Fresh posts from your friendly neighborhood N-Siders

  • Dad of Dojima

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    My daughter is literally two weeks old, I put her in a bassinet next to me, it is a word I just learned, it's a basket on wheels that you put your fresh baby in because they are fragile and important and about as mobile as a zucchini. All I want, for the love of god, is to get an hour or so of time that is unpunctuated with shocking emissions of any sort, from the ass, mouth, or butt.

    That's because I have decided that babies are boring, but setting my virtual baseball team to double-speed autopilot and watching their statistics simulate an inconsequential game so that I might win a modicum of also virtual and Very Inconsequential experience points for the baseball players (also not real) over and over again is exciting? Comfortable, at least.

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    These are early mornings, ones that seem more distant in history now than it's easy to explain, days removed from a human being blasting out of my life partner, as we are now left to our own devices—here is a person who can't do anything and who will require your absolute care every three hours At The Least, and okay you can load her up in your car and take her home like a sack of groceries now, ha ha good luck, the speed limit is 70. I cannot envision a life that exists for me outside of the present moment, one free from the confines of tending to the the world's weakest bonfire.

    Unfortunately I also just got a copy of Yakuza 6. It is playable on the video game system that you can't take away from the TV.
  • Let's discuss cardboard

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    Something weird called out to me today from just outside the boundaries of the miasmatic illusion I call my life and the name of it is Nintendo Labo. Labo is a normal word in English.

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    Nintendo Labo is a thing that—like so much of Nintendo's best work—we cannot understand or comprehend until the moment they show it to us. Nintendo Labo is straight up Nintendo, who just sold ten million of their newest hottest electronic gizmo in town and of course have decided they'd like to say "hey watch me papercraft."

    It is a misdirect, a perfect juke, and yet very much not only in the vein of the company's questioned then loved video game decisions, but harkening back to the days of the Ultra Hand, the one-direction-only Lefty RX, the giant plastic Duck Hunt that projected little beams of light on your wall that you could shoot eight years before they made it for your TV. They're toys, goddammit, weird ones, ones that are designed based on constraints, with a little something unusual, a little gizmo in there you never have really seen used like that before. They're first person Metroid, a controller that you can move, a Zelda game that looks like it's a cartoon, a handheld with two screens.

    Nintendo Labo is a thing that was designed for everyone, but as the breathless, offended double-children of the Internet will make sure you know, is best regarded as something solely for youths which do not yet possess their astonishing degree of intellect. This is because pressing tiny buttons while staring into the warm glow of a television with animated characters on it has always been a hobby that is most adult, sophisticated and complex, refined. Not like these... toys for children, these LITERAL MARVELS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY

    Did you see that fucking RC car bug animal thing move around? It's made out of cardboard and you put your remotes on it and it moves, "i guess somehow." I liked the part when they were like here's a bird and a camera and a gun and a flight stick and a robot and a kick pedal and you can color them with markers and stationary tape. Then they open that shit up and it's like what I imagine is inside an Etch-A-Sketch or a space ship? There's like an embarrassed little flat person that you can make flop all over itself too.

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    Do you remember that time when the newest gameplay innovations at the Electronic Consumer Technology Demonstration Summit involved elaborate configurations of cameras strapped to our televisions and manipulating glowing wands to Hey Ya then propping up pyramids over our game mats so we could watch our trading cards animate? That stuff was pretty adult, pretty in touch with the world, unlike these sheets of transformed recycling.

    If you've visited the web page twice in the last eighteen months, you have a problem, and have likely noticed that I had posted some speculation about the Switch that was really brilliant for basically no time and has been a hilarious testament to how wrong I was, like everyone always is, about this goofball company.


    It turns out that I was actually totally right. I had interpreted super leaked public patents to suggest the Switch would blast an infrared light inside detachable controllers and then read button presses by viewing the areas of reflective coating and watching them for movement with a built-in camera. It just turns out that this patent wasn't for Joy-Cons. It was for TOY-CONs (oh).

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    "Cheap, hollow, and versatile," I remarked, totally presciently, 75 weeks ago, "You could have a controller that has levers on it, one with dials, one with on/off switches that toggle." I think I saw all that stuff in the Nintendo Labo promotional video, which I watched four times while darting my head around in this empty living room, begging for someone, anyone, to answer the unspoken bellow I offer to the void.

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    If I selectively excerpt other things I said, I sound even righter: "We could see maybe being able to purchase... a controller with open [space] on the... side onto which [another] controller... could be attached."

    What if companies start making new games that are specifically designed to use Nintendo Labo toys as controllers! I want to make them, I want to make the toys, I would like to make most if not all of the toys.

    In conclusion, let's all pay $70 a pop for stationary!
  • Nintendo's NX could be a Super Game & Watch

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    Leave it to hardware speculation to drag my ass outta retirement...

    A trio of new patents published today (1, 2, and 3) and dug up by a guy on NeoGAF named Disorientator have seemingly fully detailed the fundamental tricks and functionality of the forthcoming NX—and it’s only a little bit what everyone speculated. 

    Keep in mind that everything I talk about in this article has been gleaned specifically from these (and previous) patents. Just because something is patented doesn't mean it will be used, or that it's going to really be exactly what happens. This is just one Nintendo superfan's best-educated informed speculation-style guess.

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  • Satoru Iwata

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    I tried to write something eloquent here, and found that I just don't have the words.

    So here are some pictures of us as children, with the man who embodied everything that could possibly be right about how to make video games, how to value a team of artists and visionaries, and how to inspire impressionable boys and girls to make stupid websites like this one.

    He will never be replaced.

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  • Pardon our hiatus

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    I swear it's coincidence, but N-Sider seems to echo Nintendo's strategies more often than not. Similarities between the 2013 Wii U lineup and our editorial output are easy to make! Ha ha it's because neither of them exist. Oh man.

    I'm starting to find that when it comes to hobbies, it's best not to push them. When an enjoyable outlet starts to feel more like a responsibility, it's time to take a step back. Brandon was carrying the site pretty much all by himself for a looong time there, and that's something a person can only keep up for so long. I've been torturing myself mentally for upwards of eight (wow ugh) years now on getting a fresh version of the site put together and launched, and while this interim site was a small victory, it's far from the planned end result.

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    The site I want to make, and the site we want to write for, changes as we ourselves change. Five years ago it was a labyrinthine and art-filled database to end all databases. These days it's a site that can get out of the way, self-maintain, and fit into our lives when we feel like we need an outlet. People get older, priorities evolve.

    With that in mind, N-Sider's officially taking a break. It's not really a huge change considering this is the fourth post in four months, but it's mostly for our own peace of mind. N-Sider is something we want to do, but it's also something that preys on our minds when it feels like promised content has been left lingering. So we're gonna take some time to recharge, and work on these projects on whatever timescale feels good for us.

    Hang with us on the freshly reopened-to-registrations [and regrettably now re-closed due to spammers] N-Forums, and look forward to the day when we finally complete incubating some of the sweet ideas we've been sitting on.

    N-Sider will return.
  • I cannot deal with how excellent the Fire Emblem: Awakening soundtrack is

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    Man I could say so many things about Fire Emblem: Awakening, but at this point all I really want to share is how brain-scramblingly amazing the soundtrack is. I beat the game last night, and got access to the sound test mode, and have just been listening to it all day at work.

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    SO, I am going to just shamelessly vomit out an assortment of Youtube links to songs here. Be wary of comments and what have you, lest you inadvertently spoil this or that. The song titles are pretty safe though. If any of these links ever end up going down for some reason, you can easily find the songs just by plugging their title into the 'tubes.

    • Conquest (Ablaze) - The bass line on this one actually gives me a little bit of a Chrono Trigger feel.
    • Divine Decree (Ablaze) - I think these songs are all synth, including the vocals, which is pretty dag impressive.
    • Chaos (Ablaze) - These "Ablaze" versions are what you get when you enter a battle—a ton of more intense instrumentation is added to the map theme.

    I could.. seriously just list every single "Ablaze" song at this point, so MOVING ON

    • Id (Beginnings) - When I first got the game, and this played on the file-select screen, I just sat there and listened to it for ages. It is the most calming thing ever.
    • Monstrosity - Yep we are in full-on megaboss music territory here, with the robot-chorus kicked into overdrive.
    • Mastermind - This is like an insane mix between a Final Fantasy final boss theme, some Hideo Kojima game, and... uh, Avatar? And it only plays for mere seconds if you kill the guy too fast!
    • Id (Purpose) - This is basically the best song in the game, and perhaps the best song in ANY game. Okay I am riding a bit high on it at the moment but seriously this is the one that prompted me to make this post. Ride it out, it only gets better.

    And this is just a tiny glimpse of some of the more high-intensity songs. There's really not a sour note among the full soundtrack. If you haven't played it already, maybe you should!!!

    No seriously, play this game would you please. Even putting aside the soundtrack, the "actual game" is one of the most content-rich and ball-blastingly polished titles I've played in recent memory. I rate it a full bushel of video game units on your good-decider scale of choice.
  • If you're gonna "not compete," you need to go all the way

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    The Wii was Nintendo's way of saying "nope" to the presumed rules of the gaming industry. While its competitors screamed ahead in the power race, Nintendo sat on its hands, and decided it wanted to play a different game. And hey, it worked out for them pretty well, if you're the sort who gives two shits about sales numbers. But analysts, enthusiasts, and fatheads throughout the world refused to accept it. "Nope, they're doin' it wrong, why've they gotta be so stupid." And now we're seeing it again with the Wii U.

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    Over time the players in this industry have concocted a set of rules that define video games. New machines need to have bleeding edge graphics. Online services need to incorporate a very specific kind of account system, and have universal shared achievements, and there need to be demos, and voice chat, and social network integration, and blah blah blah. As each new gaming idea crops up and shows up in a machine, it's assumed that the other machines then have to "catch up" and implement it, lest they be labeled as "behind." Multiplatform releases are scrutinized at an atomic level, and the slightest discrepancy in framerate or texture clarity indicates a tremendous failure on the part of all those involved. It's a race to feature parity, a scrambling effort to achieve total homogeneity. "This is a video game," and anything different is crap.

    When Nintendo decided they wouldn't play this game, I think the problem is that they didn't go far enough.
  • Looking back at the Wii as we enter 2013

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    Well, another year has ended, and another winding-down Nintendo console has passed the baton to its successor. The Wii U, Nintendo's new generation console, is now the focus for fans—and something for me to anticipate as I save up to buy my own. As I go forth into 2013, I find myself taking a look back on my way forward, and reflecting on my own past experiences with the Wii.

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    The Wii was the first console I ever stood in a launch day line for. T'was a cold November morning in 2006. A light, sporadic drizzle added to the misery of around a hundred people standing outside Best Buy. I was number 62 in line—early enough to be guaranteed a system. We stood there for about two hours before they let us inside. By the time I was finally able to scurry home with my spoils, a six year love affair with Nintendo's little white box had already begun.
  • Happy holidays, lads and lasses!

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    Dear reader,

    It's getting to be about that time of year. All of us have something to do or somewhere to go, whether it's in front of the TV or down the street, or thousands of miles away. Bein's how we're just a few people who run this site, it's probably best for us to take a little break while we all do our thing.

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    So, startin' now we on vacation. Check back after the New Year for another year of articles, some more crude jokes about kissing fresh babies, plenty of Mouth-On impressions of chalky inedible garbage, angry, disheveled rants about points of minor consequence, and maybe even some big surprises. Enjoy your Nintendo tapes everyone, and may the season leave you in only the most minor mental disarray.


    The N-Sider team
  • The top five best video games I ever got for Christmas!

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    When I was younger I almost never got new games. I had to luck out at the video store with weekend rentals, and I had the Hot Knowledge of Nintendo Tape Magazine to assist me in picks—though with the slim rental choices it more often than not came down to looking at box art. You and I both know that before you put a game on that Christmas list you had to have made damned sure it was an A+++ winner cause you were gonna have to play the hell out of it for the next year.

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    It also just so happens that the years during which I was at the really great Christmas present age were also some of the greatest times in gaming history, as the industry was really starting to find itself and make big strides in technology and innovation. I suppose people have vivid memories of that age, and maybe it's for that combination of reasons that I can remember virtually every game I got from Santy Claus. What follows is a little tour through the five that stuck with me the most, a week away from Christmas, a little bit of lookin' back to the good ol' days before we say sayonara to another year. The greatest video game Christmas presents of my life (and maybe some of yours, too)!!