Nintendo President Satoru Iwata sounds serious about the Nintendo Network… this time. But the truth of the matter is that Nintendo might be too far behind the curve on a stable network that appeals to a crowd of gamers who are accustomed to a solid online experience. It’s going to take Nintendo some time to develop a network that is free of hiccups, and by the time they do, the networks provided by Xbox and Playstation will be far ahead.
In review of 2011, Sony had an okay year among core gamers. The PS3 came out with several exclusive titles that were a success in the market, but Sony has a few problems. So what hurdles keep Sony from hitting the success that other companies have made?
The only people who seem to be interested in Sony’s products are core gamers because there just isn’t anything that has been released that even applies to a broader audience other than LittleBigPlanet. Sony has outlined their plans for hitting a younger audience beginning early 2012, but releasing something for the Move or a few kid’s games isn’t going to be enough. Xbox and Wii equipment have already ensured that. Those two companies already possess a popularity that the Move will never achieve. What Sony needs is something exclusive and original. Wii gave us the motion control, so forget that. Microsoft gave us the Kinect, so forget that too. Sony needs to give consumers something they can’t get anywhere else and something that works.
Jaws returns to the virtual seas in Jaws: Ultimate Predator, available now for the Nintendo Wii and 3DS.
Taking the role of Jaws, players hunt down prey, humans, and boats in this eat-’em-up. Players will explore stages for hidden collectibles and will power-up the shark’s abilities in the hunt for all life in the sea.
However, the game looks choppy, and sending Jaws to a family-friendly, SD console may not have been the best choice. This game would have sold me if it was an HD downloadable game on XBLA, PSN, or Steam.
In its early years, gaming was all about difficulty. Some of the hardest games ever created were on the NES and Sega Genesis–Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Battletoads for example. Those games were extremely frustrating at times, but the sense of accomplishment that awaited at the end of the speed run or finally getting the impossible pizza made it all worth it.
Technology has come a long way since then. No longer are crushing difficulties needed to achieve a worthwhile gaming experience. Beautiful graphics, superb story-telling, and state of the art motion capture and voice acting, have brought gaming to a whole new standard. Games are thus less difficult and immerse the player into a believable virtual world. However, gamers still want that sense of accomplishment. Games that do not have some type of achievement system seem worthless. PlayStation and Xbox have had a trophy and achievement system for years now. PSN titles are beginning to offer platinum trophies, and even the PS Vita will include trophies. The Wii, however seems to be behind the curve.
To this day, I have not beaten Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii. The difficulty of early NES games resounds in this title, and the sense of accomplishment lays in its completion, but I haven’t picked up my Wiimote for months. Some type of achievement system would definitely make difficult games like this worthwhile.
There are specific Nintendo titles that do offer an in-game achievement system such as Super Scribblenauts on the DS and Wii Sports Resort, adding value to those games. The stamp system feels like an appropriate approach for Wii. There could be a “Stamp Album” that displays the various stamps earned in different titles. With the development of Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii U, the focus has been on creating a console to compete with PS3 and Xbox hardware, but if they put a focus into software issues like achievements, they will add a whole new level of value to their newest system and attract a larger demographic. Wii is missing that point when it comes to today’s gaming standards.