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Should Nintendo double down on working with "AA" studios

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Even Nintendo's AAA games feel somewhat like "AA" games to me, and I do mean that in the most positive way you can interpret it. Super Mario Odyssey does not feel like Nintendo chucked obscene amounts of money at it - instead they did exactly what they needed to do to make a supremely fun and unforgettable game and left it at that. Even BotW, which I believe is Nintendo's most expensive production to date, has a certain beauty to its restraint.



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Dulfite said:
JWeinCom said:

Tooie really just wasn't that good.  Rare didn't really know where to go after the first game, so they threw just about everything they could at the wall.  Had all of the same problems that people had with DK 64, but kind of worse in a lot of ways.  Nuts and Bolts was definitely better.  As for the first one, it still holds up really well.  But other better 3D platformers have come along whereas there is nothing that is quite like Nuts and Bolts.  Aside from nostalgia, I can't think of a really good reason to play BK over most of the 3d Marios for instance, but Nuts and Bolts provides something unique.

The original Banjo didn't stand out to me as a child much. But Tooie and 64 I still have incredibly fond memories of. Both some of my all time favorite games. I still want a 3d DK game like 64 again! I wanna collect golden bananas, learn new skills, be able to explore more areas as I learn new skills, and play in some local multiplayer!

I liked DK 64 a lot more than Tooie.  Yooka Laylee is a decent spiritual successor, although it isn't as polished.  Hopefully the sequel will do a better job.  

Pemalite said:
Mr Puggsly said:

I tried playing the N64 Banjo games, don't care for them.

I had a blast with N&B though. I don't understand why they're even compared, completely different games.

You make vehicles to complete missions, its different and unique experience. Nothing else quite like it, I'm gonna download it and play it in glorious 4K.

I also had a blast with it, Nuts and Bolts is a highly solid title that is often derided for pretty poor reasoning. - I judge that particular title on it's own merits... And not because it differentiated itself from the first two titles rather significantly.

In saying that, I don't think it's as enjoyable as it's Nintendo 64 iterations... But they were a stupidly high ceiling to reach anyway... And were titles that helped define the 3D platformer as a genre, they were blatantly awesome games that in many aspects haven't aged as well as other titles, but I judge them by their own merits from the era they came from.

I also highly enjoyed Viva Pinata and Kameo as well... And whilst Perfect Dark: Zero was a bit of a flop compared to the Nintendo 64 variant... It was still a fun run through.

Sea of Thieves was a pretty bare-bones experience... RARE still has *some* magic left, but they aren't leading the industry like they were in the SNES/Nintendo 64 days, but that doesn't mean they are a terrible developer, just the bar has been raised higher.

I tend to judge games based on how well they hold up today.  Because, sadly, I can't have the experience of playing them in their time again.  If I'm going to play it again, it's going to be now, so I feel it should be judged based on how much enjoyment it will give me now.  If I had to choose right now between BK and N&B it'd be a toss up.  But I'd take Nuts&B over Tooie 90% of the time.

Haven't played Rare's other stuff post Nintendo.  I've been curious to check out Kameo but still haven't gotten around to it.  Other than that, the games just don't seem like my cup of tea.



Mr Puggsly said:

I don't care for the original Banjo games but I honestly didn't enjoy a lot 3D games of that era. I argue much of it didn't age well because it wasn't very good to begin with but I still think it has value for moving the industry forward.

I loved the games from that era. At the time.
Now it's a chore to go back and replay any title, but I still value the titles highly that moved the industry forwards.

Mr Puggsly said:

I haven't played Sea of Thieves since it released. I really should revisit the game given it has had many updates and it became a hit. Either way, it might just be not for us. If a game is popular and there isn't anything inherently wrong with it, its just not for me.

The same criticisms I have for Halo 5 generally apply to Sea of Thieves, whilst neither are a terrible game, both were light on content on release, resulting in me getting bored rather rapidly and moving onto greener pastures.
There are way to many games to stick around and hope something gets good with updates... And chances are, the multiplayer population would have likely imploded in Oceania anyway.

JWeinCom said:

I tend to judge games based on how well they hold up today.  Because, sadly, I can't have the experience of playing them in their time again.  If I'm going to play it again, it's going to be now, so I feel it should be judged based on how much enjoyment it will give me now.

I don't necessarily disagree, but there are some things games do well during a generation that we cringe at later.
I mean Goldeneye 64 was an amazing title for the era, it set records, it was fun, it had great graphics and an immersive story... And the best local multiplayer on any platform until Perfect Dark came along and refined things.

Today? Not so much, the fact you can't jump feels limiting, the visuals have aged poorly and more. - It's still a game that led the FPS console pack during it's time, but other titles like Halo and Call of Duty are far better titles when judged by modern standards.

So it's best to judge Goldeneye (And other titles of the era) within an appropriate context.. And that is by keeping in mind the era the games originated from.

JWeinCom said:

Haven't played Rare's other stuff post Nintendo.  I've been curious to check out Kameo but still haven't gotten around to it.  Other than that, the games just don't seem like my cup of tea.

Kameo visually aged fairly well considering it was a 2005 (14 years!) launch title for the Xbox 360 and was originally intended for technically inferior platforms, RARE's art direction really paid off there.

It's gameplay mechanics are fairly unique as well and a ton of fun when you get a grasp of it all.

Give it a shot if you get the chance, been years since I played it, but it was tons of fun.

Cream147 said:
Even Nintendo's AAA games feel somewhat like "AA" games to me, and I do mean that in the most positive way you can interpret it. Super Mario Odyssey does not feel like Nintendo chucked obscene amounts of money at it - instead they did exactly what they needed to do to make a supremely fun and unforgettable game and left it at that. Even BotW, which I believe is Nintendo's most expensive production to date, has a certain beauty to its restraint.

I think Nintendo typically prefers to have a more conservative development budget anyway, it allows them to focus on the important aspects like gameplay... Also not having industry-leading visuals in it's titles generally means less investment is required to push the envelope on that front anyway so they can get away with a smaller budget.

I mean, Breath of the Wild is a very well made game, with some amazing gameplay mechanics, solid story and an expansive world. - But graphically it's a pretty average game.



AAA has nothing to do with graphics, it is the development process behind a game which involves a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of resources. Graphics have much more to do with the hardware level than the development status, this is why AAA games on consoles with lower power aren't as graphically impressive.

Most AAA games have multiple releases per generation: especially sports titles who use each new year as an excuse to release a new GM'd an iteration of the same game they released the previous year. So in reality, while a certain game may have annual releases, the development for the game may have begun 5-10 years ago; they get to a point with the features, then branch it after a beta signoff (or whatever designation they use for a full feature set for the next iteration) and put it through the pipeline all the way to Gold Master while continuing to work on the trunk - which in turn will be branched for next year's release.

Personally, I am not a fan of AAA games as they tend to be conservative in their approach to creativity. You don't get an easy signoff on being original. Some companies like EA actively discourage originality because it isn't a tested commodity, and those high paid executives don't know how to do their job when it comes to something original.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Pemalite said:
Mr Puggsly said:

I don't care for the original Banjo games but I honestly didn't enjoy a lot 3D games of that era. I argue much of it didn't age well because it wasn't very good to begin with but I still think it has value for moving the industry forward.

I loved the games from that era. At the time.
Now it's a chore to go back and replay any title, but I still value the titles highly that moved the industry forwards.

Mr Puggsly said:

I haven't played Sea of Thieves since it released. I really should revisit the game given it has had many updates and it became a hit. Either way, it might just be not for us. If a game is popular and there isn't anything inherently wrong with it, its just not for me.

The same criticisms I have for Halo 5 generally apply to Sea of Thieves, whilst neither are a terrible game, both were light on content on release, resulting in me getting bored rather rapidly and moving onto greener pastures.
There are way to many games to stick around and hope something gets good with updates... And chances are, the multiplayer population would have likely imploded in Oceania anyway.

There are plenty of games I enjoyed during the 5th gen, I just wasn't that impressed with many heavily praised titles. I think there are a ton of games from the 5th gen that aged better than Rare games on N64. Again, I argue if it didn't age well its very possible the game was never that good. Because there is plenty of old shit I can still have a blast with.

While many games come and go, Halo 5 and Sea of Theives have stayed fairly high in the most played games list. If a game is fun, people will stick around.



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Mr Puggsly said:

There are plenty of games I enjoyed during the 5th gen, I just wasn't that impressed with many heavily praised titles. I think there are a ton of games from the 5th gen that aged better than Rare games on N64. Again, I argue if it didn't age well its very possible the game was never that good. Because there is plenty of old shit I can still have a blast with.

Same applies to any older title... Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo Wars, Gears of War 1, Final Fantasy 7/8/9, Metroid on NES, Resident Evil 1, Call of Duty 1, 2 and 3, Grand Turismo, Morrowind, Goldeneye, Grand Turismo 1... They all aged badly, but during their release time frame they were great titles that were representative of the hardware they were released on... But compared to todays games, are pretty average experiences.



Pemalite said:
Mr Puggsly said:

There are plenty of games I enjoyed during the 5th gen, I just wasn't that impressed with many heavily praised titles. I think there are a ton of games from the 5th gen that aged better than Rare games on N64. Again, I argue if it didn't age well its very possible the game was never that good. Because there is plenty of old shit I can still have a blast with.

Same applies to any older title... Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo Wars, Gears of War 1, Final Fantasy 7/8/9, Metroid on NES, Resident Evil 1, Call of Duty 1, 2 and 3, Grand Turismo, Morrowind, Goldeneye, Grand Turismo 1... They all aged badly, but during their release time frame they were great titles that were representative of the hardware they were released on... But compared to todays games, are pretty average experiences.

They all aged badly? No. Its also possible some games had good ideas but the overall execution was poor, those are the games that aged badly.

Some of those games you mentioned are actually still enjoyable. I mean Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo Wars, Gears 1 are still good games I've played in the past few years via remasters or BC. Halo 1 and Halo 2 still have active MP in MCC.

I think FF games generally aged fine because the core gameplay is just a standard JRPG.

I always hated the tank control of RE games, but I think people enjoyed the games outside of that.

NES games are an era people have mixed feelings about. I feel like 16-bit games get more praise and rightfully so.

CoD1 is not a great game to revisit, but I feel CoD2 and 3 are okay. These are all just gallery shooters.

I never spent much time with Gran Turismo. Goldeneye on an actual N64 has terrible controls and performance, but would be enjoyable if they remastered it like Perfect Dark on 360. On side note those PS1 Medal of Honor games were surprisingly good when I tried them on PSP in recent years.

I think there is a difference between an average experience and a game that is difficult to revisit. For example, replaying Sonic Adventure games is torture. But it was fresh at the time, so we appreciated what was new and tolerated some bad gameplay.



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Mr Puggsly said:

They all aged badly? No. Its also possible some games had good ideas but the overall execution was poor, those are the games that aged badly.

Some of those games you mentioned are actually still enjoyable. I mean Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo Wars, Gears 1 are still good games I've played in the past few years via remasters or BC. Halo 1 and Halo 2 still have active MP in MCC.

Now you are starting to understand subjectivity. In short... You don't get it both ways.

Halo 1 and 2 remasters bring the games forwards significantly in the visual department, the older games are still an eyesore.
Halo 1 and 2 in MCC have a non-existent Multiplayer population in Oceania... And the original servers for Halo 2 are long gone... And the MCC collection has been a buggy mess from the very beginning anyway, only now is the effort being put in to rectify all it's problems.

Gears 1 just looks like an excessive brown crushed mess with way to much bloom, it's clunky and terrible to play next to something like Gears 5.

Halo Wars today has no one playing it on PC, Xbox 360 or Xbox One, it's slow, it's clunky... And if you were to compare such an RTS against what the PC outputs today, it doesn't even have allot of depth to the gameplay.

In short, they were all amazing games on release, but comparing them to more modern titles, they certainly fall short... Thus there is a definite need to judge said titles within an appropriate context and that is the era they released in, the hardware they released on and the other available games at the time... And the same goes for the RARE Nintendo 64 games.

Mr Puggsly said:

I think FF games generally aged fine because the core gameplay is just a standard JRPG.

Some aged better than others. I can't play Final Fantasy 7, it's just to much of an eyesore and the controls feel clunky... I don't mind Final Fantasy 8, but even that shares some of the same issues, but it's less pronounced as they baked pre-rendered FMV into many parts of the game... On PC it's less of an issue, but the pre-rendered backgrounds just don't upscale well, hence the use of mods.

Mr Puggsly said:

I always hated the tank control of RE games, but I think people enjoyed the games outside of that.

I loved Resident Evil 5, thought that was a blast... And thoroughly loved Resident Evil 1 on the PS1 back in the day, but can't stand it today.

Mr Puggsly said:

NES games are an era people have mixed feelings about. I feel like 16-bit games get more praise and rightfully so.

Even many 16-bit SNES games are pretty terrible when judged next to more modern titles... Take StarFox for instance.

The main reason why 16-bit platforms seem "better" is mostly down to the art assets that were employed, plus gameplay wasn't as slow and clunky like most 8-bit platforms... Super Metroid is far more responsive and fluid than Metroid and visually they are leagues apart, you actually know which area you are in on the SNES.

Mr Puggsly said:

CoD1 is not a great game to revisit, but I feel CoD2 and 3 are okay. These are all just gallery shooters.

Nah. I think the cutoff point is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, it pushed the franchise and gameplay forwards significantly, it's also when the franchise really took off.

Mr Puggsly said:

I never spent much time with Gran Turismo. Goldeneye on an actual N64 has terrible controls and performance, but would be enjoyable if they remastered it like Perfect Dark on 360. On side note those PS1 Medal of Honor games were surprisingly good when I tried them on PSP in recent years.

Perfect Dark on the Xbox 360 was a good nostalgia trip, but games have pushed forwards from it in the gameplay department, many mechanics (I.E. No jump) is pretty cringe worthy.
And whilst the Xbox 360 variant steps it up in the visual department, it's still a far cry from a 7th gen, heck even a 6th gen title in the looks department.

But back in the day it was industry leading in the visual department, hence it needs to be judged by what was available at the time.



Pemalite said:
Mr Puggsly said:

They all aged badly? No. Its also possible some games had good ideas but the overall execution was poor, those are the games that aged badly.

Some of those games you mentioned are actually still enjoyable. I mean Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo Wars, Gears 1 are still good games I've played in the past few years via remasters or BC. Halo 1 and Halo 2 still have active MP in MCC.

Now you are starting to understand subjectivity. In short... You don't get it both ways.

Halo 1 and 2 remasters bring the games forwards significantly in the visual department, the older games are still an eyesore.
Halo 1 and 2 in MCC have a non-existent Multiplayer population in Oceania... And the original servers for Halo 2 are long gone... And the MCC collection has been a buggy mess from the very beginning anyway, only now is the effort being put in to rectify all it's problems.

Gears 1 just looks like an excessive brown crushed mess with way to much bloom, it's clunky and terrible to play next to something like Gears 5.

Halo Wars today has no one playing it on PC, Xbox 360 or Xbox One, it's slow, it's clunky... And if you were to compare such an RTS against what the PC outputs today, it doesn't even have allot of depth to the gameplay.

In short, they were all amazing games on release, but comparing them to more modern titles, they certainly fall short... Thus there is a definite need to judge said titles within an appropriate context and that is the era they released in, the hardware they released on and the other available games at the time... And the same goes for the RARE Nintendo 64 games.

Mr Puggsly said:

I think FF games generally aged fine because the core gameplay is just a standard JRPG.

Some aged better than others. I can't play Final Fantasy 7, it's just to much of an eyesore and the controls feel clunky... I don't mind Final Fantasy 8, but even that shares some of the same issues, but it's less pronounced as they baked pre-rendered FMV into many parts of the game... On PC it's less of an issue, but the pre-rendered backgrounds just don't upscale well, hence the use of mods.

Mr Puggsly said:

I always hated the tank control of RE games, but I think people enjoyed the games outside of that.

I loved Resident Evil 5, thought that was a blast... And thoroughly loved Resident Evil 1 on the PS1 back in the day, but can't stand it today.

Mr Puggsly said:

NES games are an era people have mixed feelings about. I feel like 16-bit games get more praise and rightfully so.

Even many 16-bit SNES games are pretty terrible when judged next to more modern titles... Take StarFox for instance.

The main reason why 16-bit platforms seem "better" is mostly down to the art assets that were employed, plus gameplay wasn't as slow and clunky like most 8-bit platforms... Super Metroid is far more responsive and fluid than Metroid and visually they are leagues apart, you actually know which area you are in on the SNES.

Mr Puggsly said:

CoD1 is not a great game to revisit, but I feel CoD2 and 3 are okay. These are all just gallery shooters.

Nah. I think the cutoff point is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, it pushed the franchise and gameplay forwards significantly, it's also when the franchise really took off.

Mr Puggsly said:

I never spent much time with Gran Turismo. Goldeneye on an actual N64 has terrible controls and performance, but would be enjoyable if they remastered it like Perfect Dark on 360. On side note those PS1 Medal of Honor games were surprisingly good when I tried them on PSP in recent years.

Perfect Dark on the Xbox 360 was a good nostalgia trip, but games have pushed forwards from it in the gameplay department, many mechanics (I.E. No jump) is pretty cringe worthy.
And whilst the Xbox 360 variant steps it up in the visual department, it's still a far cry from a 7th gen, heck even a 6th gen title in the looks department.

But back in the day it was industry leading in the visual department, hence it needs to be judged by what was available at the time.

No, Halo 1 and 2 don't actually look bad. I would argue they've aged better than most 6th gen games. I don't want to elaborate too much on why people actually prefer classic graphics over the remaster graphics, but classic graphics are fine even in glorious 4K.

MCC's muliplayer has been fixed for like a year now. Regardless, the MP was tolerable even before the major fixes and its still active.

I actually like the visuals in Gears 1. It has a more gritty presentation than future releases starting with 3. The remaster was basically updated graphics and it reviewed well. On a side note, you ever played Fable Anniversary? The original game actually looked better.

I haven't checked Halo Wars online population recently, but it was still active when I played over a year ago. It also sold very well on Steam, it has 89% positive reviews there.

I'm not even sure why we are having this debate. People are excited about MCC coming to PC. Halo Wars did well on PC. Gears 1 would also do well if it were suddenly added to Steam. These are all games that have aged well.

Many N64 games aged worse, but they are older, experimental games relatively speaking.

I'm looking at PS1 era FF games for their core gameplay. Not the presentation. Problems aside, I still think they aged well.

For me the tank controls of RE was always a deal breaker. The first game I really played in the series was actually RE5 on 360 and then RE4 on a Gamecube.

In regard to our 8 bit and 16 bit discussion. I'll start by saying most games on most platforms were shit until around the 7th gen where quality of the average game quality became higher. Although, the Wii had a ton of shit.

Even without comparing assets, the gameplay of 16 bit over 8 bit just became more refined. Much of that is because of a specs increase, but also time had passed and developers were making more complex and refined games. Even some of the later NES stuff was much more impressive than early content.

If I were to create a list of the best shooters ever, CoD1, 2, 3 or 4 wouldn't be in it. I think they're all okay games, but nothing special. I don't see them as worth revisiting because the gameplay is simplistic and story isn't engaging (maybe BLOPS1 and 2 for story). I almost see them as sports games, maybe just go play the newest one if you are there for MP. Although, Infinite Warfare had a great campaign.

I see Perfect Dark and Goldeneye as interesting games for level design really, it was also interesting for shooters to feel like you're controlling a person versus a floating camera. They aren't linear experiences like many modern games, you can make mistakes that fails a mission, so that makes them unique still. But if you're struggling with the controls and the performance is dog shit like on N64, it pulls you out of the experience. Hence, the core games aged well but sometimes need newer hardware to fix the controls and performance.

Edit: I didn't even respond to the Oceania MP thing. All I can say is... USA, USA, USA!



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Mr Puggsly said:

No, Halo 1 and 2 don't actually look bad. I would argue they've aged better than most 6th gen games. I don't want to elaborate too much on why people actually prefer classic graphics over the remaster graphics, but classic graphics are fine even in glorious 4K.

They really don't. They look terrible in 2019 as we are on the cusp of entering a fully Ray Traced world.

Plus Microsoft seems to also agree, hence why they overhauled Halo 1 and 2's visuals.

Mr Puggsly said:

MCC's muliplayer has been fixed for like a year now. Regardless, the MP was tolerable even before the major fixes and its still active.

Only took them how many years to get to that point though? Tolerable isn't good enough, not from a first party AAA release.
They are still of course patching and improving the experience, even today. In 2019.

At least we can't criticize them for the level of committed support though, more companies should take heed. *Cough*EA*Cough*

Mr Puggsly said:

I actually like the visuals in Gears 1. It has a more gritty presentation than future releases starting with 3. The remaster was basically updated graphics and it reviewed well. On a side note, you ever played Fable Anniversary? The original game actually looked better.

Gears 1 is every shade of brown. Gritty is one thing, but at that time a ton of games were pushing an overly-brown aesthetic... It's textures are low-res, bloom is overblown and unrealistic, it's successors in the franchise significantly improved things in every direction, which has helped make it one of the most defining games of the Xbox platform... There is a reason why I praise Gears 5 so highly, it has a lush colour pallet.

And yes, I have played and own Fable Anniversary. - The PC variant of course looks the best out of all the releases.

Mr Puggsly said:

I haven't checked Halo Wars online population recently, but it was still active when I played over a year ago. It also sold very well on Steam, it has 89% positive reviews there.

Compared to PC RTS titles, it's still average.
Halo Wars has no population on PC.

Even the Xbox version hasn't got any players, probably why Microsoft shuttered support for the leaderboards and such and the population counters are erroneous.

Mr Puggsly said:

Many N64 games aged worse, but they are older, experimental games relatively speaking.

I'm looking at PS1 era FF games for their core gameplay. Not the presentation. Problems aside, I still think they aged well.

For me the tank controls of RE was always a deal breaker. The first game I really played in the series was actually RE5 on 360 and then RE4 on a Gamecube.

Resident Evil 5 was definitely my pick of the franchise, but the first game arguably laid the initial foundations that brought us Resident Evil 5, hence why it needs to take some credit.

Mr Puggsly said:

In regard to our 8 bit and 16 bit discussion. I'll start by saying most games on most platforms were shit until around the 7th gen where quality of the average game quality became higher. Although, the Wii had a ton of shit.

Many 16-bit and 8-bit games are amazing even today... To the point where modern games are trying to "emulate" the look and feel such as Minecraft or 8-bit adventures. - But I think 2D games tend to age differently than rasterized titles.

Mr Puggsly said:

If I were to create a list of the best shooters ever, CoD1, 2, 3 or 4 wouldn't be in it. I think they're all okay games, but nothing special. I don't see them as worth revisiting because the gameplay is simplistic and story isn't engaging (maybe BLOPS1 and 2 for story). I almost see them as sports games, maybe just go play the newest one if you are there for MP. Although, Infinite Warfare had a great campaign.

You are missing the point.
I am not trying to paint any of the Call of Duty games as an amazing game.

I am trying to paint a picture that modern games that take modern design principles, often enabled by superior/improved hardware will often have an edge over their older contemporary's... Call of Duty is a fine example as we can see the yearly evolution of changes being introduced into the franchise, good or bad.

Mr Puggsly said:

I see Perfect Dark and Goldeneye as interesting games for level design really, it was also interesting for shooters to feel like you're controlling a person versus a floating camera. They aren't linear experiences like many modern games, you can make mistakes that fails a mission, so that makes them unique still. But if you're struggling with the controls and the performance is dog shit like on N64, it pulls you out of the experience. Hence, the core games aged well but sometimes need newer hardware to fix the controls and performance.

The Xbox 360 release of Perfect Dark didn't fix some of the games design philosophies though, various nuances of the game engine simply held back design choices.

Mr Puggsly said:

Edit: I didn't even respond to the Oceania MP thing. All I can say is... USA, USA, USA!

Oceania tends to get lumped onto American servers.