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The Jaded Gamer: Sensible Cohesion - by MikeTheEBGuru

The Jaded Gamer: Sensible Cohesion

I recently read "Stupidity..." by new member named Whilly-D. I enjoyed the article quite quite a bit, but I must confess, I find myself in disagreement. Plus, when you consider his closing statement has been "What do you think?", I don't mind dishing out my insight. Besides, complaining is the easy route, huh? Implying Japanese companies have this "holier than thou" inferiority complex toward the North American market certainly looks plausable when you consider the difference of difficulty between Mother 2 and EarthBound. It may not be logical, however. I think I'd first like to start off with an example he listed.

The "lost levels" of Super Mario Bros. may have been the true sequel, but I'm glad we got a Mario-themed Doki Doki Panic (correct title?). In retrospect, I'd even wager that Nintendo was proud to bring that game to North America. Why? We're a fickle crowd. Some complain Nintendo uses too many sequels. To that, I'd like to point at games like Tomb Raider. Nintendo may indeed make their fair share of sequels, but other than Pokèmon or a few others that escape my mind, you don't see as many sequels being milked to the point in which they become unoriginal. I've been doing this quite often, but this is where I've got to take out a whooping stick against Sega once again. Sonic Adventure 1 was great, but I really felt Sonic Adventure 2 could've received more attention to make it a "true" sequel. Why, if Sega had their online plan as successful as they wished, much of SA 2 could've been done via expansion downloads, or at worst, a Majora's Mask esque gaiden game. My point is, the North American audience usually needs revamps to keep a series going. Now, Whilly said the "lost levels" was the "REAL" sequel. Above all else, the "lost levels" was nothing more than a mediocre rehash of the first game, and it was only included in Super Mario All-Stars to pump in some new content for us North American gamers. Mr. D also went on to claim Super Mario Bros. 2 stunk. Well, although that is simply crude opinion, Nintendo disagreed. They didn't have to remake every Mario-related game for the GBA, but they chose to launch the system with Super Mario Bros. 2 as one of their key titles. The GBA has a great launch, and Nintendo re-releases more of the titles down the road. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to start with Super Mario Bros. 3 for the GBA? It was certainly more successful, but that's another point. If Super Mario Bros. 2 stunk so horribly, why was the next incarnation a hit like no other? Super Mario Bros. 2 was a catalyst of change. It wasn't the most balanced, but it got the job done.

This isn't about Mario, though. This is about EarthBound, this is about Nintendo, and this is about us. I don't mind saying that mainstream gamers aren't the deepest bunch, but neither am I. Media dubbed EarthBound as a great RPG for beginners, and unlike you, I don't see this as the kiss of death. Nintendo games are for everyone. These days, I can dominate one, and still feel entertained. That's what it's all about. Nintendo didn't want to burden us with frivolous leveling up. Besides, this was around the time when RPGs had just became popular in our market. I won't debate whether Mother would've been a success in my neck of the woods if some tweaking was done. I just know that any changes made to any game is due to nothing but sales potential. I hate having to hang around just to beat down some baddies to reach a new level. Who doesn't? The Japanese. There, they may want to be challenged. Me, I want entertainment. That's why EarthBound seems so short to me and many of other vets. Just look at movies based on games. Do they waste near as much time fighting as we do in the games? It's all about reaching the right blend, and I feel that EarthBound did that. Worse comes to worse, you've always got plenty of Criminal Caterpillars to trounce, huh?

I don't know why Whilly would bet Nintendo doesn't perceive us to be smart, but if they did, I'd agree. I've seen my fair share of complaining about Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty being too complex. Too difficult to comprehend for the mainstream gamer. Folks, this title isn't near as much of a hit in Japan, but Konami keeps unleashing this series on us. Why? Profits. I doubt the Japan version is easier, but that Kojima certainly wants us, the supposedly ignorant mainstream North Americans to enjoy his complex little title, and it was a hit; despite giving us morons the screaming fits about understanding its storyline. All of this from one of the quintessential Japanese developers. I'm not an RPG buff, but I will pour it all out on the line by saying that I don't believe Mother 2/EarthBound was the only title to receive difficulty tweaking for its release in another market. Until I see a viable motive for the boys at Nintendo having a different mindset, there's really nothing to negate my feelings.

Other Submissions by MikeTheEBGuru

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
MikeTheEBGuru Confessions of a Dangerous, but Stable Mind
7/31/06 0.00
MikeTheEBGuru Earthbound: best rpg ever?
7/31/06 0.00
MikeTheEBGuru Everdred, PI: Part 1
A few years after the War Against Giygas, Everdred begins a new life as a private investigator. His first case leads him and his partner Shaft to Onett, where Everdred's old friend Ness reports crime is back on the rise.
3/26/05 0.00
MikeTheEBGuru Everdred, PI: Part 2
Everdred returns to Twoson, this time without a partner. And my how things have changed. Orange Kid is MIA, but Dred is on the case.
3/26/05 0.00
MikeTheEBGuru Everdred, PI: Part 3
In Everdred's wackiest case yet, the PI and his new partner, Mr. T, take a trip to Winters to hunt down one Mrs. Andonuts.
3/26/05 0.00


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