Let’s Talk #15: Remembering Satoru Iwata
Given the tragedy surrounding Satoru Iwata, it only seemed right to dedicate this week’s Let’s Talk to his memory. In the comments below, feel free to talk about anything related to Nintendo’s president.
It’s crazy to think that Satoru Iwata is no longer here with us. It’s also crazy to think that everything happened less than a week ago. Despite it having been a few days, I’m still barely able to come to grips with the fact that Iwata passed away.
A lot of thoughts and emotions have been running through my mind since Sunday evening. I can’t begin to tell you how shocked I was when I heard that Iwata had passed away. I just happened to stumble across Nintendo’s IR site with the news – it wasn’t even publicized on Nintendo’s Japanese Twitter account at the time. I almost considered not posting about it on the site when I discovered the announcement since I couldn’t believe it was real. I haven’t been that shocked about something in a very long time.
Even though I never knew Iwata personally, his passing has greatly affected me. It’s been a very sad and long week. There was a lot about Iwata that made him different compared to your typical company president/CEO, so I think that’s one of many reasons reason why many people have been taking this so hard.
Iwata seemed like a very lovely and personable man. Of course, he delivered the Nintendo Direct presentations to us, and during those videos, he wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself. The Iwata Asks series was another key aspect during his time with Nintendo. These interviews/discussions provided very interesting and valuable insight into the development of Nintendo’s various games.
Iwata’s experience with game development made him quite the unique president. Of course, before joining Nintendo, he worked at HAL. Over the many years in the industry, he was involved with games like Balloon Fight, EarthBound, and Pokemon. He even helped Smash Bros. Melee make its release date. He was a programmer at heart having made a baseball game on a calculator despite it not having graphics.
A lot of people have been asking me over the past few days if I have a favorite memory of Iwata. Truthfully, I don’t. That’s because when I start thinking about his role at Nintendo, there’s so much that comes to mind. There are all of his Nintendo Directs obviously. E3 appearances. 2005 GDC speech. There was also the Game Center CX episode that struck a chord with me, in which he talked more about his life. And those are just the times we saw him in person. Outside of video-esque appearances, there was the time when he dramatically cut his salary in light of the Wii U’s struggles. Introducing Wii and DS to the world, and initiating the Blue Ocean Strategy to wild success were also key parts of his career.
I started paying attention to games during the tail end of the GameCube era, so honestly, Iwata being at Nintendo is really all that I know. It’s extremely tough to picture Nintendo without Iwata at the helm of things. Nintendo will most definitely continue on, but things won’t be the same without him. All we can do at this point is be thankful for his many years at Nintendo and how he put smiles on many people’s faces. He will be greatly missed.
How do you feel about Devil’s Third?
I’ve been extremely intrigued ever since the multiplayer trailer last year.
Additionally, the campaign looks to have my type of humor. It’s odd because a lot of people seem to be missing the jokes all together. For reference, watch the “Machete Kills” trailer. It’s basically that kind of humor, but in a game. And it’s amazing.
Recent news has made me a little skeptical. The only thing I’m concerned about is the frame rate, because people who have allegedly played the game have been complaining about the inconsistent frame rate.
As far as Devil’s Third go, I was interested in the game after seeing it. It’s not the usual type of game you find on Nintendo consoles, but the fact that they seemed to be backing it felt like a sign that I could pay it a little bit of attention. After seeing a bit, I was interested in it because it seemed like a brutal but fun action/shooter game with some cool online components, which I felt I could get behind, especially since it didn’t look as dull as some games.
The concept art, for instance, looks really cool IMO, and while you could certainly make complaints about the main character, I’m fine with his design and approach: he’s at least more memorable than the main characters in many other shooters, IMO. Pretty much, it was a game I had intended to give a good chance since there’s not much else like it on the console, and I like supporting developers who make exclusives for Wii U, esp. since I’ve enjoyed the Wii U a lot–more than most other systems. Dare I say it helped get me back into gaming with a few quality games despite lacking quantity.
Now that the game potentially isn’t being backed by NoA and could be very poor for whatever reasons, I’m less interested/more skeptical and need to have some kind of confirmation on how the game is. I mean, we’ll just have to see, there aren’t even reviews out and even then I take reviews and such with a grain of salt because ultimately they’re just opinions from people who are often only slightly more qualified to analyze, criticize, and praise games than the bulk of other people.
While I’d like to give it a try anyway, if the game is said to be terrible, it’s difficult to justify purchasing it, especially when video games are expensive and there are a ton of other video games out there I’ve yet to beat… play… buy… or even hear about. I mean, I only have so much time, money, and patience, so ultimately I can’t try out every game myself. Hopefully I hear some good things about it so I can keep my pre-order and get it as planned. In that case though, I can only hope someone else actually picks it up so I have people to play with online.
Not having more than a handful of friends (who I rarely talk to) that play Splatoon, for instance, really stinks. I had pretty much no one to play Bayonetta 2 with, either. It’s one of the few problems of preferring to play with friends (esp. with voice, meaning on the Wii U, I need to have them on Skype/they can’t be strangers, since it doesn’t have integrated voice chat into its games), and playing on a console with a low install base in specific regions (I’m not interested in voice chatting with random Japanese people, for instance, but if you limit matchmaking in such games to specific regions where there’s a common language, the wait etc. would be even longer than it already is).
tl;dr, I was interested, and will still pay attention, but I’m skeptical and my purchasing decision hangs in the balance of whether the game seems good enough to be worth giving a chance.
Pretty much, if it’s not a broken game and it’s at least fun but “with problems”, and the Metacritic score is in the 70’s or higher, I’ll probably get it. If it’s in the 60’s, it’ll be a much tougher call dependent on what specifics I hear about the game, and anything lower would really be pushing it. (Granted, it’s less about the arbitrary numbers we call review scores and more with the associated comments that generally come with those numbers.)