Posted on April 23 2011 by Damir Halilović
Hello. My name is Damir Halilović and I will be your host for the evening. Some of you might know me, and most of you will hate me both me and my guts (They’re sentient you know) by the end of this article. Which is why we are going to have a lot of fun now. Tonight’s topic revolves around the heavily debated Project Café that is apparently boiling somewhere deep down in Nintendo’s
horror wonder land. The implications of this for the gaming industry are gargantuan.
As with every new and exciting platform however, there are some people that ruin it for everyone else. Sometimes it’s kids with headsets, sometimes it’s the manufacturer, but most of the times it’s the developers. Those lovely people that actually make the games you play. In a perfect world there would be no bad developers, no lazy script writers and all the games would be masterpieces in every single aspect – gameplay, story, graphics, soundtrack, disc aerodynamics etc. However, we do not live in a perfect world (yet) so the cruel, hard fact is that most developers are drooling mouth breathers that can’t tell their shoe from a C# compiler.
After you click the nice little “Continue reading” link below this paragraph, you will find a list of developers that should, for the sake of all of us, keep their hands off of Project Café. Note that that shouldn’t be the case simply because they’re bad, there are other perfectly valid reasons, but the bottom line is that if these people were to pretend that Nintendo switched to being a daycare center, the world would be a better place (Give me another 2 days and I’ll tell exactly by how much).
Every artist has flops. There is no music artist that I personally like who doesn’t have at least song I loathe. Same principle applies to game developers. So, after a game designer releases a bad game, unless it’s the latest in a stream of bad games swimming in a pile of shit (See: further below), it can generally be forgiven.
Not this one.
Silicon Knights are best known for their absolute hit game Eternal Darkness on the Nintendo Gamecube. If you are not familiar with this game or haven’t played it, please takes 3 steps back from your PC. After you hear the buzzer, please briefly re-asses your life.
Being the masterpiece that it was, it only served to emphasize what might be the biggest game development failure of the decade – Too Human. I shall not waste my breath, nor shall I waste your time with this game. If you have not played it, or even heard it of up until this point, give yourself a pat on the shoulder and try your best to erase the name out of your memory.
The bottom line is, Silicon Knights screwed it up more horribly than the laws of physics technically allow, and they are very welcome to stick with Microsoft and their excuse for a console (did I mention yet how horrible the Xbox is? Yea, it’s pretty bad). You might say that they ought to be given another chance, but I would be more than happy to sacrifice the possibility that they might release something good again for the safety of not getting my hopes up. Besides, the chances that Eternal Darkness was an accidental success are astronomically higher than the chances of Too Human being an accidental flop. Just sayin’.
Now, I am perfectly aware that Rockstar hasn’t been developing for the Nintendo a lot. But with all the new stuff that Nintendo is promising, and the fact that exclusives are slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past, they might just start getting funny ideas.
First things first, Rockstar is a very bad game development studio. None of the wishy-washy I am not into sandbox games crap – they are objectively and factually bad. The reason for that is actually rather simple. Rockstar Games creates violent games for the sake of creating violent games.
Most people would now raise an eyebrow and look at me bewildered, possibly while cocking a gun and / or backing away slowly. But do pause for a moment and let that sink in – one of the biggest, most successful game developers in the world is making a gigantic chunk of their revenue on games based on man’s juvenile and extremely primitive urge to hurt other humans.
time and time again while we weep for our souls.
Anyone who even remotely tries to argue that any GTA game has anything resembling a decent and coherent story can probably either count their age or the number of games he / she played on a single hand. It’s almost as cute as listening to Call of Duty fans defend the Black Ops plot really.
If your thought now was to argue about Red Dead Redemption with me, followed by a quick stab to the ‘nads, please look up “coherent” and “pacing”, it’ll save me a click on the “Report Spam” button. Think of the buttons. Thank you.
You know, we really did have a good start. I spent the past decade contemplating where and how things went wrong, but I can’t pin it down. Secret of Mana made me fall in love with you on first sight. I thought you were the love of my life. It wasn’t long after our first date that you showed me just how atmospheric and passionate you can be with Secret of Evermore. At this point I knew deep in my hear that we will stay together for all eternity.
Then came Chrono Trigger. Any meaning I thought I had in my life up to that point vanished. Everything faded into a blissful azure-blue hue. I really didn’t think it could get any better, when Chrono Cross game along. I was the happiest man alive.
But then things started going downhill. I knew all along about some of your bad habits, like Final Fantasy. But loving someone means accepting them with every flaw they’ve got, right? I kept hoping that it was just a phase, that you’d grow out of it. But the more time we spent together, the more incessant you became about it. Gone was the comedy charm of Secret of Mana. No longer were there any stories like Chrono Cross.
You gave me a little hope again with Final Fantasy XII, I thought you are finally be turning your addiction into something positive. But the last nail in the coffin came with Final Fantasy XIII. At that point you have pretty much dropped all the pretense. I would pay money to just have one glance at the Final Fantasy Plot Generation Machine, seeing how it pumps out a constant stream of generic plot twists, shitty unlikeable characters, overdone locations, ridiculously bad gameplay and boring dialogue.
I’d actually respect you more if you were to just come out and say “We want your money, so either we can keep releasing these automatically generated games that you seem to spend more money on that cocaine, or you can just send us $25 every month and we can go home and snort all that aforementioned cocaine”. Otherwise, I’ll settle for never ever seeing you again in my life, or on my console.
Pictured: Square-Enix, Gamers, Damir
I love pets, do you? I had a little puppy dog when I was a kid, then it died. Alone. Without ever seeing the world. Without any ambition. Nintendo obviously likes pets, too, because they are keeping a very expensive and precious breed – Retro Studios. Now, if you’re a regular viewer on this site, and if you more or less know me (in which case I’d kindly ask you to stop stalking me, unless you’re a hot girl, in which case you can PM me on the forum), you’ll know that I hardly found time to talk and eat in the past few years due to sucking on Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country Returns more intensely than a hooker with a built in vacuum cleaner. Which is precisely the reason why Retro Studios is now on this list.
Again, before you crucify me upside-down and put funny colored underwear on my head while setting me on fire, allow me to elaborate.
Here’s something to help you relax.
They say that if you love someone, give him / her freedom. Which is exactly what Retro Studios doesn’t have. They have spent the past few years making sequels for Nintendo’s intellectual property (arguably better than Nintendo themselves), and at one point one needs to simply wonder what kind of magical gold-laying hen could these guys come up with if they were to try. The world is way overdue for another consistently good franchise that doesn’t start with P and ends with ortal, and I’m putting my money on Retro Studios.
In order to accomplish this, they really really REALLY need to break free from Nintendo and just start doing independent stuff. It would be hard to find any company in the gaming world that is as strict and secretive about the franchises than Nintendo, and I am not sure this is healthy for any developer working for them.
It could very well be that Nintendo is single-handedly holding back one of the greatest (r)evolutions in gaming history. On the other hand, whatever it is that Retro would come up with might be too much for us fragile meat bags to handle and we’d all end up vaporized on the spot, so Nintendo might be single-handedly saving us all, or holding our lives hostages, depending on how you look at it.
Yes, I am fully aware that Retro Studios might suffer the very same fate that has befallen Silicon Knights, but considering that a lot of the core team is made of people that previously worked for Acclaim / Iguana Entertainment, who were one of the best developers around during the N64 era, the chances of that happening are pretty slim.
At the end of the day, all of this doesn’t mean that any of these developers are bad (well, it does in the first 3 cases), but simply that the gaming world as a whole, and Nintendo’s newest ace console, would both benefit from having these four groups of people as far away from it as humanly possible. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where 99.99% of the people that didn’t stop reading after seeing Square-Enix at the list, or that I actually liked Final Fantasy XII to some extent, still want to violently mutilate me for writing this article. We live in a world where cash cows will be milked until even their unborn offspring shrivels up and dies, and Nintendo is nothing if not a cash cow. So, you go on hating me and selling your soul to Square-Enix, and I will keep defying as long as there’s still a gram of strength (The imperial system sucks by the way) left in me.