Silicon Knights And More
From my perspective Nintendo Watch is currently still in an experimental start-up phase of sorts. I’d like to be up to speed around the E3 trade show and until then I’m sort of figuring out what works and what doesn’t — and how to have fun doing it. One thing I know is I want to continue doing news recaps like this, even if my opinion doesn’t add too much to other sites’ reporting.
- The big news is of course Silicon Knights and Nintendo parting ways. The press statement says: “Nintendo and Silicon Knights have reached an agreement allowing Silicon Knights to pursue its vision of videogame entertainment with other companies.” If you read my previous piece on the Canadian studio you’ll know this pretty much leaves me cold, though I’m not fond of Nintendo’s output shrinking even further with developments like this. My take on what happened is Silicon Knights pitching their next big game and Nintendo deeming it too expensive and risky in a ‘your past games didn’t sell that well’ kind of way.
- Meanwhile ‘Game Informer’ magazine published the first images of ‘Metroid Prime 2’ and obviously somebody scanned them and put them online. My friend and colleague Vincent Leeuw wrote a nice analysis but to be honest these scans are of poor quality and don’t show much. One thing I’ve learned is to not judge a game by a couple of grabs, though as many have commented a split-screen battle mode should not be all there is to the game’s multiplayer option.
- The truly exciting story comes third. I’m obviously talking about the Japanese sources claiming that Nintendo will be showcasing thirty Dual-Screen games at E3, a month from now. The rumour doesn’t tell how many will be playable nor does it mention whether they’re all first party. This makes me think of a point I’ve been wanting to make for some time: in my opinion one of Nintendo’s motifs for introducing this ‘third pillar’ would be the ability to keep producing games at a reasonable budget, still making hefty profits like in the old days. Nintendo is always talking about limiting its focus on technology and a platform like DS gives it a good excuse to actually do so. Following the PSP’s example with a high-specs GBA2 would skyrocket the average game cost, and this way Nintendo can stick to the medium-specs DS and low-specs GBA for now. And it’d allow Nintendo to churn out thirty games in time for the E3 presentation too!
- It’s that time of year: E3 game lists are popping up like crazy. Annoyingly some, like the list on ‘Nintendojo’, take speculative liberties by including games such as ‘Kid Icarus’, ‘Golden Sun’, ‘Mario 128’ and ‘Pilotwings’. A prediction: none of these titles will be showcased. It puzzles me why a site chooses to print such wishfull thinking. I mean, people will be disappointed! Nintendojo forgets to mention ‘Yoshi’s Story’ though — pretty likely to show as the fifth ‘Super Mario Advance’.
- While I’m busy making predictions: the SETA-developed realistic golfing sim ‘Legend of Golfer’ will definitely not be released in the west.
- Finally, in an unrelated note that’s not really a news story I recently got to check out ‘Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles’ and while the play mechanics mainly got me excited about ‘Four Swords Adventure’, I was once again surprised at the brilliant graphics in just a handful of GameCube games. In the case of Final Fantasy, with its imaginative art assets, the contrast is even greater — with a special note for ugly third party ports. I can see how a port of a PlayStation game won’t look as good as a native GameCube game, but it still stuns me just how big the difference can be.