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Gimmicks in Gaming 
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Post Gimmicks in Gaming
schmete wrote:
Those all sound gimmicky!


Oh how I loathe that phrase. Meant to put something down and make it seem so horrible.

Quote:
Gimmick - an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.


Isn't that all features, and anything we deal with? Isn't Kinect a Gimmick? How about Move? How about PS3/Vita crossplay? But that's not the topic for this.

I think what I suggested is more than possible, and I wouldn't mind playing the game that way. I'm sure Nintendo will be designing it very thoroughly though.

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Post Re: Sequel to SM Sunshine for Wii U.
Quote:
Gimmick - an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.


That's the problem - a lot of people are tired of novelties designed to attract attention. Granted, about as many people are not tired of them. Regardless, this is why I am glad that there are currently no plans for software using multiple uPads - limiting it to one per session limits the amount of novelties that a developer can squeeze into a game.

I think a gimmick can be done well - look at the iPhone, for example. But, I don't like Nintendo jump from gimmick to gimmick in an attempt to draw in everyone except the original audience.

That said, I haven't had a chance to play the Wii U yet. The demo systems are completely useless, simply playing pre-rendered videos on the TV. But, I wouldn't care about potentially over-the-top gimmicks if I weren't interested in purchasing a console.

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Post Re: Sequel to SM Sunshine for Wii U.
SirVenom wrote:
Quote:
Gimmick - an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.


I think a gimmick can be done well - look at the iPhone, for example. But, I don't like Nintendo jump from gimmick to gimmick in an attempt to draw in everyone except the original audience.


Well, their goal as a business is to draw as many people in, that increases sales. Whether it's word of mouth or advertising, it's Nintendo's goal to sell their system (Wii U, Wii, 3DS, etc) and to get as many people playing it as possible. I don't know if it was Reggie or Iwata, but one of them stated that any time when someone is not on a Nintendo device is a lost opportunity. Each device whether it is an iPhone, iPad, or PS Vita or anything has it's own gimmicks to sell to a customer. And that quote is dead on, each of these companies want the consumer on their device as often as possible. For Apple, since it's a phone, it's very necessary to carry it around with you. But the 3DS and Vita have a much harder time in that area since it is more limiting to what can be done. That is why the Wii U is in competition with the iPad and other tablets, since Nintendo would much rather you have surf the web, or play games on their device, instead of the iPad or other tablet.

Obviously Nintendo knows it will sell to the fanboys and those that have interest in the current selection of games, but it would be Nintendo's goal to get a system into each and every household. So they need their 'gimmick' to apply to as many people as possible to bring them in. Same can be said about Sony or Microsoft or Apple. They want to sell their 'gimmicky' product to each and every person, so they need it to appeal to as many people as possible.

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Post Re: Sequel to SM Sunshine for Wii U.
But, the PS3 (for example) is by and large not a gimmicky product. The Move is a gimmick, but the console's approach is traditional, tried, and true. The Wii has Black Ops, but it is not a serious platform for the game - the controller acts up at the worst possible times, local multiplayer is out of the question, and the graphics are not quite high enough for a game designed to be played in high resolution.

On the other hand, Super Mario Galaxy is a great game, as is Batallion Wars II. These use the hardware in a fresh way without deviating too far from the tried-and-true methodology that many who have grown up in the eighties and nineties have come to love. These games are instances of innovation and inspiration - Galaxy had the good fortune of being part of a highly successful series, while BWii was unfortunately obscure.

To pull back from my tangent before I stray too far from the point, Nintendo is at its best when it is inspired. The Revolution was inspired. When Nintendo realized just how big its product was going to be, inspiration was largely put on the back burner. A few games that were already in development at that time, such as Galaxy and BWii, show Nintendo's original brilliance. The later games, however, show much less of this brilliance in general.

I just don't feel that inspiration has returned to Nintendo, neither do I feel that its artists are artists anymore. It still stands strong in portable gaming, but the console market worries me. I do hope to be proven wrong, though. I am a Nintendo fan at heart, and I do find plenty of enjoyment in the few Wii games that were inspired. But, to change my mind, I must see and feel this inspiration in the Wii U, and I need to see it continue beyond the launch window.

Installing real demo units at the local Best Buy would be a good way to start.

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Post Re: Sequel to SM Sunshine for Wii U.
Gamer Greg wrote:
schmete wrote:
Those all sound gimmicky!


Oh how I loathe that phrase. Meant to put something down and make it seem so horrible.

Quote:
Gimmick - an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.


Isn't that all features, and anything we deal with? Isn't Kinect a Gimmick? How about Move? How about PS3/Vita crossplay? But that's not the topic for this.

I think what I suggested is more than possible, and I wouldn't mind playing the game that way. I'm sure Nintendo will be designing it very thoroughly though.

Not sure where you got that definition, but I, and many others, use the Wikipedia one.
Quote:
In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.

Meaning, all those features don't do anything a button couldn't do. A gimmick is a bad thing because it isn't meant to add to the experience, but just make it different for difference's sake.

EDIT: And I want to point out that neither SMG nor BWII had any novel ideas when utilizing the Wii's controller. Sure, SMG had a few inputs that required a controller shake, but that could have been done with a button. BWII did use the pointer function (IIRC, never actually played it), but its implementation isn't anything that PC RTS players haven't been doing for years (which, btw, the PS3 does support keyboard/mouse, so most of these functions could be done on PS3 as well).

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Post Re: Sequel to SM Sunshine for Wii U.
I got it from the dictionary. Basically your wikipedia version just expands on it. It is a feature that makes it unique, but I disagree with you stating that it's a bad thing. I also disagree with the Wikipedia version stating that something that is little relevance or use. Keep in mind this is constantly edited and changed to whatever the editor is choosing to make it, which is why I don't get definitions off of this site since it is consistently modified.

Basically by your Wikipedia version, all features are gimmicks. Meaning from my examples of features with Wii U, Vita, PS3, 360, etc. That's fine as it fits both definitions. I don't get why gimmicks are getting negative associations. It is the features that the companies are offering, and each of these features is a gimmick. So if gimmicks are so bad, why do all products have them? Also, if all features are gimmicks, why are only some identified as gimmicky? They would all be gimmicky and with your preference making all products bad. Why have a PS Vita if it's full of gimmicks like cross play with the PS3 or having 3G network connectivity. Why play Wii if the motion control is a gimmick?

This fits your Wikipedia as cross play is a special feature of the Vita, making it a gimmick since it stands out from the 3DS (which doesn't do that). The 3D of the 3DS would be a gimmick because that stands out from the Vita.

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Post Gimmicks in Gaming
No, you're not getting it. A gimmick doesn't add anything to the experience. Cross Play allows a game to be taken from the console to the handheld without losing anything. This greatly increases the player's ability to play the game, meaning it adds something valuable to the experience. 3D also adds to the experience in a game like Super Mario 3D Land, where it plays an important role in the gameplay.

A gimmick is exemplified in LoZ:TP, where the motion controls only changed the way characters made an input, and didn't add anything valuable. Compare that to LoZ:SS, where the motion controls actually effected how the game was played. This is not a gimmick.

A gimmick is not the same as a feature. Features can be gimmicks, but the two are not mutually exclusive.

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Post Re: Gimmicks in Gaming
The thing with gimmicks is that it's subjective. A gimmick is something added for the sake of adding things just to sell the product or something and feels tacked on. But some of those things are debatable. Let's take Twilight Princess as an example since schmete mentioned it. Were the motion controls a gimmick? I would personally say they were not a gimmick to me, but others like schmete would disagree. I say that because while playing the game, it felt natural to me using the motion controls. It's not to the extent of Skyward Sword of course, but it still felt natural to me and got me more immersed in the game. I'm aware others would disagree with me.

Another example brought up in this topic is Super Mario Galaxy. Is the controller shake a gimmick? Some would say yes, I would disagree. To me, it's not about the fact that it could be mapped to a button. It's the fact that shaking the controller felt more natural to me for that extra jump than pressing a button. So to me, that was not a gimmick. A similar comparison would be how in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you shake the controller to do a spin jump. One could argue that that was a gimmick... but to me, I would disagree. And I disagree because when I first played New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS, I actually shook the 3DS to do the spin jump multiple times because it felt natural and became instinct to me. I caught on soon enough that it was a button press, but still.

Here's one example of something I feel was gimmicky. When Wii Fit released, the Wii Balance Board was a neat tool for that game. To me, it's not about the feature or the controller that makes it a gimmick... it's about the implementation. Wii Fit to me felt natural using the Wii Balance Board. Not a gimmick to me. But one thing that I thought was gimmick was how in Wii Music, you could use the Wii Balance Board as pedals for a drum set. It just felt odd to me and took me out of the experience. So I wouldn't label the Wii Balance Board as a gimmick or not... to me, it's about the implementation. Wii Fit was not gimmicky, but the use of the Wii Balance Board in Wii Music was.

So I understand what some people in this thread are saying, but because we all have different tastes, what is or is not a gimmick is rather subjective. Different people have different views on what is necessary or not. Some here are arguing that motion controls in SMG were a gimmick, but to me it actually felt natural and added to the experience. So again, different views.

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Post Re: Gimmicks in Gaming
See, DW, I have to disagree with your points about TP and SMG. I don't think that because it can be perceived as valuable makes it valuable. I haven't fully felt this out yet, but here's my argument against it. TP didn't do anything other than change a button press to a motion detection. While that allowed you to swing your arm like you had a sword, it didn't actually require it. So, really, the sword swing input was just barely different than you shaking your 3DS to do a spin jump in Mario. You really only had to flick your wrist, which is requires just about as much effort as a button press.

In fact, that applies even further to the original definition of a gimmick, which was a trick used by gamblers and magicians to fool audiences. The motion controls gave the illusion that by swinging your arm, you were also swinging the sword. However, it was only detecting basic movement, and didn't really know how you were swinging your arm. Again, this is just me riffing, as I haven't given this the time it really needs to come up with a strong argument, but I think I'm getting my point across.

That said, I do understand that this line gets blurred. I'm still trying to figure out where the boundaries can actually be drawn.

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Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:57 am
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Post Re: Gimmicks in Gaming
I guess I'm not seeing the relation to a control option being a feature, a feature that is then a gimmick. I don't think motion controls (as a whole) is a gimmick, I see it as a unique way of playing a game, whether it be Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword. So DDR would be a gimmick? To me, that is how the game was designed to be played. Sure you could just hit buttons when the arrows align, but that way is not as fun. Swinging a sword in either Zelda game was fun in their own unique way.

It's like playing Halo on the PC and calling the 360 controller a gimmick because it's not a mouse and keyboard. That's just how the control option is different. DDR, Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess use a different control scheme than a traditional controller, so I wouldn't call that a gimmick, let alone a "feature". It uses the control device given to experience the game.

I would agree that the control scheme was not perfect in Twilight Princess, but I wouldn't call it a gimmick.

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Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:07 pm
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Post Re: Gimmicks in Gaming
Gamer Greg wrote:
I guess I'm not seeing the relation to a control option being a feature, a feature that is then a gimmick. I don't think motion controls (as a whole) is a gimmick, I see it as a unique way of playing a game, whether it be Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword. So DDR would be a gimmick? To me, that is how the game was designed to be played. Sure you could just hit buttons when the arrows align, but that way is not as fun. Swinging a sword in either Zelda game was fun in their own unique way.

It's like playing Halo on the PC and calling the 360 controller a gimmick because it's not a mouse and keyboard. That's just how the control option is different. DDR, Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess use a different control scheme than a traditional controller, so I wouldn't call that a gimmick, let alone a "feature". It uses the control device given to experience the game.

I would agree that the control scheme was not perfect in Twilight Princess, but I wouldn't call it a gimmick.

Control options aren't necessarily gimmicks, but the implementation can be. The difference between all those is that, in TP for Wii, the only control option was to use the motion controls, so, it wasn't an option. And in the case of DDR, playing with a controller versus a mat drastically changes how you play the game. Even if you were to use your hands with a mat, the movement required to do so is far more than that on a controller.

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Post Re: Gimmicks in Gaming
schmete wrote:
See, DW, I have to disagree with your points about TP and SMG. I don't think that because it can be perceived as valuable makes it valuable. I haven't fully felt this out yet, but here's my argument against it. TP didn't do anything other than change a button press to a motion detection. While that allowed you to swing your arm like you had a sword, it didn't actually require it. So, really, the sword swing input was just barely different than you shaking your 3DS to do a spin jump in Mario. You really only had to flick your wrist, which is requires just about as much effort as a button press.

In fact, that applies even further to the original definition of a gimmick, which was a trick used by gamblers and magicians to fool audiences. The motion controls gave the illusion that by swinging your arm, you were also swinging the sword. However, it was only detecting basic movement, and didn't really know how you were swinging your arm. Again, this is just me riffing, as I haven't given this the time it really needs to come up with a strong argument, but I think I'm getting my point across.

That said, I do understand that this line gets blurred. I'm still trying to figure out where the boundaries can actually be drawn.

I totally understand what you're saying. I guess for me it just seems weird to call it a gimmick when I actually found that nicer. Sure the motion controls gave that illusion, but I actually liked that because I felt more immersed in the game in a way. And the shaking the Wii Remote to spin jump in NSMB Wii just felt natural. If I need that extra push, just give it that slight little shake. And I thought it felt so natural that I was shaking my 3DS when I wasn't supposed to in NSMB2. So I get what you're saying, but some of those things were selling points in a way for me. TP was the first Zelda game I actually started to get really interested in, and it's because of those motion controls, as "fake" as they may have been. So unless gimmicks are selling points that add to the experience... I personally didn't feel like those were gimmicks to me.

Some gimmicks to me are using the Wii Balance Board in Wii Music and using Kinect to yell things out (like in that Splinter Cell game). Can't really think of too much else off the top of my head. I just think the word "gimmick" is severely overused in gaming. More often than not, it's more of people not liking the controls or the gameplay or something else. Many times these things are design choices. But if someone doesn't like it, the word "gimmick" tends to be thrown around. Having said that, I do believe it is rather subjective. I can understand why people would call the motion controls in Twilight Princess a gimmick for example, though I may disagree. But I've even heard people toss around Skyward Sword's motion controls as being a gimmick and with many, many other games... especially Nintendo titles. It's severely overused IMO. There's a wide range of ways to play video games, doesn't mean anything outside of traditional gaming is a gimmick. Just my two cents.

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