Professor Hazard's Terrible Blog

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Block Bank!

Last night in bed, all my musings about the nature of how Nintendo should handle Achievements came together, finally, to make a system that not only will work, but will revolutionize the way people play Nintendo games - and with the right minds behind it, it will be easy. This is an idea freely given to Nintendo, with, at best, a hope that my name could be included in the developer's credits.

For both the DSi and the Wii, we have the Block Bank, downloadable from both systems' stores. Iconized on the menus by the familiar Super Mario Bros. question block, the Block Bank is a museum of your achievements that is browsable by game title. For events that you have not yet completed, a description or hint about them is available, written beside a question block. Once they are activated, the block disappears and an item or small picture representing the event appears.

Block Bank doesn't run in the background of your games. Instead, when you go into the Block Bank, you prompt it to scan your game files and look for benchmark events that it can reward you for. Once they're found, the familiar "per-toink!" of a question block being hit is shown, and the block is opened. If it was me, I would also make it so that each block that is activated credits the user's Club Nintendo account with one coin.

The Block Bank can also include exclamation point blocks which represent milestones in how many question blocks you've opened. When you get 25 or 50, for instance, an exclamation block can pop and reveal, for instance, a classic Game and Watch game that you can play with your Mii. Other exclamation block prizes could be special videos with animations of Nintendo characters, or small puzzle games that could be beamed wirelessly to the DSi. Another reward could be your own Block Bank ATM card, similar to the Xbox's gamer cards. This style of mini-prizes is not dissimilar to the bonus things that were found on the eReader cards of several years ago.

The inclusion of this system would revitalize interest in games that have been considered completed, but in truth could have statistical challenges that are not yet met. This is good for Nintendo and good for the players, as it could increase game sales as well as renew gamers' enjoyment of Nintendo products. Please contact me if there is anything else I can do to help herald the creation of this system.