Evening Reading: Nintendo's Big Summer

So today was a big one for Nintendo as it held a media summit in San Francisco and set release dates for some of its major titles through June 2010. I wonder what they have cooking for Holiday 2010... Here's a quick recap of the new release dates:

For the full list, check out Mr. Faylor's comprehensive story. The tagging alone took the man an hour to do (it's a lot of games) so humor him, please. In honor of Metroid: Other M's release date, today's Game of the Evening is:

Super Metroid - "Not only is this my favorite game in the series, it is one of the best games ever made. Super Metroid has a great atmosphere focusing on exploring an alien planet in solitude, which in my opinion, no other game has been able to reproduce to its quality. Samus's journey almost has a sense of desperation as she overcomes obstacles with the use of her 'stacking' equipment and little other help. Let's hope Metroid: Other M can revive this theme." (c_man_tmt)

Agreed. Super Metroid is indeed tops. Shackers, how do you feel about CHAIR Entertainment's recent Shadow Complex? For me, it was a little too much (exactly) like Super Metroid.

ATTN: Shack Programmers, your language of choice is now obsolete with the Alpha 0.1 release of "Like, Python".

Shack New Year's Giveaway: There's still time to become a Mercury member for a chance to win a great prize package featuring Razer gaming gear (perfect for StarCraft II), 9 free games from PopCap, and more! You have until February 28th to sign-up for a chance to win. Current Mercury members are already entered.

From The Chatty
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    February 24, 2010 5:01 PM

    Supreme Commander 2 feels dumbed down to me over the original. :/

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      February 24, 2010 5:02 PM

      God damnit

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      February 24, 2010 5:04 PM

      It's still not TA :[ Not interested after playing the demo.

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      February 24, 2010 5:04 PM

      Is that a bad thing though? The first one was really cool but crazy overwhelming. I haven't had a chance to load up the demo yet (just installed but still at work) but I'm hoping it's streamlined.

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        February 24, 2010 6:19 PM

        That was really its strong point though. Dumbing it down will not improve things for them.

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          February 24, 2010 6:27 PM

          Yeah, keeping it like the original supcom is what sets it apart from things like SC2. If they went and gimped the fuck out of it, then why bother? Play a real game like SC2 if you want that kind of crap.

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          February 24, 2010 7:03 PM

          Being overwhelming was its strong point? I think they can still set themselves apart as a large scale, strategy oriented RTS while at the same time streamlining their UI and the decisions required by the players. There are so many minute details that just don't matter, to me at least.

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            February 24, 2010 7:09 PM

            The resource model was a huge thing that set Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander apart from other RTS games. Stripping that out is absurd.

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              February 24, 2010 7:19 PM

              yeah, interestingly the opposite example is DoW2 completely changing things in an effort to differentiate itself. What's SupCom really going to do against Starcraft 2 now? At least with radically different gameplay it could appeal to a certain group over/in addition to SC2.

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                February 24, 2010 7:25 PM

                Based on the demo, pretty much fuck-all. I mean, you've got the physics-based combat, which is still cool. Maybe more units. Strategic zoom. Large maps maybe, but that wasn't really demonstrated in the demo. More "accurate" movement behavior (aircraft actually move at aircraft speeds and move like aircraft, etc.).

                So yeah, I'm going with "fuck-all".

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              February 24, 2010 7:20 PM

              What did they strip out? Are there no resources now? Can you not pre-purchase units and buildings?

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                February 24, 2010 7:22 PM

                See the thread below yours. They did away with the throughput resource model.

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                  February 24, 2010 7:32 PM

                  Weird. I'm curious why they took that out.

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        February 24, 2010 6:27 PM

        It's "streamlined" in the same sense that Deus Ex Invisible War was "streamlined".

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          February 24, 2010 7:04 PM

          Interesting. Well, I look forward to trying it.

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      February 24, 2010 5:12 PM

      how so?

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        February 24, 2010 5:14 PM

        They switched to a "normal" resource model, for starters.

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          February 24, 2010 5:15 PM

          I haven't played it yet (sadly), but I heard he removed resourcing altogether. True?
          Or did he just move it to a StarCraft / C&C / WarCraft harvester model?

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            February 24, 2010 5:17 PM

            It's not a harvester model, but it's an accumulate/spend model like most RTSes rather than the throughput model from TA and SupCom. :(

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              February 24, 2010 5:18 PM

              That makes me sad.

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                February 24, 2010 5:19 PM

                Agreed.

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                February 24, 2010 5:23 PM

                I mean, what the fuck. It was the throughput model that made certain tactics work. Taking out power systems to knock out shields, things like that.

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                  February 24, 2010 5:56 PM

                  it's weirding me out that factories automatically pause when a resource is low. doesn't even let you build construction queues until you have enough resources available for everything in the queue! is that typical of this kind of econ model? or am I missing something?

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                  February 24, 2010 5:58 PM

                  That was probably my favorite part of supcom. This game is not a disappointment though, because i knew it was going to be shit when they said the econ was too complicated and they were "fixing" it. This just confirms my assumptions.

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              February 24, 2010 5:33 PM

              :( That was such a great part of the original.

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              February 24, 2010 6:43 PM

              WHAT? that's a defining characteristic of TA/SC >:( what the fuck

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                February 24, 2010 6:44 PM

                Exactly. I'm canceling my preorder tomorrow.

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                  February 24, 2010 6:45 PM

                  yeah, not gonna bother. sounds like they really screwed the pooch on this one

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              February 24, 2010 6:49 PM

              That's unfortunate. If I had to pick one thing I liked about those games above all others it would be the resource model.

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              February 24, 2010 7:07 PM

              But..... WHY? wtf.

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              February 24, 2010 7:28 PM

              That sucks. I really liked being able to create an insane economy and pumping out T4's in seconds.

              After having played it, it definitely seems dumbed down in a lot of ways, which I don't think anyone was asking for from the first game.

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              February 24, 2010 9:18 PM

              What does that actually mean?

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                February 24, 2010 9:26 PM

                Normal RTS: You accumulate resources into a reserve via harvesting. When you go to build a unit or building, the entire cost is deducted immediately from your resource stores. If the resources aren't there, you can't build whatever it is. Accumulate and spend.

                Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander: Resources flow into your reserves at a continuous rate. When you start building something, it places a continuous drain on your reserves for as long as it is building. The faster it is building and the more expensive it is, the faster resources flow out of your reserves. Some buildings (radar, base shields, cloaking devices, really big cannons, etc.) might drain some of your reserves just while they operate.

                If the net flow, or throughput, is positive, your reserves will gradually fill. If throughput is negative, they will gradually empty. If throughput is negative and you have nothing in your reserves, all construction depending on the depleted resource will slow down, and any building functioning depending on it will stop.

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                  February 24, 2010 9:29 PM

                  Understood - I think Supreme's system is a bit complex but potentially fun. I didn't like SC much but I think that system has merits, why change it? Supreme Commander fans will like it and other people who don't like SC (me) will dislike it for other reasons.

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                    February 24, 2010 9:33 PM

                    I assume by "SC" in that post you mean Supreme Commander, not Starcraft.

                    My guess is that they're trying to appeal to the Starcraft people who are confused by or otherwise don't like the throughput model. This is a waste of goddamn time since the Starcraft people will never like SupCom's style regardless. So they're just going to piss off everyone.

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                      February 24, 2010 9:38 PM

                      Yeah I was interchanging like an idiot, both the SC's I used were Supreme Commander - but I don't like Starcraft that much either (it's better than Supreme Commander though)

                      I think we both agree - I found SupCom such a whore, it took me like 5 hours to complete the SP game -mission #3, I'm like WHUT?
                      Tutorial was mostly shitty too :/

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              February 25, 2010 12:28 AM

              Wait, what!? That was one of the defining characteristics of TA and SupCom!!

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          February 24, 2010 5:35 PM

          it's not only the switch to a new resource model it's the fact that it feels like they hacked it on to the original game. there's just something completely wrong with it

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      February 24, 2010 5:13 PM

      I'm still INSTALLING DIRECT X END-USER RUNTIMES (AUGUST 2009)

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      February 24, 2010 5:22 PM

      I can't believe they made a sequel after the first. They must hate money.

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      February 24, 2010 5:36 PM

      I don't know about dumbed down but the gameplay is just not fun relative to the first game.

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        February 24, 2010 6:18 PM

        Yeah. I promptly uninstalled after 20 minutes :/

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      February 24, 2010 5:37 PM

      Spring RTS all I need

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      February 24, 2010 5:40 PM

      i really dig the scroll out system. i remember playing the demo of the original one and kept trying to use the function in windows/on the desktop....

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      February 24, 2010 5:53 PM

      You already mentioned the changes to the economy model, so I won't say anymore on that.

      Engineers can't assist each other with building now, but can still assist factories thankfully.
      If you tell one to assist another, it acts like it wants to build the building too but glitches out (bug or just quickly hacked removal of an engine feature?).

      The UI is slightly improved and slightly screwed up at the same time. I kindof liked seeing the groups on the right side of my screen. It only shows the inactive factories/engineers/acu now.

      Graphics:
      Map - improved perhaps, need to see more.
      Units - worse, lower poly count.

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        February 24, 2010 5:54 PM

        Short version:
        I'll stick with supcom/FA for a bit but will watch to see how the community accepts (and fixes) the issues with supcom2.

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          February 24, 2010 7:26 PM

          Its all my worst fears realized.

          - The engine is a lot nicer, lighting is good, there's a lot more potential for details, the water looks nicer, at one point I could see the reflection of the night sky in it. Splashes from destroyed naval units or crashing jets never get old.
          - The music is uninspiring.
          - Compared to FA, the information available to the commander via the UI is virtually nonexistent. This is a huge oversight, IMO.
          - The economy is worse than in SupCom/FA; I actually prefer that constant resource economy style now because it's much more fluid to a commander queuing up several dozen units at once.
          - The research system is a new resource to farm up and gather, and is a lot more complicated than the Tiered Tech system (amazingly enough). Addendum: The add-on system is interesting but there should be a specific pathway, not the ability to add EVERY add on.
          - The units and buildings are terribly low poly and look bad in the cartoony color palette.
          - THE FUCKING SALEM DESTROYER!!! HOW DO YOU FUCK UP THE COOLEST NAVAL UNIT EVER?!?!?!
          - Every air unit should move about 100% faster, because they have jet engines strapped to their backs and not propellers. As it stands they move very slow for air units. This is a problem when you're naval units can move as fast as your interceptors.
          - The fog of war system is shit; its so difficult to see the edge of your sensor range on certain textures.
          - While on the topic of sensors, the radar system does not show the edge of your detection range.
          - Quantum Visionworks? I'm going to have a fucking heart attack from the cheese that AI assistant force fed me.

          This went from being "Day 1 Purchase" to "Wait for 50% or more off".

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      February 24, 2010 6:15 PM

      The whole Quantum Visionworks thing is dumb. Trying to be like Starship Troopers/Portal/etc and it fails horribly, it's probably the tone the voiceover uses, it's not sarcastic enough or something.

      I played through 3 portions of the tutorial and uninstalled it. I've played RTSs, it's just another RTS, with more units.

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        February 24, 2010 7:47 PM

        Its pretty cliche, how many evil corporate giants of the future have been portrayed in movies and games with promo videos touting their contributions to world peace or creating a cure for something by dealing arms or enslaving people or brainwashing people blah blah.

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          February 24, 2010 9:03 PM

          Yeah, what the hell. I sense Square Enix's finger on this.

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          February 24, 2010 9:57 PM

          To be fair, it's not like the first SupCom's story was a beacon of originality.

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            February 25, 2010 10:21 AM

            This was worse... muuuuuuch worse. Holy balls the voice acting in that second level was bad.

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      February 24, 2010 6:46 PM

      the units' pathing is sure sexy though

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      February 24, 2010 6:57 PM

      What the shit is wrong with the dialog/voicework? Its terrible beyond redemption. Jesus, i had to stop playing because i could not bear to listen to that shit. what the fuck?

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      February 24, 2010 7:31 PM

      There's no way to get a refund on something you've pre-purchased on steam is there?

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      February 24, 2010 7:36 PM

      Yeah, it looks/feels/plays/sounds like... shit. What a disgrace.

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      February 24, 2010 9:04 PM

      Wow I just played the demo and I am totally underwhelmed. Loved the first one and loved TA to death :(

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      February 24, 2010 9:22 PM

      square enix'ed. actually did they even do anything other than provide money.

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        February 24, 2010 9:26 PM

        I think they worked on the story too.

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          February 24, 2010 9:43 PM

          in the demo theres this crazy japanese style boat that looks like square enix put in lol

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      February 24, 2010 11:32 PM

      Yeah, I don't like the changes.
      I think the graphics engine is actually better, but the art style make it look worse (too cartoony)
      They changed the resource model to be like every other RTS.
      The tech tree removes any strategic targeting of high tech buildings.

      It feels very little like the first supcom, which I enjoyed quite a bit =/

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      February 24, 2010 11:53 PM

      After trying the demo I've canceled my preorder from Amazon. The game is horribly mediocre, it reminds me of the ungodly shitty console port of the first game.

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        February 25, 2010 12:19 AM

        yeah I'm considering canceling my preorder too. I was very much looking forward to this game too.

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      February 25, 2010 12:24 AM

      I'm convinced Taylor was a fluke one hit wonder who hasn't produced anything worthwhile since TA. Even SupCom felt like a shallow clone of the original awesomeness. Thus, not surprised in the least.

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      February 25, 2010 12:31 AM

      I don't know how you dumb down Supreme Commander any more than it already was.

      Build base
      Send 10000 units against the enemy
      If it fails repeat until the enemy goes down

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