I think this is a good move, Mario will definitely push more sales than Nintendo Land. If there is any game Nintendo could lean on for support it would be NSMBU. They squeezed as many sales out of the standalone game ast they could. And when new owners set up their console and see how much fun people are having with Nintendo Landon Miiverse, they can go out and buy that game at a good price (or get it from the eShop).
It's easier to get into for sure, but if the question is "can someone determine a game's non-gamer / casual appeal single player at a kiosk?" well... I don't think Wii Sports would have won many people over that way. It won people over in the midst of party situations and such.
Heck, half of the appeal for a lot of us "core" gamers wasn't necessarily the game itself, it was the fact that suddenly we owned this game that a bunch of people we knew who never touched games before wanted to play. Something you CAN'T experience at a kiosk. Wii Sports didn't win me over instantly, it just became the game that I played a bunch because everyone I knew wanted to play it. Outside of Golf I rarely ever played it alone.
The motion control thing was also instrumental. The whole concept of swinging a bat by pretending to swing a bat was a pretty big deal. The Gamepad demands much more and is instantly less inviting to non-gamers.
Yeah but Wii Sports didn't just appear at parties. People were convinced to bring it because it would be fun for other people to play. That happened with people playing it themselves. It was a crucial step. Regardless, history tells the tale here. Nintendo Land didn't have the casual appeal Wii Sports did. So much so that now Nintendo has cut it out of the Wii U bundle. Did that ever happen with Wii Sports outside of Japan?
@Stephen I can't speak for anyone else but I ALWAYS bring my new toys to my family parties. I wasn't expecting anything beyond the usual me and the gamers in my family playing though.
I'm not sure that too many Wii owners were sitting there playing Wii Sports and thinking "hmm, I should totally see if my mom wants to play this"? Maybe? I think it was more though that the Wii was there and people who normally would see a gaming system being played and walk past were suddenly deciding to try it out...
Fun is completely different than accessibility. It's quite possible for something to be more fun in the first ten minutes and less fun overall. I see that in games all the time. And I certainly don't judge a game's fun on how most people feel about it, under any conditions, let alone based on 10 minutes with a kiosk.
The only reason that Wii Sports(+) might have been more popular in my household and life is because A.) it lacked the need to understand the Nintendo references being made by the franchises, B.) it featured easily recognizable activities that did not require new learning.
I think NintendoLand is easily the better product overall, but I see where the mass appeal is different and subdued compared to it's Wii Sports counterparts.
I know I, for one, was a downright missionary for the Wii. I counted it up once and I think I sold 7 Wiis for Nintendo dragging that thing around and playing Wii Sports with friends and family. That was no accident. That was intentional behavior on my part. "I'm gonna get these guys to play bowling with me if it's the last thing I do."
Might have done something similar with Nintendo Land, too, if the game wasn't so embarrassing to look at. I don't care what you guys say. I think it's completely awful. If you're okay showing that colorful hot mess off to your friends and family and saying, "Look, Skeptical Father-in-Law, this sorta thing is how I spend my free time," bangarang. You've got a more open-minded peer group than I do. Mine would have laughed at me (and sorta did the couple of times I did get it out). It's just... presentation matters when you're trying to get new gamers to approach something like Nintendo Land. I feel strongly they should have done something less... visually arresting.
That's my review of the art style. I do think there are strong elements to the gameplay and I've enjoyed the game, on the whole. But, man, what a missed opportunity.
I might agree about the vividly-colored plaza, but do you really think the rest of the game looks bad? Personally, I thought Zelda, Balloon Fight and Pikmin were beautiful to look at, DK, Metroid and Yoshi had a nice sense of art direction, and the rest were serviceable enough at least.
Heck, imagine if Nintendo had a brand new IP that looked like that. I'd be onboard, no question.
@kriswright I was thinking exactly what TFB just said (and posted an image about) while reading your post. Does that Pikmin picture look like an embarrassment?! It was mostly the plaza that was ugly, everything else looks pretty neat actually. Especially Balloon Flight, which looks SICK.
The bigger issue that I've had with getting people to play this game is that the initial interest just isn't there. It's not "hey look it's bowling" like Wii Sports was.
Nintendo Land is much more of a gamer's game than Wii Sports is, and this is why it didn't catch on as well. As Zero said it doesn't grab you immediately, you need to experience it to find the fun. Having experience with video games helps a lot too, most multiplayer games have you holding a wii remote sideways, or the gamepad, i.e. a traditional controller. Plus, there are a lot of advanced techniques at play - for example, you can strafe in Luigi's Ghost Mansion. Get a group of gamers together and they can face off in Nintendo Land multiplayer all night long, while Wii Sports might only entertain the non-gamer crowd for that long. Admittedly, the two-player isn't that fun in the competitive games (although it's great in the cooperative games). I'd say two-player multi was more fun in Wii Sports because you could 1v1 in a lot of games. But that 4 or 5 player multi in Nintendo Land is simply unmatched, it's just a matter of getting a good group together. Preferably intermediate to expert gamers.
@Jargon The Last of Us blew me away at just the title screen, the music is absolutely haunting, within the first 5 minutes I was in hooked into the story and invested in the characters, within the first 20 minutes I had been moved nearly to tears.
Also it wouldn't have mattered if I would have played Nintendoland in the store or home, I spent about 20 minutes playing all the single player attractions to the point where I had no desire to play any of them ever again. There was no time constraint, I just found it a boring game at best (the Donkey Kong tilt game or the ninja stars game) or simply horrible at worst (the F-Zero game). I'll withhold judgement on the 5 player multiplayer stuff but the single player simply is not good.
I'll also reiterate this fact: I had walked into Nintendo World intending to buy a Wii U but after playing Nintendoland I was convinced not to, not only did it fail to "sell" me on the potential of the Wii U it did the exact opposite.
I think Nintendo Land was designed as a "bridge" game, an attempt to get that Wii Sports crowd interested in Nintendo's other franchises and more invested in gaming. That's why they used so many Nintendo franchises all in one place, but still centered around generally simple, accessible gameplay that just about anyone could pick up. It's a game designed for Nintendo players of all ages and fandom.
Whether or not it succeeded is another matter entirely, but I don't think it was ever meant to do what Wii Sports did.
Nintendoland, much like any real amusement park, is not a single person experience. Possibly the reason why you find zero joy in it is because you DID play all the single player stuff and not mostly the 5 player insane feel-good-times that is Mario Chase. Wii Sports could get by single player, it was still good enough to manage it. However even Wii Sports couldn't hold a candle in single player to 4 player tennis or bowling. It just can't compare, the experience with 3 (or 4) others blows single player out of the water.
You mentioned Last of Us. It's probably similar to if you tried to play Last of Us in a room full of people all talking loudly and trying to play at the same time. It wouldn't work, because it's primary design is not to be played like that. If anything, NintendoLand shouldn't have HAD single player games at all. It should have had all multiplayer games with the possibility of playing some single player like Wii Sports. (IMO.)
@kriswright I'm not saying that we shouldn't talk about it at all, 'cause if I were I wouldn't even have bothered responding to your post, I'm just saying I think there are more practical and easily defined aspects of the whole problem than what you're looking at.
I can see that the art style won't appeal to everyone - just like any other art style - but I still don't think it is capable of putting off large enough amounts of potential customers to turn a Wii Sports equivalent into a flop, and certainly not more likely to do so than the most advertised feature, which is the means of input. But, I'm repeating myself.
Again, you spent less than three minutes with each single player game. There's never been a game that you changed your mind about after spending more time with it? Are all your opinions on video games fully formed after three minutes? There's a reason there's a difference between impressions and a review.