Friday, January 13, 2017

Finally, a shaving simulator...

Above: the only thing that
doesn't suck about 2017.
I feel like we're going to be talking about the slow-motion apocalyptic shitshow that is America and its rapid plunge into political chaos and reality-show normalcy for the foreseeable future, so can we take a brief respite and talk about video games? You know, just to get away from the unrelenting horror for a minute? We can? Great, so I've been following the news about the next Nintendo console and-huh? Yes, another one.

Despite the Wii U coming out just five years ago, Nintendo is ready to throw it in a sack, hit it with a brick and move on. It was a pretty good console with decent first party-games, it's just that no one actually bought one. The name kind of made it sound like an add-on for the Wii instead of a successor, and it forced the company to spend the first year after its release explaining to customers that it actually existed, which is like the first step in selling a thing.
"Well's got a second screen and uh...look, do you want to play the new
Smash Bros.? Great. Buy one and I swear the next console will be awesome."

-Reggie Fils-Aimé, trying, really
trying to explain the Wii U

"Switch tested slightly better than our 
working title, the Nintendo Blumpkin."
-Yoshiaki Koizumi

The console, called the Switch is-huh? Yeah, I know, they're not the best at naming stuff. They called their last two consoles Wii's. But I think it's important to keep in mind that any word, like any word in the English language can used as slang for something sexual. We're a filthy, filthy people. Anyway, last night was the Nintendo's much-hyped live stream event where a company spokesperson in an awkwardly fitting suit revealed a bunch of Switch details like, it how much it costs, when it's being released and in a savvy move, that it exists. 

I think they've just given up and are
throwing magnetic poetry tiles at a fridge.
They also revealed a bunch of new games. Well, maybe 'new' isn't the right word. Iterative? There's the new Zelda, a new Mario, a new Splatoon, Fifa 17 and a bunch of Dragon Quests. There were also ports of Skyrim and Mario Kart 8. So sequels, remakes and ports and then a fairly straight forward JRPG with the batshit insane name: project Octopath Traveler. Which as Square Enix titles go isn't that preposterous given their 2012 game Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. No, seriously.

Of course they also announced an obligatory collection of weird-for-weird's sake mini games that make use of motion controls. It's got old west shootouts, painting a fence, wizarding, shaving. You heard me. For real, watch the thing. Skip to the 1:35 mark to watch all the wild flailing and simulated shaving.
Since this is really something we can do with our fingers and pew-pew
 noises for free, do you suppose it comes with the hat and bandana?
Don't judge me, it had Krang in it.
But why should I, a grown-ass man with a job and everything, care? Because I'm a sucker and Nintendo knows this about me. I like classic games and new games that remind me of classic games and as long as they keep cranking out updates and re-releases, I'll keep handing them money. Like a lot of nerds, I'm still waiting for Amazon to get that tiny-NES back in stock despite having bought digital copies and re-releases of the same goddamn games multiple times over the years. I mean, what's wrong with me? Well, lots probably, but the relevant thing here is a soft-spot for nostalgia, the curse of our generation. Did you know that I've seen both of the recent re-booted Ninja Turtle movies? Yeah, the ones Michael Bay made. Both. I'm not proud of it, but there it is.

Look, Nintendo is really good at selling our childhoods back to us and as someone who can't stand the shift towards things like micro-transactions, crafting and online multiplayer only games, I can appreciate that. Nostalgia for video games is like my heroin and they're basically my dealer. It's a sad, depressing truth and probably a sign of deeper character flaws. Still though, the new Zelda game looks pretty rad, right?
Pictured: Nintendo's business model.

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