Category:  Weekend Wondering

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Weekend Wondering: Which Game Console Controller is Your Favorite?

By Alex Plant, July 26, 2013 53

Over the years we’ve seen literally dozens of different controllers. Some came and went; others left permanent marks on the industry. If there’s anything all controllers have in common, it’s that they’ve defined the way millions of people played during their stays on the market.

Everybody has their favorites – diehard Nintendo fans tend to gravitate toward the GameCube controller, the DualShock design has stuck for three generations, and a number of gamers believe the Xbox 360 controller is the pinnacle of perfection. For this week’s Weekend Wondering community poll, we’re asking you to dig into your gaming memories and decide which controller stands out the most to you.

Click below to cast your votes!

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Weekend Wondering: What Kind of New Franchise Do You Want Most From Nintendo?

By Alex Plant, July 12, 2013 31

So far this generation, Nintendo’s only unveiled a small handful of brand-new franchises: Steel Diver on Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Land, SiNG Party and Monolith Soft’s robot-driven RPG X for Wii U. We know Mr. Miyamoto’s working on another new series, too, but we don’t know anything about it.

In light of the mystery surrounding Nintendo’s plans for a new IP, I’d like to ask our community: what do you want from Nintendo? Do you want them to make a new platformer that isn’t based on Mario or Donkey Kong? How about a new action RPG series to exist alongside The Legend of Zelda? A more “mature” franchise? A new type of game, like Wii Sports or Wii Fit?

We’ve prepared a few genre possibilities for you to choose from for this week’s poll, but the real question requires your more in-depth answers… so leave us a comment, too!

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Weekend Wondering: Which Do You Think Looks Better, Smash Bros. Wii U or Brawl?

By Alex Plant, June 22, 2013 39

Earlier today, we posted a large series of side-by-side comparison screenshots for the Wii and Wii U iterations of Super Smash Bros. We noticed that commentators seemed split on which version looked better. Some believed the greater level of visual detail in Brawl texture-wise sets it apart; others think the softer look of the Wii U version coupled with the more technical improvements stand out.

Since it’s hard to decide the consensus by reading comments, we’ve decided to bring back the old Weekend Wondering weekly poll to see which game users prefer visually. Click below to cast your vote!

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Weekend Wondering: Would You Rather Play Wii U Enhanced Ports or Series Collections?

By Alex Plant, March 22, 2013 3

By now it seems pretty clear that third-parties are still mostly focused on bringing older titles to Wii U with updated features, with most of the brand-new content not showing up until later this year. While these enhanced versions are actually pretty spiffy, I think that if people are going to play old games, publishers are going to need to up the ante.

Instead of just offering the most recent game in a franchise, why not bring over those HD collections they released on other platforms? I think Wii U owners who have never played Assassin’s Creed before would be much more enticed by a full series collection than by picking up from the middle of the franchise with exclusive features – and the sales seem to confirm this.

That leads me to this week’s Weekend Wondering question: if third-parties do continue releasing older games on Wii U, would you rather they continue their current pattern of adding a few enhanced features to certain titles as they port them, or would you rather they keep it just to Off-TV Play and focus on delivering entire franchise collections so Wii U owners can catch up on all the HD franchises they might have missed last-gen?

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Weekend Wondering: Do You Prefer Playing Smash Bros. Competitively or Casually?

By Alex Plant, March 16, 2013 22

When we shared Mr. Sakurai’s comments about the takeover of Smash Bros. Brawl‘s online by competitive no-items players who don’t really play in the chaotic way the game generally encourages, a lot of controversy erupted. How can the game’s creator say that competitive play isn’t “interesting or fun”? This led to a long debate about how the game should be played, which style of play better measures one’s skill in the game, and which approach to brawling is really the most fun.

It’s hard to really judge people’s play-styles from a debate, though, so I thought I’d ask the question in a more organized poll-like format: Which style of Smash Bros. play do you prefer? Do you prefer no-items, limited-stages play that attempts to balance the game, or do you prefer the no-holds-barred disorganized melee of ordinary play?

Cast your vote in this week’s Weekend Wondering poll!

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Zelda Fans Old and New Deserve Hyrule in HD

By Ben Lamoreux, March 11, 2013 30

This is a staff response piece to this week’s “Weekend Wondering” community poll question: Weekend Wondering: Should Zelda Wii U Return to Hyrule or Visit a New Land? Feel free to share your own thoughts on the subject in the comments!

With the Wii U, Nintendo has finally entered the realm of HD gaming. For the first time ever, we’ll get to see favorite characters like Mario and Link in high definition, but perhaps even more important is the fact that we’ll get to see entire Nintendo worlds in much greater detail than before.

The land of Hyrule from the Legend of Zelda franchise is among the most well-known and beloved locales in all of video games, but many feel that the long-tenured series has seen too much of Hyrule. Nintendo may be tempted to start fresh on the Wii U with a new land, but there are several significant reasons why Link’s first HD adventure should be in familiar territory.

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Weekend Wondering: Should Zelda Wii U Return to Hyrule or Visit a New Land?

By Alex Plant, March 8, 2013 13

Sometimes it’s good to have a change of scenery… but it’s also good to come home. The Zelda franchise has typically offered a pretty good balance of games set in Hyrule and games that visit new lands, adding variety and depth to Link’s universe. However, with the jump to HD comes a chance to re-create Hyrule in all the glory that wasn’t possible on previous consoles.

That leads us to one of the great questions concerning Zelda Wii U: should it take place in Hyrule or in a new, never-before-seen region of the Zelda universe? Share your thoughts in this week’s Weekend Wondering poll!

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Weekend Wondering: Should Nintendo Change For Third Party Developers?

By Alex Plant, March 3, 2013 6

Wii U hasn’t kicked off this generation with a bang in terms of third-party support – both from the publishers and from early adopters not gravitating toward the plentiful third-party launch games en masse. Activision can’t be happy with the slow performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U, EA didn’t think a Wii U version of Crysis 3 would be viable, and we’ve been hearing reports right and left that other Wii U projects are getting cancelled.

For all Nintendo’s talk about getting third parties back, and all their efforts to create a controller and a platform with relative parity to current market offerings, the great Nintendo console Renaissance that people seemed to believe might be coming just hasn’t happened. What exactly is going on here? Are Nintendo and its fans just never going to be a good fit for third parties as things are? Or do third parties need to better adjust their publishing strategies to cater to Nintendo’s audience?

Let us know what you think in this week’s Weekend Wondering poll!

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Weekend Wondering: Which PlayStation Generation was Your Favorite?

By Alex Plant, February 16, 2013 14

Sony’s kicking off a PlayStation retrospective series to lead in to the PlayStation 4 announcement at PlayStation 2013 next week, and so we decided that the best way to celebrate the upcoming debut was to look back on Sony’s history in the gaming market, too – but we’re kicking it off with a focus on your experiences.

That’s right: this week’s Weekend Wondering poll is all about the PlayStations of the past. Which PlayStation generation do you hold the fondest memories of? Share your thoughts in this week’s poll!

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Weekend Response: Sony Doesn’t Seem Interested in Bringing System Sellers to Vita

By Alex Plant, February 10, 2013 28

This is a staff response piece to this week’s “Weekend Wondering” community poll question: “Which Should Come First for Vita, a Price Cut or More Games?” Feel free to share your own thoughts on the subject in the comments!

A big part of the identity development process for a new system is hitting a stride in terms of system-selling software. For Nintendo, that means Mario, Pokémon, and The Legend of Zelda – all games you can’t find anywhere else but on Nintendo’s platforms. And Nintendo’s historically been good at changing up the experience between consoles and handhelds, so the Zelda you play on your handheld is going to differ in meaningful ways from the Zelda you play on your TV.

It’s clear from the sales of PS Vita across its first full year on sale that the system hasn’t found its big system-sellers yet. Let’s take a look at some historical system sellers and see what’s missing.

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Weekend Wondering: Which Should Come First for Vita, a Price Cut or More Games?

By Alex Plant, February 9, 2013 2

I tend to give PS Vita a rough time, but I really do think it’s an attractive machine with a lot of potential. It’s just… at present, the combination of its steep price and lack of must-have titles makes for a pretty unattractive value proposition. Hardware alone doesn’t sell a game platform. It needs to be more than just a machine.

So far Vita hasn’t sold all that well, and I’m curious to see what it’d take for that to change. I’ve advocated for a long time that it’s the games that will determine Vita’s fate, but I’m starting to think the games need to come alongside a price drop to really be effective.

What do you think would be most helpful right now? More games, or a price cut? Share your thoughts in this week’s Weekend Wondering poll?

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Weekend Wondering: What Will Convince You to Buy a Wii U?

By Alex Plant, February 2, 2013 29

Judging by Wii U’s sales performance, it’s pretty clear that Wii U hasn’t convinced too many people to make the leap to Nintendo’s next generation system. This naturally leads us to question why that’s the case. Is there just not enough confidence in the system’s software lineup? Do people want to see more first or third-party games in action before they decide? Are people holding out to see how Wii U stacks up against other next-gen platforms from Microsoft and Sony? We’d like to get to the bottom of the issue as best we can.

For this week’s (late) Weekend Wondering poll, we’ve prepared a few of the more obvious reasons, and we’re asking everybody – both Wii U owners and non-Wii U owners – to chime in on what they need to sell them on Nintendo’s latest platform.

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