Saturday, June 20, 2015

TriForce Heroes: Keep it Clean!

TriForce Heroes won't be your usual Zelda game, but at the same time I really hope that they keep it as traditional as possible with releasing this title. Just give me a game for once, Nintendo, without any fuzz around it! In the last years Nintendo developed some bad traits and ideally TriForce Heroes will stay clean of them. There are three simple rules, Nintendo would have to follow:

  1. No Limited Edition Hardware Bundle
  2. No Paid DLC
  3. No amiibo

1) No Limited Edition Hardware Bundle

Do you remember the last time, when Nintendo released a Zelda game without any Special Edition hardware attached to it? That was Spirit Tracks in 2009. Six years ago! Every Zelda game since then offered a limited hardware bundle with some golden Zelda design, even all the remakes. It all started with the 25th Anniversary in 2011.

As a Zelda collector this is nice and exciting at first, but became excessive and even stressful after some time. So far every Zelda game for the Nintendo 3DS came with a special Zelda 3DS! That's three of them! Of course no one forces you to buy these things, but as a collector you simply want to. For me this goes back to The Minish Cap and its golden Limited Edition GameBoy Advance SP. At release I already had a black GameBoy Advance SP and I wasn't the biggest Zelda fan at the time (I hadn't even played the Wind Waker yet), so I was rational and didn't buy it. And I still regret this decision today. Later it turned out that it would be good to have a second GBA, so I could play Four Swords with a friend of mine. So, I bought the golden GBA, but only a used copy from ebay. It does have some scratches on it and it would have been a lot nicer, if I bought this thing new, when I had the chance...

Because I don't want to make the same mistake again, I bought all the Limited Edition 3DS systems there were. All three of them. They are good investments, even "used" (I keep them in a very good state) I can easily sell them with profit at any time, so there's no real loss here. And as it turns out, they might come in handy with TriForce Heroes, because I could play TriForce Heroes with friends, who don't have a 3DS ready, thanks to Download Play. And I also might be able to cheat with the arena mode, so I can easily win those medals and materials by setting up two dummies. But... I don't really need a fourth one, especially since I already bought a New Nintendo 3DS XL this year with Majora's Mask 3D. And at this point every Zelda fan, who has some little interest in the 3DS, already should have one. So, hopefully Nintendo keeps things simple for once.

I wouldn't mind them releasing some Special Edition with some merchandise though, as long as they have enough quantities. That's another big issue with Nintendo right now, those Special Editions are usually sold out months before release. Then your preorder gets cancelled and you have to scout all the shops in your city in the hope that you might be lucky enough to find one remaining copy... or you have to pay twice as much on ebay. Being a collector is just not much fun anymore these days.

2) No Paid DLC

This might seem a little paradox, but I actually like DLC, because it can extend the life of a game significantly, it keeps it fresh and exciting over some time. And while I wouldn't want DLC for a normal Zelda game, something like TriForce Heroes is well suited for DLC. New stages for Coliseum mode, new costumes to unlock, new dungeons. It's all possible.

However, paid DLC on the Nintendo 3DS just sucks, if you have more than one 3DS system. Paid DLC is linked to a Nintendo Network ID and you can only link one 3DS system to your Nintendo Network ID. My original 3DS (the Ocarina of Time 3D one) is where I still keep all my downloaded games and content. However, with some games I prefer the bigger screen of my New Nintendo 3DS XL, so I use this system instead. But what to do with games, where they offer paid DLC? Smash 4 is a good example for this issue. I don't really know, what to do here. I prefer playing this on the bigger system, but I keep all DLC on the small 3DS... So, I haven't bought any of the DLC yet. And since the DLC is very expansive for some reason, I wouldn't want to buy it twice.

What does work though, is free DLC. Free content updates. I doubt that there will be DLC for TriForce Heroes, since A Link Between Worlds didn't even get a single update. They are keeping their files closed with a Zelda game and that's good. Zelda games should be a finished package. But if they consider to add future content to TriForce Heroes, e.g. new battle mode stages, then hopefully those will be free. That way I could easily install and use them on all my 3DS systems.

(Same goes for the Four Swords Anniversary Edition by the way. Since it's free, it's very easy to distribute. However, it's currently not available and I hope they will put this on the eShop again next year for the 30th Anniversary, so I can install the game on all my 3DS systems.)

Another good reason is that DLC divides the player base. It works for new characters. Someone might have a DLC character like Lucas and the others don't. It's not really an issue. However, as soon as there are DLC stage, tracks or even dungeons, you have people, who might not be able to join you anymore...

3) No amiibo

I love the costume idea and I'm looking forward to collecting them all. And ideally that would only involve me doing stuff ingame and not tracking down overpriced figurines in real life. amiibo is Nintendo's cash cow and I despise it.

amiibo are great, if it's really about the figurine and not about unlocking DLC content. Smash 4 for example treats the amiibo perfectly. You get a nice figure player addition, which you can train. And you buy the figurines of the characters, which you enjoy, and not the figurines, which give you certain content. With what Nintendo does in other games there's always the issue that someone just wants to get the content, but has no interest in the figurines. I boycotted Splatoon for this reason (amongst others).

It's not that I would never buy any amiibo, it's just that the ones that they offer currently don't interest me. The Smash amiibo are very ugly with their plastic poles. But if they had nice Hyrule Warriors amiibo for example, I would certainly buy some of them, probably starting with my beloved Cia. I don't care if they only give you a random weapon for the character, I mainly want the figurine and any ingame use is just an extra. And amiibo shouldn't obstruct the people, who just want to have a complete game. That's very important.

Of course with TriForce Heroes they could even go as far and create their own amiibo line for this game. Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks had these small figurine sets, which basically look like Toon Zelda amiibo. I just hope that it doesn't come to any of that. Let ingame collectibles like the costumes be true ingame collectibles. If I have to scan amiibo figurines to 100% a Zelda game, I won't be really happy with the game.


K2L said...

Fully agreed with this article. Tri Force Heroes has potential, let's not ruin it with unnecessary money-seeking trends!

Modern Bagel said...

I object to these points, in the same way that I feel they were made - We both have different preferences.

You said no one is forcing you to buy the limited edition systems, and you're right - I'm in the market for a new 3DS, so if they made one, I'd love to get a TriForce Heroes themed system. I have a few of my favorite amiibo, and if they unlocked an exclusive, or rare, costume themed on that amiibo, I'd appreciate that. And as for DLC, as long as the base game has enough content for the asking price, and the DLC is also priced appropriately, I'd be happy with the option to buy it.

All of the points you raise are regarding optional content. As long as nothing is overpriced or cut from the base game, I'm happy that we have these options. With that said, they already confirmed that there is no amiibo support, so you have that wish granted.

TourianTourist said...

For me there's no such thing as "optional content", when it comes to a game or gaming series that I love. I want the full package and that full package should be available without any problems. Some people just want that.

And if you're in the market for a New 3DS, you can still get the Majora's Mask 3D one, if you're looking for a Zelda themed system. It wasn't a Limited Edition and they kept producing new ones. Or go buy the normal New Nintendo 3DS and grab some TriForce Heroes face plates, I'm sure there will be some (if you live in NA, it might become available until then).

Also, I don't mind DLC, I specifically said that. I really enjoyed the DLC in Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors, those were really good. Problem with DLC on 3DS is simply that there's no Nintendo cloud and everything is tied to one hardware system. That's not customer friendly and if they avoid DLC on 3DS games, until they solved these issue, it's for the best.

In general there's also the "money milking issue". Right now Nintendo isn't performing so well, especially with the Wii U. And with things like amiibo they create the image that they try to milk their fans as much as possible. Which isn't so good...

JohnZn said...

You can swap all the information from your N3DS to your New N3DSXL... Even the ID. Only loss you'll have is that all information on the New N3DSXL will get lost. I've done this right after buying the System because I wanted to use the latest System. I swapped all information from the OoT 3DS to the ALBW 3DSXL and then to the MM N3DSXL. I hope this will help you to enjoy all of your games on the latest system. PRO-Tip: Buy a 32GB microSD and format it in the MM N3DSXL, so you will have enough space til the next System knocks at your door ;)

Greetings from Germany


TourianTourist said...

I already did all that, but still thanks... ^^