What I’d like to see in a SNES Mini 2

So, if Nintendo was to make a SNES Mini 2, I’d like it to be pretty much the same as before with a bunch of classic SNES digital titles pre-installed, although maybe with the SNES Jr. model this time to easily differentiate it from the first one (I guess):

Along with one major addition, which would be a working [mini] cartridge slot that actually takes [mini] compilation carts of classic SNES games in a similar vain to the Evercade VS: https://evercade.co.uk/vs/

This would mean publishers like Nintendo, Capcom, Konami, Square-Enix, Namco, Atari, etc, could release their own compilation carts of classic SNES games in modern times and possibly even make some brand new games for it too.

And, in an ideal world, Nintendo would actually release proper development documentation, finally, and maybe even some kind of simple and very user-friendly software developement tools to go along with this, so indie developers could also build their own SNES Mini titles relatively easily too, which could be via a website or even built into the system directly in a similar vain to the Pico-8: https://www.lexaloffle.com/pico-8.php

At the bare minimun though, just having a working [mini] cartridge slot allowing additional physical [mini] games to be plugged in could be a game-changer in the Mini category imo.

I think that could take a new SNES Mini 2 from being another cool little stocking filler to something potentially very special, and maybe even give birth to a modern SNES Mini console/game market category in its own right.

Note: An important caveat here is that I think any new games made for the SNES Mini 2 would have to be designed to work to/within the original SNES’ technical limitations, purely so these new SNES Mini 2 games could also be released in large cartridge size for the normal SNES as well. That way there’s an instant larger potential market base without any need to design and create totally different versions of the game (outside of the different cartridges).

SNES Mode 3 images can look gorgeous

The images below are doing nothing other than using what is possible in Mode 3 on SNES with its 8bpp and 256-colours total onscreen from the 32,768 colour palette. And this is even before any HDMA or colour math or any raster tricks and the like are applied. There’s even enough VRAM spare to maybe have a little scrolling and stuff too, along with a simple second background layer for some parallax and maybe even some sprites in there also. But, even just as static images and nothing else, they can look beautiful, and far beyond anything I’ve ever seen in any commercial SNES titles or even modern SNES indie games to date:

Continue reading SNES Mode 3 images can look gorgeous

My Honest Bonelabs Review

I don’t know what low bar most of the VR players out there have set for this medium, particularly on standalone, but I’m not drinking the Kool Aid here.

The controls and interaction in this game are simply terrible, just like Boneworks before it, and it’s immediately getting returned as a result.

When I can’t just jump and climb without getting stuck on scenery, can’t just grab and push/pull things around without it being a clumsy mess, can’t just swing a weapon/item without it getting stuck on my avatar’s body, when I have to overthink every motion/movement just to try to avoid horrible collision and motion-sickness-inducing clankiness, it’s just not good enough.

And, by the way, while the “realistic” physics might be celebrated by many in this game, it’s shocking to me that it still looks worse graphically than RE4 VR, which is a game originally released on GameCube in 2001 that’s been updated brilliantly for Quest 2 and actually looks and plays great on it. And, note, I just played RE4 VR literally mins before trying this to specifically compare the visuals and level of polish, so I’m saying with 100% confidence that RE4 VR simply looks better (less blurry overall, better texture detail, no noticeable foveated rendering, sharper in general, no janky legs and arms on the player, some basic shadows under the characters, etc), and it controls and plays leagues better too. There may be some technical level where Bonelab is beyond RE4 VR graphically (certainly in terms of the physics engine), but if it all just looks a bit uglier across the board, it ultimately means nothing to me. It’s the end visual result that counts and nothing more when it comes to the graphics.

Look, I can live with the visuals, which aren’t the best the Quest 2 is capable of (although are totally fine), but the fundamental controls and interactions simply are not good enough–they’re not even close to passable imo–and, for me, they utterly ruin what other potential might be there in the game.

That’s it.

If you want another similarly brutally honest review, you can check out this one too:

A response to GoNintendo’s latest talking point regarding the “Nintendo bump”

Here’s the video:

My Thoughts:

The “Nintendo bump” is definitely real, although maybe not to the extent some people like to pretend it is—but it is there. I’ll give you an example: I watched my bro playing Breath of the Wild the other day and he was constantly going on about how gorgeous it looked, how beautiful the water effect was, how stunning the grass detail was, how amazing the huge open world was, that kind of stuff, and he was basically saying it like it was pretty much the most impressive stuff like this there had ever been in a videogame; that’s how it came across to me anyway. This is slightly ironic considering my bro had already played The Witcher 3 at that point, and if you put Breath of the Wild next to games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Witcher 3 it still looks very good in its own right but not exactly cutting-edge or truly mind blowing—certainly not graphically (even as lovely as it is). So, imo there’s a slight distortion there basically because he’s judging it from the point of view of someone who’s not really seen this kind of graphical quality in Nintendo games before, but it isn’t necessarily taken in the broader context of where graphics are at across the industry*. Therefore, given that he clearly isn’t a unique example—see Josh Thomas’ [The Bit Block] recent video on his first minutes with Breath of the Wild for example, where he is gushing no end—there will be many cases where the overall presentation, visuals, and graphics are being kind of overrated and overstated to a degree, as though they exist in a vacuum and all those other far more powerful systems, including high-end PCs, simply aren’t a thing.

Continue reading A response to GoNintendo’s latest talking point regarding the “Nintendo bump”

Nintendo has a new Switch Ad ready to play at the Superbowl

It’s a pretty good Ad apart from one potentially major flaw as I see it: In the exact same way the specific look and design of the Wii U name and hardware confused many people into thinking that it was just an accessory for Wii (or whatever they thought it was), the games Nintendo has to show off on Switch could possibly convince some people it’s just some kind of add-on for Wii U this time around (or at least that it’s maybe not that much different).

If Nintendo had a bunch of genuinely brand new, cutting-edge, major AAA first party titles to show for the system (and third party too), even if they were all just sequels to its most popular and beloved franchises, I think that possible issue could and would have been entirely avoided. Instead it has a lot of games that are either direct Wii U ports (including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) or look like they are basically 1.5 versions of current Wii U games (certainly as they come across in this Ad). In fact, it sometimes even looks like we’re watching a new Wii commercial—and I meant Wii, not Wii U—with games that could have come from the Wii era and even run on the Wii.

And that’s probably the biggest problem with the launch lineup and launch window games as I see it in terms of selling this thing to both the hardcore gamers and the masses of casuals out there—it kinda doesn’t look like something entirely new and/or cutting-edge (even though the whole multi-mode thing is obviously very cool).

But, it’s a decent enough Ad other than that. And the final image of the full system at the end of the Ad at least makes it pretty clear that it isn’t just the Wii U—which is very important.

Here’s a bonus extended-length Switch Ad that I really like though; it gets a lot of stuff across in its nearly five minute long runtime:

Overall, I think Nintendo is doing the job of selling exactly what the system is all about a lot better than it did with the Wii U, which is good for everyone involved. 🙂

I do, however, really do want to see a lot more tentpole, flagship, system-selling, brand-new/current-gen first party and third party games. . . .