As published on N-Philes.com
I hope that in Wii Music (or Wii Orchestra, whatever it’s called), if it is in fact an actual game slated to see the light of day, Nintendo lets me conduct or play music from Super Mario Galaxy. The themes from Good Egg Galaxy, Battlerock Galaxy, and Buoy Base Galaxy are specifically on my wish list. Despite being a more casual experience, gamers will perk up at the thought of interacting with fully orchestrated versions some of Nintendo’s best pieces of music. For the casual crowd, exploring the origins of these songs might be one of the side effects of putting original musical compositions beside Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Fur Elise. Nintendo using one of its games to advertise and leverage its other properties? It’s almost unheard of!
I’m pretending that I haven’t heard of the likes of WarioWare, Smash Bros., and Pikmin.
Actually, Nintendo is very good at telling people about their own games. One particularly brilliant move Nintendo started with its Touch Generations line, and quickly brought it over to all its games, was accompanying the instruction booklet and precautions manual with a leaflet showing off three games that are similar to the one at hand. Between those inserts, various websites, emails, traditional ads, and word-of-mouth, Nintendo the software publisher has multiple channels to tell everyone about anything from Picross to Pokémon.
Despite fixing many of the mistakes universally blamed for the GameCube’s lack of mainstream popularity, there’s still a big one issue Nintendo has yet to resolve with Wii: third party support. Granted, they’ve made strides in opening up and helping third parties with everything from development resources to ironing out game concepts, but they still have some way to go in terms of helping to promote third party efforts (something other companies seem to do well at both causal and core players). Take a look at three of Nintendo’s big websites, Nintendo.com, Wii.com, TouchGenerations.com and count the number of featured third party games. The latter has zero.
With Wii and DS being the runaway successes that they are, it’s more important than ever for Nintendo to tell its consumers about the products available on its systems. Like a gamer to their gaming-deficient cohorts, Nintendo the platform maker should be an ambassador for their systems, showing off all kinds of available games. This goes for both the casual crowd who might not know about Carnival Games and EA Playground, as well as the gamer crowd who might overlook titles like SSX Blur and Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles. Such a simple act on Nintendo’s part could very well affect the sales of a game (Nintendo’s reach might be a bit further than Matt Casamassina’s, unfortunately for Zack and Wiki). I’d go so far to say that Nintendo benefits more in the long term from each third party sale than it does a first party sale.
I’m not trying to say that Nintendo doesn’t advertise third party games. Back in the latter half of the GameCube’s lifespan, the stylish but questionably successful “Who Are You?” campaign eventually lent itself to third party games, though that was more an act of desperation when the number of monthly releases were less than the number of pancakes I can eat in one sitting. On their respective main pages, Wii.com does currently showcase Boogie, and Nintendo.com’s Wii page shows off Guitar Hero III. Curiously, both titles are third party efforts that fit nicely into Nintendo’s post-GCN philosophy of gaming.
Ok, technically two if you count Mario & Sonic
I’m just saying it isn’t enough. Nintendo games might be the ones that spark sales, but it’s the third party games that keep interest burning and Wii consumers comfortably warm. Nintendo needs to step up and show that it cares about those that fill the gap that they themselves cannot fill on a monthly, let alone weekly basis.
Curiously enough, the one website that brings first and third party games together under one proverbial roof is GetUpAndPlay.ca, Nintendo of Canada’s e-effort prove to embittered mothers that Wii gaming isn’t mind-rotting evil. Under “Our Products”, the site mentions a number of third party games. That number may only be eight, but it does take two hands to count that high. Plus, the site has some fancy badges:
Even after a full year on the market, Nintendo might not have enough Wiis to go around. They’re probably so focused on trying to ship as many units as possible that they don’t always remember that there are 15 million systems out there. There are easily twice as many people enjoying them, 30+ millions that might want to try a new game somewhere between Big Brain Academy and Wii Fit. It might be Trauma Center; it might be DDR. It ultimately is up to Nintendo whether we ever find out.
The Cliks – Snakehouse (released April 24, 2007)
An album can be ruined if it’s overproduced, when tracks and rhythms and pitches are so perfect that a sense of sincerity is lost. Snakehouse isn’t like that at all. In a debut that’s one part indie, one part rock, two parts alternative, and a pinch of Justin-Timberlake-but-better, The Cliks bake a sense of band and “music for music” in a world where Big Music overcook their talent (or use lots of seasoning on their untalented lot) for that one big hit and move on. Every nuance throughout the album, commanded by lead singer Lucas Silveira’s strong vocals and under the direction of the band’s heavy electric guitars, leaves the impression that I could probably count the number of takes for each track on one hand. In their case, this is actually a very good thing.
The fresh but familiar sound of the album is perhaps personified in the cover of Cry Me a River. The Click’s take on the modern classic has me heavily favouring their version over JT’s. I don’t think it’s the arrangement so much as the addition of emotion to a song that’s supposed to be about anger, betrayal, revenge, and all those lovely things. Silveira’s ability to sing honesty, in a style comfortably between screaming and keeping the tempo, carries strongly into Complicated, and the single, Oh Yeah. The only thing that could boost an otherwise great album is more in the variety department.
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