Mailbox: Nintendo Lifestyles Letters Web page – TOTK Overload, Patches, Geno-Enthusiasts

By qaxio

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Welcome back to the Nintendo Life Mailbox. We’re deep into August, so let’s dig into our inbox and see what’s been spinning ’round those brainboxes of yours over the past month, shall we?

Got something you want to get off your chest? We’re ready and waiting to read about your game-related ponderings. Each month we’ll highlight a Star Letter, the writer of which will receive a month’s subscription to our ad-free Supporter scheme. Check out the submission guidelines at the bottom of this page for information on how to have your short, sharp correspondence drop on our digital doormat.

Let’s see what you’ve got in store for us this month…

Nintendo Life Mailbox – August 2023

“Overload” (***STAR LETTER***)

Hi Nintendo Life,
So, after reading your latest edition of Reader Letters, I felt inspired to write to you about… Tears of the Kingdom. Of course, nothing original there.
But maybe my experience is a little less common. Like seemingly everyone else, I had my launch day copy and before I knew it, 75 hours had passed. In this 75 hours I did the first temple (Wind Temple), completed about 55 shrines and activated the majority of towers. I did several major quest lines, including some in the Depths, as well as the Hateno Village mayoral election that wasn’t.
… and then I stopped. I haven’t touched TOTK for over two weeks now. I had just got to Zora’s Domain and was waiting for a free evening when I could just plough through the second temple in one go. But I’ve just not gone back. I love the game, it’s phenomenal. But I think it just overwhelmed me with so much content, that I just couldn’t organise in my head what I wanted to do and in what order. I think they call it ‘choice overload’ and I definitely started to experience this.
I loved BOTW – in fact, it got me back into gaming after a 15-year hiatus (that combined with a fractured ankle that kept me at home for three months with nothing to do). I never felt BOTW was overwhelming and the credits rolled before I was able to walk confidently again.
So, perhaps this is one thing that BOTW has over TOTK – even though I’ve now retreated into shorter, more linear games, I know I’ll eventually go back to TOTK because I was genuinely having a blast with it. But my brain really needed a break. It would be interesting to hear if any other Nintendo Life readers have experienced the same?
Cheers,
Deecas

I… entirely agree, and had a similar experience! There’s just so much of it. I’m resigned to pacing myself and not worrying if it takes me a year or two. Right now, if I had to choose between the two, the wilderness and tranquility of BOTW is the more appealing. I know the terrain like the back of my hand at this point, though. Perhaps what I really want is BOTW… 2?

Have a month’s worth of supporter subscription on us. – Ed.

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Image: Nintendo Life

“Significant patches”

Hello! Often a game will receive a significant patch months after release that overhauls performance. In the original review of such a game, the cons list might have a frame rate or resolution issue which would deter a purchase. But once patched, that con disappears, but the original review still stands and is linked through Metacritic and Open Critic.
Obviously that is totally fair as a release day product is what you are reviewing, even with a day one patch, but if that game goes on sale a year down the line, and one looks up reviews to see if it’s worth buying, unless they also notice a comment saying ‘such and such has been patched now’, then the original review isn’t terribly helpful.
I’m not suggesting all games are re-reviewed annually or anything, but especially where a significant patch has been applied, some note on the original review should be made. In the past I’ve decided to not buy games games that looked amazing but reviewed poorly due to performance, only to find out later that those issues were patched and I’ve been missing out (pinball fx3 handheld 60fps patch is a great example of my argument).
Thank you for reading,
Dean

This is something we (and games media at large) have been struggling with for many years at this point. Reviews these days are inevitably a snapshot in time, and coverage is always a balance of what we’d like to do versus what we’re able to do with non-infinite resources.

In an ideal world, we would review every single game on Switch and be able to track it, updating our articles and overall verdict as major patches are released, but it’s simply not realistic. Reviewers must be compensated for their work, so do we divert time and money to investigating v.4.6 of a five-year-old game — which is essentially a known quantity with some new content — or do we cover new releases instead?

We often cover major updates with a news post, and if issues are reportedly addressed, we’ll add a line at the top of a review linking to the story and noting that the reviewer’s experience may not reflect the post-patch game. It’s not perfect, but it’s a practical means of flagging potential improvements for anyone reading the review. Logging patch notes in our database would be great — I’d love to do that — but considering all the games and updates released, that’s a huge amount of data entry. I’d do that in a second if resources were infinite. Unfortunately, time and money!

Another factor that readers, understandably, might not consider: If we revisited one game and altered its score, every publisher under the sun would start requesting re-reviews and reappraisals. We’d never be able to do anything else! We’ll continue to consider our approach and try to make useful, sustainable tweaks (our recent partnership and integration of Family Gaming’s accessibility database being a good example). But it’s definitely a challenge we discuss a lot as a team. – Ed.

“Swap around the symbols”

Why is it that bigger companies like Sony and the like seem to be under the impression that £70/$70 etc. are exactly the same price? Currently, £70 being about $80 and $70 being about £55, it seems quite unfair to just swap around the symbols. I don’t know how bad it is in Europe, but at least around here, the price being paid for, say, 1 Sony game is about how much I paid for my 2DS, and that just seems bizarre. I know that in the grand scheme of things, it’s quite minor, but how hard can it be to just do it reasonably?
Scooby-Doo

From the European perspective, I’ve always looked enviously across the Atlantic at that converted USD vs. GBP/EUR price, but then I’m sure Japanese gamers were even more jealous as they slapped down the equivalent of 80, 90, 100+ dollars for new releases in the past. (Although at the moment it looks like Switch gamers in Japan are paying around £42 for TOTK on the eShop.)

Ultimately, there are a lot of factors, economic and historical, but companies will generally be as competitive as possible in whatever market they’re operating. With inflation and other UK factors-that-shan’t-be-named having an effect, though, the difference stings more than ever. – Ed.

“Geno-lovers”

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Image: Nintendo

Looking back on it now, the Geno in Smash campaign began as we know it roughly 10 years ago, as people anticipated the release of Smash 4. Of course, many other fighters have been revealed since then, and many of us, including the aforementioned Geno fans have been left thoroughly disappointed that they didn’t get their dream fighters. (I myself wanted Starfy from The Legendary Starfy, but that’s never going to happen.)

My question is, to all you Geno-lovers out there, do you still want Geno in smash above everyone else? And, with the upcoming Super Mario RPG remake, do you think Geno has an improved chance of making it into the next Smash entry? Or should Mallow have been the one to campaign for all this time instead…
wanderwonder

If Super Mario RPGmake is a runaway hit (and given the Switch install base, it’s surely going to sell several million copies), yes, Geno will have an improved chance of coming to ‘Smash Bros. Beyond’ or whatever the next one is.

However, I wouldn’t put it past Mr. Sakurai to put some other Mario RPG character in there due to ‘more varied moveset potential’ or something. #Dodo4Smash. – Ed.

“My question”

Hello lovely people it’s Nintendom from…my house here:

Your website is fantastic and I check it daily for Nintendo news. Your reviews are also fantastic!

Anyways, my question is:

Would any of you love to see a reboot of The Mysterious Murasame Castle? Assuming it would be in 3D, how would it work? (I thought about a hack-n-slash but I suppose if I wanted a hack-n-slash reboot of a tough Famicom game i’d just play Ninja Gaiden!)
Nintendom

Thank you kindly, Nintendom. I could go for a Murasame Castle reboot, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the original game available on NSO first. As for how a modern take might work, it would need that combat focus, and Ninja Gaiden-style action makes sense. Platinum might be a good match, too.

The most obvious candidate would be Omega Force to fashion something that captures that combat flow with a Musou tinge. Not sure I fancy the chances of a Murasame Castle reboot over a TOTK Warriors game, though. – Ed.

For anyone wondering what we’re talking about, allow erstwhile NL video dude and lovely chap Jon Cartright to enlighten you

Bonus Letters

“What are you guys’ favourite dinosaurs?” – JONOFTHEJONS

Partial to a brachiosaurus, myself. Or that little spitty one that got Wayne Knight. As for the rest of the team… – Ed.

  • “Yoshi, the obvious pick. And the dinos in Diddy Kong Racing.” – Liam
  • “T-Rex Banjo, specifically the huge one because it looks really stupid. As for real dinosaurs, diplodocus is the best.” – Alana
  • “Barney.” – Jim

“Have you ever thought about holding some tournaments for Smash Bros. or Mario Kart? I would love to join (and inevitably fail) one of your tournaments! It would be fun to see your eccentric personalities host some events like that!” – Metacrystal

The video team has run tournaments in the past, and they’re doing more live streams these days. Tournaments take some organising, but they’re fun! Not sure anyone wants to see my non-existent Smash skills, mind. – Ed.

“Which would you argue is a more important aspect of games these days: good visuals or good music?” – Fizza

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GAMEPLAY!!!!!11 – Ed.

“Was Nintendo Life simping for Brie” – Jump

Who doesn’t love brie? – Ed.

“you get to pick any Pokémon, legendary, mythical, to be your Pokémon partner in IRL for the rest of your life, but you can only pick one, who would you pick? hatterene is my choice!” – Snatcher

Easy. Chespin. – Ed.

  • “I’d say Umbreon – I think we’re pretty similar, and I like the idea of having a loyal, emotionally receptive companion with me.” – Alana
  • “I’m torn between choosing a Pokémon that would be cute to have around or one that would be genuinely useful. Like, yes, an adorable puppy that smells of freshly-baked bread is all well and good, but where’s the practicality there? Now, imagine if you had a Machamp around to help reorganise furniture, carry shopping bags back from the supermarket, get rid of that cobweb on top of the cupboard, etc. Now we’re talking.” – Jim

“currently waiting patiently for an 11-inch Elephant Mario amiibo” – Nintoz

Oof, watch out for the cookies on those sites. – Ed.

“Where else will I find out Y can’t Metroid crawl? Not Twitter that’s for sure.” – HeeHo

‘Twitter’ is sooo June, darling. We’re going through the alphabet now. – Ed.

“Tsufufum?” – Beebs

Absolutely tsufufum. – Ed.

Nintendo Life Mailbox
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

That’s all for this month! Thanks to everyone who wrote in, whether you were featured above or not.

Got something you’d like to get off your chest? A burning question you need answered? A correction you can’t contain? Follow the instructions below, then, and we look forward to rifling through your missives.

Nintendo Life Mailbox submission advice and guidelines

  • Letters, not essays, please – Bear in mind that your letter may appear on the site, and 1000 words ruminating on the Legend of Heroes series and asking Alana for her personal ranking isn’t likely to make the cut. Short and sweet is the order of the day. (If you’re after a general guide, 100-200 words would be ample for most topics.)
  • Don’t go crazy with multiple correspondences – Ideally, just the one letter a month, please!
  • Don’t be disheartened if your letter doesn’t appear in the monthly article – We anticipate a substantial inbox, and we’ll only be able to highlight a handful every month. So if your particular letter isn’t chosen for the article, please don’t get disheartened!

How to send a Letter to the Nintendo Life Mailbox

  • Head to Nintendo Life’s Contact page and select the subject “Reader Letters” from the drop-down menu (it’s already done for you in the link above). Type your name, email, and beautifully-crafted letter into the appropriate box, hit send, and boom — you’re done!



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