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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Die Videogame industry, Die! Part 1 - MarioKart Wii

Part 1 of a 10 part series about why I want the video game industry to implode, causing massive layoffs & putting most devs out of business so that the industry can come back much better than it currently is.

I've been playing Mario Kart Wii for awhile, and I have to say.... it's one of the most overrated games ever. There are things to like about the game, but there are so many things about it that makes it crap.

It's so incredibly cheap. How fun is it to randomly be knocked from 1st to 12th right at the end of a race, when there is nothing you can do about it? It takes the choice away from the player & leaves it up to just dumb luck.

The number of races is obscenely small. There's supposedly "32 stages". What it REALLY is is there are 8 Grand Prix races, each consisting of 4 races. Same diff, right? Wrong. Those 4 races can only be raced in a Grand Prix, so once you pick one, not only do you have to race all 4, but in that order. So in reality it feels more like only 8 actual races are available to choose from. 8 races? In any other racing game, who'd think that was enough variety?

Checking out the reviews for it, overall it gets glowing ratings. But if you actually read most of the reviews, they basically go like this: "Mario Kart Wii is one of the best racing games ever because... because I've loved the Mario Kart franchise since [insert whatever old Nintendo system here] that's why!!" What does any past Mario Kart game have to do with THIS one, that's no way to judge this game, it should be evaluated on its own merits alone.

This comes to the crux of why the video game industry, as it is, needs to basically die off: There's so many mediocre/crap games where the developers/publishers rely on past franchise success, and they sleepwalk their way through each iteration of the franchise. Mario Kart Wii is such a conservative game. It's the first Mario Kart game I've played, but has it changed/added ANYTHING of note since past versions? I doubt it-- it doesn't take the slightest bit of risk with the formula.

There are some advantages to that; the core gameplay is what people enjoy, so why mess with it.... except sequel games should improve on past versions. And the Wii wheel control seems fairly well tweaked, they must've spent a lot of time working on making it a smooth experience.

Mario Kart Wii should be an experience that a new gamer can come into, without having to rely on nostalgia for past versions, and enjoy the current game as is, on its own. But the price they charge for it compared to the content makes it a rip-off. Nintendo first party games hardly ever drop in price, even years after they first come out. Add to that the idiot reviewers & so-called "hardcore gamers" that allow companies to coast their way through latest versions of franchise games because they're too busy tripping over themselves remembering their nostalgic childhood/adolescence experience to do their jobs.


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