Nintendo Sent A Game Out To Die In The US Today

Nintendo Sent A Game Out To Die In The US Today

Today, Nintendo released the video game Devil’s Third for Wii U in the US, although you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that. Nintendo’s been doing their best to keep it secret. (We apologise for ruining their surprise.)

Devil’s Third, a gruff action game designed by Tomonobu Itagaki of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive fame, was critically panned when it was released in Europe and Australia earlier this year. (Keza called it a “dysfunctional mess.”) Rumours even suggested that Nintendo of America had given up on publishing the game — which was originally funded by THQ — but Nintendo quietly announced over the summer that they were indeed bringing it there.

Today, though, they’re silent. There’s no fanfare, no marketing other than a couple YouTube videos. Nintendo’s Twitter and Facebook accounts haven’t talked about Devil’s Third. They didn’t send out review copies for the game and they barely even mentioned it in their weekly round-up, choosing to bury it at the bottom of this week’s press release, way under the discounts and other games.

Go ahead and see if you can find it. (Hint: It’s less important than the new 3DS themes.)

For context, here’s how their weekly round-up looked last week, just before the release of the Nintendo-published Xenoblade Chronicles X:

It’s no shock that Nintendo wouldn’t want to draw attention to a game that’s gotten such widespread negative feedback, but it’s unusual to see the powerhouse publisher actually try to bury one of its own games. Farewell, Devil’s Third. We hardly knew thee.


  • So I guess this validates “Devil’s Third” as being “bad”, establishing the perspective as a perceived truth by an audience whom has never played it. To me, there’s something wrong with the way perspectives on quality are becoming almost ingrained based on potentially outdated standards.

        • Yes. Most people don’t have the time nor the money to play every single game that gets released. So we have reviews by people who play the game and then give their opinion of it, and people use those to guide their decisions about what to spend their limited amount of gaming time and money on.

          How else should people make up their mind what to buy? Better to choose a game based on which one has a wide array of positive reviews than to choose based on which one has the coolest advertising or the most tempting retailer-exclusive DLC.

          This would all be less important if games still had demos. There used to be a time when – not all, maybe not even most – but certainly a hell of a lot of games had free demos (either to download or, way back when dinosaurs walked the earth, on discs stuck to magazines or sent directly to you in the mail). You could then sample of a bunch of different games for yourself and choose that way. Somewhere along the line, that fell out of favour. I’m not sure why – perhaps having a demo didn’t improve sales, I don’t know. But these days the closest you’ll get in most cases is a beta where you can help them test their unfinished game, but even then it’s only for multiplayer – you don’t see too many single player games with free demos / betas. So yeah, reviews it is.

          • How else…oh wow I dont know?

            Gameplay video?
            Watch a few minutes of a live stream?
            Watch a game trailer?
            Ask the opinion of someone (ie friend) who played the game?

            If you are only basing your opinion to buy a game on a review (there are so many reviews, which to trust. then, no offense, that’s just uninformed purchasing. In the absence of demos, there are many options. You cant be that time poor that you cant watch 5-10 minutes of a live stream

            Live from Playstation is a god-sent, I’ve spend a few minutes watching different streams of any game I am interested in to see if its worth it. Once I watched Bloodborne streams, I knew the game wasnt for me – but every review under the sun kept saying it the “BEST GAEM EVA!!!”. That would have been a $79 waste of money for me.

          • Game play videos and livestreams give you a good idea of what it’s like to watch someone else play the game but not much use for getting an idea of what it’s like to play it yourself. What works or what doesn’t, how it compares to other, similar games, etc. In any case, a lot of reviews have those embedded in them (or in some cases the entire review is in video form).

            Trailers are just advertising – a very bad game can have a very good trailer.

            I’d say that “the opinion of someone who played the game” is a pretty good definition of what a review is. Getting that from someone you know is just a review from a different source.

            I don’t buy (or not buy) a game based on a single review – I look at a whole bunch of them. If they’re all great then the game may be worth a look. If they all say it’s terrible then I’ll usually steer clear. If they’re mixed then it varies – if it’s a series or developer that I already know I like and the criticism is around issues that earlier games had that I know I can live with then I’ll buy it anyway. If it’s something entirely new to me then I might wait for a sale, or might decide based on a smaller number of reviews if I know their reviews in the past have more often than not lined up with my own personal tastes.

            As far as Bloodborne goes, I bought Demon’s Souls back on PS3 based pretty much entirely on very positive reviews. I didn’t think the gameplay video I saw looked anything particularly great, but reading the reviews got me interested because there was obviously something interesting going on there even if it wasn’t immediately obvious in videos. So I took a punt, ordered an import copy, and it became one of my favourite games on PS3 (just behind The Last Of Us and Uncharted 2). And that eventually led me to Bloodborne – like you, gameplay video of it didn’t really excite me, but I already knew what I was getting into so I bought it and loved it.

    • Well said ^.^

      I was waiting for the part of the article where they elaborated on why the game was “bad” but it never occured. I don’t mind the occasional tongue in cheek article, I just wish this had a little more substance.

      That said, I find the whole “burying” aspect by nintendo to be intriguing enough that I can probably let my other complaint slide.

      • They didn’t elaborate on why the game is bad because this isn’t a review (there is a link to the Kotaku review in this article, though). This article is more about Nintendo’s efforts – or lack of them – to promote the game.

  • I haven’t looked at a review in ages these days I just go to youtube or twitch and watch someone playing the game and get on the spot feedback when I’m speculating making a purchase.

    • But plenty of great games have a crappy level and a lot of mediocre games have one great bit in them. I much prefer a rounded picture of what I am spending my money on.

  • Will we see as much post-release coverage of Xenoblade on this site as other well-received games in recent weeks?

    The mention of it in this article is like the first I’ve noticed anybody remotely mention it.

    • Jason (who wrote this article) is a pretty big JRPG fan so I’m surprised he hasn’t covered it much. Maybe he played the Japanese version when it came out a while ago. The only XCX article I remember reading on this site post-release is from Stephen Totilo, who said he wasn’t really a fan of JRPGs but I think his colleagues encouraged him to play it.

  • It’s bad. Meme Run on Wii U didn’t come out in Australia, so I don’t know if it’s that bad but I think it’s close.
    Nintendo are doing everyone a favour by trying to make sure nobody buys it.

    • I am pretty sure I saw Meme run but I could be wrong. Pretty sure it got taken down for trademark infringement.

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