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Demo Play on its Way

Written by M_the_C on Monday, 24 August 20099 Comments

Over the past few years in gaming there have been quite a few innovations that change the way we play.   There’s the Wii, obviously, with it’s motion controls, downloading games has seen a sharp rise (WiiWare, Xbox Live, PSN, plus all the PC services) and there are many more just around the corner, 3D gaming is in testing as we speak.  Soon there will be a new change to the way we play, not the hardware based this time but a change to the games themselves.

In an interview with USA Today, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed rumours that Nintendo have been working on a new feature that would allow the game to take over control, at the players discretion, letting struggling players bypass difficult sections, yet still allowing them to experience the rest the level may have to offer.

Shigeru Miyamoto said - “In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if a player is experiencing an area of difficulty, this will allow them to clear troubled areas and take over when they’re ready” Miyamoto Confirmed, “And yes, we’re looking into this for future games, too”

Current plans for ‘Demo Play’, which it is being referred to as, revolve around New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which may be released in Europe sometime around the end of November.  Previous Super Mario Bros. games have often required difficult jumps, precise timing and quick decision making, so it is easy to see where this can be applied.

If you think about it, many games could have this applied to them, the upcoming Zelda title seems a likely application, Grandma can now play all the little puzzles and then have the game take over for the often complicated boss battles.  (Or vice-versa. ;) )  All of this is conditional on ‘demo plays’ reception of course.  I had not heard any of the rumours, so this is something completely new to me and I’m not quite sure what to think. There’s lots of speculation on various sites, but we won’t know any of the details for certain until closer to NSMB Wii’s release.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing for gaming per se, but I find it a little unsettling all the same.  I’m sure most of us have encountered a section in a game that we just couldn’t get past, and for less involved gamers this would be a big help. What I am worried about is the temptation to use it.

Some of the greatest moments in my gaming life have been when I finally managed to overcome a difficult section.   The ghost houses in Super Mario World, the final fight against Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. Sometimes I would struggle for a long time, possibly playing the section over and over again, then something would click and I would reach a state of gaming enlightenment.  Literally out of breath, heart pounding, hands numb, I had done it.  It is a great feeling.

My biggest concern with ‘demo play’ is that it could bypass this part of gaming, ‘You’ll never be stuck again’ is a nice thought, but is it something we should be able to do?


  • biddenden_sue said:

    Oh, your headline had me so excited, M! We’ve discussed this on the forum before, so it is old news.

    I thought you meant that Nintendo were going to start giving us demos of new Wii games to download from the Nintendo Channel like they do with DS titles.

  • Burnout2006 said:

    “My biggest concern with ‘demo play’ is that it could bypass this part of gaming, ‘You’ll never be stuck again’ is a nice thought, but is it something we should be able to do?”

    Agree with this, part of what makes a game satisfying is knowing you’ve overcome these hard tasks with perseverance not pressed a button and skipped it.

  • M_the_C (author) said:

    Oh, your headline had me so excited, M!

    Sorry biddenden_sue, didn’t mean to get your hopes up.

    Should Nintendo ever start releasing Wii demos I think the forums would explode. ;)

    We’ve discussed this on the forum before, so it is old news.

    I knew it wasn’t new news ( :roll: ) but I must have missed it when it was mentioned on the forums.

    Do you have a link?

  • biddenden_sue said:

    Found it - Skooshbag brought us the news back in June -

    Never a bad idea to bring the news to the front page though.

  • M_the_C (author) said:

    Thanks. :)

  • cheat-master30 said:

    It’s a few months old news now, but I do think people are taking this feature as a way bigger deal than it actually is. Sure, it allows you to skip ahead when you’re having trouble (and I think also watch a demo video of the section being completed), but as far as I read in the last few articles about it, it’s a pretty useless feature in all respects, since you can’t actually save the game with this in use, hence it’s no more useful than watching a video on Youtube or using an Action Replay level select code. Not to mention it’s specific to a certain few genres.

    But yes, I think people are possibly overreacting, in that they can’t really skip a section once and never have to play it again.

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