Issue 19: Casual Sects

Noah ponders what fanboys are so mad about while providing an overview of this week’s content.

By M. Noah Ward. Posted 10/11/2010 12:30 7 Comments     ShareThis

Issue 19: Casual Sects Alt

Casual games are Wii’s anathema. Nintendo’s long-time fans worldwide have derided the movement, but what are we really mad at? After all, we loved the Mario Party series– casual gaming personified, but it allowed us to get non-gamer friends to sit down with us for a riotous time. And there’s no doubt that we’ve all had moments of joy and wonder with Wii Sports or Boom Blox. Yes, there’s a flood of bad casual games on Wii, but there’s also plenty of fantastic hardcore games, too. So what are we rebelling at? That PS3 and 360 fanboys can sneer at us as having a “kids'” or “grandma’s” console? That Nintendo dares put development resources towards something like Wii Music when it’s also giving us Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, and Metroid games?

Such complaints are a little silly. First and third parties have put out both hardcore and casual games on Wii. Both kinds of games have succeeded and flopped. But that doesn’t mean my personal Wii library is dominated by casual games because I have nothing else to choose from. I have a nice balance, because I hang out with enough non-gamer friends to appreciate the chance to introduce them to something uncomplicated but still fun. And I have dramatic, hardcore games I can play with my experienced gamer buds, too.

I think what we’ve been angry with is the derision that GameCube received with its cutesy design and failure to dominate the marketplace, and that stench still lingers years later as defeated Sony and MS fanboys lob the same type of taunts over non-gamers’ embrace of Wii. We’re also mad that hardcore games we love aren’t selling well on Wii, which, in our logic, must be casual gamers’ faults since they’re only buying mini-game compilations. Then there’s the horsepower disparity that some believe has further pulled the hardcore gamer marketplace more towards 360 and PS3– hard to disbelieve when you have folks like Epic’s Mark Rein constantly criticizing Nintendo’s hardware and then embracing iPad.

Fanboys aren’t easy to please. Perhaps we’re impossible to please. We just want the best of everything for our favorite thing, whether that’s a video game company, sports team or political party. We look at what’s going wrong, even when everything else may be great, and harshly attack it. Since the casual game stigma is so strong for Wii, we at Nintendojo thought it might be a nice challenge to look at casual gaming from several angles this week– what we dislike, what we admire and what makes us laugh.


Issue 19: Casual Sects

Pile It On by Andy Hoover
Nintendo is facing an epidemic of pandemic proportions, and shovelware is its name.

Tidman’s Take: Zack & Wiki: Casual in Conception? by Matthew Tidman
This is the game that should have blown up with both casual and hardcore gamers, but  fizzled. Perhaps casual gamers were pushed away for some reason in the game’s design.

Cawiir Day by Adam Sorice
Not sure what to do with your life? Try out our gaming professions.

Nester64x: Everybody Unlike Me is Evil by Nester64x
Only Nester can summarize why casual gamers are like the plague.

Hot Air: Sected by Aaron Roberts
These are the factions of Wii’s casual gaming community.

Rabbids Like It Casual by Andrew Hsieh
Rayman Raving Rabbids has alien bunnies in it. That appeals to everyone, right?

Wii Would Like to Retire by Aaron Roberts and M. Noah Ward
Those happy Wii pitchmen have retired, and we’ve got the postcards of their journeys.

Popcap: Casual Success by Carter Fagan
There might be lessons Nintendo could take from this casual gaming success story.

5 Casual Games That Don’t Need to Be Hardcore by Francisco Naranjo
Some casual games rock just the way they are.

Additional features in this issue…


  • Nightly News Roundup by Francisco Naranjo


  • Nightly News Roundup by James Labalokie


  • Dojo-Show-Go! Episode 112 by M. Noah Ward
  • Nightly News Roundup by Matthew Tidman


  • Nightly News Roundup by James Stank


  • Nightly News Roundup by Aaron Roberts

Coming Up Next Week…

Issue 20: Powered by Kirby
Kirby’s newest adventure hits consoles this week, so we’re helping him roll out properly.

7 Responses to “Issue 19: Casual Sects”

  • 1379 points
    xeacons says...

    Oh, come on! You could have done better for this article: Doctor, lawyer, and pirate.

    How about Chef (America’s Kitchen/Cooking Mama) or Detective (Hotel Dusk/Again)? Or everyone’s personal favorite, Game Developer (Wario Ware D.I.Y.)! I’m sure you can think of more.

  • 1379 points
    xeacons says...

    Oh, come on! You could have done better for this article: Doctor, lawyer, and pirate.

    How about Chef (America’s Kitchen/Cooking Mama) or Detective (Hotel Dusk/Again)? Or everyone’s personal favorite, Game Developer (Wario Ware D.I.Y.)! I’m sure you can think of more.

  • 360 points
    M. Noah Ward says...

    I’m writing a test comment wheeee!

  • 360 points
    M. Noah Ward says...

    Thanks Xeacons; I’m checking it out.

    Another test comment…

  • 186 points
    Aaron Roberts says...

    Wow, Nester, sounds like you think we should round them all up into camps or something. Have you been playing too much Bionic Commando?

  • 690 points
    KisakiProject says...

    Hey guys great as always.

    Two comments: First for Sonic. I’m tempted to get 4 but its episodic and $15. Sense its well received and going to have several episodes do see it eventually being released on disc with all episodes at retail? Or eventually have a sale online with all the episodes half off or something. That is why I haven’t gotten it yet. What are your thoughts?

    Secondly, on Vital sensor. Anybody remember Tetris 64 in Japan. It had a heartbeat sensor that affected gameplay. It seems Nintendo is evolving this idea. Just how there was a game & watch with 2 screens. I think the vitality sensor would be cool for something like a new eternal darkness game. Or perhaps in Pikmin 3 your pikmin react to your mood like a pet does? I would love that where is my Pikmin? However, given the limited support for wiimoplus and balance board its hard to get excited for peripherals.

  • 690 points
    KisakiProject says...

    Hey guys.

    On the vitality sensor. Its seems to be a evolution of tetris 64 in japan that had the heart beat sensor. I think it could be cool in a game like eternal darkness where your heart rate effected the sanity bar or in Pikmin 3 your pikmins would react to your mood. However, given Nintendo’s track record with WII peripherals its hard to be excited for it. The game you described in the patent sounds frustrating and not relaxing.

    In regards to sonic I want to get 4 but given its $15 and episodic I think I’ll wait. What do you think the chances are of a bundle of all the episodes on a disc or online sale in a year or something?

    (PS I posted a comment but it seems not to take so If I double posted I apologize. Oh in regards to what Aaron said if my comment seem to ramble feel free to edit them down for the podcast. Thank you)

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