Loading...

October 2, 2019
Jamie Galea
New Game Plus / Features

It’s been an exciting time in the world of mobile gaming. Apple Arcade launched with an exciting and fascinating slate of games. Google announced its Play Store subscription service, which kicked off a fascinating discourse about its unfavorable payment models. And at the lower end of the totem pole, Nintendo and its partner DeNA released Mario Kart Tour, continuing their race to the bottom as a mobile games publisher.

While it’s perfectly understandable that Nintendo / DeNA didn’t try to make it a “traditional” Mario Kart experience on the go, what’s not understandable is how cynical the experience feels. Before you even get into your first race, you’re made to do a Gacha pull to get your first driver. Once you’ve done a few races, you’ll very quickly learn that the game features a subscription which is the only way you’ll get access to the highly rewarding 200CC races.

The subscription doesn’t make a tonne of sense. While it grants you access to the 200CC races and gives you some benefits, it doesn’t remove the gacha or make it any fairer. Nor are the benefits that much better. At $7.99 AUD per month, or $95 per year, it’s money that can be better spent elsewhere. For the same price, you can get an Apple Arcade subscription, which features games without any free to play elements and a level of creativity not present in any of Nintendo/DeNa’s mobile games.

Mario Kart Tour’s release has saddened me to see how quickly Nintendo have given DeNA the go-ahead to adopt every tedious and played out free to play mechanic under their name, remaining a constant disappointment on mobile. Mobile may be profitable sure, but for a company doing so well creatively, it feels frustrating to look at their mobile wares. Instead of using mobile as an extension of their current renaissance, their strategy has been to take a beloved IP and turn it into yet another free to play game. The most basic ideas are there to ensure you’re not playing some knockoff, but where there’d be some unique hook or something to define the experience, instead are the usual monetization and free to play hooks.

There’s plenty you can do with an always connected smartphone that you cannot do on a Switch that could lead to some intriguing or unique experiences. Take something like Ryan McLeod’s Blackbox, an iOS puzzle game that invites players to interact with their device and play with all its sensors. It’s an extremely clever and surprising game, and something that literally can’t be done anywhere else.

Nintendo in particular should know this – plenty of their games have been known to take advantage of their hardware in specific ways. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a particularly strong example which, for all its faults, used the DS’s hardware in some unique ways. At times it was gimmicky, but for the most part, made for some novel solutions to problems.

Despite the frequent poor showings, Nintendo continues to be successful in mobile, meaning any actual change is unlikely. Which is a shame for a company doing so many creative and interesting things at the moment. Hopefully one day there’ll be some change, but until then, there’s plenty of good mobile gaming out there at the moment to not give Nintendo the time of day.



October 9, 2019

While 2019 has been a quiet year for Sony, 2020 is set to be enormous, with the company announcing the first major details of its upcoming next-generation console: Playstation 5, which will be releasing sometime next year. While the bulk of the announcement was announced via Wired (which also had the initial details of Sony’s next-gen efforts), Sony’s Playstation Blog also shares a few additional details, mostly regarding the still unnamed controller, which may or may not be called the DualShock 5. The first detail is that rumble is gone from the controller, which will be replaced...

October 7, 2019

CouchWarriors QLD Ranbats for October 2019 were held on Saturday the 5th at George St Brisbane. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete listi...

October 7, 2019

For archival purposes, CouchWarriors QLD presents the top placings from our September 2019 Ranbats. View a full listing of entrants and results from each bracket on Smash.gg here. Results for SFV, MK1...

September 26, 2019

The National Film & Sound Archive has announced they will be adding Australian video games into its archive for preseveration purposes. The announcement comes as the Game Masters exhibition, originally created by the Australian Center for the Moving Image in 2012, returns to Australia for a six month tour at The National Film & Sound Archive in Canberra. The NFSA have announced that eight games will make up the initial additions to its archive, spanning over 30 years of Australian game development. The NFSA will also attempte to preserve any additional and available archival materials, such a...

September 19, 2019

Have you heard the good word about Final Fantasy XIV? It’s a game with an incredible story, and not just the one you get whilst playing. After its disastrous release in 2010, the game saw a massive undertaking by Square-Enix to reboot the game, and managed to successfully do so. After a series of expansions, the most recent of which is currently regarded as one of the best games of 2019, Final Fantasy XIV is a game I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone not just looking for a great MMO, but also a genuinely great Final Fantasy game. It just takes a while to get there. While I’ve been dab...

September 12, 2019

I love exploring Japan. It’s a country that’s absolutely perfect for tourism – the people are friendly, food and drink is affordable, public transport is amazing and so much more. But it’s also an amazing country if you like video games, not just because it’s the spiritual home of the medium, but because it’s one of the few places in the world where arcades (or Game Centres) are still common place. There’s always been something about arcade games that fascinates me. Not just in terms of designing a game that is meant to eat your money, but because you’re designing around hardw...

September 5, 2019

It’s been nearly three months since the last time Nintendo picked up and subsequently dropped the mic with its E3 Direct, perfect timing to do it again! Nintendo’s direct for September 2019 just finished airing, and quite a lot was announced. Overwatch Coming To Switch Perennial salt simulator Overwatch, after many a leak, is coming to the Nintendo Switch on October 15th. If you’ve ever wanted to play Overwatch on the go, your dreams have finally come true. ARE YOU OKAY? Terry Bogard comes to Super Smash Bros Ultimate The next challenger has been described in the past as a F...

September 5, 2019

Chances are if you speak to someone around my age, they’ll have…opinions on Naruto. With the manga and anime done, and continuing in spinoff and crossover forms, what better time than now to get into it for the first time? I’m not even kidding when I say this. Naruto was something I never got into when it was popular, somehow passing me by. I don’t know if it not being on free to air TV helped (which was how I got into Dragonball & One Piece) or just not really caring about anime at the time,  but it completely passed me by. Everything I know about the series and wher...

August 29, 2019

It’s been a long time since Sega announced the future of the Yakuza series and how it’ll be lead by a brand new protagonist. After a few well received spinoffs and remakes, Sega are finally read to return to the world of Yakuza proper with the announcement of Yakuza 7: The Whereabouts of Light & Darkness, formerly known as Shin Yakuza. The game, releasing in 2020 on PS4 (first in Japan in January, later in the West) stars Ichiban Kasuga, and won’t be taking place in Kamuorocho, the virtual recreation of Tokyo’s Kabukicho district. Instead, it’ll be set in a ficti...

August 29, 2019

It’s been an especially weird and bizarre time to be a fan of Disney. They own several of the biggest IPs in the media world, recently adding the 20th Century Fox lineup to their list. They’re gunning for streaming dominance with the impending release of Disney+, and will end 2019 with more than half of the 10 highest grossing movies in the world. Yet despite this dominance, one area they’ve never really been dominant in is games. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the announcement of a compilation of Disney’s Aladdin & The Lion King games hittin...

Show More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events
Site by GMAC Internet Solutions