major advantage over the PS4: the versatility of that controller.

Unfortunately, as with Wii, people seem to be setting stock simply on potential rather than games at the moment. Third-party support is always a worry on Nintendo formats, but we should perhaps be concerned that Nintendo itself should have something truly amazing up its sleeve. I don't give a monkey's about Mario Kart, so a lot of things are riding on the next Mario to be the Galaxy beater. No pressure, then!

Ubisoft have been really irritating me this year. Rayman Legends may well have sold out if it came out on schedule, but alas it was pulled, and then Ubisoft's CEO went on record in an interview to complain that Wii U hasn't sold well enough. What an utter dastard.

Balladeer: What was the forum's Ubisoft tagline? "Ubi Having a Laugh?", that was it. Flipping ridiculous. I hope they drown, besides Ancel. He seems like a genuinely nice chap who got screwed over by those with more power.

(We're more than halfway through, and neither of us have said anything about taglines yet! They're great, especially the ones not from us. Keep 'em coming, chaps - and we will get back to the old ones, promise.)

And I don't want a Galaxy beater. I want something that can beat SM64, damn it! It's still the best. I want my mission structure back!

Anyway, time is ticking and I'm conscious of nupkin sitting nearby, being very patient, so let's press on. I believe you're going to do some Other Formats stuff? (By which I mean, yes you are. Razz )

Stu_the_great: Yep! We really have been getting our words in, haven't we? I'll start with PS4, because this is gonna be brief. Razz

I haven't watched the entire PS4 conference, because the snippets I saw of it were like watching paint dry.

Basically, from what I saw, most of the focus was on how the PS4 will become sentient and enslave the entire human race by 2014 (March). I don't mean to sound like a fanboy here, and I will remind people that I'm a happy multiplatform gamer, but technical penis-flailing does nothing for me at all.

The only real thing of note to me was the touchpad on the controller. Imagine a standard DualShock 3 with the back touchpad of the Vita grafted onto it, and that's what you've got. I've seen some novel (if imprecise) integration of this on Vita, so I'd be interested to see how this is implemented into a coherent experience.

I will say, though, that does anyone remember Sixaxis from the original PS3 controller and how nothing ever used it ever? I do wonder if this fate will befall that touchpad once all the grey/brown shooters and racing games come out.

As for Vita:

Being a Vita gamer has been interesting from the off. People who complain about the lack of games haven't really been digging hard enough, as there have been some little crackers in its short life. PSN software has been picking up slowly, and we've even had some noteworthy physical releases of late. I'd recommend Persona 4: Golden to anyone who'll listen, and just this week we've seen a new entry in the Sly Cooper series of adventures.

Balladeer: All right, Stu, that's enough, before you write an essay. Razz

I said I'd bring the CVG view, and I will. Basically, PS4's 8GB of RAM is TEH BEST THING THAT'S EVAR HAPPENEDZORS, Vita is a wonderful console that still needs more games/has all the games it needs, and Ni No Kuni is the best thing since sliced Pokémon. Surprised to see you not talking about NNK, actually, Stu...

Stu_the_great: I'd talk more about Ni No Kuni if I'd made it much further than I have, but for the time being I've been sidetracked again. From what I've played though, it's a fairly standard RPG with LAVISH production values and a wonderful set of characters.

NVidia have gone on record (as they didn't develop PS4's chips this time) to slag PS4's specs off, saying it's 'a low-end gaming PC'. Ouch!

Balladeer: That sounds like they're just being bitter, to be honest. Razz

Before we finish, I'd like to look ahead to the future, specifically next quarter. Is there much coming out in that time? I seem to remember Masofdas doing a list of games for April, with not a lot on it...

Also, is E3 June or July? i.e., should we cover it next time or the time after?

Stu_the_great: E3 is June. I've no excuse for forgetting this, as it's usually the week before my birthday! We could time next quarter's review to coincide with the finish of E3?
Looking forward to next quarter for me, though, I'm crossing all fingers and toes that Muramasa Rebirth (Vita) gets a European publisher. It's out in America very soon, but doesn't have a distributor over here. Yet. BOO!

Balladeer: I think that would be very sensible! End E3 it is. Looking forward to my Mario games, and hopefully more! (Please chaps. A Starfox wouldn't be that much more work, honest.) And Muramasa was a great game, but I'm sure you could pick it up for cheap on the Wii if the remake doesn't emerge in Europe.

I think that just about wraps things up, doesn't it? Thank you to everyone who's read this far! We're actually looking for more people to join us next quarter, especially those who can provide an MS or PC perspective in our "Other Formats" section. Let us know if you're interested!

Stu_the_great: Thanks for listening, people! And thanks for putting in the work to make this happen, Balladeer! It's been a great deal of fun, venting one's spleen to an intelligent audience, and I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Hopefully a gaggle of other people will join us next time!

Balladeer: Listening? Razz

Stu_the_great: Oh yeah. We're not on radio, right? Razz

Balladeer: Sadly not. Not yet.

Thanks for reading chaps. It's good night from me...

Stu_the_great: And it's good night from him!
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January - March 2013 Quarterly Review :: Comments

Balladeer wrote:
I'll take this up with Masofdas over PM later in the day so that it doesn't derail the comments any further.
Will you be needing someone to translate masofdas' messages for you? Nah nah!
Tongue
This is a great idea! I would love to contribute but I can't add anything into the mix that's been requested - purely a Nintendo man over here, but I really love what's been done so far.
@balladeer: redacted? What a strange name. Razz
Balladeer wrote:
It's been a great deal of fun, venting one's spleen to an intelligent audience

...and who would they be?
Hey, Stu said that, not me. Nah nah!

The_Jaster wrote:
@balladeer: redacted? What a strange name. Razz

You won't believe the bullying I got at school. The scars: they will never heal.
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Just to let folk know that I am still alive, have been keeping abreast of things, and hopefully we'll all be happy this time tomorrow.

For the time being: thanks for all the feedback, folks! Should help us polish our act for June. Grin
 

January - March 2013 Quarterly Review

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