I'm not going to lie, if there's one thing that's disappointed me about the Wii U this year, it's going to be the sheer lack of online features in a system more than capable of handling them. (Yes it is. Is too. Is too. Is too infinity. Shut up.)
Recently I mentioned a video from YouTube user Shokio talking about the lack of online multiplayer in Super Mario 3D World, one of the Wii U's more anticipated releases. In the video, Shokio not only criticized Nintendo for the lack of online multiplayer, but also called out apologists on the matter who were stating their JOY for the omission. He also cited a quote from Shigeru Miyamoto stating that online multiplayer was "technically possible" but "not a focus." You can see the video here. http://www.youtube.com/watc...
I am not often swayed by a Nintendo critic and not often am I upset with the things that Nintendo chooses to do. But in their online ventures I am more than disappointed, but rather frustrated at the company's reluctance to embrace online multiplayer as well as an online account system. I've already talked about accounts in a previous blog, so this one will be all about online.
Knowing that Nintendo is fully capable of providing an online experience but is simply choosing not to do it is nothing short of infuriating. A MULTIPLAYER-CENTRIC game, probably the biggest Wii U release this year, and I can't even play the damn game with my friends who live too far away to play locally. The Wii U is more than powerful enough (it can run 16 players in Black Ops 2 no problem), it definitely has the infastructure (Nintendo Network is leaps and bounds ahead of WiiConnect24. Fact) and Nintendo's dev teams are more than capable.
But what makes this situation worse is, and I can't believe I'm writing this out, the frustrating behavior of Nintendo apologists who either lack the empathy to see why someone would want or even need online multiplayer or are outright glad that Nintendo has chosen to omit this feature, for whatever reason.
I defend Nintendo a lot, that's no surprise. But goddamn, I never thought there would ever come a day where someone would actually push me to the point of calling someone else a Nintendo fanboy. There are people who create dumb excuse after dumb excuse for why Nintendo cannot or should not include online multiplayer. Here are the more popular ones.
1. It's not possible because the game is almost done.
Okay, first of all, the game was recently pushed up. So it's pretty obvious Nintendo's dev teams are fast and hard workers if they needed to add anything at the last minute, I'll bet they could. Secondly, what is stopping them from updating/patching the feature into the game? Ubisoft did this for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World the game and WayForward at one point planned to do the same for Double Dragon Neon.
2. Online multiplayer would not work because people would troll other players.
This is such a lame-brained excuse, especially coming from fellow fans of some of the greatest geniuses in video game level design. There are two very easy ways to take care of this issue. The first is to create a system where players can punish bad players, such as a "kick player" option like in Left 4 Dead. The other would be to simply restrict the online mode to people on your friend list and preventing people from playing with strangers. SIMPLE.
3. The game is nearly completed and Nintendo cannot afford to delay the game.
Refer back to my answer for number one. Pinhead.
4. Nintendo is understaffed and cannot handle making the game online.
So you mean to tell me... that Sega, a vastly inferior developer to Nintendo is capable of making a friggin' crossover Olympics game online, Namco Bandai can make Wii Sports HD online, Next Level Games can make Luigi's Friggin' Mansion online... but Nintendo CANNOT make a four player Mario game online?! Are you out of your mind?
Basic point here is that I've come to a point where I cannot defend Nintendo on this one. This is one of those few issues I simply do not agree with their stance on. Does this make me hate them? No. The game will still be fun with or without online. But this is an issue that needs to be put to bed. Nintendo cannot afford an entire generation as "that company" again. They could get away with it with the Wii but not with the Wii U. Their latest system needs MODERN game support NOW. And that includes online games; a feature made standard since before generation seven even started. If not for 3D World then for the very next game. Either way, this is something Nintendo AND their fans need to change.
Edit: I wanted to emphasize that local multiplayer is still the best way to play at the end of the day, and games like Wii Fit U are truly structured in such a way that you NEED other players in the room with you to make that experience possible. No such a restriction is in place for Mario 3D World as everyone has their own separate controller and character. It truly boggles the mind how Nintendo can excuse this and it's even more mind boggling how fans will sit there and pretend as if there is nothing to raise an eyebrow at.