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Mobile gaming: Are you one of us or one of 'them'? [roundtable]
 
Have we done this before? Regardless, let's do it again!

How do y'all currently feel about mobile(/tablet) gaming? Do you prefer playing games on a phone to playing on a dedicated handheld? Has the best of iOS impressed you more than the best of the 3DS/Vita/PSP? Is mobile really the place where the most interesting innovations in gaming are happening? Name names.

Bonus Question: Why is the gaming press collectively gaga over this stuff, when they never gave half a shit (collectively) about handhelds? Is pocket space really at such a premium?

Have at it, Apple Scruffs! I'll chime in later.

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Posted: 08/29/12, 02:41:18  - Edited by 
 on: 08/29/12, 02:42:36
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My wife has Angry Birds on her iPhone. That's enough phone gaming for my tastes. Its fun, don't get me wrong, but it is definitely a 2 minute time killer.

***GOES BACK TO PLAYING RESIDENT EVIL: REVELAITONS ON 3DS XL***
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:06:24
@Anand

Nah, I agree there's some effect, I'm just not sure how deep or wide it runs. Or, rather, I don't see it as running so deep and wide that it's worth dismissing the whole format as the enemy. As you pointed out, a lot of the developers who've focused attention on phone games weren't guys who were doing big development on handhelds, anyway. And if they're the sorts of developers who are turned on by the idea of pumping out a bunch of shitty 1 dollar games on a phone, I'm not sure I want their games on my 3DS, anyway.

I do think it might be harder for Nintendo to sell systems to parents, who might consider a phone a viable alternative to a DS. That's a fair argument. But, still, I'd point out that the DS did pretty awesome even during the iPhone boom. I'm not really complaining about the 3DS release schedule right now, either. Looking good. And the low price of those iOS games might have also gotten us things like The Rolling Western for 10 bucks on the 3DS. Not to go all Republican on everybody, but maybe the market is working, there.

I also agree that games journalists have been more excited about mobile gaming than the format deserves, but I think that's a problem with journos, not with the games, necessarily. Pop culture critics often have this problem where they value new things over good things. That's the Pop in pop culture. But I don't blame Angry Birds for being overrated. I blame the idiots who overrated it. It's a separate complaint.

Does this make any sense?
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:18:35
I tend to agree with Kris. I mean, obviously there's some effect. But there's also some effect of people buying handheld games more than console games and vice versa. Both can co-exist. Yes, mobile games are selling a shit ton, but a lot of those people probably would never have considered buying a 3DS anyway.

Long-term, there is an effect of mobile gaming on dedicated handhelds. But I don't think it's reached a point where we should write the format off completely for that reason.

Also, I'm sorry if I made it sound like this whole thread is people who haven't laid out their reasons -- that isn't the case.
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:23:58
Deerock69 said:
***GOES BACK TO PLAYING RESIDENT EVIL: REVELAITONS ON 3DS XL***
Dude, I simply cannot play that game without the CPP, where is the CPP XL Nintendo? Where! Right now I'm a little pissed Nintendo is making me choose between playing on the large screen or playing with proper (IMO) controls.
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:32:13  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 21:25:45
deathly_hallows said:
Right now I'm a little pissed Nintendo is making me choose between playing on the small screen or playing with proper controls.

They didn't! You can play on the small screen AND have proper controls!
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:34:48
@rebonack
EDIT: oh yeah, I meant large screen, duh.

That actually kinda ties back into the whole touch screen/iOS controls debate. People in the media champion iOS games over the 3DS because they think that virtual sticks are good enough, I disagree. Some Nintendo gamers are against the CPP because they think gryo or touch screen controls are good enough to replace the 2nd stick, and I still disagree! Having played RE:R both ways I just can't go back to the awkward single-pad control schemes, just can't.
Posted: 08/31/12, 20:13:37  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 21:25:11
I actually bought the CPP precisely because of Resident Evil, but after playing both ways it just felt right to not use it. Like the game wasn't built for it and it becomes too easy with it or something? The controls are pretty close to the Gamecube game too.

Doesn't this exist though? Or not yet?
Posted: 08/31/12, 20:21:26  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 20:22:38
@deathly_hallows Yeah, virtual sticks suck. iOS games can be awesome when they're built with the limitations of the format in mind.

I too don't care for RE:R without the CPP. I still haven't played the full game, but I couldn't even finish the demo without it.
Posted: 08/31/12, 20:25:47
@Zero
I had the exact opposite experience, I played through the first half without the CPP and it was serviceable, played much the same way as RE4, walk, stop, aim, shoot, walk, stop, aim, shoot, etc. But it seemed clear to me that the more action-oriented parts (like the flashback of escaping the tower being attacked by the fast BOWs) were clearly meant to be played moving and aiming and shooting at the same time and that frustrated me. Not that I have anything against RE4, love that game, but that was 2005, games like Dead Space have proved (to me at least) it's better and more natural to be able to move and shoot at the same time, especially when facing fast, agressive enemies and not slow, shambling zombies. Once I got the CPP I went back and played RE:R from the beginning and it was like night and day, IMO it was a massive improvement, and now it feels weird to play it on the XL without the CPP.

And yes, they're supposed to have an XL version of the CPP, but I don't see it on store shelves, it's not on the Gamestop site, it's not even on Nintendo's site? What gives Nintendo, release it or not, stop with the cock-teasing!
Posted: 08/31/12, 21:24:17  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 21:27:00
@kriswright@rebonack
Yeah, my opinions aren't very different. Although I probably think the shift in the kids' market is a bigger deal, and I might argue that iDevices hadn't quite trickled down to the young'uns during the DS' heyday.. Plus, there have been some red flags lately regarding Japanese development, like Square-Enix's growing support of iOS (including that troll-y TWEWY countdown).

But, like I said, this thread was primarily made because of the (seeming) disconnect between my experiences with mobile games and everyone else's (read: the media's). So I kind of wanted to gauge the opinions here. Like, I'm genuinely curious about whether anybody here generally enjoys iPhone games more than, say, 3DS games.

Still, I am going to be sad when us handheld gamers get moved to an even more low-rent ghetto. And then get evicted and forced to subsist on... I don't know how to continue this metaphor.
Posted: 08/31/12, 22:21:54
At the moment there's still more dedicated handheld games for me to play than I have time to, so I couldn't possibly care about mobile games horning in on the space. It's like the deluge of FPS this generation. Yes, they don't appeal to me generally, but there's still more than enough games that do. And judging by Backlaugust, most people are in the same situation. It'd be one thing if I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs because I'd played all the games I wanted to and there were only FPS games left over, but I somehow doubt that's the case for anyone.

The complaint I understand more is the Resident Evil franchise. They had something that appealed to fans of a certain type of game and they completely changed it to appeal to a different group of fans (although there is of course plenty of overlap). Feeling miffed is understandable. But most FPS developers didn't use to make, say, 2D platformers and then abandon them, so that feeling doesn't really arise there, in my opinion.

If developers of the type of game you like were closing down shop left and right that also might be troubling, but, again, people seem to have plenty on their plate.
Posted: 08/31/12, 23:31:23  - Edited by 
 on: 09/01/12, 00:18:53
@Jargon
That's reasonable, but I refuse to acknowledge it, because then I could never complain about anything.
Posted: 09/01/12, 00:17:23
@Anand
If iOS completely takes over and Nintendo/Sony handhelds die off. I'm just going to become a retro gamer for life, I'll buy a bunch of redundant machines so as they die I have backups and I'll track down every GBA/DS/3DS cart I can so I have a long list of things to play. I'll never stop gaming on "gameboys", never! On my death bed there will be some sort of dedicated handheld gaming device, guaranteed. Probably my SP+ with a Metroid Fusion cart in it, if it still works by then.
Posted: 09/01/12, 04:00:50
This isn't a phone game, it's a browser game, but I think this is the sort of attitude that Guillaume and others worry about with this new form of games? It's a post a cousin of mine made on her Facebook:

Bored of SongPop already. Still have another day left in the tournament too. I am surprised at how well I do but in comparison to everyone else I still Stink MAJORLY. I still am 51 coins away from getting a new genre of songs too and I feel like it is never going to happen for me. I've stopped caring but keep playing.

The last line is especially chilling. Not saying it doesn't happen with "normal" games too, but I get the sense that these type of games are specifically built to get people acting like this.
Posted: 09/02/12, 01:24:08
Yep, it's what really makes my skin crawl in a nutshell.

I did get addicted to Tiny Tower, by the way, for a full day, until I decided to uninstall the damn app. Late at night. As I was still checking updates while in bed.

And yeah, they are specifically designed to trigger that kind of behavior. It just seems... shady, to me.
Posted: 09/02/12, 03:03:31
@Guillaume

Well, I completely agree about that, too - the Skinner Box thing. But it's a problem that goes beyond these simple games, as well. MMOs have been guilty for years of this sort of "play while you're bored to tears and the house burns down around you" design philosophy.
Posted: 09/02/12, 04:45:26
Considering how little money these games cost, I'm not really sure it's worth worrying over. There's much worse ways in which companies prey on consumers. And if you're just worried about people wasting their time, well there's not much difference between wasting time playing addictive, substance-free games and wasting time playing games that are actually fun (unless they are your wife and they ignore good games you bought them in lieu of Farmville )

In the end, I think you've just got to let people determine for themselves how they're going to play games and just be happy that you are playing in a way that is satisfying to you.
Posted: 09/02/12, 05:59:12
And that's exactly what I do.
Posted: 09/02/12, 06:10:25
My wife got me an iPhone last Christmas. I immediately dl'ed a bunch of the more well-known games - Peggle, Plants v. Zombies, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Words With Friends, Draw Something - and was excited to give them a try. The novelty wore off. Quickly. I think it mostly has to do with the lack of depth to these games. In the end, there's really not much to them. Certainly not compared to DS games like, for example, Bowser's Inside Story or The World Ends With You.

That said, I absolutely love my iPhone. (I'm typing on it right now.) I love having Netflix and Watch ESPN any time I want. I love having the Internet and my email in my back pocket. I love being able to hear a song, Shazam, then iTunes, and now I own it. I wouldn't want to be without my iPhone, but I don't use it for gaming much.
Posted: 09/04/12, 21:57:59  - Edited by 
 on: 09/04/12, 21:59:47
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