The lights are on
I’ve long considered Nintendo to be one of the most consistently great developers in the industry. Outside of the rare awful idea like Wii Music, the developer has a history of putting out quality software. That said, they’re also frequent repeaters of something that’s become increasingly bothersome to me in recent years. Nintendo seems to think that most of its fans are complete idiots.
I’m not referring to the super guides that allow players the option to skate through hard levels in recent games. Those don’t interfere with my enjoyment of Nintendo titles, as I can simply ignore them if I want to play games like Donkey Kong Country Returns or Super Mario 3D Land in the classic fashion. I’m mostly referring to the publisher’s insistence on overexplaining basic concepts and forcing players to slog through text that can’t be sped up.
While reviewing Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, I spent literally hours waiting for the game to just take off the training wheels and let me free. I’ve played every game in the series, but that didn’t stop Starlow from feeling the need to explain the most bare-bones concepts to me at every turn. All I wanted was for the game to let me run off and explore, but I still found myself wading through a mountain of text every time I entered a new area.
This carries over to many of the company’s games. I spent over 100 hours in the world of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but I bet a good 15 of them were dedicated to reading the basic greetings and goodbyes from Reese, Timmy, Tommy, and Blathers. What harm would it cause to let me simply tap A to fly through text that I’ve read hundreds of times? I also loved Zelda: Skyward Sword, but I hated the game pausing to explain every single bug and rupee to me, every time I played.
It seems to me that Nintendo believes that most of its fans are absolute morons, and it’s a running theme across many of their games and materials. Hell, just look at these images from the Japanese 3DS manual:
So let's see...don't spill full glasses of water directly onto your 3DS. Don't sit on the gaming console that you spent hundreds of dollars for. Don't play it until you're dizzy enough to get the eyes of a dead cartoon guy. Don't stare directly into the IR sensor for whatever damn reason. Don't wrap chains around your AC adapter before you plug it into the wall (what?!). And of course, don't run around knocking your mother's expensive flower vases off the counter with your console. Gotcha, Nintendo. Thanks for the heads up.
Nintendo has made some major efforts to make games more approachable via super guides and accessible gameplay, but it becomes frustrating when they don't extend any options to the other side of that equation. A simple "I've played [SERIES] before" option at the beginning of a Zelda or Mario & Luigi game could cut down on so much unnecessary stalling. Fans of Nintendo franchises are eager to jump back into their favorite worlds when new titles are released. If Nintendo is going to continue holding the hands of newcomers, then they should at least make some minor efforts to cater to their longtime fans that understand the basics of their games.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Yeah its true i think nintendo really thinks that about there fans with a 3DS showing us a manual,and we know were not stupid!
I can understand the "dont hit ur moms vase," but the other warnings are rare to happen.
What I think Nintendo is doing is assuming that they are gathering new younger players, while the current players will see a large portion move on as they find interest in more mature games, as they age. If the idea is that they are continually getting younger, then this set up makes sense. If players are lingering instead of growing with the consoles...well then you will just have to get used to catering to the new gamers.
In Pokemon Red, I didn't go through the catch pokemon tutorial, and was fine after I found out I weaken rather than KO the pokemon to catch them (which only took 2 wild pokemon to learn).
I do not need to sit through another tutorial on how to catch pokemon from random guy/May/Dawn/etc any more than the next person. And I'm hoping we won't see that in gen 6.
As an aside, what's the deal with all the messages "take a fifteen minute break for every two hours of playing". Does anyone actually do that? The people who would do that, I'm sure already know.
Well the only reason they do this. Is that somewhere down the road that never made the news. Someone out there sued because they were an idiot for doing on of these things.
All they need is the "play tutorial(need me to explain, etc.), yes/no?" option.
but as for the manual warnings, I think those are targeted to the people who are special kinds of stupid.
THANK YOU for finally speaking up about this. Mario Super Sluggers, by the way, has a major one. Every multiplayer game you play, no matter if any of the players has played before, it asks for pitching and hitting practice from every player. Of course, you can get past it, but not without a lame tutorial.
I mean really, Nintendo! I don't need a reminder every time I play. I'm pretty sure I have common knowledge of this stuff and what to and not to do!
But if they don't tell you not to hit that vase, then someone will sue.
Oh man, I think you explanations of the pictures are almost better than the pictures themselves. I couldn't help but laugh at them. I also get very annoyed with games telling me everything I already know. There should be an option to hit to tell the game that you are familiar with the series, or that you are an avid gamer or something so it will let you skip through this stuff. I mean you can display it, but at least let us skip through it as fast as we want, not as slow as you (nintendo) want.
I think it's just for the not-too-bright children, since children are Nintendo's target demographic. No matter what we try to tell ourselves in our early twenties/thirties.
I understand that Nintendo is a faily-oriented company, but the tips should be able to be turned off if the player wants them to. A line of code enabling someone to turn off tips may be the difference between hooking a new customer, or kicking old ones out.
Plus one for this.
The chains-around-the-adapter one was my favorite.
Yes, we are, there's ton of proof on the internet
I know the tutorials are a "Duh Nintendo!" kinda thing, but remember guys, they're marketing to kids. Sure some of the 3DS manual stuff is overboard, but some of the hand-holding is preaching to young, first-time players.