Mailbag 07.25.2011

What’s up with GiFTPiA? Why so many ports? And what are our readers playing?

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 07/25/2011 14:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Only our second Mailbag on the (now year-old) site redesign, and we’re already slackin’ off? Naw, can’t be. I mean, the last Mailbag column we had was only back in May. Sure, it was two months ago, before summer even started, and sure, that was before Wii U was even announced. But heck, in the grand cosmic scale that’s nothing at all! … all right, all right, so we’ve screwed up. We apologize and promise we’ll be more on the ball next time. But that’s ’nuff said on that– time to get to SandMailbag!

Hello Nintendojo Podcast Crew, I have a question regarding localization. I imported a game cube game called GiFTPiA developed by Skip LTD also the developers of Chibi Robo. It was supposed to come out in America in 2003 but was cancelled due to “being too weird”. My question for you is, why would Nintendo release WarioWare but not release GiFTPiA…

~Branden M.

Podcast crew? Podcast crew? We’re mailbag crew! Way more lo-tech. Even if Noah’s team gets more love, we’re still cool, aren’t we? (Please to be humoring us.) Just ‘cos we can’t tell a mic from a CD-i …

More on-topic: wow, we haven’t heard the word GiFTPiA in a long time! Thanks for bringing it up, Branden. In a time when even big-budget JRPGs don’t make it outside of Japan, it’s more fascinating than ever why games don’t make it stateside. And there’s quite a few games that only appear in Europe, too– or for that matter, the States. But if we’re talking GiFTPiA— a game whose strangeness Branden himself details in an article here— there’s a pretty glaring problem, and that’s the complete lack of recognizable characters. It’s easy to forget now, with all its ports/remakes/collectable cards, but even Animal Crossing missed the boat back in the early 2000s, considering its N64 original Animal Forest never appeared outside Japan despite much hullaballoo in Western magazines; you can bet that remaking Animal Forest for USA and Europe was just a little bit of a risk on Nintendo’s part, though those rather disturbing-slash-Mario-Party-esque ads probably helped. And that was just a game about talking to people! Meanwhile, as Branden says, GiFTPiA places your rather non-customizable protagonist into such situations as Getting Attacked by Ghosts who Just Want You to Sleep and Making People’s Wishes Come True Because This Will Help You Grow Up for Some Reason. Your motivations aren’t even clear, because really, who wants to grow up?

The real reason Nintendo didn’t localize GiFTPiA? It thought it was too cool for us.

Meanwhile, WarioWare: Mega Microgame$ may have been totally weird (we won’t argue with you there) but at least it had one thing going for it– Wario’s hideous mug and his unabashedly ridiculous girth. (Okay, maybe two things.) We won’t mention how casual gamers might have gotten a kick out of this too (because it probably didn’t factor until WarioWare: Smooth Moves for Wii), but the simplicity of the games probably helped too. That said, you probably don’t pick noses in any other video game. Now that’s something Wario can put on his resume.

(Even though WarioWare: Twisted! never ever released in Europe and I’m still bitter about that. -Adam.)

Seriously, though, we all mourn the loss of GiFTPiA— it seems to have done poorly in Japan, too, but if it were released now, heck, we’d be on it like Ganon on the Triforce. With games like Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, we’ve been through weirder.

Ports. Ports. Ports. The Wii was terrible with ’em. It had too many last gen games and even shared a lot of games with the PSP, and I’m NOT talking about the top AAA most-wanted games. Instead, the Wii got the C-level ports that comes off more inferior than even the average PS2 game (Alien Syndrome, Death Jr., WWE All-Stars, Dirt 2, etc..). I mean, they didn’t even bother porting the RPGs, the Metal Gears, the good racing games (Burnout, Ridge Racer) the other fighting games (Tekken, Soul Calibur, BlazBlue, etc.), and many other games that would have made more decent choices and improve how we look at the overall Wii library.

But still, a port is a port.

Looking at 3DS, it’s already getting PSP ports, and a few Wii, N64, DS, and PS2 games. I’m worried that it won’t end there. Soon, we just may see the same mess of “support” on Wii U. These kind of games would, for the most part, go as far as the Playstation Network or Xbox Live Arcade services for download, or released as a compilation disc at retail instead of individual retail releases at premium prices.

I can understand if a Japan-exclusive game juuuuuust missed the point of being worthy of localizing for the western market (Harvest Moon: Twin Village for DS), but to go back to dig up a 7-year-old game, like Metal Gear Solid 3 would probably mean more ports are on the way, or it’s going to be the only 3DS game from Kojima’s team (flashback to MGS: The Twin Snakes on Gamecube).

How much is too much? The virus will soon spread to the Wii U. Down with ports! Nintendo consoles needs better support than this.


To be fair, it’s a little extreme to be hoping for fighting games like Tekken and BlazBlue to appear on a console known best for its lack of buttons, especially since you’d need a separate peripheral to play a fighter traditionally on Wii, but we see your point. That said, we’re not so inclined (well, some of us aren’t so inclined) to say that a console’s worth is determined by the percentage of ports in its library. The Wii’s got plenty of other games besides ports– even if many of them are casual cashouts. And the ports that are good are ones we’d rather not pass up on, even if the best of us say “down with ports” a whole lot. After all, despite the prevalence of the PlayStation 2, a lot of us still played Ōkami for the first time on Wii, or Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on GameCube. Meanwhile, Wii remakes like Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, or Wii-enhanced ports like Star Wars: Force Unleashed and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition are far more than carbon copies of their predecessors and console lookalikes.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-StarsTatsunoko vs. Capcom may have given us some hope for Wii fighters, but it’s all gone now.

Though you’re definitely right about 3DS– at least for now. It’s a sign of how wary companies really are about Nintendo’s 3DS, and the general discomfort with generating new content for a still-relatively-new system. Maybe this is a drought akin to the first days of Nintendo DS; maybe it’s a sign of an already-written-off system. We’ll just have to see and find out. Until then … let’s just keep playing good games, ports or not.

I have a big issue with Pokémon games & I just can’t seem to stop playing. This instant I’m up to 845:30 in Pokémon Black & 259:24 in Pokémon Heartgold. I changed the battery in my Pokéwalker since it died a few months ago. I have a big case of Pokémonitis & this is preventing me to finish or even start the other games I bought. To circonvent this issue, I decided to implement a game rotation system.

I am currently playing Ocarina of Time on my 3DS, replaying Link’s awakening(thanks to the 3DS Virtual Console), replaying A Link to the Past(on my Wii’s Virtual console), Pokémon Heartgold & Pokémon Black… Plus I’m also playing Dawn of Heroes on my 3DS(it’s tactical DS game).

The way my game rotation system works every time I stop playing a game, the next time boot my console Iget to play the next game on my list. I cycle like this:

-Zelda(all 3 of them)
-Damn of heroes

Of course, Pokémon & Zelda are more than one game so for Zelda I get to progress equally on all 3 games(I’m currently on the third dungeon in all 3 games) & for Pokémon I just get to choose the one I want to play… But I got to say that Pokémon Black has priority over Heartgold.

There you have it… Ah yeah! I almost forgot… I’m also playing Super Mario Galaxy(second playtrough with Luigi) on & off, whenever I feel like it. Also I bought “Sakura Wars: So long my love” last week. I tried it for about 2 hours, just to check it out. To prevent myself of getting back on it while I’m on my rotation system, I didn’t saved my progress. But I got to say, It is quite a good game! :D Have you tried this game? I would recommend it very much, moreso if you are an anime fan. I got it brand new for 29.99 CAD$.

~David B.

A nice lighthearted comment on our Facebook to round up this Mailbag from David. (Which reminds us– if you want in on our mailbag but hate e-mails, check us out on Facebook or Twitter!) It’s always good to hear from another Pokémaniac (you can tell he’s a true believer because he accents his e’s)– Adam Sorice will be doubly pleased even though he only wins battles ‘cos he uses legendary Pokémon. (Bitter? Andrew’s not bitter! What slander!) And meanwhile James and Tidman are Pokémon Champions at the trading card game. Yep, Nintendojo’s full of us Pokémaniacs. (Don’t trust Noah, though, he just pretends to be one.)

(Excuse me, you lost fair and square, Andrew. Twice. Cobalion is an OU, not an Uber, you should have went and caught it before you challenged the league! Also, well done with your acute E’s David, bravo. -Adam)

(FINE. -Andrew)

Also always good to see that Nintendojo readers have such good taste in video games. Kevin just talked a little about ignored games here and Sakura Wars: So Long my Love is definitely one of ’em. But you didn’t save your progress? That’s like finally hatching a max-IV Jolly Sand Rush Drilbur only to turn off the DS without even looking at it! You’re a stronger man than most, David. Perhaps a little mad, but strong.

(Also, Andrew says: HeartGold over Black any day! Down with the American-mon! Long live the PokéWalker! Long live PokéGotchi! Please ignore Andrew, he’s deluded. -Ed.)

Got something to say? Drop us a line at! Or, if you’re feeling techie, visit on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll love you just as much.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!