Ignorant White Guy Redux: T-minus 12 hours

Tremendously important nuggets of wisdom I can chew on in lieu of the Styrofoam-like filth the airlines call “food”:

  • The breed of geek which eagerly leaps onto the latest bit of technology and desperately embraces the obsolescence of all that has come before are, curiously, incredibly offended by the notion of being obsolete. I had assumed that panning Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins was going to engender the greatest amount of hatred I’ll ever seen in my game writing career, but that was before I had suggested that hardcore gaming types are largely immaterial in Nintendo’s vision of the future. And for mentioning the fact that American consumers aren’t Nintendo’s top priority. Given the reactions these comments prompted, you’d think I’d told people their mothers no longer loved them. It’s true, though. Your mom doesn’t love you. Get off the computer for once and send her some flowers.

  • According to Square Enix’s list of TGS titles, the Mana series is officially being referred to as a Final Fantasy side story again. Which means that barring a SaGa resurrection, there’s nothing coming from the Square side of the company that isn’t in some way linked to the FF series. And come to think of it, SaGa is basically what became of Final Fantasy II. Remember when Square was totally great and Final Fantasy actually had some brand integrity? Man, last year seems like it was so long ago.

  • For those who have asked, the new iPod nano is almost painfully swell. (This is different than painfully swelling.) It’s actually somehow even smaller than the original, although the aluminum construction feels winningly durable. The battery life is completely insane, too — after two days of constant use, it was still only about 2/3 of the way empty. I ended up running the battery down by letting it play into empty air for six or seven hours. Given that its storage capacity is eight times that of the Shuffle, which was introduced a year and a half ago, you can probably start counting down the days until the 1TB nano arrives. It will be inserted into your sinus cavity and stream HD video directly into your brain, presumably through the very same Matrix-like brain hookup Kutaragi promised for the PS2. (It’s coming any day now, honest.)

Actually, I don’t think those nuggets are going to be very filling. Guess I’ll have to resort to cannibalism instead.

36 thoughts on “Ignorant White Guy Redux: T-minus 12 hours

  1. There’s something else Apple and Nintendo have in common; really loyal fans. I heard this guy on the radio about two years ago talking about “Lovemarks”; as he described it, it was like a brand with an emotional response, like an uber-marketing. He used Apple as an example, and it totally made sense to me. I don’t even own an Apple anymore but I’m always quick to defend them. And I was playing Nintendo before I even heard of the Apple II. Hell, now that I think of it, the Ipod looks a lot like a Game Boy. If you squint a little.
    (want to know more? take this fruity-sounding quiz: http://www.lovemarks.com/about/profiler2/?profileName=Nintendo&ID=12504 )

  2. Wasn’t it just at E3 when Nintendo promised they wouldn’t forget their core audience in the search for new gamers? Well I guess they haven’t “forgotten” them, but I figured that statement implied something other than “remembered that they will buy anything we make so we can ignore them.” Then again, they also promised Gamecube Zelda at Wii launch. I’ve been a Nintendo fan since the NES, but frankly I wouldn’t be displeased if their strategy bites them in the ass.

  3. Square’s shameless whoring of the Final Fantasy franchaise has completely killed my interest in the property. I used to want to own, play, and beat every possible Final Fantasy game and came really close to it up until about 2 years ago when they started cranking them out by the barrel.

    Now theere is so MUCH Final Fantasy out there and half of it doesn’t even really feel like Final Fantasy, I don’t even bother to follow the new releases. FF12 is comming out soon and I can’t get excited over it at all.

    On the plus side, the last Final Fantasy game I cared about was Final Fantasy X-2, which is probably my favorite game of the series, so it’s sort of like the series went out with a bang.

  4. What does treating your current (and fiercely loyal) consumers like dirt have to do with expanding your market? Was delaying the Gamecube version of Zelda, a game which by all indications is anything but “casual,” an effort to “expand their market”? I have no problem with Nintendo trying to appeal to a wider audience, but I’m not part of that audience. And I don’t like how they’re treating the audience I am a part of.

  5. James, you know as well as I do that Zelda games are infamous for delays as well as generally superb polish. In my mind, this seems more like a method through which to justify these delays. Dishonest plan? Yes! Wrong? Eh!

    Beyond that, releasing new zelda simultaneously with Wii is their idea of not abandoning us. Nintendo wants to make ABSOLUTELY SURE that we buy their new system at launch. They need beyond anything else a strong WoM campaign which will of course start with its established base. That’s why they’ve packaged WiiSports and made it largely empty of simultaneous multiplayer. They want you (when you’re not obsessing over Zelda) to encourage other people to play your neat game. Of course, if they want to play with you simultaneously they either have to cajole you into buying a second Wiitroller for them, or buy one on their own. The fact that Mii’s are stored on a Wiimote makes the latter a slightly more attractive option and means that the cost of entry for a casual gamer with a hardcore friend has dropped even further.

    Of course: that’s baseless conjecture on the conjectures of a company I know next-to-nothing about. So… ummm… Yeah, make of that what you will.

    Unless I was mistaken, when I last checked Nintendo was going to release a GC version as well (possibly with marginally pared down graphics). So… Why are you complaining about delays in a series infamous for delays from a company infamous for delays?

  6. I hope they at least feed you on a flight to Tokyo. When I flew to LA, I had to pay five dollars for my E. Coli sub.

  7. Expanded markert (i.e. mass audience) > Current consumers (i.e. Gamecube owners)
    Is waiting two weeks for Zelda really such a disservice? There’s practical reasons to consider, like the Gamecube version getting lost in the shuffle of the Wii launch or Nintendo devoting their resources to producing enough Wii discs to meet the launch demand. I think a signifigant portion of those Gamecube versions will be Holiday gifts which won’t be opened for another few weeks anyway.

  8. There are two possible “GC Zelda Delayed” scenarios:

    1) Nintendo knows that the hardcores HAVE to play Zelda before anyone else–so by releasing only the Wii version in November, they know all those gamers will purchase a Wii, day one.

    2) Coming up on release, both games needed to be finished, but the team had limited time and resources. So, they had to decide which version would be finished in Nov, because there wasn’t enough manpower to finish them both. The Wii was the obvious choice since, otherwise, the system launch would suffer. This way, GC owners have to wait, but nobody at NOJ gets fired.

    Since you don’t know WHICH of those scenarios is true, don’t get so mad about it. Just buy the Wii version and enjoy yourself.

  9. Final Fantasy is just that — a property. They’ve attached that name to so many games and mythos that Final Fantasy can effectively be anything, within the realms of the console RPG. Kinda like Marillion is anything within the realm of five guys playing rock music.

    But hey — Marillion is good at all the sorts of stuff they do IMO. So if the FF games are all good, who cares! That said, if Square only makes Final Fantasy, they oughta make that their company name… and then Square/Enix can become FFenix, or Fenix for short.

    *drumroll crash*

  10. To clarify for Classic, I’m upset that the Gamecube version of Zelda is coming out three weeks after the Wii version.
    And it’s completely justified for me to get mad about it. The game was supposed to come out a year ago on Gamecube, it got delayed, Wii features were added, then there was going to be a Wii version, and so on. And now the original version is coming out later than the new one (and not at all in Japan, IIRC). The obvious reason is that they are trying to “encourage” me to buy a Wii. If there was actually a legit delay on the Gamecube version, they could have at least said so (and preferably apologized), but they didn’t. I’ll be damned if I’m going to give them a pass for this. I certainly wouldn’t give one to Sony or Microsoft. Businesses exist to make money, but consumers exist to buy what they want. I’m just looking out for number one here.

  11. Ok, but wait… what if your mother didn’t love you, but DID love Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins? What would you say then, mr. frowny trousers?

  12. Totally let me in on Ignorant White Guy Redux. I know Akihabara like the back of my hand, so there’s nothing to lose, I tell you!
    Other than, you know, dignity.
    Nintendo more or less me back in the so-called “We hate you, buy a Playstation” era. With that in mind, I think the treatment of the Gamecube Zelda isn’t really that surprising.

  13. Josh Miller: You’ve got it wrong. It isn’t Square’s shameless whoring of Final Fantasy that ruined it for you. It’s Enix’s shameless whoring.

    Big difference.

  14. Well, there is Front Mission Mobile and Project Sylpheed still, those are square properties that aren’t FF-related, I guess.

  15. I took a quick look at a list… And if you’re referring to Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden, I think that’s just to show it’s a mobile port that’s more or less the same exact thing the Game Boy way back then, only with updated graphics. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if SE really did try to re-establish the link beyond that.

  16. TP will be cool on both the Cube and the Wii. Either way, you’ll have fun.
    I can’t wait to play the VideoNow version of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon.

  17. People have waited for TP for over a year and complain about 3 more weeks. That’s both silly and fun (fun for me, at least). I was affected, however, by Metroid Prime being pushed back to 2007.

    In related news, Final Fantasy has finally -pun intended- become the new Mega Man.

  18. Frankly, one way or the other I can’t say it bothers me much. Nintendo has put together a package I find compelling at a price I like, so I’m going to buy it. Simple as that.

  19. Re:
    Classic, what the heck is WoM?
    QPCES – 18 09 06 | 16:35

    Word of Mouth.
    Yeah, I should’ve just typed it out, but I wanted to be cool. I failed.

  20. Square-Enix why do you make me so sad :(
    We’re still allowed to be excited about FFXII, though, right? That can be there last hurrah?

  21. i don’t mean to be that guy, but final fantasy adventure is part of the densetsu series, which is a *good* thing, where as the final fantasy legend series is the evil saga spawn.

    though merging any of these series is pretty lame. kinda like half life and portal.

  22. James. Let us assume that the following things are true:

    1. Everyone who was hardcore Nintendo enough to actually buy a GC is going to buy a Wii.
    2. Everyone who loves Nintendo loves Zelda.
    3. Everyone who buys a Wii is going to buy the Wii version of Zelda.

    Given that, why should you or anyone else give a wet flying shit about the GC version of the newest Zelda? The only reasons I can think of are that you’re either completely obsessive about Zelda and want to buy both versions and are mad that you’ll have to wait 2 freaking weeks for a game you’ll likely have already played and beaten on the Wii, or you’re not going to buy a Wii for some stupid reason and am therefore the most anomalous Nintendo fanboy ever.

  23. As much as I doubt continuing this discussion is a good idea, what the hell. I have no intention of buying a Wii at launch, and I never did (though the recent announcements and Wario Ware apparently not being a US launch title didn’t help). I never buy systems at launch. I did have a DS relatively early, though (i.e., before the good games started showing up), and the lesson I learned there was that games forced into a new control scheme generally don’t work. So yes, my plan was always to get the Gamecube version.

    And let me make it perfectly clear that this is not about having to wait three more weeks for Zelda. I mean, the game has already been delayed a year. My problem is, and always has been, with how Nintendo is handling this situation.

  24. “We’re still allowed to be excited about FFXII, though, right?”
    Yes. And probably also FFIII, which will be awfully nice to play on a platform other than a glitchy emulator with a half-finished fan translation.

  25. “where as the final fantasy legend series is the evil saga spawn.”

    Legends 2 was decent… I can’t speak for the other two though.

  26. I don’t understand people. People are upset Mario and Wario aren’t launch titles, when Miyamoto SAID AT E3 they would not be. Then, on the same token, we’ve been saying SINCE E3 that Trauma Center would be a launch title, and everyone seemed SHOCKED by that news last Thursday. What the hell, people!? Don’t you even READ all these websites you visit?

  27. I already sold my Gamecube so TP launching on Wii first doesn’t phase this Nintendo die-hard. I still have a handfull of GC titles that I’d like to get around to playing on Wii as well.
    Please explain to me how SaGa had its origins in Final Fantasy II, I must have missed that class.

  28. thomp – I believe Jeremy’s going by the fact that both FFII(NES) and the SaGa series have funky attribute-based level-up systems. I’m not sure whether the same people worked on them (and I’m too lazy to look it up right now) but there definitely seems to be some inspiration going on there. It seem entirely plausible that someone at Square said, “Ok, this isn’t working out for main-line FF, but maybe in a different property…”.

  29. Well, this thread went kind of nutty. Thanks, guys! I can’t take you anywhere.
    Final Fantasy II was directed by Akitoshi Kawazu. Kawazu has since directed all of the SaGa games, I believe, and not allowed to touch a proper Final Fantasy until he was summoned for last-minute touch-up on XII.

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