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Friday, December 9, 2016

Super Mario Run is Super-Mario-Tethered to Always-Online Connection

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I TOLD you it'll be a disaster.

I know I said I'm thoroughly uninterested in Super Mario Run as recently as last night's article, but I want everyone who reads KoopaTV to feel the same way.

Despite me saying “KoopaTV is...” instead of “I am...”, not everyone on KoopaTV is as against Super Mario Run as I am. That contrarian bird-brain RawkHawk2010 was telling me as recently as last night:
you're being too hard on run.”
And then proceeded to say that there is nothing gratifying about movement in the Super Mario Bros. series anyway, and he suggested “I say get rid of it all.” I asked if he meant the series altogether ('cause I'm fine with that), but he said manual movement.

It's true that moving around in the 2D Super Mario Bros. platformers isn't fun at all, unlike some of the fun acrobatic dashing feats you can do in games like Mega Man Zero. However, the solution to that isn't to take away movement. Rawk declared my desire to eliminate shoes to be very Miyamotian, but isn't his desire to eliminate manual movement also Miyamotian?

Games are all about control! You know what else is about control?

You'll always need to be connected to the Internet to play any mode of Super Mario Run, according to a Mashable interview with Shigeru Miyamoto.

That just about kills any appeal the game has, right? It's a totally single-player game, and Miyamoto is worried about piracy and hacking. This isn't Pokémon GO where the whole point of the game is network connectivity. This is a single-player auto-runner with the occasional ability to share worthless Kingdom dress-up images with friends. As I said, this is all about a disturbing amount of control and “security”, the same excuses and dangers that Microsoft was offering with the Xbox One when they had the always-online connection going on.

Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that they were considering having the story mode World Tour be playable without being connected to the Internet, but decided to screw it because of complications. And so...  you're left with this.

Super Mario Run commercial advertisement let's run New York City LTE Data flagpole castle
In Nintendo's latest Super Mario Run web advertisement, they're advertising LTE DATA on the right side. You'll need it.

I suppose Nintendo figures that everyone is used to paying for all of this “data” stuff after the data-guzzling monster that was Pokémon GO, and they're aiming to make Super Mario Run as popular as Pokémon GO was at its peak. They gotta keep feeding the companies behind the data plans fresh hits! It makes you wonder what Nintendo's priorities are.

There are several forseeable circumstances where you'd want to be able to play a time-passing game like Super Mario Run but you wouldn't be able to have access to a stable Internet connection. These range from airplanes to subways to, as Nintendo just suggested, running through African savannas.

Super Mario Run giraffes African savanna commercial advertisement
From the same advertisement as the previous screenshot. I assume since it's in the ad, this is Nintendo's target audience?
...Hey, it looks like they're putting more giraffes into media!

If you're NOT in those situations, I'm sure you can find better things to do with your time than play Super Mario Run. Maybe you could bring your Nintendo 3DS. If you really need to play with JUST ONE HAND, there are plenty of Nintendo 3DS games you can just poke with a stylus. One such game is Pocket Card Jockey!

In the near future, you'll also be able to bring around your Nintendo Switch, though I'm not sure how portable it'll actually be. (That is, it doesn't seem like something you'd put in your pocket.) What if... Miyamoto is inspired by Nintendo's mobile misadventures, and Nintendo Switch games will require an always-online connection? ...Nah, that's not gonna happen. Miyamoto said in the Mashable interview, “Unlike our dedicated game devices, the game is not releasing in a limited number of countries.” It's not explained why the country amount is relevant, but the important part is that there is a distinction being made between the dedicated game devices and mobile devices, and whatever that distinction is, means that the always-online curse should stay away from said dedicated game devices.

I, for one, wouldn't be able to have played my 3DS in a company bathroom today if it had to be connected to the Internet! It's moments like that, that make the 3DS a valuable device, which would have its usefulness cut if it always had to be online. One cannot truly be a portable device if one does not work everywhere!

By the way, Miyamoto said that “virtually everyone” has a smartphone, and that prospect excites him. ...Speak for yourself.

Ludwig doesn't own a smartphone, and he's directly bashed mobile gaming in three out of five articles this week. He's obviously bothered by its proliferation. Fun fact: He actually declined receiving a smartphone as a gift, and if he receives one for his birthday this December 13th, he'll return it.

And now Super Mario Run is out and at the top of the download chart.


  1. Curious. I suppose this might enable some kinds of interactivity beyond the Toad-sharing mode thing if Nintendo decides to go down that route. An interesting question about Super Mario Run is whether Nintendo will try to add new features later on with updates.

    Pokemon GO and Miitomo are free games, so updating them to keep people hooked makes sense. But with a paid game like Super Mario Run, are they going to be as willing to keep on adding new gameplay elements when there's no in-app purchases to supplement people continuing to play?

    I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    1. Well, they could always patch in all kinds of things, but you could say that about almost everything nowadays.

      Unlike those other games, I don't see Run having a team of people together who stay together to make updates for it. They got other stuff to do.

    2. Yes, I think it would be better if they just had the game be a self-contained item, and only updated it for bug fixes at most. It is primarily a single-player game, a singe purchase, so there's no need to add anything more.

      I wasn't trying to say that I thought they would frequently update, I was just noting that the forced online could be an indication of plans to do that.

    3. What if Miyamoto doesn't see it as a primarily single-player game, though...? Maybe he thinks dress-up mode and playing against ghosts of your friends is the main meat of the game!

      Heaven forbid people hack their ghost runs!

      Distinction understood, but the point I made was still important enough to mention. ♪

  2. Replies
    1. Um... yes?

      I mean, they did contribute to the Apple Macs, with programs specifically designed for content-creators..., and that... thing.

      Yeah, they suck.

      But this is about Mario, though! Apple has not been name-called in this article.

      So in what ways do Apple suck? Is it their support of the plague known as earbuds? Their domination over the Super Mario Run app, not releasing on Android? Or how they've been dumbing-down beloved products to be more in line for the average consumer?!

      I need answers, Charssie God!!

    2. The fact Super Mario Run isn't on Android makes me hate Apple more.
      Also I hate their dumbing-down of products.
      And the fact that all Apple products are ridiculously overpriced.

    3. Just want to chime in and note that it'll be on Android sometime in early-ish 2017.

      But, yeah, I'm not happy that Nintendo is basically endorsing Apple's closed-off content model, as directly opposed to Android's open one.

  3. Though Splatoon is mainly an online shooter, it least it had an offline solo story mode. Super Mario Run is running downhill before it has even launched.

    1. It's still going to get a ton of downloads and probably go to the or near the top of the app store's rankings, right before Christmas.

      Nintendo is going to triumphantly trot out those stats.

      What they won't do is talk about how many people proceed to pay the $10, and how many people stop playing after a week.

  4. Why is it so common for mobile games to require an Internet connection? There have been quite a few games I was interested in, but you can't do anything unless you're online.

    1. And why can't you be online all the time? :o

      I believe it's the same reason they want console/PC to always be online (piracy), except with added bonuses of things such as games streaming live advertisements.

    2. My wi-fi connection isn't strong, so I can only get a signal from certain rooms in the house.

    3. Dang, you can't even do things within your own home?

      How about the bathroom?

    4. It might be possible to get a connection there. XD

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    1. Why spam here, dude? No one's interested in your dumb phishing scam shady site. You should get a real job.

      KoopaTV's readership is above your kind of underhanded tactics, anyway.


    2. Why reply? >.>

      KoopaTV gets weird phishy spam comments semi-frequently (like, once or twice a day) and I always* delete them.


      * I've kept a small handful if they were weirdly topical.

    3. Oh, you can still delete it. I just felt like venting. Getting out some of that stress from finals.

      I suppose that you've done a pretty good job deleting them then, I've never noticed it pop up before.

    4. They're almost always in older articles, not the most recent!

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    1. ...Why do people keep preserving the spam comments for this particular article? >_>

      ...Wot are your notification settings for KoopaTV comments, anyway?

    2. It's set to "Notify me."

      If there's spam in my e-mails, OF COURSE I'd express my rage in an unnecessary reply!

    3. So you get notified for every new KoopaTV comment ever? :o

    4. No...
      (only the ones I actually commented on (even though this didn't count towards KoopaTV Rewards for being only replies))

    5. (Fun fact: Replies constitute as "comments".)

    6. Why is this post in particular so attracted to spammers?


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