Editorial Miscellany: New Sticker Origins

So it's a Kramer device.
It is more of a pop-in than a pop-out effect.

I do not own the New Nintendo 3DS, LusiStereoscopes. My girlfriend does, however, and therefore I have been obnoxiously stealing it to play any cartridge games I have when she is not using it. Wait, I suppose I am jumping ahead.

Hello and welcome to Editorial Miscellany! This is the series in which I grab various floating balloons inside my head and awkwardly tape them together into some sort of barely coherent balloon collection. Let the clarity and entertainment value of that analogy serve as an analogy for Editorial Miscellany in general.

Let us begin!

New Nintendo 3DS

Like I started to say, I have been trying to play the New Nintendo 3DS every chance I can despite the fact that I do not own one. I was initially excited mostly just for the camera stick, hence why I did not see the point in getting one on day one. If I had not received Majora’s Mask early, it would have been more compelling, but since I did not, I figured I would just wait until there was another piece of must-have software that would make use of it.

However, I was stunned at the effectiveness of the upgraded 3D. Like many, I stopped using the 3D functionality almost entirely just a few weeks after I got my 3DS. I would turn it on on occasion just to see how a certain section of a game looked, but it was too finicky and too much of a strain to use on a consistent basis. Now, however, I am playing Bravely Default and Sticker Star for long stretches on the new device without any problems, only starting to feel strain if I play in the dark. The difference makes me want to go back and replay many games with the feature turned on. Both Bravely Default and Sticker Star are simply better looking to me with the feature turned on.

Of course, there is a paranoid part of me that is worried about long term damage. There is not a lot of data about the effect that gaming-length sessions can have on the eye and the fact that I do experience strain in the dark causes me a bit of worry. I am not sure if this is relevant, but Caileigh says the feature works better for her without her glasses on.

I know my disappointment will be my own doing.
I hate to say it, but my hopes are up for a Nintendo RPG E3 reveal.

Speaking of Sticker Star

If Paper Mario is a cute beginner’s RPG, Thousand Year Door is a fantastic beginner’s RPG, and Super Paper Mario is an inspired and creative beginner’s action RPG, then Sticker Star seems like an introduction to the basics of a beginner’s beginner RPG. I am not far at all, but it seems to be a statement reflecting how much lower Nintendo believes the complexity of an RPG needs to be to entice new players. I am not sold by this approach for a number of reasons. Firstly, I do not believe that children are becoming stupider. Perhaps there are more gamers now and there should be a lower barrier of entry for them, but I would be hard pressed to believe that a Thousand Year Door-style RPG would be too complex. Plus, Dream Team came out on the same system and might be one of the more challenging RPGs that Nintendo has published. Maybe that is it and Nintendo wants two levels of accessibility on their handheld, but even if that wild speculation is true, I am still skeptical.

Mostly it just makes me frustrated that Paper Mario moved to the 3DS, although I suppose I would have been even more insulted if Sticker Star was a console game. As Lusipurr has said in the comments in the past, it is time for the development team to take a break and come back later with new ideas. There are things to like about Sticker Star, but these things are so needlessly shallow that these things become meaningless. Oh well.

On to the next one.
Looks fun. Is boring.

Chariot

Meh. I downloaded this on the PS4 because it looked like it could be a fun couch co-op alternative to Nintendo games and I was encouraged by the physics-based gameplay. Physics-based gameplay needs impeccable level design, however, and while the game is very pretty and holds a pretty great gameplay concept, the levels do not represent an interesting, compelling, or natural learning curve. Another round of hyper-critical playtesting might have been a good idea.

An Original Comparison

Dragon Age: Origins runs like complete garbage on the PlayStation 3, but its superiority over Inquisition was still evident from even the hour I played. The lore was inspired and reflective of complex parts of humanity. Inquisition uses this lore as plot, not narrative, and fails to understand more nuanced dynamics. Origins‘ dialogue choices are off the Mass Effect wheel and it is so much better that way. Sure, it is not as flashy, but it does not matter. It feels like real role playing because I am choosing what I want to say, not what I think is more strategic to say. Scratch that, actually, I can still be strategic, but it is based in human response and the risk inherent in any interection. The problem with dialogue in any game in the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series’ that followed was that the curtain was pulled back too far on the inner workings of the mechanic, therefore eliminating what made the feature interesting. Anyway.

I Organized My Bookshelf

I thought everybody should know.

Final Thoughts

Now that is more like an Editorial Miscellany! I certainly covered some miscellanious topics in an editorial fashion. What a world. How are you guys?

8 comments

  1. I enjoyed the idea of Sticker Star, except for the consumable stickers. I didn’t like the idea of the basic attacks being consumables. I would have enjoyed the game much more if only the special and more powerful attacks were consumable.

  2. I could care less about the improved 3D because the effect is almost never worth the cost in battery life (which is short enough as it is). Is the battery supposed to be longer than the 3DSXL?

  3. @Bup – I actually don’t mind the consumable sticker idea. I like having to balance which stickers to use and which to keep and I like the idea of changing up things that are normally considered to be irreplaceable like basic attacks. However, I find the game to not be running with the idea enough to justify the switch. Although, again, I’m fairly early on.

    @DA – It’s comparable to the 3DSXL. You’re right in that on the go, I’ll probably still play in 2D, but I play handhelds at home a lot as well. In bed, on the toilet, while the TV is being used, or even just to play a handheld game, so if I’m not playing plugged in, a charger is never far away.

  4. Caileigh says the feature works better for her without her glasses on.
    This is absolutely true. The head tracking seems to have a bit of an issue with either reflectivity or face-shape, in that glasses confuses it as to where your eyes are. I have to take my glasses off to use it. The problem is that I find the correct distance uncomfortable (I prefer to hold it a little closer, since I cannot see without my glasses).

    Perhaps there are more gamers now and there should be a lower barrier of entry for them, but I would be hard pressed to believe that a Thousand Year Door-style RPG would be too complex.
    As we’ve discussed pretty thoroughly on several occasions, lower barriers of entry leads to games-as-reassuring-hugboxes, not challenges or real accomplishments. Give people something beyond their capabilities and then expect, as an industry, that they must rise to the occasion (and better themselves in the process).
    This is a worthy policy in nearly every walk of life. Dumbing things down to make entry ‘easier’ just doesn’t work. It makes people fearful of failure and reluctant to try anything which they cannot easily complete in a risk-free way.

    the levels do not represent an interesting, compelling, or natural learning curve.
    Damn. I was hoping the same thing you were. :(

    I Organized My Bookshelf
    I thought everybody should know.

    It has taken years, but you have FINALLY done something at the site of which I wholeheartedly approve.

    How are you guys?
    I have a head-ache. :(

  5. I’d be a lot more pumped for the N3DS if I planned on buying anything more for it beyond Majora’s Mask (which I still do not own). My time and money will be split between PC and PS4 games I’ve got bookmarked.

  6. As I already own a 3DSXL, I’d be unlikely to upgrade to the N3DSXL any time soon. The enhanced 3D effects don’t outweigh the cost to me.

  7. This is absolutely true. The head tracking seems to have a bit of an issue with either reflectivity or face-shape, in that glasses confuses it as to where your eyes are. I have to take my glasses off to use it. The problem is that I find the correct distance uncomfortable (I prefer to hold it a little closer, since I cannot see without my glasses).
    Unfortunate! How are you finding the system otherwise?

    As we’ve discussed pretty thoroughly on several occasions, lower barriers of entry leads to games-as-reassuring-hugboxes, not challenges or real accomplishments. Give people something beyond their capabilities and then expect, as an industry, that they must rise to the occasion (and better themselves in the process).
    This is a worthy policy in nearly every walk of life. Dumbing things down to make entry ‘easier’ just doesn’t work. It makes people fearful of failure and reluctant to try anything which they cannot easily complete in a risk-free way.

    Very much true, yes. In some ways I wonder why Nintendo has never had age groupings/suggestions for their games like LEGO. I suppose it would restrict their audience. Sticker Star does seem to be a failure to me so far. Too bad because I feel like the core concept isn’t innately flawed, just poorly executed.

    Damn. I was hoping the same thing you were. :(
    Maybe we just sucked at it, but I would recommend passing, unfortunately.

    It has taken years, but you have FINALLY done something at the site of which I wholeheartedly approve.
    I knew I’d make it here one day. I just knew it.

    I have a head-ache. :(
    Sorry to hear! I had one this morning too. My father took me to a concert and it was the loudest experience of my life. I hope yours has also cleared up.

  8. And Scott, as much as I think the new 3D is truly excellent, the biggest sell for me is honestly the c-stick. I’m going to have to wait before I can afford one, though, so I’m just living vicariously through Caileigh’s right now. Not a bad deal.

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